Birthday boy Daniel Ricciardo expects healthy rivalry with Verstappen

(From left) Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen walk to the garage in lederhosen-themed overalls before practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 1, 2016 in Spielberg, Austria.

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Daniel Ricciardo, who turned 27 on Friday, says he hopes that he can establish a healthy rivalry with teammate Max Verstappen now that both men are confirmed at Red Bull Racing until the end of the 2018 season.

“It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the long run,” said Ricciardo. “I can obviously speak for the first few races, and it’s been good. Max came in and set a bit of a tone in Barcelona. That was obviously a pretty crazy weekend and I think since then it’s been good. Obviously Monaco didn’t work as well for him and he openly admitted it and took it on the chin.

“In a way we’ve thrived off the new challenge, the new rivalry, so hopefully it can keep pushing the team in the right direction. Hopefully there is some rivalry. A rivalry would probably mean we’re fighting for victories more often. Sure you can still have a healthy one.

“I think if you’re mature about it and if you can basically just admit if one guys better on the day and be open about it, then you’ll have good respect for each other. It’s probably when you start making excuses out of nothing, is when it doesn’t work out so well. Keep going hard and, so far, so good.”