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Ricciardo feels Verstappen approach with Hamilton was "too hard"

Ricciardo feels Verstappen approach with Hamilton was "too hard"

Ricciardo feels Verstappen approach with Hamilton was "too hard"

Ricciardo feels Verstappen approach with Hamilton was "too hard"

Daniel Ricciardo feels former team-mate Max Verstappen was "too hard" in his defensive approach with Lewis Hamilton during the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver naturally knows Verstappen well from their near three-season spell as Red Bull team-mates from 2016-18.

Ricciardo feels the Dutch driver has matured over the years but believes he has lost none of his aggressive nature for which he has become renowned.

Reflecting on Verstappen's tactics with Hamilton during the race at Interlagos which forced both drivers off track and remains the subject of a stewards' review, Ricciardo said: "Well, it was certainly tough, it was tight, to state the obvious. Obviously both cars went off track.

"Being his [former] team-mate, I don't know if I have any more knowledge than from anyone watching from the outside.

"Team-mate or not, we know Max, the calibre of driver he is, how he races. He's always come in with an aggressive approach.

"But I think he has certainly matured over time, and he certainly finds himself in fewer incidents or accidents, as he was in the first year or so in F1.

"I think he's definitely polished up that aggression but he still has it."

Verstappen approach "hasn't changed"

Ricciardo can partly understand Verstappen's approach given the circumstances of the season.

"Whether the move was, call it right or wrong, fighting for a win and the championship at this stage you are obviously going to try and fight for as long as you can, and do everything you can to hold onto that lead," added the Australian.

"Obviously that one took them both off so maybe that was over the limit.

"I don't think anything has changed over time since the first year. I think he has matured but the last few years the approach hasn't changed.

"In a way, that's what I've always respected. You know you are going to race hard with Max."

Questioning himself as to whether the move was "too hard", Ricciardo mused: "Who knows. I'm going to stay out of it.

"I say I'll stay out of it, they both went off track so you could say it was too hard because no-one made the corner, so you could say that.

"But I think the approach is unchanged. I'm not in that position, fighting for a world title, I think you're going to fight until the end.

"I don't know if that would change if it happened again."

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