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Ricciardo wants to step out from the shadows

Red Bull driver sure he can live up to true potential with team

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Daniel Ricciardo
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo is looking to step out of the shadows of Formula One’s big two going forward in his career.

The Austrian, 28, has had five wins so far — the last one coming at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix — from the 128 F1 starts he has made. Of this, the Australian driver from Perth, has landed 27 times on the podium raking in 816 career points in F1.

However, Ricciardo — who replaced countryman Mark Webber at Red Bull racing following his retirement in 2014 — is yet to win a Drivers’ Championship title more due to the domination of the Mercedes and the Ferrari drivers. In his first season with Red Bull, Ricciardo finished third in the championship with his first three F1 wins, in Canada, Hungary and Belgium. He won his next race after two years at the Malaysian Grand Prix last year to eventually seal a second third place finish in the championship.

This season, he has been far better with some amount of consistency while finishing on the podium five times in-a-row between Spain and Austria, followed by another three successive finishes in the top three between Singapore and Japan.

“The season has been good, but I have always had a slow start and strong finish,” Ricciardo told media at the pre-race conference on Thursday. “We need to change this to a quick start [to the season] and a strong finish.

“I think that on a personal level I need to fill in the blanks, and ideally, I would love to have all 20 races to be great.”

Going into the final race this week, Ricciardo is in fourth place in the drivers’ standings with 200 points — a position that is not going to be altered with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas already sealing their spots this season.

“I have to try and understand what I need to improve, perhaps from the start of the year rather than later in the season,” Ricciardo said.

“Or maybe we can look at it from a different perspective where I need to do more and expect more from myself while giving each year a proper crack.”