Max Verstappen has made Daniel Ricciardo raise his level in F1

Daniel Ricciardo thought he was driving to his personal limit in Formula 1 until Max Verstappen became his Red Bull team-mate

Max Verstappen has made Daniel Ricciardo raise his level in F1

Ricciardo got the better of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel after stepping up to Red Bull from Toro Rosso in 2014, and he feels he evolved his driving further as the team struggled with a difficult car for most of last season.

Having generally out-performed his recent Red Bull team-mates, Ricciardo felt he was operating at capacity.

But he says Verstappen's promotion in place of Daniil Kvyat for May's Spanish Grand Prix has pushed him to even greater heights as a driver.

"That was another step up in my career with my driving," Ricciardo said.

"I always felt I was at the limit, and I always compared quite well to Dani, in testing through to Russia.

"That probably sparked the driver change - Max came on board, I thought I was already driving at my limit, but there was something a little bit more, and I feel we've both given each other that.

"I knew how hyped Max was, but I'd never seen his data and didn't really know what he was bringing to the table.

"But I knew he wasn't afraid to give it a go, and I saw already from first practice in Barcelona he was on the limit of the car.

"Max has lifted his game even more, and I have, so it's cool to know we've got a little bit more in the tank.

"Without knowing we had it we have found a bit more."

FORM BEING NOTICED

Ricciardo has out-qualified Verstappen nine times in the 11 races they've completed as team-mates, and out-scored the Dutch teenager 143 points to 116 in that time.

He recognises the value of comparing favourably against one of F1's most exciting new talents, even though his personal results have tailed off since he won three grands prix for Red Bull in 2014.

"When I had Seb [as a team-mate], I knew if I could get the best of Seb - the four time champ - it was only going to do well for my career," Ricciardo added.

"And If I can go well against Max, the new kid on the block, there are things that if I can get on top of them they're only going to help me out.

"I know if he came into the team and kicked my arse 10 races in a row then my career very quickly goes [in a downward direction].

"The good thing is I feel it's been recognised - I definitely feel the outside has seen the level I've been driving at, so I'm pretty happy.

"I'd like to get a win, but I definitely feel I've delivered every time this year.

"I'm happy with that, and it hasn't gone unnoticed, so I'm comfortable."

shares
comments
Rudderless Renault's F1 goals are a pipe dream

Previous article

Rudderless Renault's F1 goals are a pipe dream

Next article

Lance Stroll closes on 2017 Williams Formula 1 race deal

Lance Stroll closes on 2017 Williams Formula 1 race deal
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021