Ricciardo may just hate Verstappen a little bit

You thought Daniil Kvyat was the only one less than thrilled about Max Verstappen’s debut? Even Daniel Ricciardo thinks Verstappen has a distinction that rightfully belongs to him.

The Spanish Grand Prix seems to have been a nightmare for everyone but a certain young Red Bull racer. We don’t think either Hamilton or Rosberg will be forgetting why anytime soon. but Ricciardo is proof that disaster can also occur on a much smaller scale. He’d been in the lead after the Mercedes crash, but the three-stop strategy Red Bull employed for him held him back and landed him in fourth place. Verstappen, who was on a two-stop strategy, took his crown. Admittedly, such tough luck would bring out the sour grapes in us too.

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“Part of me is happy that the team is winning again and everyone is super motivated and confidence is high. Obviously that’s a positive that I’m trying to draw myself to, but from a personal side it was massively frustrating.

It’s a tough one – sure, it’s a team sport but you know you are doing it for yourself as well. It’s as much an individual sport as a team sport and that balance is always a tricky one to try and manage. Obviously from the personal side it is still a tough one to take.”

Daniel Ricciardo

Source: Shevel Artur/Shutterstock
Source: Shevel Artur/Shutterstock

His foiled victory was such a profound disappointment to him that he literally wakes up every morning replaying the depressing outcome endlessly.

“It’s been a few days since the race and I still wake up with it on my mind. I’m going to bed with it off my mind but I’m waking up with it on my mind – it will take a bit of time.”

Daniel Ricciardo

This sounds not unlike the ordeal of a fellow racer in the MotoGP sector. Aleix Espargaro had a bit of a nightmarish 2015 Italian GP, crashing out of the race before he could make any real headway. Apparently, the Spaniard rediscovered his love for racing by making three top-six finishes. Could a run of good results be the antidote to Ricciardo’s tortured reminiscing? And perhaps, a revised strategy for Monaco? All would be good and well, but we think that having a clear threat in Verstappen is as good a motivator as any for Ricciardo to┬ástrive towards that top spot. There’s nothing like an obvious enemy to spark that fighting spirit.