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Ricci: Lewis won't have it easy

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 31-01-2017 skysports.com
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Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull can challenge Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes for the F1 titles in 2017. 

After a difficult 2015, Red Bull re-established themselves as F1's second-fastest team last year and were the only team aside from Mercedes to win a race, with victories in Spain and Malaysia.

With the Silver Arrows rocked by the departure of world champion Nico Rosberg over the winter, Ricciardo is hoping to give them more headaches this season.

"I think we can challenge, yes," he told F1.com "If we make the same improvements we did last year then he [Hamilton] won't have anything easy, believe me."

Ricciardo traveled to races regularly with Rosberg and says he can understand the German's decision to retire.

"At first it was a surprise, but once I went through it in my head and put myself in his shoes I understood it a lot better," the Australian added.

"He has a family now, he's been involved in the sport even before he was racing himself through his dad Keke, so it's a long career in that respect. It drains you with all the travel and commitments and he reached what he wanted, so now it's time for him to chill out. I get it, mate!"

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