Red Bull’s Australian charger Daniel Ricciardo has given the ‘thumbs up’ to team mate Max Verstappen over his recent performances for the team. Dani also states that Max’s continued rise amongst the best drivers in the world, will be “frightening for quite a few people”.
Max stepped into the main Red Bull car from the Toro Rosso team after the Russian grand prix, to the surprise of many in the paddock. Verstappen has already won a grand prix for his new team back at the circuit de catalunya, Austria and Great Britain have also been kind to the Dutch Sensation. Two consecutive second place finishes have increased the pressure slightly on the more senior Ricciardo.
Budapest marks the 30th GP start for the 18th year old Max, and when asked about his teammate Dani had this to say:
“It’s an interesting one.
“You look at it, and if he’s to keep progressing at the rate he’s started and keep getting better and better for the next five or 10 years, perhaps it’s frightening for quite a few people.
“The only things I’m scared of are sharks and snakes, so it’s OK.”
Since the likeable Aussie and the courageous Dutch have been teammates they have started 6 Grand Prix’s, with Max outscoring Dani by 77 points to 64.
Dani has reigned supreme over a single lap in qualifying however Silverstone also saw a first, when Max out qualified Daniel.
“Obviously I’m aware he’s done very well and has had the win and the podiums,” he said.
“I don’t like looking back, but I could have had at least one win.
“He’s been competitive and it hasn’t just been I’ve had all the bad luck and he’s had all of the good luck – he’s been quick and put himself there.
“I won’t make excuses if he’s beaten me fair or square.
“I think generally he’s been quick and unfortunately he’s scored more than me but I’ve got a few races now to close it up.”
Dani has previously won at Budapest for Red Bull back in 2014, which goes to prove that the characteristics of the ‘wall-less’ Monaco suit the Newey chassis. After being unfortunate not to claim his first win at the principality this year after a calamitous team pit stop, Dani is aiming for the podium at least during this weekend.
“With our car, you look at three on the calendar – Monaco, this and Singapore – as our best chance and at least a podium is what we’re thinking,” he said.
“That’s the first thing we’ll set our sights on, then we’ll see.
“Hopefully somewhere higher on the podium but I think realistically we can be really close to Mercedes and Ferrari here.”
The second half of this season could be massive for Dani. Rumoured to be on the minds of Maranello’s hierarchy regarding a future Ferrari drive, his stock can only fall if Max wins the team honours come November.
Dani impressed many when he comfortably out gunned then teammate Seb Vettel back in 2014, Is Max serving up some similar treatment for his senior teammate?
Either way, that honey badger smile will take some beating.