Cape Town - Daniel Ricciardo has said he is prepared for mind games with all of the top drivers in Formula 1, adding that he "would not put it past" Max Verstappen to create "fireworks".
Red Bull will be trying to establish themselves as a major competitor straight from the off at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend and, along the way, Ricciardo is expecting tension to build between all the big names.
"To be honest, yes. But it's not only Max,” Ricciardo told ESPN when quizzed on whether Verstappen might try to employ some mind games.
"I think any of us who really believes we can win has that in us. You need that in a way and it's not being a bad sport.
“It’s not cheating, it's just that ruthless streak that every winner has in them.
“I think Max, Seb, Lewis, Fernando, all the top guys in the sport have that in them.
But Ricciardo did state that Verstappen does have the ability to stir things up and is ready for the showdown should it arise.
He added: "I wouldn't put it past him [Verstappen] if the situation comes up; maybe things will change, maybe there will be some fireworks.
“But if I'm prepared for it at least it's not a surprise if it does happen. It's not like I'm expecting it, but I'll be prepared if it happens."