• Red Bull

Foolish to write off 'special' Vettel - Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
May 8, 2014 « Sutil didn't eat for two days to lose weight | Red Bull has more downforce - Hamilton »
Daniel Ricciardo thinks the focus in Spain should be becoming the quickest car behind Mercedes © Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo insists he is not going to judge Sebastian Vettel on the back of two races, especially since he feels his team-mate is yet to get close to his best driving this season.

One of the bigger stories to come out of the Chinese Grand Prix was the fact Red Bull asked Vettel to move over for Ricciardo for the second race in a row, which he initially refused to do after a misunderstanding over strategy. Since then both men have agreed to race "hard but fair" against one another this season, but Ricciardo knows Vettel may not be in a situation where he has to move over all that often in 2014.

"I don't know how much of it is a surprise," Ricciardo said. "I obviously have a lot of belief and confidence in myself; it's hard to get to this level without believing in yourself. At the same time I think it's still very early. A lot of people are talking as if the season has finished and like I beat him quite easily over the season. If it continued like this up until August then maybe things would change.

"It's still very early and things have been going well for me, which I'm happy with. But at the same time Seb is, whether he's had the best car or not, a four-time champion, and to be that you have to be special full-stop. You need an incredible talent. I think he will adapt even if our car remains the same and we are not up to speed with the Mercedes, he will find a way to get more out of it. I'm sure Sebastian will get back up to four-time world champion speed."

Ricciardo is also not willing to focus too much on his battle with Vettel, as he believes the team's focus needs to be on catching Mercedes at this stage.

"I still see progress to come from my side and then we'll see [what happens]. At the moment I genuinely think I am doing a good job but we still have three guys who have finished in front of us for the last few races who we want to catch. It's not only an in-team, let's say fight, that I'm looking at, it's also the fight with the others around us."

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