Daniel Ricciardo has provided a title prediction for the 2018 Formula 1 season, and with five races to go including this coming weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, he reckons that Mercedes will remain top in the drivers' and constructors' rankings to claim both championships.
Red Bull are third in the rankings and enjoyed a positive outing in Russia last weekend, as both Ricciardo and Max Verstappen made up impressive ground to finish fifth and sixth despite starting at the back of the grid following penalties.
Ricciardo reckons Mercedes will stay atop the rankings, which means they need to set their sights on Ferrari.
"Our pace in Russia was encouraging and although Mercedes look really strong on any layout, and I think they will be for the rest of the year, we look pretty close to Ferrari," the Australian suggested as he previewed the upcoming GP.
"If Mercedes remain the team to beat then hopefully we can fight Ferrari for a podium finish. Time will tell but as a fairly high downforce circuit it should work in our favour."
Ricciardo makes title prediction
The Red Bull driver, who will join Renault for the 2019 season, spoke of his burgeoning appreciation for Japanese culture, and following a place on the podium in Suzuka last year, he once again wants to "taste the champagne" by placing in the top three.
"There’s not much not to like about Japan, the hotel is a bit funny, but it’s a race I always look forward to and on paper it should suit our car," Ricciardo continued.
"Suzuka circuit is a lot of fun to race on but I like the whole experience of being in Japan as we don’t really go to another place like it.
"Over the years I have learnt to enjoy seafood, so I like to visit local sushi restaurants and experience some of the Japanese culture, which is why I always spend a few days in Tokyo before the race.
"I had my first Japanese GP podium last year and my aim is to taste the champagne again this year."
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