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Red Bull drivers sure championship fight wouldn't harm friendship

Written by  Jan 05, 2018

Red Bull drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, are confident their friendship could survive even while battling each other for the Formula 1 championship.

Last year it was expected the duo would be part of the fight with new regulations seemingly suiting the team's strengths, instead, they were tied by frustration as competitively Red Bull were third-fastest and reliability problems led to both retiring in roughly a third of the races.

Strong progress towards the end of the season has raised hopes for a much better 2018, however, and Ricciardo, who is in the last year of his current contract with the team, only sees the potential dilemma as a positive.

"I hope so," the Australian said of their relationship. "We said at the start of 2017 it would be a good problem to have if we're both fighting at the front and having some battles. If it's ultimately deciding a world title we would happily run with that challenge. So, yeah, we'll see."

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The pair have battled each other on track before, notably in Malaysia in 2016 and on that occasion, many noticed the fairer way in which Verstappen duelled with his teammate compared to maybe Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen.

And the young Dutchman believes that would be the approach he would take into a season-long fight with Ricciardo.

"For sure when you fight for the world championship it will get a bit more tense, I think, on the track," he conceded. "At the end of the day, you always come back to where you respect each other.

"You have to accept if one guy is faster than the other and when somebody has a good race we can really say to each other 'well done' and 'you really deserved that'. I think that's also very important."

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