Verstappen was a teammate of the Australian for three years and though the Dutchman could win the world championship this season Ricciardo still believes he is number one.
“Until the day I stop… I’ll always believe I’m the best,” he told racingnews365.com. “I think the day I stop will be the day that I no longer believe I’m the best driver. Is Max the second best? Probably! Probably!”
Verstappen is currently leading the field with eight points between himself and Lewis Hamilton with just two F1 races left this season.
Putting the jokes aside, Ricciardo said it was only a matter of time until Verstappen wins his first world title.
“If it’s not this year, I think it’s inevitable that he wins a world title. Not to say that it’s an easy thing to achieve, but I think he has all the traits to do it,” he added.
“Also his racecraft is good, I like that he goes for gaps. I see a lot of similarities in the way he goes about racing, so that I can certainly respect.”
The next race will be in Saudi Arabia on 5 December and a week later the season will end in Abu Dhabi.