Formula 1

Ricciardo enjoys fighting F1’s youngsters but still hopes for Hamilton duel

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While he enjoys fighting against Formula 1’s young guns, Daniel Ricciardo does still hope to one day partner Lewis Hamilton.

In recent years the Australian has gone head-to-head with Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon in the same machinery and will face another of F1’s future stars in Lando Norris at McLaren from 2021.

“I’ve always enjoyed and embraced a new teammate,” Ricciardo said via Formula1.com.

“It’s no secret that they are your first rival. They are always the guy that deep down you want to beat the most because they represent your fairest competition.”

Last year against the returning Ocon, Ricciardo predominantly had the upper hand, although the gaps were often much smaller than the final standings would have you think.

And reflecting on their partnership, the 31-year-old spoke of the benefits he got from working with the Frenchman.

“[Ocon] is a young, hungry kid coming up – a bit similar to Max in some respects. It’s been an opportunity to learn, and to understand how the younger generation are wired.

“I’ve had good success up until now, but I enjoy the challenge.

“I think with the younger drivers you see they are pretty quick learners. If I go out and do a fast corner, full-throttle, then in the next session, or on the next lap even, they’re going to do it too, so I like that.

“I like being kept on my toes and it’s forcing me to grow and get better.”

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That being said, Ricciardo’s performances last year had some putting him in the select group of drivers who could potentially give seven-time world champion Hamilton a run for his money in the same car.

And the chance to prove that is one Daniel is still craving.

“I’d like to obviously try it out one day,” he was quoted by GPFans. “Hopefully, Lewis hangs around long enough and we’ll see what happens.”

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