So far this season, Ricciardo and Verstappen haven’t really had reason to turn on each other. Their relationship as team-mates has been fairly harmonious, but team boss Christian Horner believes that change is just around the corner.
The team believe that the obstacles ahead lie in their eventual ability to win. Red Bull forecast a heated rivalry for 2017 and beyond, believing that tension will boil over the garages if both drivers become prone to victory. A nice problem to be mulling over, possibly a wariness of the toxicity at Mercedes too.
Red Bull struggled at playing peace-bringer when Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were driving for them. There were plenty of public spats that denied harmony in the winners garages. “Multi-21 Seb, ya tit.”
Christian Horner has revealed that Red Bull won’t be implementing a number one driver any time soon in an attempt to maintain the relationship between its drivers. He said,
“With Max and Daniel we’ve got one of – if not the most – exciting driver pairings in F1. It’s down to them and what they do on the track at the end of the day. The relationship is sufficiently young at the moment that it isn’t an issue.
But inevitably if they are racing with each other over the next two or three years, and racing for the same bit of tarmac…
I think as long as we deal with it in an open and honest manner, and it’s clear what the objectives of the team are, we’ll deal with any speed bumps that come our way.”
– Christian Horner
It’s possibly one of the most exciting battles in F1 at the moment and the second half of 2016 will be a close content between Ricciardo and Verstappen. Their inter-team battle will only propel Red Bull forward, and neither drivers shows any sign of sparking a Hamilton/Rosberg type of rivalry, where psychological toxicity lingers beyond the racetrack.
Ricciardo will be aiming for less niggles in the remainder of the season. He’s been unlucky with a puncture in China and a pit-stop blunder in Monaco, both of which occurring whilst he led the race. Verstappen has been relatively faultless barring Monaco, he’ll be looking to optimize Saturdays and out-qualify Ricciardo more often.