Daniel Ricciardo has shot down the idea of changing his driving style or tactics with regards to the F1 world drivers' championship contest between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and wants to be in the mix in the final two races.
With Rosberg holding a 19-point lead over Hamilton heading into the Brazilian Grand Prix, Red Bull and Ricciardo could potentially play a pivotal role in the title battle if, hypothetically, Hamilton won and Ricciardo disrupted Rosberg's race.
In Mexico, it was Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen who almost achieved the feat as he caught Rosberg in second during closing stages but his ambitious overtake saw the Dutch star lock is front tyres and lose a chunk of time.
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The Australian driver, who secured third place in the F1 drivers' championship in Mexico, has shrugged off any permutations and says he will continue to race 'hard' and with 'respect' and points to the bigger factor of competing over 21 races rather than any direct impact he may have in the last two races.
“I think I race hard but I've always got an element of respect, so I'll just keep going about my business as normal,” Ricciardo said. “I'd love to be in a position that we're fighting Mercedes because that means we're towards the front.
“I think the world championship will be played out because there was a race, the points will end up how they were because things happened in a race. Just because we're in the last few races doesn't mean any driver should act any differently.
“It's an accumulation of 21 races, even in the last race in Abu Dhabi, we still race hard and whatever happens that's how the championship falls.”
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Ricciardo has enjoyed a rampant run of form since the midpoint this season having claimed seven rostrum results in the past nine races, including his victory in Malaysia, to leapfrog both Ferrari drivers and help haul Red Bull into second in the F1 world constructors' championship.
The Australian's consistency in 2016 has also been remarkable as he is one of only two drivers to take a classified finish in every race so far this season (Sergio Perez is the other) and has only missed out on the top ten on one occasion – 11th in Russia.
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