• Red Bull

Ricciardo senses opportunity in Monaco

ESPN Staff
May 21, 2014 « Change of mentality necessary in Monaco - Grosjean | Adrian Newey rejects Ferrari overtures »
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Daniel Ricciardo senses an opportunity to fight with Mercedes this weekend in Monaco, but is under no illusions as to how tough it will be.

Ricciardo finished third behind the two Mercedes at the last race in Spain, but was still over 40 seconds off Nico Rosberg in second as he crossed the line. He is confident he will be closer this weekend on a circuit that is not so dependent on engine power.

"I sense an opportunity this weekend, but Mercedes are still going to be quick nonetheless. Even if their package is brought to everyone else's level, they've got two very capable drivers who are driving very well at the moment. Not only is it 'can we be as quick as Mercedes?', but it's 'can we be quicker than Lewis and Nico?'. There's still a double challenge, but obviously less of a horsepower circuit should bring everyone a bit closer. … I'll do what I can to hustle and to get the car towards the front."

However, Ricciardo is aware that he has to be on the top of his game to do so.

"The driver can obviously get the extra tenths out of it around here, so it's up to me to be on top of my game. Car set-up here isn't the end of the world - it's more getting comfortable with the car, getting a car that you're comfortable driving even if the set-up's not perfect. It's got to be one that you're comfortable to sit in, to get close to the walls and jump over the kerbs. I think that's what we've got to work on tomorrow. Analyse everything Friday and just make sure I'm driving up to my standards on Saturday.

"Mentally it's the toughest circuit. You're running that edge, and you're obviously trying to find a bit more, a bit more. But that bit more can see you in the wall and out of the race, or out of the session, so it's trying to find that edge. I think until you do brush a wall, or get very close to crashing, you don't know how close you are to it. In a way, as the weekend goes on you force yourself to get closer and closer until you're where you think you need to be on the lap times."

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