Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo says he has “faith” he can still win a race this season and is confident they can “pull something out”.
Ricciardo came close to pulling off a surprise victory in Singapore two weeks ago, and while he concedes that was probably one of his best chances in the second half of the season, he has by no means given-up on it.
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“There's always hope for sure,” he said ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. “I don't now picture myself at Christmas already thinking well I didn't win a race this year. I still definitely have hope that something can happen, but sure I think on even terms Singapore was our best shot. But things can happen.
“I'm still confident we can pull something out. I think after the race I said we still have to win this year and it will happen somehow, I've got faith.
“I feel like I've deserved a victory this year for sure, but I don't believe that someone up there is going to give it to me. I don't know [I will win] I just like to have a bit of hope that we can at least have a shot again.
“Singapore was fun, I definitely enjoyed that, as close as I came it wasn't heartbreaking at all, it was a good race I did what I could and that was that.”
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Ricciardo has taken five podiums this year and is currently third in the Drivers' Championship, 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, although unlike team-mate Max Verstappen of course, he hasn't stood on the top step of the podium. Indeed his last victory was in Belgium in 2014.
“Sure I want to win more than anything else and that feeling you get I guess is the main reason I do this, but I think beyond that if I can leave a weekend feeling I've done everything I could then you know I'm definitely still satisfied with that, [although] the win is still the cherry on the top,” he continued.
“It's a nice cherry, but there's been a couple of races like Austria or Silverstone when I was a bit down after the race, but I think besides those I think every Sunday I've felt pretty happy and I haven't won. With Monaco [where a team error cost me the win] still within myself I was happy with how I drove.”
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He also added that he thinks the team has noticed just how much he has improved this season – his third with them, and his sixth in F1.
“The good thing is I feel it's been recognised, the team will always recognise it, because they see more than the outside, they see what you're doing in the engineer's office, but they also see the data, so they recognise if you're getting the most out of the car but not always the outside does, and it's easy to look at results and say he didn't win, Max won, so he wasn't as good this year,” Ricciardo noted.
“But I definitely feel that [even from] the outside you can see the level I've been driving at, so I'm pretty happy.
“Again I'd love to get a win but I definitely feel I've delivered, up until this point this year I feel that every time I've delivered so I'm happy with that. Like I said it hasn't gone unnoticed, so I'm comfortable with that.”
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