Daniel Ricciardo says Max Verstappen must 'keep his chin up'

Daniel Ricciardo has urged teammate Max Verstappen to "keep his chin up" after suffering a spate of frustrating mechanical failures in the first half of season 2017.

The Dutchman has completed the fewest laps of any full-time driver this year and already finds himself 108 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel. However, none of his four retirements from the past six races have been his fault.

In Bahrain, he suffered an early brake failure, before finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on the opening lap in Barcelona; getting caught up in the Valltteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen collision. He then suffered an electrical issue in Canada, while running in second, before an engine failure halted his chances of winning in Baku.

Ricciardo, who endured a similar patch of poor reliability in 2015, says Verstappen must stay focussed and not lose confidence ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, as things in Formula One have a habit of turning around very quickly.

"It is hard not to get frustrated but you have just got to keep your chin up," Ricciardo tells ESPN. "He's driving well, it is not as if he is driving terribly and things are happening as well.

"That is what he has to keep positive about and these things turn around. If you keep persisting and keep driving well it will eventually fall into place. This sport is crazy, all it takes is one good weekend and you are back on Cloud Nine."

Ricciardo and Verstappen have been teammates since the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix and together have blossomed into one of the grid's best driver pairings. Despite still being just 19 years of age, the Australian says Verstappen has proven to be a hungry, intelligent and skilled addition to the team.

"He is still pretty young in age but he is older in the sport than in his years, if that makes sense." Ricciardo said of Verstappen. "He's super passionate about [Formula One], intelligent around the team and knows a lot about the technical side and racing.

"I think we have some similarities in the way we go about things. We are both pretty fierce and also very driven. We still have respect for each other and therefore we have kept a pretty good rivalry which isn't always easy when you're fighting for what we're fighting for."