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TJ13 comment: During the single season where Ricciardo was paired with Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo comprehensively defeated Vettel, making the comment below more telling.
“He is, I think, the first, although I also have to give Seb credit because he was very good. Let me put it this way: Max is one of the first teammates who is so strong that you can not afford a bad day,” Ricciardo tells Sky Sports.
“I think we are always very close and you know that if you do not bring your A-game for one, you will be defeated hard. In the past you could sometimes get away with it as a driver, but not with Max. You must always be at your best, and I think that rivalry has certainly ensured that we have brought out the best in each other.”
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The Racing Point name is not a permanent for the former Force India team and will change before the start of the 2019 F1 season at Melbourne.
“It’s not the permanent name, just something we stuck onto the entry until we go for a permanent name change,” Szafnauer said.
“It won’t be Racing Point”.
“I would imagine it’s going to be Sebastian,” he said, when asked who he anticipated would be his main rival next year, before adding after a pause: “And Valtteri alongside me.”
“They’ve [Ferrari] got a great car,” he said. “They’ve been very strong at the end of the year, they’ve got a new engine next year. Will it be able to compete with ours? I hope so, because that would be epic if Red Bull could really start to mingle with us a bit more, weekend in, weekend out.
“They’ve got to obviously improve on their reliability, which has been a big downfall for them this year. So there’s lots of areas [to work on], but I really wish them all the best – and we are down for the competition that’s for sure.”
“We obviously built a very poor race car that has not responded much to the development we’ve put on the car,” Brown said.
“We developed the car all the way up until the U.S. Grand Prix, so some of the reports that we stopped in Spain were very inaccurate.
“But I think some of the development in the second half of the year was about learning for next year’s car.
“I’m confident the team is working hard together, well together, and we’ve obviously made changes to understand and identify where we’ve made mistakes and looking not to repeat those going into next year.”
“We had challenges those three years [with Honda] and so it’s harder to understand when you’ve got different variables that aren’t performing, where are the areas of weakness,” Brown said.
“When you get yourself in the situation where you have a clear marker where Red Bull is, you can take that out of the equation and there’s fewer places to look.
“I think in that sense, it helps that there were two other teams we could directly measure ourselves against, and we fell short performing against either of them.
“So that did help.”