Ricciardo: Verstappen's independance a weakness, but he'll learn

© XPB 

Daniel Ricciardo has been just as impressed as anyone by Max Verstappen's mercurial rise to stardom in F1, but the Aussie also pinpoints a weakness the Dutch prodigy must overcome.

Barcelona this weekend will mark a year since Max Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull Racing from Toro Rosso.

'Maximum Max' showed his gratitude to his employer by beating all his rivals, including his new team mate, to become Grand Prix racing's youngest ever winner.

But Ricciardo, asked about his team mate's strengths and weaknesses, believes Verstappen's  age still entails a few rough spots which Max will need to smooth out, like his fiercely independent mind.

 "I think strengths, I guess his determination," Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.

"He's obviously willing to push the car on the limit and that's obviously a really good thing.

"And weakness, I would say his age. But not his age in the sport. He's done the racing a long time so it's not necessarily that, but I think it's probably just in life.

"Probably just absorbing some things from older people - like last year when he was doing some things with braking.

"A lot of the older drivers would say: 'Look, we don't think this is right', or something. And Max would be like 'I know what I'm doing' kind of thing.

"You know, that's a strength that he is independent, but may be a weakness...

"But that will come with time, and he will then understand maybe a little bit of probably advice from the older guys."

Ricciardo underlines however the incredibly positive asset Verstappen represents for the team and for himself, both in terms of pushing the Aussie to the next level and in learning from his skills.

"I always try and learn from everyone," explained the Honey Badger.

"I think because driving is such a technical sport, there's always something different you can apply. A different technique or whatever, a way to set the car up.

"Honestly, I can't say there's one place where I'm like: 'Well, I learned that from Max.' If it's in technique or braking or something, I think you learn these things subconsciously.

"Because we are both very motivated and very determined to win, we are constantly pushing each other, but also our engineers are trying to really find a way to make the car different.

"So, maybe some things last year with the setup. I think we started off with quite different setups. And then we kind of merged together.

"So maybe I did some things which I didn't think would work, and he maybe some things he was doing [as well]. Like this, you maybe start to learn some things."

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