Ricciardo using MotoGP star Rossi as motivation to stay ahead of the F1 curve
Daniel Ricciardo is hoping to draw inspiration from MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi as he seeks to compete with Formula One's young guns.
Rossi is a seven-time premier-class champion and is still fighting for titles and grand prix victories at the age of 38, while contending with the rise of the likes of Marc Marquez in recent years.
Australian Ricciardo is 10 years younger than the Italian, but over the past two years has been in the unfamiliar position of going head-to-head with a junor team-mate at Red Bull in the form of teenage prodigy Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo is motivated by the challenge, though, and remains keen to find ways of staying towards the top of the F1 grid, as Rossi has consistently managed to do on the bike.
"I've never really had it before, I've never had a much younger kid," Ricciardo told Autosport.
"Before that I was always the younger one, or the same in terms of age and hype, so it was probably a little bit like [Sebastian] Vettel's position with me when I came into Red Bull.
"I think Max had more hype behind him than I did!
"It is what Valentino Rossi has been dealing with for the last 10 years, I guess.
"You can take it two ways. You can go, 'wow, he is getting all the attention, this and that' and it can play with your mind and wear you down.
"But, this year in particular, he has got better, but I've also acknowledged that, as opposed to making excuses all the time.
"[I have been] trying to figure out ways I can get better, try to keep ahead of the curve – I think like Rossi has done in the last few years.
"These kids are coming and getting better and better, and he has found a way to still evolve.
"That is where I am critical of myself, but I feel I have managed to keep up with that."