Ricciardo: 'Max is no longer a kid"

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
© Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo believes team mate Max Verstappen is on his way to maturity, and will improve his combative approach to racing with time.

The Red Bull Racing pair found itself at odds after a first lap collision in Hungary which saw the Dutch driver clumsily run-in and take out the sister car, much to Ricciardo's ire.

But Verstappen was quick to recognize his mistake and make amends with the Aussie, leaving just a bad memory in each men's mind before action resumes at Spa.

"I had built up the whole Saturday to have a good race – and then it was over like that," Riccirado told Formula1.com.

"That is frustration - pure! I had so much fuel still in me that needed to be burned. But after the engineers’ meeting Max and I spoke one-on-one in private – and that was all I could ask from him.

"Sure, he couldn’t give me back my points. Sure, he could have given me some of his prize money. (Laughs) I am just kidding. He was sincere when we shook hands and I was satisfied with that." 

Ricciardo is perhaps as close to Verstappen as anyone, and this enjoys a good vantage from which he can observe the teenager's development.

"We are spending more time together – that is inevitable when you race for a second season together. I have also seen him more away from racing than last year.

"Last year he was a kid – now I see him as a young adult.

"As I said, his apology was all I could ask for and the way we did it was not the kind where his manager was standing next to him or (team principal) Christian (Horner) was between us - it was a one-on-one."

As F1's youngest Grand Prix winner, Verstappen's mercurial rise has been nothing short of sensational.

But Ricciardo insists his team mate is still a work in progress, with a maturing process still to be achieved.

"Let me say it this way: it is hard to criticise a driving style for trying too hard. It is natural that you want to make the most out of your situation.

"It is the right mind set. But you’ve also got to be realistic about what is possible and what is not.

"If somebody tells you that you don’t have the car to win you probably don’t want to hear it – or don’t believe it – and that might create a certain driving style, or at least frustration.

"But age changes a lot."

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