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Ricciardo claims Mercedes car "a big part" of Hamilton's success

Written by  Dec 05, 2017

Daniel Ricciardo believes the dominance of Mercedes' cars has played a "big part" in Lewis Hamilton's success since the start of the hybrid engine era in 2014.

The Briton has won just over half of the 79 races in the last four seasons, however, in that time, the Brackley-based team has often been in their own fighting amongst themselves such has been the superiority of their power unit combined with a strong chassis.

That changed a little this year with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel becoming a greater threat but teams like Red Bull and McLaren still are not capable of matching the German manufacturer and that has meant Hamilton hasn't had the competition of drivers arguably of similar ability.

“Lewis has won three of the last four championships, but if he was in a midfield team he wouldn't have three of the last four championships,” Ricciardo pointed out.

“The car is a big part of it, but you need to be a good driver to get the equipment to the top. You need both but it's still a bit more dominant with the car than the driver, I'd say maybe 75 percent to 25 percent.”

The gap is closing between Mercedes and the rest and effort are being made by new F1 owners Liberty Media to expediate that process but the Australian wants the imbalance between car and driver in determining performance to be addressed, claiming it would dramatically improve the show.

"If we make it a bit more equal by bringing the driver in a bit more and taking the equipment out then that would be better,” he said. “A 50/50 would be something more realistic in the near future and hopefully that's the case.

“Even from Lewis to the guy that's coming last, maybe the lap time says three seconds but the driver is maximum one second. We are all a lot closer than that and it would be great if we could all stay within one second with the equipment because then the racing would be pretty fun."

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