Ricciardo enjoys banter before the battle resumes

Thu Oct 6, 2016 11:39am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - A beaming Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed some light-hearted banter with Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen at the Japanese Grand Prix on Thursday in an exchange that also underscored their rivalry.

The Australian, who arrived on a high after leading Verstappen home in a Malaysian one-two last weekend, posted a selfie on Instagram of himself and the 19-year-old Dutch driver with a group of local children.

"Nice welcome to Suzuka from Max and his classmates," wrote the Australian.

Verstappen responded with another photograph of him sitting while Ricciardo and the children made two-fingered V signs. "Teacher was asking the class to name Daniel's position on the team," read the caption.

The Red Bull pair, who have both won a grand prix this season and raced each other in Malaysia, can expect to be the biggest rivals to champions Mercedes this weekend as well as themselves.

Ricciardo, who took his fourth career win at Sepang after Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead with a blown engine on his Mercedes, had not stood on the top of the podium since the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix.

Asked whether the elation of last weekend had worn off, the 27-year-old grinned: "Not really. Everyone’s made me feel pretty good today in the paddock.

"I think obviously the win felt good and I felt like in a way it was a bit of a relief."   Continued...

Formula One - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Japan- 6/10/16.  Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo of Australia arrives at the paddock with Red Bull's Max Verstappen of the Netherlands. REUTERS/Toru Hanai