Ricciardo: ‘Motivated’ Red Bull a better place to be than Merc

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Red Bull ace Daniel Ricciardo believes his current team is a better place to be than defending triple worlds champions Mercedes entering the 2017 Formula One season.

The German manufacturer has been ruling the roost since the introduction of 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units in 2014 and was once again the dominant force this year, winning 19 out of 21 grands prix for 20 pole positions.

Only Red Bull denied Mercedes a perfect score, with Ricciardo claiming pole in Monaco and victory in Malaysia, while team-mate Max Verstappen took a stunning win in Spain.

With next year featuring radical aero changes, an area where the Milton Keynes-based outfit is quite proficient, Ricciardo thinks Red Bull is poised to return to its championship-winning days.

“I believe so,” the Australian told ESPN. “If you were a betting man you would say, 'well, why wouldn't Mercedes win again?' but I honestly believe [Red Bull is a better place to be].

“Also because we are the opposite of complacent right now. We are so motivated, we have everything behind us and I feel like it will be a massive push with a lot of energy.

“With [engine partner] Renault it really feels like they have fed off their improvements this year and everyone is just like '2017, let's go and push it up'.

“Obviously, compared to Mercedes, you know they will be quick, but maybe they have the ability to become a bit complacent, whereas we are the opposite of that right now.”

Ricciardo has already ruled out joining Mercedes, which currently has an open seat following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement.

Red Bull won four championship doubles in 2010-13 after emerging as a top team following the previous aero rules revolution in 2009.

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