Daniel Ricciardo seemingly took a pot shot at former teammate Max Verstappen. The Australian praised the advantages of having an older teammate who is at “less risk of losing their mind”.
The Aussie joined Renault from Red Bull at the end of 2018 in a shock move. He made the astounding revelation citing the aftermath of his Azerbaijan clash with Verstappen. As it turned out, he was unhappy with the way the team handled the situation.
Later, at the Hungarian GP, when Verstappen bumped him off track, he labeled the 20-year old’s driving “amateur”.
While the two had a good relationship away from the track, they have been at loggerheads on it. Their camaraderie got even worse during their final year together at Red Bull. When Ricciardo pipped the Dutchman to pole position in Mexico, Verstappen’s father Jos, criticised the over-the-top celebrations at the achievement.
However, for the first time since joining Red Bull to race alongside Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo will again have a teammate who is his senior, with 31-year-old Nico Hulkenberg now alongside the 29-year-old in the Renault garage.
And Ricciardo praised the influence of the German, and how having someone with more experience in the paddock means they are less likely to get hot-headed in hostile situations.
“I’m honestly just happy to be the younger driver in the team again,” Ricciardo said. “I think (Hulkenberg) having done this so many years, I think that helps. There’s less risk of someone losing their mind.”
He also revealed he is enjoying not having the ridiculously high expectations of winning the championship placed on him this year, too.
“At Red Bull, every year it’s like OK, this is probably going to be our year,” he said. “I love that but… the risk of being disappointed or let down is naturally higher.
“So from that point of view, I feel there’s less risk coming into this because I feel there is more room for us to grow.”
In a recent interview after testing, Ricciardo jokingly said, “We got sick of each other after a while”.