Daniel Ricciardo feels that his former teammate Max Verstappen winning the F1 World Championship would have a feel-good factor to it.
The current McLaren driver teamed up with Max Verstappen at Red Bull from 2016-2018. While Ricciardo sits 8th in the Driver’s Championship, his ex-teammate leads the standings with 6 races to go.
Daniel Ricciardo won 7 races with Red Bull and stood on the podium 29 times during his time there from 2014 to 2018. He left Red Bull for Renault in 2019 to seek a new challenge at a new team. Since then, he has had two podium finishes with Renault in 2020 before leaving the Enstone based team for McLaren in 2021.
After a tough start to life in Surrey, Ricciardo redeemed himself with a race win in Monza this September.
This year’s championship has been a close tussle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton with the former having a 6 point advantage with just 6 races to go. When asked if he had a preference between either of the title contenders, Ricciardo said: “I think just kind of ‘may the best man win”.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 11, 2021
“The rivalry they’ve had this year has been pretty awesome, as a fan. I think they’ve left it all out there. So from that point of view, I think they are where they are, I think it’s fair at the moment in terms of they are nip-and-tuck. So no preference.”
Max Verstappen winning his first title would be exciting for the fans
“I think obviously people do like to see like a fresh face. Maybe Max is the more popular vote because it would be a first title for him and it’s something new and exciting for everyone. So that’s always like you’ve got that feel-good story”, said Ricciardo.
“But I think as long as no misfortune is involved, then I think the guy that wins is the one that’s going to deserve it.”
The next round of the Formula 1 World Championship is at Austin, USA where Ricciardo is also set to drive Earnhardt’s NASCAR cup car. Mercedes will go into this round feeling confident as their car seems to have an edge over Red Bull.
Austin has historically been a stronghold for Lewis Hamilton with the 7 time World Champion having won 5 races in Texas.