Formula One: Red Bull's Ricciardo fancies his chances of stopping Mercedes pair again

Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo at the Paddock of F1 Pit Building on 18 September 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo at the Paddock of F1 Pit Building on 18 September 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo believes he can get back on the Formula One podium in Singapore on Sunday after his winning streak ended in Italy two weeks ago.

"I guess I am expecting a podium. I think we have to aim for that if we want to stay in the title hunt," the smiling Australian told reporters on Thursday.

Ricciardo is the only driver to break the Mercedes stranglehold on winning this season with victories in Canada, Hungary and then Belgium in his first season with the champions. His car should be much more suited to tackling the demands of Singapore's tight, floodlit street circuit than the sweeping curves and long straights at Monza where the Mercedes drivers finished one-two.

Ricciardo sits third in the driver's standings on 166 points with six rounds remaining, 72 behind leader Nico Rosberg, but is confident he and champion team mate Sebastian Vettel can be more competitive in Singapore than in Italy, where they finished fifth and sixth respectively.

"I believe we will be the second best team out of the box tomorrow. The question is how close can we get to Mercedes. I definitely think we are going to be closer than Monza," said Ricciardo.

"This is obviously a track that should help us out a bit more."

Vettel has won the Singapore Grand Prix for the last three years on a 23-turn layout that seems tailor-made for the Red Bull, a dominance Ricciardo is hoping to continue this time around.

"If we can be within a couple of tenths (of a second per lap) then that would be good result... it means we can race with them on Sunday and I expect to be a couple of tenths in front of the next best team," he added.

"All going well, we should be on the podium."