Ricciardo wants to join Vettel, Hamilton rivalry

Red Bull struggled to match Mercedes and Ferrari in 2017, leaving Daniel Ricciardo urging the team to equip him for a title challenge.

Daniel Ricciardo (right)..."Rivalry is good for the sport."   -  Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo has urged Red Bull to get him "in the mix" and help to further incite the fierce rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Mercedes driver Hamilton and his Ferrari counterpart Vettel battled for the Formula One crown in 2017, the Englishman coming out on top to join the German on four career titles.

Ricciardo was unable to exert much influence on the destination of the championship, although he did secure his only race triumph in Azerbaijan in June, when Vettel infamously collided with Hamilton.

Back in Baku and speaking to Omnisport about the sport's two biggest names, Ricciardo acknowledged the fiercely competitive nature of the pair. "Rivalry is good for the sport and it wasn't played up, it was a genuine rivalry," he said.

Vettel 'very determined'

"I think Seb has shown all throughout his career that it all just comes from his determination. He is very determined and I respect that from him. What happened here in Baku, it was just a spur of the moment thing, obviously heat of the moment, he got riled up and wanted to retaliate.

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"But, the rivalry was cool. I mean I don't think they had as many on-track battles as they could have, or the fans would have liked to have seen. Get me in the mix – I will create a bit more."

According to Ricciardo, mechanical consistency is the missing ingredient required to achieve that goal, Red Bull having suffered regular technical problems last season. "At the beginning of the year it was like we need performance," he said.

"Who cares about reliability, let's just get a fast car. We eventually got a pretty fast car, but reliability let us down throughout the whole season. Early with [team-mate] Max [Verstappen] and later with me more so. I think Lewis finished every race from what I understand this year and if we want to be in the title we need to be finishing nearly every race. That is a big point of reference we will try and address."

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