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NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 celebrate on the podium during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Ronald Wittek - Pool/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010110557 // Usage for editorial use only //

Daniel Ricciardo gives his predictions for the Drivers’ Championship

The Australian spoke about the Hamilton-Verstappen rivalry

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During the unveiling of the special throwback livery McLaren will use in Monaco, 2018 Monaco Grand Prix’s winner Daniel Ricciardo spoke about Hamilton’s critics and the fight for the championship between the reigning champion and Max Verstappen.

The Honey Badger is convinced that the “It’s just the car” philosophy often applied to Hamilton isn’t just wrong, but the Brit is also showing experience and talent, and:” A lot of people are probably tipping their hat to Lewis. He’s getting it dished back at him and he’s holding his ground. And, I guess, showing people that maybe doubted him, why he is as good as he is.”

Ricciardo, who has been Max Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull from 2016 to 2018, was then asked by Motorsport.com who is more likely between the Brit and the Dutch to come out on top of this year’s fight for the glory: “At this stage, you’d always, I guess, take experience. So, if it was really down to the wire, then I think Lewis has shown some strong signs. But then again, if there’s a gap, Max goes for it. That’s why obviously I respect Max a lot.”

Moreover, the Australian discussed Hamilton’s declaration about having learned from Verstappen during the Spanish GP, saying it might be all mind games: “If it had been in qualifying, then he would have been able to see a different line that Max may be taking, or something like that, so maybe that could be just a little bit of a comment to like, get some shout about nothing. Maybe it is a bit of a way to engage in some mind games. But, in saying that, you can learn a little bit. You do know if someone’s rattle when you’re the hunter. You can tell if, and I’m not saying this was that situation, but particularly pre-F1, when you’re stalking someone, you can see when they’re starting to slide the car more, lock a brake, or drop a wheel here. We obviously can’t see them, but if you picture them without a helmet on, in that moment, their expressions would be tense. Perhaps he’s referring to that. And maybe Max was like erratic. I don’t know but could just be something that’s nothing.”

Headline Image: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

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