In a fast-moving sport as F1, the gaze rests perpetually on the future. What, then, of the possibility of a Ricciardo/Hamilton partnership?
In a top team such as Mercedes, the question of who will be given the golden opportunity to dominate the rest of the field circulates constantly. With Lewis Hamilton having achieved a rapport with his crew to the level of efficiency as the very car he rides in, it’s a safe bet to say that Lewie won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
But what about that coveted second seat? While Bottas has secured another year under the wing of the Silver Arrows, 2018 is arguably the last chance that he’ll have to prove himself as something other than Hamilton’s #2.
While Bottas has managed to turn in several impressive stints during the year, he’s not managed to hold a candle up to the effort that Daniel Riccardo has turned in. Even with the reliability issues that have hamstrung the Red Bull factory team, the Aussie has shown that he remains one of the most potent contenders for a future World Title on the grid.
It doesn’t hurt that even Mercedes’ star man himself has expressed that he would welcome an opportunity to compete alongside the charismatic Aussie:
“Daniel is a fantastic driver, it would be a privilege to race against him.
He’s a great character, he always brings a lot of positivity within his team.
I think it’s interesting, I think it’s cool, I take the compliment.” – Lewis Hamilton
The possibility of the Honey Badger heading over to Mercedes is much more real than many will give it credit for. Verstappen has undeniably rallied Red Bull around him, and with the momentum that he’s shown, it’s only a matter of time before the team’s investment pays off.
Should he head to the Mercedes garage, he could prove to be an outright incredible match to the already-legendary Hamilton. With a blazing fast speed out on the track and an incredibly warm and jovial demeanor outside of it, a Ricciardo + Hamilton parntership appears to be a match made in heaven.
With the team’s focus drifting solely on Verstappen, Ricciardo’s chance for a WDC win will pale in the coming years – unless he manages to secure his seat in Mercedes. If he manages to continue showing up Bottas out on the track like he’s been showing him up in the personality department, Robobottas will find himself in hot water.