Ricciardo: I’m the guy to beat at the moment

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo

Mercedes drivers aside, Daniel Ricciardo reckons he’s the “guy to beat at the moment”, the one with the “target” on his back.

In the midst of a season in which Renault has been one of the biggest improvers, Ricciardo has been knocking on the door of the podium in recent races.

The Aussie was fourth at the Belgian Grand Prix, three seconds off the podium, and P4 again at Mugello where he was two seconds away.

Fifth in Russia and sixth in Italy and it is clear that Ricciardo is one of the in form drivers at this stage of the campaign.

So in form, that he reckons aside from Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who “don’t really count”, he’s the chap to beat.

“I guess them [Mercedes] being so far in front they don’t really count do they, so I’m pretty much the guy to beat at the moment,” GPFans quotes the Aussie as having said.

“I’m the guy with the target.

“It feels good, it feels great. It’s been a good run for sure, so keep it going.”

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The 31-year-old’s recent run has elevated him to sixth in the Drivers’ Championship with 63 points, just two behind Lando Norris who is P4 and holding down best of the rest outside the Mercedes and Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo is keen to continue his run.

“I’m aware we’ve had good results but I don’t look into it as far as I don’t feel I’m under pressure to keep it going,” added Ricciardo.

“Obviously I enjoy getting more and more points and racing up at the front so absolutely my intention is to remain that guy.”

This year’s championship marks the seven-time grand prix winner’s second and final season with Renault having signed with McLaren for next season.

Ricciardo is hoping to leave Renault with a podium result, one that will leave team boss Cyril Abiteboul with a permanent reminder of the Aussie.

The two have a bet going that Ricciardo’s first top-three result will see Abiteboul get a tattoo of the driver’s choice.

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