Ricciardo prepared for Verstappen challenge

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo is confident he will have the measure of new Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

The highly-rated Verstappen has joined the Australian at the Milton Keynes squad in a switch which has seen Daniil Kvyat demoted to Toro Rosso.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has described Verstappen as one of the ‘hottest prospects’ in the sport while experts have predicted the Dutchman will become a future world champion.

Expected to offer Ricciardo a fresh intra-team rivalry, the Australian says he is unfazed by Verstappen’s arrival ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“I have confidence in my ability,” said Ricciardo.

“I don’t want to be naive with these young guys coming up, even Daniil, I know he was quick on his day and I expect Max to be quick as well. But we will see.

“I feel now that I am driving well, I am happy with where I am, the people around me, the engineers, and the people who I really deal with on weekend.

“So I think I am in a good level to perform well, and we will see how it goes.

“Having any new team-mate is a challenge. Max is young and he is fast. He has had a lot of interest since he got into F1 because of his age, but then there were some good results.

“Sure a lot of people expect big things from him, whether it is tomorrow or in years to come, so for me it is another good guy to measure against.”

Ricciardo pipped his new team-mate by 0.2s to fifth spot in opening practice.

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