Ricciardo: You can’t be best friends with your teammate

Daniel Ricciardo emphasised respect is paramount between Formula 1 teammates but admitted he could never be best friends with one of the guys he shares a pit garage with.

Ricciardo raced alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in 2014 and locked horns with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen last year before making a surprise switch to Renault.

The Australian has struggled at Renault this season, with his best result sixth in Canada, and had to watch Verstappen win in Austria two weeks ago.

Ricciardo said he felt no animosity towards Verstappen and was glad to see Red Bull take a victory from Mercedes who have been dominating in 2019.

The 31-year-old wants to turn his form around at the British GP on Sunday and lead Renault to its first podium finish in eight years.

He remains confident Renault can return to the glory years but said a supportive teammate was crucial.

“It’s important from a respect point of view. If there’s a lack of respect, you’re going to be selfish to a point where you’re doing everything for yourself and not with your teammate in mind so you’re limiting the growth of the team,” Ricciardo said.

“At the end of the day you want to give yourself the best chance to win and by working together so you can build a faster car.

“I think you can be friends, it just depends on what level you want to call friends. Best friends, no. I think if you’re a real competitor, if you really want to be the best then it’s impossible to be best friends.

“Naturally you want to beat that guy and at some point you’ve got to show a little bit of anger towards him to kind of want that, so I think you can be friends to a point.

“You do keep a boundary on it and a limit because on track you don’t want to like the guy too much because you can’t hesitate and think if I push him off are we going to be fighting after.”

Ricciardo stopped short of naming his favourite teammate but said he’d learned something from all of them, “I enjoyed Vettel because that was a challenge for me and it was really an opportunity for me to not only learn but forward my value in the sport, so I enjoyed that battle and challenge.”

“Seb I always found respectful, I wasn’t sure how that was going to go and it actually went better than I thought so from that point of view I enjoyed that year with Seb.

“Obviously there were challenges with Max, the battles, the fights, but also we had a few double podiums which was great as well, so a few good moments.”

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