Red Bull teammates Verstappen and Perez are currently locked in contention for the F1 championship and, between them, have won all five grands prix this year.
Ricciardo looked back on the feistiest moment of his own time as Verstappen’s teammate, when they repeatedly bashed into each at the 2018 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix forcing both cars to retire early.
“I look at myself and Max in Baku in 2018,” he said to ESPN.
“A few years removed we would have handled that differently. It’s just maturity.
“It’s not just about us.
“But the sport is intense and these things happen. I’m not saying these things will never happen.
“It’s also exciting! The fact that it’s still talked about five years later!
“For me and him it wasn’t cool on that day. And the bollocking we got after…
“But it makes the sport what it is.”
Verstappen and Ricciardo were required to apologise in front of Red Bull staff at the team’s headquarters.
Five years on, Verstappen is now a two-time F1 champion seeking a third consecutive title but knowing that the biggest threat is a fellow Red Bull driver.
And Ricciardo is Red Bull’s third driver, acting as back-up to the two full-time drivers.
How Christian Horner’s team manage the tense situation between Verstappen and Perez is an ongoing subplot at every round.
“It’s a good problem to have. Let’s start with that,” Ricciardo said.
“It’s better to be fighting them for wins than fighting them for 10th place.
“It’s hard to think about that because you are so caught up in it. You’re just like: ‘I want to beat that guy, and that’s it!’
“You have to get perspective and see that it’s a good position than you’re in.
“You’re teammate is your biggest rival. But you also have to understand that it’s not just you two – there is a whole team behind you, who put a lot into it.”