Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull enters the 2017 F1 world championship with the strongest driver pairing on the grid, a theory he feels was strengthened with the exit of Nico Rosberg.
Having come to terms with the shock news of Rosberg's retirement just days after he had clinched the 2016 F1 world title
, Ricciardo has supported the German's decision having looked at it from his perspective regarding his family life.
Ricciardo has admitted he was tempted by a potential 11th-hour Mercedes switch when Rosberg retired
but is confident Red Bull will be world title contenders for 2017 and take the fight to the German manufacturer with the new F1 technical regulations.
The Australian also feels Red Bull's line-up is now stronger than the new-look Mercedes squad with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas despite his own team-mate Max Verstappen's relative inexperience.
“I really think we do [have the best line-up]. Now. Not sure who the second best line-up is. Don't really care,” Ricciado said. “I think we can challenge, yes. If we make the same improvements we did last year then he [Hamilton] won't have anything easy, believe me.”
Should these drivers be racing in F1?...
After the driver changes for 2017 only Red Bull and Ferrari have F1 race winners on both sides of their garages, with McLaren promoting Stoffel Vandoorne ahead of Jenson Button and Mercedes selecting Bottas as Rosberg's replacement.
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