Daniel Ricciardo insists he is currently outside of the 2018 Formula 1 title battle despite winning last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. 

The Red Bull driver moved to within 38 points of current championship leader Lewis Hamilton with a brilliant drive in Monte Carlo to secure his second win of the season, having battled engine issues since lap 18. 

Ricciardo’s win drew him level with Vettel and Hamilton on two victories each from the opening six races, leading the latter to claim its “definitely” a three way championship fight due to Red Bull’s emergence as a bigger threat in the title hunt. 

Driver Ratings - Monaco GP

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“I think it’s a natural question after a victory,” Ricciardo replied when asked if he felt in title contention. “I think I got asked after China I got asked if it means we’re in the title hunt. I think Lewis still has a pretty good buffer on me.

“We’re still on the outside of that. It’s not impossible, but it’s not really in the forefront of my mind yet. Even if it was, I’m not going to change the way I’m driving or trying to attack.”

And Ricciardo believes Red Bull will need to score another win before the summer break to have an outside chance of being in the 2018 title fight. 

Montreal will be interesting, try and get a few more podiums,” he said. “We’ve got to probably prove on at least one other circuit before the summer break we can win again, and then maybe we’ll have an outside chance.”

The Australian acknowledged that the nature of the Monaco circuit played to Red Bull’s strengths, adding the next race in Canada will prove a better test for the Milton Keynes-based squad, given it is a more power-sensitive track. 

“I think we’re back on the Hypersofts and It looked like our degradation was maybe better than the others,” Ricciardo explained. "Montreal is maybe more of a power circuit, but if our chassis is working well and we’re kind on the tyres, we may see ourselves fighting again.”

 

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