Ricciardo sure F1 team-mate Vettel will hit form eventually
|By Ben Anderson||Thursday, July 10th 2014, 15:57 GMT|
Daniel Ricciardo is certain his Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel will soon rediscover his best form, after a difficult start to the season.
The reigning world champion languishes fifth in the title fight after nine races, trailing new team-mate Ricciardo by 28 points and 6-3 in the intra-team qualifying battle.
Vettel outqualified Ricciardo for the recent British Grand Prix at Silverstone and started second, but slumped to fifth at the finish as Ricciardo utilised an alternative one-stop strategy to rise from eighth on the grid to the podium.
Vettel dislikes certain aspects of driving the new V6 hybrid turbo cars, struggling particularly with the way energy recovery and downshifting unsettles the rear end on corner entry, but Ricciardo reckons it is only a matter of time before Vettel is back to his best.
"I don't know if the word is 'improve' or 'get better', because he is very good, but I'm sure his form is going to come," Ricciardo told reporters after testing at Silverstone on Tuesday.
"[At the next race in] Germany I'm sure he's going to be really hungry to show his home [crowd] that he's ready to take it on.
"I'm excited if there's a bit more in him because that will bring a bit more out in both of us.
"Germany he'll be hungrier than ever, so it will be a good battle."
Ricciardo does not expect the circuit layout at Hockenheim to suit the RB10, despite efforts by engine supplier Renault to close the gap to the Mercedes-powered cars.
"There are a few long straights there and on paper it's probably not the circuit that suits us the most to be honest," Ricciardo added.
"We're constantly trying to find more, [but] we're not going to find tonnes of horsepower overnight. All the improvements we get will be subtle.
"The third sector will be good for us, but the first two I think we'll leak a bit of time. I think we can be more optimistic for Budapest."