Max Verstappen admits he had to raise his game for Daniel Ricciardo

Max Verstappen concedes he has had to raise his game since joining the Red Bull Formula 1 team due to the pace of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo

Max Verstappen admits he had to raise his game for Daniel Ricciardo

The British Grand Prix last weekend marked the first time Verstappen had outqualified Ricciardo in the six races since his arrival from Toro Rosso.

The teenager admitted going up against proven race-winner Ricciardo after being alongside fellow second-year F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr at Toro Rosso had forced him to dig much deeper.

"You shouldn't forget I'm driving next to someone who's very quick, so it's a different approach for me now," said Verstappen.

"I have to up my game compared to where I was before in Toro Rosso because he [Ricciardo] is very quick."

Hamilton: Verstappen is a force to be reckoned with

Though it took Verstappen several races to match Ricciardo in qualifying, he has shone in the races.

Verstappen has outscored Ricciardo 77 points to 64 over their six GPs together to close to within 10 of the Australian in the drivers' standings, taking three podiums along the way including his shock Barcelona win.

Two months into his time with Red Bull, Verstappen believes his feeling within the team is "getting better and better", although he knows improvements can be made.

"It will only get better through the season, and also next year and the years after. It's constant progress you make," he said.

"It's not going so bad in the races. I'm always feeling very confident in the race.

"Last year the race pace was always very good, so I don't think I need to worry too much about that.

"It's more your instinct than how you drive the car in the race. I like to fight.

"It's just the last final bits of how to improve the car, how to maybe go a tenth [of a second] quicker in qualifying, just to put it together."

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