Daniel Ricciardo says having a team-mate who can push him to find gains has helped both Red Bull drivers raise their respective pace over the course of the season.
After Max Verstappen was promoted to the Red Bull team at the expense of Daniil Kvyat, the Dutch starlet proved he was a worthy recipient of the opportunity by winning the Spanish Grand Prix on his debut for the team along with a steady flow of podiums.
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Ricciardo has conceded he has had to up his own game since the 19-year-old joined him as his new team-mate and feels it is a constructive partnership with each driver pointing the other to potential lap time gains through shared data.
“Every time I get in the car I am trying to get the most out of it,” Ricciardo said. “If Max carries speed through one corner then maybe I can come off the brakes sooner and carry that. Your level naturally rises if you have a quicker team-mate that keeps pushing you.
“If you are quicker over a whole lap the you don't realise how much quicker you can go but as soon as someone starts going quicker in some corners, then maybe that corner can be better, from that we can take bits out of each other's corners and then reach a level that is bringing the team forward.”
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After the flip in the final classification in Mexico Ricciardo was given a promoted third place with Verstappen a net fourth and Sebastian Vettel fifth which ensured the Australian driver has secured third place in the F1 world drivers' championship with two races to spare.
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