Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that Lewis Hamilton is wrong to underestimate Daniel Ricciardo as a 2018 title contender. Hamilton recently outlined who he feels will challenge him the most in 2018, naming Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen.
Red Bull is hoping to start next season with a title contending car after failing to produce a car capable of matching Mercedes and Ferrari in 2017. With Hamilton believing Ricciardo's teammate Verstappen will be a threat next year, Horner doesn't see why the Australian shouldn't be mentioned.
"Lewis would be very foolish to underestimate Daniel," Horner told Sky Sports News. "He's a phenomenal driver, he's arguably the best overtaker in the business. He's driven some great races this year and some great races in his time at Red Bull. He's absolutely ready for a championship challenge if we can provide him with the tools to do the job."
Horner believes that the energy drink team has the best line-up in the field and is hoping it will bounce back from its underwhelming campaign in 2017: "If you look at the number of points we have given away through unreliability, it's close to 160," Horner said.
"Engine reliability has hit us really hard. At the beginning of the year we undelivered on the chassis, we didn't hit the ground running. We understood those problems quickly and moved to address them quickly. I'm really excited that we've got the strongest driver pairing in Formula 1. Max and Daniel, they push each other to such high limits and that's tremendously exciting for us."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing