Red Bull F1, Daniel Ricciardo confident of title pursuit in 2018

By @saihoops on
Singapore Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo
Formula One - Singapore Grand Prix 2017 - Practice - Singapore - September 15, 2017 Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo during during practice Reuters / Edgar Su

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has little doubt his team would be competing with Mercedes and Ferrari for the trophies next season. The Christian Horner-run team, which won four Drivers and Constructors titles between 2010 and 2013, has struggled to keep pace with Mercedes F1 over the last three seasons. 

Ricciardo, with one victory (Azerbaijan Grand Prix) and five podium finishes this season, sits at No. 4 in the F1 World Drivers' Championship table but expects to be battling for the top prize in 2018. This year, Red Bull Racing has made steady progress since the early setbacks in Melbourne, Baharain and Russia. At last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, Ricciardo came in third but teammate Max Verstappen suffered a race-ending crash with the two Ferrari drivers. 

“We have just got to try, whatever momentum we carry this year, we’ve got to carry it into next year because every season we feel like we get strong, but then we start the following season a step back. We need to take a step forward to really be in a position to fight for a championship," Ricciardo told The Herald Sun in a recent interview.

Daniel Ricciardo wants to be a F1 World Champion

With world championship aspirations growing stronger, the Australian driver is unwilling to commit to Red Bull beyond the 2018 season. “This year, we’re not going to win the title, so next year we really need to be in a position to win it to really convince me that we can do it in the near future. I still see I’ve got quite a few years in the sport, but I’m not the young kid anymore. There is 19-year-olds coming up through the ranks and they have got more time on their side. So I’m looking for that quicker time frame than a few of the others.

“I have always said, if I’m only ever to win one world title, Red Bull would be the No.1 choice to win it with ... I have won the races with them and we’ve had a lot of success, but there is still that last hurdle to get over. Ideally it’s with them. For all of our interests, we want to do it together," the 28-year-old from Western Australia added.

The 2017 Formula One season continues with the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. Lewis Hamilton will take a 28-point World Championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Another victory for Hamilton would take him a step closer to a potential fourth title.