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Australian GP: Ricciardo downplays qualifying margin over Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo, Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo insisted he was not thinking too much about his margin over his Formula 1 champion Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel after starring in Australian Grand Prix qualifying.

Ricciardo came close to clinching pole on his debut with Red Bull, only narrowly losing out to Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes as he secured his first F1 front-row start on home ground in Melbourne.

Vettel had a difficult session and qualified only 13th, saying he struggled with the car's driveability in the damp.

"I'm definitely not looking at him," said Ricciardo.

"I am sure he had some problems of some sort today, but starting the season with a front row, it does a lot of good things for the confidence."

Hamilton denies Ricciardo Melbourne pole

The Australian said that while qualifying second in front of his local crowd was a huge boost, he was determined not to get carried away - insisting he still had to prove himself on race day.

"I'm really excited, but at the same time still staying calm and collected because tomorrow is what counts," said Ricciardo.

"There is no point having a party tonight and not focusing on tomorrow.

"I still can't get ahead of myself, I still have a bit to prove and to establish myself at the front.

"It would be great to be up here for the next few weekends and cement myself at the front of the grid.

"This is a step towards that but there's still a bit to go. I'm excited about what lies ahead and giving it a bit of a crack."

Follow all the reaction to qualifying day in Australia with AUTOSPORT's revamped Live service

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