Daniel Ricciardo started his career as a Red Bull junior driver who was given his first taste of the team in 2014, when he replaced the retiring Mark Webber. Ricciardo had three teammates during his time at Red Bull. The Australian spent the most time with Max Verstappen in the opposite garage.
From the outside, it looked like Ricciardo and Verstappen shared a friendly relationship. However, in a recent interview with squaremile.com, Daniel Ricciardo has said that the Red Bull drivers were fierce rivals.
"We just wanted to end each other's careers" - Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen shared a healthy relationship off the track, however, their competitive nature showed while racing. According to the Australian, both drivers were aware of each other's speed, and therefore had respect for one another. When asked about his relationship with Max Verstappen, Ricciardo said:
"I won races with him as a teammate and got pole position so I think he always knew I was quick and respected me. I mean we never hated each other, we just wanted to end each other’s careers! It’s as simple as that. I think it’s easier now for me and Max to be friends for two reasons. I think one is that obviously we’re not in direct competition – we’re not trying to basically end each other’s careers!”
Although known for his laid-back and cheeky personality off the track, Ricciardo is extremely serious under the helmet. On the track, the Australian is known for being the last of the late brakers. Ricciardo specializes in passing other drivers and is widely regarded as the best overtaker in Formula 1. According to Ricciardo, he has earned the respect of the paddock through his fierce driving style:
"Once I was able to show that I could still be this fun guy, but when the helmet comes down, I’ll do what it takes."
Following a brief two-year stint at Renault where he stood on the podium twice, Ricciardo moved to McLaren for the 2021 season. Partnering Lando Norris, many fans expect a fun and light rivalry between the two. However, Ricciardo is an extremely tough competitor and will aim to take himself and McLaren to new heights in 2022 when the new regulations come into effect.