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Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he sometimes “overdrove” under pressure from Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen.
Though Ricciardo has outscored Verstappen in both their seasons together, Verstappen had the superior qualifying record in 2017.
“I would say it’s pushed me more than anything,” Ricciardo told Autosport.
“Sometimes, like in Budapest, there were a couple of races where I overdrove.
“I felt it was there and I tried to get too much out of it. But then that’s on me.
“I should know what the limit is and what I need to do to put the lap together.
“Sometimes I have tried a bit too hard.”
Verstappen believes he has had the upper hand over Ricciardo on balance so far.
“So far I have always been able to beat my team-mate,” Verstappen told Autosport.
“It may not show in the point standings, but in general I’ve always been ahead.”
Asked if he felt being paired with Ricciardo had helped him improve, Verstappen said it was more likely he had simply got better with experience after three years in F1.
“I have always focused on myself and on improving myself,” Verstappen insisted.
“I never really looked at other drivers because, of course, you can look at what they are doing, but in the end you are still a different person, so you always need to focus on yourself and on what you can do better.
“I just drove the best laps that I could. And if it turned out to be faster than him, then that’s fine, of course.
“I personally think that it’s because I gained more experience that it was just a bit more difficult for him to get close to me.”
While Verstappen reached F1 in only his second full season in cars, Ricciardo had a six-year journey through junior single-seaters encompassing Formula Ford, Formula BMW, Formula Renault, Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5.
“He has a lot of experience in Formula 1 and he has already settled down a bit,” said Verstappen of Ricciardo.
“Also [he has more experience] in racing in general, because of all the things he did before he came into Formula 1.
“So in the beginning it was a bit difficult because he already had a lot of experience.
“But in terms of speed we’ve always been close to each other, especially in the races. And actually things have only become better compared to him.”
Ricciardo added that being paired was Verstappen was “generally a positive thing” and helped both “explore our limits more” than “if you have a guy you’re beating easily every weekend”.
He cited the example of Nico Hulkenberg now going up against Carlos Sainz Jr at Renault having dominated Jolyon Palmer before the team made its late-2017 switch.
“It’s interesting in Hulkenberg’s situation, with Carlos, how he adapts,” said Ricciardo.
“I’m sure it will push Nico. Nico might have felt he was driving at his top level but I think now he will find a bit more.”