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Ricciardo open to Red Bull team orders

ESPN Staff
September 4, 2014 « Raikkonen expects power deficit to be fully exposed | Alonso won't influence my future - Button »
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Daniel Ricciardo says he is open to team orders being discussed at Red Bull to aid his slim championship hopes if he can get through the Italian Grand Prix without losing too much ground.

Ricciardo's victory in Belgium moved him 64 points behind Nico Rosberg as he once again took advantage of Mercedes' woe out in front. That margin is still a fairly tall order for Ricciardo but, with the Abu Dhabi finale controversially double-weighted, he remains in with a chance if Mercedes slips up in any of the remaining seven races.

In 2010 Red Bull avoided the temptation to implement team orders during the title fight Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were involved in but Ricciardo expects the issue to surface soon.

"It's something that could potentially be discussed, I'd say at a later date," Ricciardo said. "Right now it hasn't been talked about, there's no talk or sign of team orders or anything. It's still early for that and if I'm still in this position with three of four races to go it's probably something which may come up but now there's no championship talk yet.

Earlier this season Sebastian Vettel said "tough luck" when asked to move over for Ricciardo in China, though the world champion eventually relented and obeyed the order.

When it was put to him that, given his position, every point is crucial and that he should go to Christian Horner to ask about team orders being implemented this weekend, Ricciardo joked: "Could be [a good idea], I don't know! I'll write that down. We'll see, I guess because I haven't really thought about the championship I haven't really thought about scenarios or things that could happen. I would get through this weekend and hopefully have a bit of damage limitation and not lose sight of it.

"If we are still in the hunt maybe look at having some discussions. I need the points, that's true. But the way I look at it, if I get everything right - if I qualify well and race well I hope to finish up the order, let's say where I should."

Despite benefitting from what's happened with Mercedes this season Ricciardo says he cannot rely on Rosberg and Hamilton coming to blows in every race.

"It's hard as well because I'm not with them I don't know what's happening in their briefings. You never know how much is getting blown out of proportion. It's obvious they are not best mates but you don't really how big the situation is.

"For me if both of them crashed into each other in every race that would impact me a lot and probably hand me the championship on a platter but in terms coming into the race weekend I'm not thinking of what they are potentially going to do or what they are maybe going to do because it's out of my control. Unless I'm in the act and crashing into one of them it's indirect to me. The best thing for me is to get my head down and get on with my job and hopefully that gives me enough points to stay in it."

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