Ricciardo explains why ‘tension with Verstappen’ persists years after Red Bull exit

Daniel Ricciardo has shed light on his tension with Max Verstappen, saying there was a time he despised his former teammate.

Ricciardo and Verstappen were teammates at Red Bull some seasons ago. They spent three years racing together before the Australian left the team, with their preference for the Dutchman clear to everyone.

This was despite the fact that the Honey Badger had actually outscored his younger teammate in two out of the three seasons.

There were explosive moments between the pair that put some strain into their relationship. All that has been sorted now, but it wasn’t so pretty at the time.

Ricciardo shed light on his tension with Verstappen, and said that he did not always like him.

“In the years with Red Bull, it was Max, you know, we were teammates,” Ricciardo told Ariel Helwani on his YouTube channel, as quoted by express.co.uk.

“We definitely had respect for each other, but I would say today we get on better than we did back then.

Max Verstappen didn't understand Red Bull 'responsibility'
Ricciardo (left) admits that he has no hard feelings towards Verstappen (right). Source: planetf1.com

“One year he took me out at the start, I flipped him off. In Azerbaijan, we took each other out. There was definitely some tension. As a rivalry, he has probably been my biggest rival in the years. That doesn’t mean I don’t like him.”

Competitor respect

However, Ricciardo insisted that he has nothing but respect for his former teammate, and enjoyed working with him.  

When asked who his favourite driver on the grid is, the 32-year-old said, “For different reasons I guess, but Max Verstappen because you get what you see.

“He might not be the most approachable or funniest or whatever, but he is Max.

“People know that that’s what they’re going to get. He’s a very hard racer and obviously people like that.

“I definitely respect that, and I was his teammate, so I’ve known him for quite a long time as well, and I’ve also seen him, let’s say, mature and kind of grow. I think what he does is kind of relatable to some as well,” he concluded.

Read more: Wolff urges FIA to punish Ricciardo

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