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Verstappen has 'ironed out' aggressive tendencies - Ricciardo

Verstappen has 'ironed out' aggressive tendencies - Ricciardo

F1 News

Verstappen has 'ironed out' aggressive tendencies - Ricciardo

Verstappen has 'ironed out' aggressive tendencies - Ricciardo
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Daniel Ricciardo believes former team-mate Max Verstappen has 'ironed out' his former hostile tendencies after he was recently accused of being "overly aggressive" by Mercedes.

Mercedes' remark was made in the wake of the clash between Verstappen and F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton at the last race at Silvertone, with Red Bull insisting the British driver was at fault.

McLaren driver Ricciardo occasionally clashed with the Dutchman whilst they were together at the current championship-leading outfit.

The Australian, however, believes Verstappen has since tempered his aggression that resulted in numerous misdemeanours in his early years in the sport.

"They [Verstappen and Hamilton] have been racing hard all year so I put it down generally to a racing incident," said Ricciardo, referring to the lap-one crash.

"The main thing was that Max got away safely. He was tested [in hospital] all evening but he is here racing this weekend.

"For his health and wellbeing it is great but also for the sake of the championship, there is a great battle going on between Lewis and Max so for the health of the championship, it is obviously great he is here competing.

"Max was under a bit of pressure in his first couple of years in F1 with some of the moves and I definitely think he has ironed a lot of that out and has matured as a driver.

"For sure, he will always race hard but I think we were team-mates for three years and came together twice, that's pretty low numbers."

Ricciardo has moulded himself into one of F1's best overtakers during his career, gaining recognition for his impeccable feel under braking.

With close racing to be expected in the sport, however, there is concern that recent penalty decisions could leave drivers at a loss as to what racing etiquette now entails.

Allaying such fears, Ricciardo commented: "As racers, we know. Sometimes, it doesn't need to be written on paper for us.

"We know through years of racing and the experience we have. Especially in these cars, there is a point where there are blind spots where the car is a quarter of the way on our inside.

"We are well aware the chance of a car being there is pretty high so we are always going to leave room for one car if there is a car there.

"Watching Max's onboard, there was room on the inside. Of course, they were racing hard but I would say hard but fair. Max was respecting Lewis, or knew he was there and gave him a bit of room.

"You know what is what. I didn't really see anything out of line with the incident itself.

"Obviously, the consequence was really the big talking point and it is a shame it happened at one of the quickest corners on the calendar but luckily Max was more or less okay and he is here to race this weekend.

"Deep down, all of us know racing etiquette and when to squeeze and when not to. We are pretty clear with that."

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