Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo says he has enough confidence in his abilities to beat triple-world champion Lewis Hamilton in equal machinery.
Ricciardo rose to prominence after three wins in the 2014 F1 season - and has since cemented his status as one of the star drivers on the grid.
Although Ricciardo has never fought for a championship before, largely because of never having a car to put on a stern challenge, the Australian is confident that he can defeat Hamilton in a straight fight.
"Absolutely,’’ Ricciardo told the Age. "It's something that I've been asked a few times - who would you love as a team-mate and all that - and Lewis was one that I was always saying.
“Obviously I think that he is massively talented. I think we would have a good fight, and, yeah, I'd have confidence that I could get the job done."
Formula 1 is set for a major overhaul next year that will see the introduction of wider and aggressive-looking cars.
Ricciardo believes the new regulations could play to the strengths of Red Bull, which is known for its aerodynamic poweress.
However, the 27-year-old feels the Milton Keynes-based outfit would still be partly dependent on engine partner to close the gap down to F1’s current pacesetters Mercedes.
"We hope and believe that it will help us," he said. "The cars are going to be much more aerodynamic dependant and that's where we feel we are strong.
"But I guess on the flipside because there is going to be more downforce and drag on the car you are still going to need that horsepower to sort of pull you through.
"I don't know what the percentage [advantage] will be, but I sort of hope and feel that the aerodynamic side will have a bit more of a role or an effect, so from that point of view that is where we feel our strength is.
"We got more power this year which was good, but we obviously still need to make a pretty good step to get Mercedes. Yeah, hopefully the aerodynamics plays a bigger role."
by Rachit Thukral