Daniel Ricciardo says his 2020 season alongside Renault teammate Esteban Ocon provided him with another opportunity to understand how F1’s younger generation of drivers is “hardwired”.
Ricciardo was no stranger to having a young ambitious challenger sitting on the other side of the garage, having spent three seasons alongside the intrepid Max Verstappen at Red Bull Racing.
But the Aussie is always eager to learn anything he can from an inner-team rival, and especially when the latter is a rising young and “hungry” F1 talent.
“I’ve always enjoyed and embraced a new teammate,” says Ricciardo, quoted by Formula1.com. “It’s no secret that they are your first rival. They are always the guy that deep down you want to beat the most because they represent your fairest competition.
“And [Ocon] is a young, hungry kid coming up – a bit similar to Max [Verstappen] in some respects. It’s been an opportunity to learn, and to understand how the younger generation are wired.”
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While Ricciardo took note of Ocon’s approach, there were very few instances last season when the Frenchman had the upper hand over the seven-time Grand Prix winner either in qualifying or on race day. But the Aussie was still kept “on his toes” by the rapid 24-year-old.
“I’ve had good success up until now, but I enjoy the challenge,” Ricciardo added.
“I think with the younger drivers you see they are pretty quick learners. If I go out and do a fast corner, full-throttle, then in the next session, or on the next lap even, they’re going to do it too, so I like that.
“I like being kept on my toes and it’s forcing me to grow and get better.”
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