Red Bull driver Verstappen is fighting for the championship for the first time this season, having won nine races to lead Lewis Hamilton with eight points ahead of the last two Grands Prix of the year.
The fight between the two title contenders has been extremely intense, colliding on several occasions including crashes during the British and Italian races.
Verstappen’s aggressive driving was in the spotlight again at the Brazilian Grand Prix earlier this month when he and Hamilton slipped off the track as they battled for the lead.
McLaren driver Ricciardo, who partnered with Verstappen at Red Bull from 2016 to 2018 before leaving the team, believes the Dutchman’s maturity has helped him avoid more mishaps with his rivals, but believes the aggression is still there.
“I think in general, being his teammate, I don’t know if I have more knowledge than everyone looking from the outside, because I think teammate or not, we know Max, you know, the caliber of the ride, how it runs, “said Ricciardo.
“I think he’s always come up with an aggressive approach, but I think he’s certainly matured over time and he’s definitely found himself in fewer mishaps or accidents than I think he does. was in the first year or so in F1.
“So I think he definitely polished that aggression but still has it.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo By: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“I don’t know if the move was good or bad, you know fighting for a win, and I guess the championship at this point you’re obviously going to try to fight for as long as you can and do whatever you can. keep that lead and obviously this one took them both away, so maybe that was over the limit.
“But yeah, I don’t think anything has changed over time.
“Like I said, since the first year I think he’s matured, but I think in recent years the approach hasn’t changed and I think it is, in a way What I’ve always respected is that you know you’re going to run hard with Max. “
Speaking about the Brazilian GP incident, Ricciardo said: “It was too hard? I mean yeah, who knows I’m going to stay out of this.
“They both went off the track so you can tell it was too hard because nobody took the turn so you can say that, but I think the approach is unchanged.”