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Ricciardo closes on PB year in F1

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Scott Bailey

It might seem a long way back as he sits a distant third in the Formula One driver's championship, but Daniel Ricciardo feels proud to be on the verge of the best season points tally of his career.

Driving a car that is clearly slower than the dominant Mercedes piloted by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Ricciardo has established himself as the best of the rest this year for Red Bull.

After six podium finishes in his last eight races, any finish within the top four at this weekend's Mexico Grand Prix would take him past 238 points - the mark he finished on in his breakthrough season of 2014.

"For moments, and the three wins, 2014 was bigger," Ricciardo wrote on the Red Bull website.

"But for myself and my self-evaluation, 2016 has been better."

Another podium finish in Mexico City on Sunday (Monday AEST) would also wrap up third spot in the championship for the 27-year-old Australian, with two races still remaining in Brazil and Abu Dhabi next month.

It would match his third placing overall in 2014 and it's a feat he is not taking lightly given he's claimed just one race win this year while being brutally unlucky in Spain, Monaco and Canada.

"While you never go into any season saying 'I really want to finish third', it's good to be there," he wrote.

"If I was to lose third in the last few races for whatever reason, I would actually be quite disappointed."

Mercedes have been the most dominant team over the past three years, having dropped just eight race wins since the start of 2014.

Ricciardo has claimed half of those, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has taken three and Max Verstappen one.

"I'm kind of proud of being third, or being that next guy behind the Mercedes guys," he wrote.

Meanwhile at the top of the pack, Rosberg can claim the 2016 title in Mexico if he wins and Hamilton fails to finish in the top nine.

However, with a 26-point advantage, any finish ahead of his Mercedes teammate should prove pivotal for the German heading into the final two races as he looks to claim his first world crown.

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