Ricciardo’s Verstappen fears at Red Bull revealed
DANIEL Ricciardo has admitted he expected his relationship with now former-Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen to be a lot worse than it was.
The duo spent nearly three years together at the Milton Keynes-based outfit after Verstappen was promoted from Toro Rosso to replace Daniil Kvyat mid-season in 2016.
They have come across as good friends off the track but have shared some intense on-track moments, like battling for victory of the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2016 and their infamous crash in Baku earlier this year.
Verstappen's dad, Jos, also revealed his son was angry at Ricciardo Mexico this year following his celebrations after sealing pole at the expense of his teammate in a last-minute lap.
But with Ricciardo leaving for Renault in 2019, the Australian believes the two's relationship may actually improve as they will no longer be "direct competitors".
"Unless we're battling for the same bit of Tarmac," Ricciardo said on a Red Bull podcast. "That could always spice it up!
"I'd say the relationship with Max and myself went better than, I'll be honest, I thought it would go.
"Just our personalities and our self-belief. I really believe he thinks he's the best in the world and I believe I am.
"So, that can obviously clash. But we always managed at least 99% of the time managed to keep that in its own little place.
"It was cool, it was a good, hard fight with him and I enjoyed it."
Verstappen is widely tipped to be one of the closest challengers to Lewis Hamilton over the next few seasons, should Red Bull's partnership with Honda go well, and Ricciardo is predicted greatness for the Dutchman.
However, he did concede that Red Bull will have to match Verstappen's ambitions and that what he can achieve will be more down to being in the right car at the right time.
"There's a lot of potential, for sure some potential greatness for Max," Ricciardo added. "I think it's all about the trajectory. He was quick from day one but I'm convinced he's a lot quicker than his first win for Red Bull.
"So, I'm sure he'll keep improving, but it's probably going to be more of a scenario/situation if he's going to be in a car that's capable.
"That's probably going to dictate what levels of greatness he's going to achieve.
"He's obviously very talented and I've enjoyed the challenge with him, the rivalry. I think we've both grown as drivers - it's been beneficial to both of our careers."