• Red Bull

Ricciardo motivated by Alonso praise

ESPN Staff
July 24, 2014 « Not worth talking to Massa - Magnussen | 'We are going backwards' - Alonso »
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Daniel Ricciardo says his tussle with Fernando Alonso at Hockenheim and the subsequent praise he received from the Spaniard has made him hungry for more wheel-to-wheel duels with F1's best drivers.

Alonso labelled Ricciardo "unbelievable" after several thrilling laps battling for fifth position in the closing stages of the German Grand Prix in which the Spaniard eventually prevailed. Ricciardo says he was flattered to earn plaudits from a man with a reputation like Alonso and hopes for more of the same in future.

"I think when there's respect amongst drivers in the paddock, or you have a good fight with someone that's been clean, hard and fair, it's fun and both drivers take satisfaction," Ricciardo said. "Even if you win or lose the battle you still have a sense of satisfaction. Obviously to hear it from someone like Fernando, a world champion and obviously a leader of the sport in a way, it's nice to respect from someone like that.

"What I've learned from my years has served me well and the race craft I've learnt and put to work has been acknowledged and respected, so it's cool. I don't know what else to say! I makes me want to have more battles - it was fun so if he wants another tussle I think we'll both enjoy it. The main thing is I think we both really enjoyed it, that's important and we had fun. We weren't fighting for a podium but to have fun fighting for fifth and sixth means it's a pretty good day."

Ricciardo admits Red Bull had not seen enough of his ability at Toro Rosso to know what he was capable of last year but thinks people are starting to realise what he can do.

"I think respect is important as a racer. We all have a lot of pride in ourselves but its important not to get pushed around in anything you do. I think as well because I smile a lot, because I seem like the friendly guy, a lot of people who see my actions or my face think I'm a little bit soft but it's nice for me to demonstrate this year that I can race hard. I'm definitely not intimidated by anyone or anything on the track.

"Even when Red Bull signed me last year this was a still question mark for them - I'd had some good races but wasn't consistently showing a high level of aggression or commitment to overtaking, or whatever it was. I think that's definitely changed this year and that's good, I'm enjoying it. I'm growing up."

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