Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him
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Daniel Ricciardo has talked up his former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen’s Formula One title chances, insisting Lewis Hamilton doesn’t have an advantage due to his extensive experience.
Hamilton has been crowned Formula One champion seven times – a joint record alongside Michael Schumacher – whilst Verstappen is yet to pick up his first world championship.
Despite this Ricciardo believes this does not give the Englishman the upper hand in the title run in, with the leading duo battling away for the 2021 championship.
The Dutchman is the man leading the way at the moment, as he knocked Hamilton off top spot following a second place finish at the Turkish Grand Prix to open up a six-point gap at the top.
However, the seven-time world champion will be no doubt out to get himself back ahead of Verstappen in the standings at this week’s US Grand Prix, at a track he has such an impressive record on.
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Ahead of this week’s race in Texas, Ricciardo played down Hamilton’s past experiences giving him an added advantage over the 24-year-old, heading into the business end of the campaign.
He said: “Although Lewis has the experience of winning World titles, I don’t really see that as an advantage now.
“They are both capable, Lewis has proven it, but Max is capable and he has a pretty stable head on his shoulders now.
“He has proven that with some of the drives he has done this year so I am kind of at the point where I am just looking forward to see how it unfolds.
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Verstappen has enjoyed his best campaign in a Red Bull car this term, having picked up an impressive seven wins and 12 podiums across the 2021 season.
As a result, Ricciardo believes his former teammate has come on leaps and bounds this year, maturing into one of the sport’s best in the business.
The Australian commented: “He has shown it all year really but also the last few years.
“There was that stage in Max’s young career where he had the speed but there was still a few… I don’t know, call it mistakes or a bit of over-anxiousness or eagerness, but you know, he quickly cleared that up.
“I think 2018 was really that year where he kind of learned from that and the second half of his season was really strong.
“You could kind of see that click in maturity on track and the last few seasons for him have been pretty immense.”
Whilst the 32-year-old is not involved in the title race himself, from a fan perspective he is hoping the leading pair’s title run in goes right down to the wire.
He added: “Obviously, I am not part of that battle but from a fan point of view, you just want it to go to the end. They have been nip and tuck all year, it has been good to watch. I do think Max is capable of it so time will tell.”
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