Ricciardo sure Red Bull can handle Verstappen rivalry

Daniel Ricciardo believes his Red Bull Formula 1 team will have no trouble handling the battle between himself and teammate Max Verstappen.

The young Dutchman joined Red Bull Racing from this year's Spanish Grand Prix after being promoted from Toro Rosso, and won in his first outing with the team before becoming one of the stars of the second half of the season.

But despite Red Bull having two very competitive drivers, Ricciardo reckons he and Verstappen have been able to handle their rivalry well so far.

"It's tough to make predictions about what will or won't happen, but I think this year we had our fair share of battles and the one in Malaysia is what decided the victory in the end and I thought Max handled that really well and wasn't bit up about it," Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.

"It depends how things evolve, but I think so far we've handled it like men, as it were. There's been respect. The few times he beat me, I was of course upset – I don't like losing. But I acknowledged that he drove very well and did what he had to do.

"I think if we're just sensible about it and can handle defeat, and say, 'He did the better job that day,' but then learn from it and make ourselves better, then we should be OK.

"It's never easy to get beaten but I think we'll be fine."

The Australian feels Red Bull will need no changes to its approach as long as Verstappen and him do not crash into each other.

"So far Red Bull have done it really well, I think," he continued. "If we qualify alongside each other then they say, 'Just be careful at the first corner, don't ruin each other's races,' but beyond that we're allowed to race, and fight hard and battle – but not make contact.

"Beyond that, we can defend and attack like we're with any other competitor…but just with that extra percentage of respect knowing that if we damage each other, then we're letting down six- or seven-hundred people who work for the team.

"But I think Red Bull have the balance good. I was definitely never afraid to battle with Max; the team never had to say, 'Look guys, you can't do this, you can't do that.'

"So I think that's been the right approach and they should keep doing that."

Interview by David Malsher

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news