‘I Like Being Kept on My Toes’ – Daniel Ricciardo Explains How Ocon and Verstappen Helped Him

Published 01/11/2021, 12:15 AM EST
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)


Daniel Ricciardo helped Renault to a relatively good season before he moves on to McLaren this coming season. He claimed 2 podiums for the team and finished the season in P5 with 119 points on the standing.

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Over the past few years, Daniel Ricciardo has been teammates with younger individuals in Red Bull and Renault. In the Austrian team, he was driving alongside Max Verstappen and in the Enstone based team, it was Esteban Ocon.

Daniel Ricciardo explained that he has embraced this challenge of battling young teammates every weekend. However, he said that his time with Esteban Ocon in Renault has helped him figure out his approach.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 11: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 smiles at the livery launch of the Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

“I’ve always enjoyed and embraced a new teammate. It’s no secret that they are your first rival. They are always the guy that deep down you want to beat the most because they represent your fairest competition.

“And [Ocon] is a young, hungry kid coming up – a bit similar to Max [Verstappen] in some respects. It’s been an opportunity to learn, and to understand how the younger generation are wired,” pointed out the Australian.

Young drivers keep me on my toes, admits Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo was teammates with Max Verstappen in Red Bull who was 8 years younger to him. In Renault, Esteban Ocon was 7 years younger than the Australian. He will drive alongside Lando Norris in McLaren, who is a decade younger than the Honey Badger.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy -Third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Renault celebrates on the podium after the race Pool via Reuters/Miguel Medina

“I think with the younger drivers you see they are pretty quick learners. If I go out and do a fast corner, full-throttle, then in the next session, or on the next lap even, they’re going to do it too, so I like that.

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“I like being kept on my toes and it’s forcing me to grow and get better,” explained Ricciardo.

Ricciardo and Lando will surely spice up the season with their personalities this year. However, the pair will be highly competitive on the grid. Daniel Ricciardo comes to McLaren at an interesting time when the team is rising up the championship standing.

Do you believe Ricciardo will have a shot at the championship with the new Mercedes powered McLaren car?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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