Ricciardo: Feels great beating Vettel

Saturday 09-August-2014 09:19

Daniel Ricciardo is enjoying having the edge over team-mate Sebastian Vettel as he reckons the German is "an awesome benchmark" to judge his own ability.

This season has been in stark contrast to Vettel's previous campaigns as instead of fighting for race wins and World titles, he is struggling just to reach the podium.

Added to that, instead of having the measure of his team-mate, he has found himself lagging behind his new partner, Ricciardo, who has been a revelation.

Not only has the Aussie outperformed Vettel is qualifying but he is also edging the four-time World Champion on grand prix Sundays and is the only non-Mercedes driver to have taken to the top step of the podium, winning in Canada and Hungary.

"Of course I won't lie - it feels great," the 25-year-old said in an interview with CNN's 'The Circuit' when asked how good it felt to outperform Vettel.

"You know he is an awesome benchmark to sort of judge myself on. And, you know, not only the rest of the guys in the field but him especially.

"Yeah to have shown really good speed against him not only in qualifying but in races as well has been encouraging. So yeah I am enjoying it."

This year, though, has generally been a trying one for the Red Bull Racing team.

Their Renault engine has put them on the back foot as it lacks the power and reliability of its Mercedes counterpart.

As a result, Red Bull have netted just 219 points compared to Mercedes' 393, while Ricciardo, third in the Drivers' Championship, is 71 points adrift of leader Nico Rosberg.

Asked about the trials, he said: "It's... You know... We have definitely had some harder times - particularly the winter testing. We didn't get much mileage at all. So we always feel like we have been on the back foot a little bit this year.

"Yes, you know, Red Bull is a massive team and we can develop a lot quicker than other teams so we had sort of called up but yeah it has been difficult. I think, you know, more difficult than they have experienced in previous years.

"But, you know, it is obviously a challenge that we are all aware of now and it is something we have to overcome. So I think the best thing is to try and move on and to move on with what we have got and that is the situation so...

"Yeah, you know, sometimes you feel like you want to point fingers and you have got to get some stuff off your chest which is fair enough but behind all that there is a lot of proactive work going.

As for his hopes for the future, "just to keep, I guess, keep building on what I have not only achieved but learnt in the first six months.

"I feel since I entered Formula One the second part of the season has always gone better for me. It has been, yeah, the time of the year when I seem to, you know, learn from the first six months and really put it towards better results in the second half of the year. So just keep doing that.

"There is some fun tracks coming up as well - Spa, Japan is a good one and there are a few others. Austin is great so we will see how it's going and try and get a few more wins."

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