Red Bull Racing are in an unusual position in Formula 1. They have two drivers that actually get on with each other. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen recently sat down with Mobil 1 The Grid to discuss the chemistry at the team…
A lot of teammates in front running teams tend to have squabbles and more often than not, fall out. Most recently we have seen that with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. But since Verstappen moved up to Red Bull in Spain last year, Red Bull has enjoyed a very jubilant partnership between the Dutch-Belgian and Ricciardo. The respect between the two of them is both off the track and on it, saw most spectacularly in the thrilling battle the pair had in last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
“The balance in the team with Daniel as my teammate is really good. We can have a good laugh on and off track and we have a lot of respect for each other as well as you could see in the race in Malaysia last year.”
That battle eventually saw Ricciardo come away with the victory, ahead of Verstappen and the eventual world champion, Nico Rosberg. 2017 has been a bit tougher for Red Bull, with hopes of challenging Mercedes dashed as Ferrari took up the mantle and are currently locked in a duel with the Silver Arrows.
Verstappen’s season has been miserable, with just one podium in China to show for his efforts, whereas Ricciardo took five consecutive podiums from Spain to Austria, including a win in Baku.
The pair are still enjoying the good relationship that started last season, which is probably a surprise as it would be easy for Verstappen to become increasingly bitter about his bad luck and his teammate’s success.
“Anytime you have a new partnership I think it’s exciting because it’s like…in a way it’s like a new hope, and I think over the last few years Red Bull’s built an amazing structure around that and having Max, you know come up into the team is more motivating.”
It will be interesting to see if the strong relationship between the two drivers stays the same when, and if, the pair are locked in a battle for the world championship. But who knows, maybe it will be cordial still. And it would probably benefit the team massively if the cordial relationship remains in place. Because Red Bull have two of the best drivers in Formula 1 right now. And if they are in a championship fight, it could get very interesting indeed.