Daniel Ricciardo says he is taking inspiration from multiple MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi to maintain an enduring ability against Formula 1’s rising stars.
Ricciardo has been paired alongside 19-year-old Max Verstappen since early last year – and has found the young Dutch driver to be a stern test, despite outscoring him so far this season.
With Rossi still winning races in the premier class at 38, Ricciardo admits he is figuring ways he can improve as a driver to not fall behind the younger generation.
“I’ve never really had it before, I’ve never had a much younger kid [team-mate],” Ricciardo told Autosport.
“Before that I was always the younger one, or the same in terms of age and hype, so it was probably a little bit like [Sebastian] Vettel’s position with me when I came into Red Bull.
“I think Max had more hype behind him than I did! It is what Valentino Rossi has been dealing with for the last 10 years, I guess.
“You can take it two ways. You can go, ‘Wow, he is getting all the attention, this and that’ and it can play with your mind and wear you down.
“But this year in particular, he has got better but I’ve also acknowledged that, as opposed to making excuses all the time.
“[I have been] trying to figure out ways I can get better, try to keep ahead of the curve – I think like Rossi has done in the last few years.
“These kids are coming and getting better and better, and he has found a way to still evolve.
“That is where I am critical of myself but I feel I have managed to keep up with that.”