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Australian Daniel Ricciardo: Red Bull need to favour me over Sebastian Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo asked Red Bull to favour him over team-mate Sebastian Vettel in a desperate late bid to win the Formula 1 Championship.

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Following an impressive fifth-placed finish at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, Australian hopeful Ricciardo finds himself third in the drivers' championship with 166 points behind Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg (238) and Lewis Hamilton (216).

Hamilton put the recent tensions with Rosberg behind him to win at Spa, but with the temporary truce between the pair likely to erupt at any time, Ricciardo believes he still has a big chance to take top honours.

And he's hoping Red Bull agree by implementing strategies that can maximise his push for the title over the year's last six races.

"My lead is around 60 points over Seb [Vettel]," Ricciardo told reporters after the race.

"I would love to be quicker on merit and not need team orders, but the next couple of tracks are perfect for us so if we need to make any decisions if we can challenge Mercedes for the title then I am sure they will be made."

Red Bull principal Christian Horner, however, produced the diplomatic of responses when asked about team strategies heading into the next race in Singapore, as he looks to ensure a rift doesn't develop between Ricciardo and Vettel.

And, having seen Horner in the middle of the rift between Vettel and Aussie Mark Webber, it's not hard to see why he's playing a straight bat.

"We'll let them race as we trust them," said Horner in quotes from the F1 website.

"They race each other hard but extremely fairly. The points difference between Daniel and the two Mercedes is enormous, so it does not make any sense for us to interfere."

Horner said a more aggressive strategy for Vettel failed to pay dividends in Italy.

"So far it's been a difficult year for Seb, but that is not down to his own making," Horner said.

"On the other side Daniel has been driving incredibly well, so the credit should be given to Daniel and how he has been driving.

"Sebastian seemed to be reasonably happy with the car in the early stages of the race, so it was not a lack of pace today but the way the different strategy worked out."

Ricciardo started from ninth but Horner said his pace late in the race surprised the team.

"Some of Daniel's moves were spectacular, with huge precision - and Seb's defending of his position was also great racing," he said in another attempt to be as diplomatic as possible to the pair.

"It was a fantastic afternoon for the fans.

"And if anybody ever had a question mark over Daniel's overtaking skills before he joined Red Bull Racing, that this was a fantastic demonstration today.

"I think that Daniel"s progress through the field was much quicker than we had expected and the degradation on Seb's car went up significantly towards the end."

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