Daniel Ricciardo says he’s only scared of “sharks and snakes” – and has no fear of teenaged Red Bull wonderkid teammate Max Verstappen.
Verstappen has outscored Ricciardo by 13 points (77 to 64) since joining the Red Bull Racing squad at the Spanish Grand Prix, and although Ricciardo thinks other drivers might be "frightened" by his progress, he is not one of them.
"You look and if he's to keep progressing at the rate he's started – if he's to keep getting better and better in the next five, 10 years – perhaps it's frightening for quite a few people," said Ricciardo.
"The only thing I'm scared of are sharks and snakes, so that's OK!"
"I won't ever make excuses"
Ricciardo added that he has no issues at all with their relationship, and says he won't be making any excuses for being outscored.
"If anyone's doing the winning, you want it to be you," Ricciardo added. "It's not concern [about being outscored by Verstappen], obviously I'm aware he's obviously done very well, had the win and the podiums.
"I don't like looking back to be honest but, sure, I could have had at least one win. He's been competitive and it's not been that I've had all the bad luck and he's had all the good luck.
"He's been quick and he's put himself there. I won't ever make excuses if he's beaten me fair and square. I think generally he's been quicker – unfortunately he's scored more than me! But I've got a few races now to close that up.
"It's not really about anyone in the team jumping on board with him or me, it's just about being the best I can. I still believe that if I am, I'll be quick."
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble