Lewis Hamilton is on the cusp of winning his fourth Formula One championship, and the Mercedes driver has a target on his back from the rest of the field.
Every driver wants to beat Hamilton, and one driver wants to actually join his team and beat him.
Daniel Ricciardo’s deal with Red Bull ends after next season, and he said he wants to join Hamilton at Mercedes so the two can race against each other with the same equipment and machinery.
Hamilton was asked about Ricciardo’s comments by Motorsport, and he said it would be a “privilege” to be on the same team and compete against each other.
“I think it’s interesting, I think it’s cool, I take the compliment that people say they [want to race against me],” Hamilton said to Motorsport.
“I don’t truly necessarily believe that people want to be up alongside me because that is not always necessarily the best thing for an individual. But in some cases, it could be a really good thing because it can help you grow.
“You look at Daniel, he’s got a great driver in his teammate [Max Verstappen] and to be honest, he has got to really work to outperform him first.
“You’ve always got to beat the person you’re with first before you can look at competing against someone else and beating them.”
Ricciardo has five career Formula One wins, which pales in comparison to Hamilton’s 62 wins and three championships.
Hamilton said Fernando Alonso is the best he’s raced against, but he’d be happy to race against anyone in the field. Perhaps Ricciardo will get his chance in the near future, but he might want to be careful what he wishes for.