Ricciardo says he's the one to beat

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Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo says he’s the best of the rest as F1 fans and online casino players target driver at sports betting sites.

Ricciardo Claims He’s Best of the Rest in F1

With the 2020 F1 season in sight of the finish line, Renault F1 Team driver Daniel Ricciardo has laid claim to being the best of the rest after superstars Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. However, with Lewis Hamilton blazing clear in the 2020 F1 Driver’s Championship, bettors have likely turned to the top online casinos and other pursuits. Nevertheless, Ricciardo is attempting to end the season in style and finish as the best of the rest.

Ricciardo Wants to Maintain Form

Following three consecutive victories in Germany, Portugal, and Italy, Lewis Hamilton established an 85-point lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the Driver’s Championship. In Italy, Daniel Ricciardo scored his second podium of the season. Up next, the Australian-Italian driver is targeting further Podiums in Turkey, Bahrain Gulf Air, Bahrain Rolex Sakhir, and Abu Dhabi.

With Hamilton blazing clear in the standings, F1 bettors are looking for other battles to enjoy and Ricciardo is keen to deliver. Speaking in October 2020, Ricciardo felt he was close to becoming a consistent finisher on the podium, having recorded fourth-place results in Belgium and at Mugello. Although earning consistent points, it will remain a tall order for Ricciardo to catch Red Bull Racing Honda’s Max Verstappen and end the season third in the Driver’s Championship.

Speaking about Mercedes’ drivers Hamilton and Bottas, Ricciardo said they “don’t really count”. Ricciardo was also quoted as saying “I’m pretty much the guy to beat at the moment”, based on his good form and with the Mercedes pair being so far ahead of the pack. Since making that statement, Ricciardo has overhauled Lando Norris to take fourth place in the championship and he now looks up at Verstappen, who insists he doesn’t regret choosing Red Bull over Mercedes in 2014.

Daniel Ricciardo Turkish GP 2

Previously, the 31-year-old Perth native has finished third in the Driver’s Championship on two occasions. The first came during the 2014 F1 season while representing Infiniti Red Bull Racing and the second occurred two years later during the 2016 F1 season with the rebranded Red Bull Racing. A third bronze would represent Ricciardo’s first return to the championship podium in four seasons.

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Threat of COVID-19 Looms as Season Enters Final Stretch

For Ricciardo, the other drivers are not the only challenge that could derail his plans to end the season on a high. With the season already revised to include 17 races, there are fears that the 2020 F1 season might not be completed due to the continued ramifications of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner feels that completing 17 races during a global pandemic is already an immense challenge and believes that the F1 organisers are being overly ambitious in trying to plan an expanded season for 2021. Horner has explained that organisers are aiming to host 23 races, though he doubts that this will be possible at a time when Coronavirus will continue to have an impact as immunisation efforts will still be at an early stage.

As of mid-November 2020, numerous European nations have re-entered lockdowns that include prohibitive travel restrictions. With Turkey, Abu Dhabi, and two Bahrain races on the schedule, there is also the threat of Coronavirus causing disruption within teams. Despite forming a close-knit bubble, the Williams team has been forced to change personnel ahead of Turkey, with some people forced to self-isolate due to illness.

The 2020 F1 season has brought the lows of race cancellations and illness among teams, though there have been historic highs to enjoy. Lewis Hamilton is one such example, with the English racer proving his credentials as, arguably, the greatest driver in the history of F1. Such a claim is now possible after Hamilton surpassed Michael Schumacher for the most F1 grand prix wins by winning his 92nd race in Portugal on the last lap.

However, hope remains for Schumacher die-hards as Hamilton is yet to better the German’s all-time record of seven Driver’s Champions titles. Despite having recorded more grand prix wins, Hamilton will only draw level on seven titles if he wins the championship this season. Of course, given his current points total, this looks to be a certainty. And, as the leading F1 driver at the best team in the sport, Hamilton is in a superb position to potentially win an eighth championship and finally eclipse Schumacher in the 2021 F1 season.

Daniel Ricciardo Turkish GP 3