Cape Town - Good news for Mercedes' rival, Daniel Ricciardo reckons the
Brackley squad has shown signs of "weakness" and vulnerability this
season. Bad news, he says they're still strong.
This year's championship has swung between Mercedes' Lewis
Hamilton and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel with the latter currently eight
points ahead in the standings.
It could have been a different story were it not for
strategy mistakes from the Mercedes pit wall, the occasional tyre issue and a
double DNF in Austria.
Ricciardo told Motorsport.com: "They are not as
dominant as they have been the last few years.
"That was inevitably going to start to mellow out at
"I still think they are the overall toughest package to
beat on the grid but they've shown some signs of weaknesses in some areas.
"Compared to how they've been, yeah they look
vulnerable, but still in the big scheme of things they are a strong team and
difficult to beat."
As for his own team's form, the Red Bull driver says even
though he is fourth in the standings, his RB14 does not have the pace needed to
challenge for the World title.
He is, however, hoping for more race wins.
"I still don't think we've got the real pace every
weekend to convince ourselves that we can be there [in the title fight],"
"I guess Max and myself probably take too many points
away from each other - Lewis and Seb are doing all the winning there [at
Mercedes and Ferrari].
"We are good enough to win more races. We need to find
a little bit to be there on more tracks.
"Hopefully the ones we expect to be quick on, we are.
If we come fifth and sixth in Budapest, we're probably going to be pretty