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Ricciardo 'didn't care' about Verstappen comparison as stats hid 'true picture'

Written by  Dec 27, 2018

Daniel Ricciardo claims he lost interest in comparing stats with teammate Max Verstappen as they didn't show the "true picture" of his year.

The Australian began 2018 very strongly with two victories in China and Monaco and was widely credited as one of the top drivers on the grid such was his level of performance.

His win in Monte Carlo would be the last great high of his year, however, with Verstappen out-qualifying him for 11 straight races until Mexico and scored 10 podiums while Ricciardo failed to achieve any.

"I am happy with how I've been this year and I certainly feel that the points and the qualifying tally don't show the true picture," Ricciardo, who ended the season 79 points behind his teammate, told Autosport.

"I don't want to take the credit away from Max because he is getting better each year and he's a top-level driver, but even on those days where he has out-qualified me, I've still been comfortable with that and most of the time I've understood why.

"Sometimes I've taken my hat off and said that it was just a bloody good lap, but there have been other times, where there have been some issues and I've had some little things which haven't quite gone my way."

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While Verstappen flew high, Ricciardo's final two-thirds of 2018 were dogged by reliability problems and bad luck with six of his eight retirements coming post-Monaco.

That's why he admits he also stopped following the internal battle with the Dutchman and focused on himself.

"I think I got to a point, probably around the mid-season break, where I just didn't care about the stats anymore," the 2019 Renault driver claimed.

"I knew I was probably going to get done in qualifying this year, who cares? I may end up with fewer points, who cares?

"I just want to do what I can and if it works, it works and if it doesn't life goes on," Ricciardo added. "Of course, I did care, but it was just that I didn't want to put it on a pedestal.

"I already had so many other things on my mind. I didn't need to fill it with more expectations.

"If I did the best job I could: maybe I could beat him but if not, so be it and I'll live to fight another day."

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