Daniel Ricciardo 'understands' Max Verstappen's media frustration
"Headstrong" Verstappen will cope with scrutiny, says team-mate
By James Galloway in Montreal
Last Updated: 14/01/19 10:43am
Daniel Ricciardo says he "understands" team-mate Max Verstappen's frustration over focus on the Dutchman's series of accidents at the start of this season.
Verstappen has been involved in on-track incidents or collisions at every race weekend so far in 2018, and at this weekend's Canadian GP he showed the first signs of frustration with the media in Thursday's pre-event press conference when he replied to a question by saying: "I get really tired of all the questions. If I get any more I might headbutt someone."
Although the comment was seemingly tongue-in-cheek, Verstappen appeared genuinely annoyed and Red Bull chief Christian Horner told Sky F1: "It's grating on him that he is having to answer the same question 50 times."
While the Dutchman's season has toiled with just a solitary podium finish so far, Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo has already won two races to place himself on the fringes of the world title battle.
Asked if he could sympathise with Verstappen's frustration, Ricciardo told reporters: "I understand.
"Now he's in the spotlight, the P3 crash [in Monaco] wasn't a small error, but any small error now he is probably going to get a little bit picked apart from.
"There will be times where it's probably going to be frustrating but at the end of the day I guess it's in his control.
"He's pretty headstrong, he won't let it get to him too much. I understand where it's coming from."
While Ricciardo and Verstappen have usually been closely-matched for pace, and crashed into each other while battling at the recent Azerbaijan GP, the pair's off-track relationship is one of the warmer ones between team-mates on the grid.
Verstappen's F1 2018 incidents
|Australia||Race||Spun and lost places|
|Bahrain||Q1||Crashed into barriers|
|Bahrain||Race||Collided with Lewis Hamilton|
|China||Race||Went off trying to overtake Hamilton|
|China||Race||Collided with Sebastian Vettel|
|Azerbaijan||Race||Collided with Daniel Ricciardo|
|Spain||Race||Made contact with Lance Stroll|
|Monaco||P3||Crashed into barriers|
So would Ricciardo, eight years Verstappen's senior, approach the Dutchman to offer friendly advice?
"If he was to ask me something I would happily tell him my position or my point of view. I wouldn't hide anything from him," said Ricciardo.
"I won't go up and put my arm around him and say 'let's have a talk', I don't think it's my place. But if he came up and asked me something I'd be open and honest."
Asked how often Verstappen asks him for advice, Ricciardo replied: "I wouldn't say a lot, but we have a pretty good off-track relationship.
"Even after Monaco we spoke quite a bit after the race, even Monday we spoke a little bit. It was more I was encouraging him to come and have a few beers but he said 'maybe it's best you drink today and I'll just chill out'."