Daniel Ricciardo backs Nico Rosberg to win Formula One world championship
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 22/09/16 11:29pm
Daniel Ricciardo has backed Nico Rosberg to pip team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the world championship title this year.
Rosberg moved eight points clear of Hamilton in the drivers' standings with his third straight victory in Singapore at the weekend, while Ricciardo split the pair on the podium by finishing second.
And Ricciardo, who crossed the line less than half a second behind Rosberg in a tight finish at Marina Bay, believes the German can overcome the three-time world champion to secure his first crown.
"Before the summer break when Lewis made up that deficit on Nico, I thought no one was going to touch Lewis, but Nico has come back," he said.
"I'm going to throw a spanner in the works and say Rosberg [will win it]."
Ricciardo, who shared the podium with the Mercedes pair in Singapore, also joked that the silences between the title rivals can be somewhat awkward after the race.
"It's awkward for me because it's so silent!" said the Australian. "I don't like silence too much, so I'm like trying to either talk to myself or make conversation with them, but they're happy to enjoy the awkward silence. It's quite fun!"
Meanwhile, Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle also feels for the first time that Rosberg is capable of beating Hamilton in a straight fight.
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"Rosberg has been supreme in the past month taking a full 75 points and he seems to have the confidence to go with his speed," he wrote in his column.
"Lewis looked like he had Monza covered with his 'A game' until his poor start, but Rosberg was easily the strongest Merc driver under the Singapore lights.
"For the first time I feel that Nico has the speed, ingredients and confidence to take this title in a straight fight but it could well go down to the wire."