F1: Ricciardo is Glad that Verstappen Isn’t “Crap”

After quite the year on the track, Max Verstappen has been turning plenty of heads. And his teammate couldn’t be happier for it.

Daniel Ricciard0, one half of the Red Bull F1 team, has recently issued comments regarding his teammate after Verstappen’s exceptional performance in 2016.

“The way that I see it, it is quite cool – because the more highly regarded he is, then if I can go out next year and beat him, it doesn’t make me look bad… If everyone was saying he was crap and he doesn’t deserve the seat, and I am just managing to beat him, then it doesn’t make me look very good.” – Daniel Ricciardo

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 03:  Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing sits in his car in the garage before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 3, 2016 in Spielberg, Austria.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 03: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing sits in his car in the garage before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 3, 2016 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Give it up for ol’ Ricciardo trying to find a silver lining in every situation. It seems to be the appropriate response given Verstappen’s surge in popularity, but then again, we wouldn’t really see a Red Bull driver shaking in his boots over his teammates performance.

Whether a genuine sentiment or a perfect PR-coached blurb, Ricciardo will have his work cut out for him if Verstappen keeps this type of performance up. He’s made it no secret that he’s out to shred the competition at any turn if he can.

While I wish Ricciardo the best heading into 2017, I’d say that there’s another racer that needs to be on the lookout for a hungry Verstappen on his ass: Lewis Hamilton.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 03:  Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 3, 2016 in Spielberg, Austria.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 03: Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 3, 2016 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

With Rosberg out of the picture, we could be potentially see Verstappen nipping at Hamilton’s heels sooner than anticipated. As always with all things F1, performances can change drastically season-to-season, but if Verstappen maintains the course he’s on, we’ll have a fresh rivalry on our hands quicker than Ricciardo can crown himself the “peasant’s champion” again.

Humour is always appreciated, yet we’ll have to wait and see just if there’s merit to his words or if they’re just jest.

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