Ricciardo hopeful of challenging Mercedes

A cooled-off Daniel Ricciardo is hoping it’s a case of third time lucky in his attempt to topple Mercedes at this weekend’s Canadian Formula One Grand Prix.

The Australian Red Bull driver says he has moved on from the pit-stop debacle that cost him likely victory in Monaco just under a fortnight ago.

It was the second time in as many races Ricciardo had a potential win squandered through no fault of his own, with strategy cruelling his chances at the Spanish GP in May.

He didn’t want to hear an explanation from the team after the Monte Carlo mishap, but has since been told his crew didn’t have the proper tyres ready because they were at the back of the garage.

“I gave it a few days to cool off,” said Ricciardo, who finished second in Monaco.

“From my side now, I’ve moved on … but I’ve been assured that if we’re in that position again then it won’t happen, so that was obviously what I needed and what I wanted to hear.”

Ricciardo, who had the benefit of Renault’s upgraded power unit in Monaco to finish second, believes there’s a realistic chance of bouncing back with a win on Sunday.

“That would obviously be a lovely way to bounce back,” said the 26-year-old.

“I think, realistically, Mercedes are still going to be – as expected – the ones to beat. I expect that we can be the next best, or I hope we can be the next best.

“How far we’re behind Mercedes, I’m not sure, but hopefully close enough to again put some pressure on them and grab a win.”

While engine power is key at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, its slow corners suit Red Bull’s impressive chassis.

Ricciardo scored his first victory in Formula One at the 4.36km road track on the Isle de Notre Dame in 2014, on his way to a third-place finish in the championship.

He again sits third in the driver’s standings, behind Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

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