F1's battle for supremacy in 2021 was once again a two-way fight between Mercedes and Red Bull, but Daniel Ricciardo believes that what many F1 fans want to see is McLaren and Ferrari locking horns up front.
The two most successful teams in Grand Prix racing's history were the best actors in a supporting role in last year's gripping campaign.
The duo fought hard for the final step on the podium, with McLaren leading the charge early on for the honorary title of 'best of the rest' but ultimately outpaced by the Scuderia in the second half of the season.
Ricciardo loved going head-to-head with the Italian outfit's drivers but regretted that the on-track feud with his red rivals wasn't for top honours.
"That it’s Ferrari, from the outside it’s a cool story that these two teams have had a few low years as two of the biggest teams ever," said the Aussie, quoted by Autosport.
"And now they’re coming back and they’re fighting it out. If only it was for P1!
"I think that’s really the story I’m sure many fans want."
Ricciardo admitted he's indifferent to which ever rival he ends up battling on Sunday, but the 2021 Italian Grand Prix winner believes that fighting Ferrari for third likely provided his McLaren team with an additional incentive.
"It’s always better when you’ve got something to fight for," he said.
"If we’re in this lonely battle for third and Red Bull and [Mercedes] were too far in front, Ferrari was too far behind, I think it would be less exciting.
"I like having a target and something to chase, so that’s been good. And for sure we’ve focused some of our stuff on them and just obviously trying to beat them, but that’s probably more of a team thing.
"I think for me personally as a driver once the helmet’s on and the lights go out Sunday, it doesn’t matter what colour the car is.
"If you think you can beat them then you’re going to try to beat them. It doesn’t really change the act behind the wheel.
"But I think for the team to have that target and that battle, it does create a little bit more… I don’t want to say motivation, but yeah, there’s a target.
"So every weekend you’ve got something really to work for and it doesn’t allow any of us to get complacent."