Rivalry in the world of Formula One is a cliché thing, as not only counterparts, but teammates, also become opponents when the five lights illuminate.
With reigning champion Nico Rosberg calling time on his F1 career, days after winning his maiden title, it is guaranteed that the racing fraternity will get a new champion next season.
Red Bull are touted to be the prime challengers to Mercedes in 2017, and Daniel Ricciardo is optimistic of the season ahead.
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However, when asked if he would be able to beat the likes of Lewis Hamilton, the Australian seemed confident in doing so, if the duo were in the same car that is.
Speaking on the issue, Eurosport quoted the 27-year-old saying: “Absolutely.
"It's something that I've been asked a few times - who would you love as a team-mate and all that - and Lewis was one that I was always saying.
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“Obviously I think that he is massively talented and...I think we would have a good fight, and, yeah, I'd have confidence that I could get the job done.”
The Mercedes seat is still vacant, but Ricciardo remains determined to see out his current contract with Red Bull.
The duo hold immense respect for each other and the Brit has admitted in various platforms, latest at the FIA Prize Gala in Vienna, that he shares a good camaraderie with Ricciardo, asserting they are similar in terms of driving style and ability.
But, the Red Bull ace thinks otherwise. He is of the opinion that they get along quite well, but are far from close.
“It's a tough one. He's never had anything bad to say about me. He's always been nice to me, but sure he has days where he likes to keep to himself.
“Some days we'll chat and other days we won't and that's just that. But at the same time, it's, sure I've made a few friends in the sport, but it's not our primary purpose of being here so I'm not expecting him to call me...and he's not expecting the same from me. It's just how it is, he's got his own things going on...he's sort of doing his thing really.”
The statement seems like a war cry towards Mercedes ahead of the upcoming campaign as the racing faithful are certain to witness an enthralling encounter among two of the giants in top-flight racing in 2017.
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