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Ricciardo unfazed by arrival of Verstappen

2016-05-13 18:09

RED BULL ACE: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo placed fifth and sixth during first and second practice respectively ahead of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez

Barcelona - Daniel Ricciardo showed he is unfazed by the arrival alongside him of F1's fastest teenager with a robust display of potential and speed on Friday.

Ricciardo, Red Bull's senior driver who has shone alongside both four time champion Sebastian Vettel and the departed Daniil Kvyat, was fifth and then sixth fastest in practice ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

He also found time to help offer guidance to his 'new' 18-year-old team mate Max Verstappen, promoted from Toro Rosso to make his Red Bull debut at the Circuit de Catalunya.

'I don't want to be naive'

Ricciardo discovered the 'swap' of Kvyatt and Dutchman Verstappen shortly before it was announced and, if surprised, gave little inkling of his feelings on or off the track on Friday.

He said: "I am sure about myself and I know that I can be competitive on the track and leave it there. I don't take it away with me so I don't worry about that.

As it happened: 2016 Spanish GP - 2nd practice 

"I have confidence in my ability... 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.

"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, at the weekends. I am happy with my crew.

"I think I am at a good level to perform well and we'll see how it goes."

Ricciardo added that he welcomed Verstappen's arrival as it would increase the pressure to perform on him and the team.

"That's something Red Bull always like to do," he said. "They want to push us and see what we are made of and, I guess, when I went up against Seb in 2014, up until then, results-wise, I hadn't proved much.

"I had proved some speed and some people in the team knew that I could drive, but I hadn't proven I could get podiums or wins.

"At that time, it was a bit of a risk for them to put me up against someone like Seb and they saw that worked well...

"So, now, they now have an opportunity with Max, to do it again -- and that is what they have chosen to do."


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