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Ricciardo: Mercedes engine worries can bring Red Bull closer

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Ricciardo: Mercedes engine worries can bring Red Bull closer
By:
Oct 7, 2016, 1:26 AM

Malaysian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo believes Mercedes’ engine reliability concerns could further help Red Bull’s chances of challenging for another win in Japan.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 leads team mate Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 on the grid
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
The podium (L to R): Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal with race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme

Fresh from his success at Sepang last weekend, after Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead with a blown engine, Ricciardo senses the characteristics of Suzuka will better suit his car’s aerodynamic strengths.

And, in the wake of Mercedes admitting it will change its engine running parameters this weekend in a bid to guarantee reliability, Ricciardo thinks there is everything to play for.

It could bring us closer,” he said. “I think forgetting what happened last weekend, coming into this race we thought it would be one where we could have an advantage over Ferrari. And if it is wet we can get really close to Mercedes.

“I know the wet race here in 2014, our race pace was really good. At the time we were a bit quicker than Mercedes in that race and the deficit was probably bigger than it is now in terms of machinery, so I think we will be racy.

“In dry conditions? In qualifying? I think they will still have a little bit on us. But I think we will keep it within half a second around here for sure.” 

Confidence high

Ricciardo is well aware that his Malaysia success offers no guarantee of better form this weekend, but he thinks his confidence levels are at the perfect level.

“My self belief and my level of confidence are at a good level,” he said. “I think it is where it needs to be, I am happy with that.

“Obviously you don’t want it to go too crazy, I think then it will have a reverse effect and then you start becoming a bit too complacent and things like this.

“I think the win felt good, and I felt like it was in a way a bit of a relief. But for confidence and that, it has been at a solid level for quite a while now. I will maintain that. It has worked for me, and it won’t alter my approach into this weekend.

“It feels nice to walk into the paddock as a winner, but once the helmet goes on tomorrow it is back to business.”

Building momentum

When asked if he believed in momentum after his strong run of results, Ricciardo said: “Momentum is something which...I don’t know...there is a little bit of momentum.

“I guess it seems since Budapest, since Silverstone, I hadn’t been on the podium for a while. Since then I have had a podium every race besides Monza. So you could say I have good momentum.

“It is probably just confidence. Momentum is another word for confidence I guess, so I feel good now absolutely.

“I come into this race with positivity and if it brings another good result we will just keep calling it momentum.”

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