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Verstappen happy with Ricciardo's return: 'Hopefully he gets a seat again'
'It's nice to have Ricciardo around' - Verstappen

Verstappen happy with Ricciardo's return: 'Hopefully he gets a seat again'

26 May - 06:00

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were teammates at Red Bull Racing for three years, until Ricciardo left the Austrian racing team behind to pursue a new adventure. Four years later, the Australian is back with his old team, albeit as the third driver. Verstappen sees it as a good development, both for the team and for Ricciardo.

The atmosphere between the former teammates is like old times again. "We've spent quite a few years together. But not only in the team but also when he was at other teams. And he's a great guy. He's a lot of fun. We can definitely laugh a lot," Verstappen said in a Red Bull press briefing in Monaco.

Verstappen happy with Ricciardo's return

Not only for himself, but also for the team, Verstappen sees Ricciardo's return as a good development. "I think for the whole team it's nice to have him around. And for himself as well. Just to get that kind of positive energy back into him. And hopefully build back into a full-time race seat for him," the Dutchman continued.

Verstappen thinks Ricciardo has lost his confidence in the car a bit in recent years, but back at Red Bull, he sees the familiar smile reappearing on his good friend's face. "I think he's enjoying his time quite a bit now. But I also know that he wants to race. And I hope for him, of course, that he will get a race seat again."

Verstappen highlights good relationship with Perez

The previous edition of the Monaco Grand Prix seemed to be the start of discord between Verstappen and his current teammate Sergio Perez due to the Mexican's alleged deliberate crash in qualifying. This allegedly prompted Verstappen to disobey team orders later in the Formula One season.

Those incidents have now long since been put behind the duo, Verstappen stressed. "It [our relationship] is good. We have a lot of fun. We are in a good car. You know we are winning races. And what happened in the past is behind," says the reigning world champion.

Currently, the battle up front is playing out between the two teammates, but Verstappen says he does not fear that battle overheating. Apart from mutual respect on track, the drivers also get along well off-track. "I think that is something you always aim for. But I also feel like that is the case between myself and Checo," he continued.

"We try to beat each other on the track. But you also should be appreciative when somebody is in front of you or not. And realise when somebody has done a good job. And I think that works out really well. But besides that, we get on really well and have a good time," Verstappen said.

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