Jos Verstappen claims Daniel Ricciardo’s age is responsible for his downfall

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen's Red Bull partnership came to blows at the 2018 Azerbaijan GP, and the Australian later joined Renault.

Daniel Ricciardo has potentially just four races left of his Formula 1 career, unless the much-loved Australian can find himself a seat for 2024, with a break from the sport the Aussie’s plan for next season.

His time at McLaren has been largely underwhelming, with the obvious exception being the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, where he claimed the Woking-based team’s first win since 2012.

Other than that, it’s been two seasons in the shadow of team-mate Lando Norris, instead of the other way around.

It was predicted that perhaps Norris might learn a few things whilst alongside Ricciardo, who was tipped to take his Red Bull experience into the former-frontrunning side.

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Whilst this hasn’t been the case, there is one driver who has learnt a lot from the Honey Badger, former Red Bull team-mate, and double World Champion Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo and Verstappen were team-mates at the Austrian side from the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix until the end of 2018, where the Aussie departed for Renault with the side clearly favouring the young Dutchman.

Interestingly, across the three seasons, Ricciardo scored five points more than the 2022 World Champion, with Verstappen’s father, ex-F1 driver Jos, revealing that his son “learnt the most” from the Aussie.

“[I] find it very difficult to say,” Jos said to Formula 1 magazine.

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“I do think maybe he learnt the most from Daniel Ricciardo, a nice peer he got on very well with. Max was a young guy then and Ricciardo really good, a qualifying beast.”

The duo famously came together in big fashion at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where Ricciardo hit the rear of Verstappen’s car on the run into Turn One, after Verstappen appeared to change direction at the last moment.

Regardless of this, the pair actually seemed to get on very well and were both capable of running consistently towards the front.

Competing at the front is something the 33-year-old is known to desperately miss; however, Jos thinks the Red Bull car enabled the Aussie to run at the front.

READ: Lando Norris claims he rejected Red Bull

“I also think the car suited him well then and that’s a bit Ricciardo’s problem now,” added the World Champion’s father.

“The car doesn’t suit him so well. There are things that don’t suit Ricciardo so well and that’s why it’s not coming out.

“The young guard adapts more easily. You know: you shouldn’t move an old tree. You have with some older drivers – and that includes me – a certain style that has grown that way.

“And that is difficult to change. A young person like that adapts more easily.”