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Ricciardo: Singapore hopes high after Monza charge

08 Sep 2014

Daniel Ricciardo believes his late charge to fifth place in Sunday's Formula 1 Gran Premio d'Italia 2014 shows Red Bull will capable of challenging for the podium at Singapore in two weeks' time.

Red Bull had been keen to play down expectations heading into Monza, with its high-speed, low-downforce requirements, but Ricciardo followed up his unlikely Belgian victory with a superb drive - which he feels indicates just how competitive the RB10 will be on more conventional tracks like Singapore's Marina Bay Street Circuit.

"At the end, to recover and get a top five (at Monza) - I'm really happy with that," Ricciardo said. "Singapore should be better - if we can get fifth around Monza then we should be able to get on the podium at Singapore. That's what we'll aim for."

Ricciardo said the nature of his late-race surge in Italy, which included passes on McLaren duo Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, Force India's Sergio Perez, and team mate Sebastian Vettel, only added to his delight at the result.

"I had some good fights out there - I enjoyed that," he added. "We fell back a bit at the start and that wasn't ideal but it was important we just kept cool. The first stint I was able to go long, and even if the pace wasn't great I was able to keep the prime [tyres] fresh for the end of the race so we knew we would have a chance.

"I knew I was quite strong on the brakes at the end, so with every car that came up I had a go. It worked and gave me confidence to keep trying [to overtake] the rest of the guys in front."

Regarding his spectacular passing move on Vettel, Ricciardo commented: "Obviously Seb is smart and I think I'm smart enough, so we kept it clean. He defended well and then I had another chance in the second chicane.

"Sometimes if you do something half-heartedly it can end up worse, so I think it is important to commit to whatever you do. I'm sure [team principal] Christian [Horner] and a few other guys were holding their breath but we were in control; we know what we are doing."

Ricciardo sits third in the 2014 drivers' championship, 50 points behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and 42 ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas. Vettel is sixth on 106 points, 60 behind Ricciardo.

Red Bull, meanwhile, are a relatively secure second in the constructors' standings. The team have 272 points, sandwiched between Mercedes on 454 and Williams on 177.