Daniel Ricciardo says he has a better understanding of Sebastian Vettel's cool attitude towards him when the Australian arrived at Red Bull in 2014, likening it to his current rivalry with incoming team-mate Max Verstappen.
With Ricciardo adapting to the rigours of the new V6 Hybrid regulations swifter than Vettel, the Australian ended the year having out-performed his more established team-mate with three race wins along the way.
Two years on and Ricciardo admits there is a similar hierarchical tug-of-water being experienced once again, albeit this time with the incoming Verstappen as the young Dutchman quickly establishes himself as a regular front runner in only his second year of F1.
“I guess that there are some similarities at times, or there have been some similarities at times. I can understand a little bit I guess. I think it is like anything, even when Danny [Kvyat] beat me last year a few times it was like you don't like getting beaten.
“At the same time if you can understand if it was just that he was better on that day or worked better with the engineers and set the car up better, then you just have to take it on the chin and move forward. If they are consistently doing something better, then sure you want to try and work it out. But for now he has obviously done very well, but I think once I get the ball rolling it will be OK.
Indeed, though Ricciardo and Verstappen's relationship has been largely good natured against the backdrop of an otherwise close rivalry on track, the 27 year-old says he isn't concerned about being frozen out by younger drivers.
“I still feel young and at the end of the day it is just a number, your age, but sure I obviously want the real big success in this sport, which is a world title, and I would love it sooner rather than later, so sure if I could have it before I am 30 then of course that is good. There is still even in your 30s obviously you can still perform well in this sport.
“Sure the kids like Max will keep coming up younger and younger. It is happening with sports all over the world, whether it is anything, tennis, fighting, especially extreme sports, the kids are being exposed to this technology and it is like they have less fear because they are doing more at a younger age, and they will keep getting better and better.
“So for me the plan is to be like Valentino Rossi and keep up with the trends and not get left behind. If I am able to be smart enough and do that, then sure age is not an issue now. But the sooner the better is nice.”