The Ferrari-Mercedes duopoly could be a tough nut to crack but Ricciardo is determined.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is targeting a podium finish at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday (9/4 Podium Finish) while he is adamant that Mercedes remain the team to catch in the 2017 Formula 1 campaign.

The 27-year-old Australian reflected his team’s poor stat to the season in his home grand prix in Melbourne as he crashed out of qualifying, before a gear box problem ended his race prematurely.

Ricciardo’s team-mate Max Verstappen did get 10 points on the board for the team with a fifth-placed finish as Ferrari and Mercedes dominated the top-four.

The target for Ricciardo is to try and break that monopoly in the second race of the season in Shanghai, although he does not believe that his Red Bull car is in a position to challenge for the chequered flag (20/1 Race Winner).

“To start and finish [in Shanghai], that’s my target,” Ricciardo told the South China Morning Post.

“To finish qualifying and to start the race. That will already be better than Melbourne. We want to get close to Ferrari and Mercedes. If we can get closer to the podium, that already will be a better result.

“A podium [finish] would be a strong weekend for us. That’s what we are targeting but we have to get closer to Ferrari and Mercedes. Progress is what we are chasing for now and hopefully that will put us closer to the podium.”

Formula 1’s new regulations, introduced to make faster, wider cars in 2017 had been expected to boost Red Bull, but it appears Ferrari are thriving with Sebastian Vettel winning the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Despite many feeling the Scuderia could end Mercedes’ three-year dominance in F1 this season, Ricciardo thinks the Silver Arrows still have the edge (Mercedes 8/15 Constructors Championship).

He added: “I still think Mercedes are the quickest package and they are the team to beat but it’s good that some people can take points away from them for now and hopefully gives us the chance to be in the fight.”

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Odds subject to change.