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Ricciardo advises Perez to give "softened" Marko "a cuddle"

Ricciardo advises Perez to give "softened" Marko "a cuddle"

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Ricciardo advises Perez to give "softened" Marko "a cuddle"

Ricciardo advises Perez to give "softened" Marko "a cuddle"

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has urged new Red Bull recruit Sergio Perez to give motorsports advisor Dr Helmut Marko "a cuddle".

Perez, who took the first victory of his career last season, has joined the team after being chosen to replace Alex Albon as parter to Max Verstappen as Red Bull launch another campaign to try and topple Mercedes at the top.

Ricciardo, who was a Red Bull driver throughout his junior career and then in Formula 1 until 2019, suggested Marko was not as intimidating as he once was and lent advice to the Mexican ahead of his debut season with the team.

"You know, Helmut, he’s softened a little over the last few years," said Ricciardo.

"Maybe it’s because I was younger, but definitely in the early days of being in the junior team, I was always pretty petrified to have a one-on-one with him. Maybe its just maturity, but I feel he’s a little lighter these days.

"With Helmut, you get 100 per cent transparency and honesty, so if you don’t do a good job, he’ll tell you.

"So you just have to be willing to receive some constructive criticism at times and not to take everything to heart but acknowledge that he’s really saying those things to get the best out of you because he has the belief in you.

"I think if he’s willing to give you that criticism, then in a way take it as a compliment. Advice? I don’t know. Just, erm, give him a cuddle, see how he goes with a cuddle."

One of the recurring talking points of last season was Ricciardo's now-infamous bet with former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul, with the Frenchman having to get a tattoo after the Australian's podium at the Eifel Grand Prix.

Ricciardo revealed he had lost out on a monetary bet with Marko the previous season and would like to rekindle the playful competitiveness in order to preserve the pair's relationship.

"We were supposed to do a bet last year, but we didn’t in the end," he explained.

"What I had in mind, I think I would have won, but the previous year he won a few euros off me, so he’s got the upper hand in the betting department.

"I’m not really into it, but let’s see, if he comes up with a good bet next year then, yes, it’s a nice way to keep our relationship going."

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