The 2021 title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton is a “dream scenario” for Daniel Ricciardo, who wishes he could be more involved in the fight himself.
Daniel Ricciardo confesses he’s envious of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s title fight.
The battle for the 2021 Formula One World Championship has been fierce throughout the season, with plenty of controversy, and it will now come down to the wire in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Both Hamilton and Verstappen will enter the race with the same number of points, and Ricciardo believes the rivalry has been beneficial to the sport, though he wishes he could be racing with the title contenders himself.
“It’s kind of what you hope for every year,” Ricciardo told media.
“You want a battle like this. You’ve got the veteran, [the] ‘most record holder’ Lewis, on one hand, and then you’ve got the youngest-ever winner on the other.
“So it’s a really cool battle, it’s a great story. Obviously they’re going toe-to-toe, and it’s a real, genuine battle.
“[I have] some part of envy [from] not being a part of it but, ultimately, for the sport and as a fan of the sport, it’s a dream scenario.”
Distractions in the title fight
Ricciardo may not be competing for the title this year, but the Australian knows how the drivers may have been affected by the intensity of the competition.
“I totally get it,” he explained.
“We were on the grid [ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix] and, before the race start, they’re playing on the big screens all the highlights of Lewis and Max this year.
“If I was in their position, [when] you’re trying to get focused on the race and you can hear [it] on the loudspeaker as well… I don’t know, I think that’s an additional distraction that they don’t need before the start of a race.
“It’s not my battle, so I didn’t really care, but if I’m in that battle and it’s kind of… You can’t escape it, let alone trying to focus on the start of the race, [so] maybe that was a distraction that would have been a bit annoying.
“But again, of course, it is a battle royale, so everyone’s fully invested in it.”
In terms of Ricciardo, the McLaren driver has struggled in recent races, although he won points in Jeddah by finishing fifth after a chaotic Grand Prix.
Several masks inspired by Formula One racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: