Fernando Alonso has ruled Daniel Ricciardo out of the battle for the 2014 drivers’ championship, despite the Red Bull man recording his third win of the season during Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo took advantage of a controversial collision between Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on the second lap of the race to secure a second consecutive victory on the bounce.
With the Englishman retiring from the race late on, and his team-mate only able to recover to second after an early stop to replace a damaged nose, Ricciardo cut the gap to championship leader Rosberg to 64 points, and moves within 35 points of second place man Hamilton.
However, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has dismissed the Australian’s hopes of a maiden world title in 2014, saying the prospect of any non-Mercedes driver winning the championship this year is unrealistic, owing to the teams advantage over its rivals.
“No, I don’t think so,” responded Alonso when asked if he believed Ricciardo was a realistic title challenger. “Obviously he’s doing an amazing job and he’s surprising everyone, but the Mercedes advantage… in qualifying they were two seconds clear.
“When they finish the races they will keep increasing their advantage.”
The Spaniard did admit though that if anyone is to now cause an upset, however unlikely that may be, it will have to be the Red Bull man.
“But if any of the rest can do it, at the moment it’s only Ricciardo.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic