• Red Bull

I've proven I'm a top-class driver - Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
June 5, 2014 « Button sees future at McLaren, but no progress on deal | Vettel studying Ricciardo data »
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Daniel Ricciardo believes he has already shown he is a top-flight driver after an impressive start to his Red Bull career.

Ricciardo has scored podium finishes at the last two races and would have had a third trophy this year had his Red Bull not been in breach of the fuel flow regulations at the Australian Grand Prix. He is currently fourth in the drivers' standings - nine points clear of team-mate and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel - but does not think he has to finish the season ahead of Vettel to prove he is worthy of his current drive.

"It wouldn't be a bad thing definitely [to beat Vettel] and it would go a long way to giving me a lot of confidence," he said. "Although I think I've probably already done enough to show that I can do it, not specifically beating Seb, but being able to race at the front and drive for a top a team and deserve to be here.

"Whatever happens in the championship, unless we win it, it's probably not going to matter. They [Red Bull] will more look at specific races and the bits I did well and the bits I didn't. But it would be a nice little pat on the back, I guess."

Ricciardo said there is no secret to beating Vettel, but that he tries to learn from his Red Bull team-mate whenever possible.

"It's not different to [beating] anyone else. Yes, it's important to try and learn from him - I'd be silly not to because he's obviously the best in the world - and for sure I can't be stubborn about it. But at the same time, I think I work well when I focus on myself and if I get distracted by what Seb's doing, or any other team-mate is doing, then it takes my mind off what I need to be doing.

"I have a lot of belief in my own abilities and if I do everything to my best then the results will come. At the moment 95% is being directed to myself and if I can learn a bit from Seb I do."

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