Ricciardo: I’m excited to have these young ankle-biters coming at me

Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo is relishing the prospect of facing-off against Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris in 2020-21, with both teammates considerably younger than the Aussie.

Turning 31 in July, Ricciardo is now one of the sport’s elder statesmen, while both Ocon this year at Renault and Norris in 2021 at McLaren are under the age of 25.

Appearing on the F1 Nation podcast, the Australian was asked what he expects from his young, soon-to-be rivals.

“I mean, hopefully a lot. Obviously, I felt that with Max [Verstappen] at Red Bull – I feel like we both lifted each other by pushing each other by being the competitors that we are. I would obviously love that and expect that from Lando, and I say I expect it because he had a really strong rookie year.

“I’m pretty sure he out-qualified Carlos [Sainz]. That’s quite a statement for his rookie year. So I expect him to be there and I think we’re both pretty easy-going once the helmet’s off, and I think people probably have a bit of fun with that but I’m sure we’re going to see some good competition.

“And same with Ocon this year. I haven’t raced him as a team-mate yet but same kind of deal, I’m still pretty excited to have these kind of young little ankle-biters coming at me.

“I’m excited to see how he goes. We say [all drivers are] rusty. He’s the most rusty, having all last year off as well. So I know he’s chomping at the bit to get going.”

It was then pointed out to Ricciardo that he is ten years older than Norris, much to the Australian’s joking dismay.

“I actually didn’t know that! I remember with Max I think there was seven years difference or something [actually eight] and I was like ‘whoa, that’s a lot’.

“I’m only getting older and they’re only getting younger!”