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Ricciardo: 'Seb is flying at the moment!'

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Daniel Ricciardo is banking on Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel to capitalise on their strong pre-season pace when the season kicks off in Melbourne next week.

Disregarding Red Bull's own performance in Spain, Ricciardo is actually rooting for his former team mate, hoping Ferrari can know Mercedes off its dominant position.

"From the first test day, Ferrari made a very good impression," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I hope they keep it up because it would be nice if someone could fight Mercedes.

"They've improved a little of everything and they also seem to be very good on these tyres. I also know that when (Sebastian) Vettel has a good car, he can be the strongest."

The Honey Badger isn't currently worried about his team's own pace, although he insisted Red Bull were playing the 'sandbagging' game in Catalonia.

"I wish!" he said.

"I'm relaxed. I remember all the problems we had in testing in 2014 but we won three races. So even if we're a bit behind in Melbourne, I'm not worried.

"In identical conditions, we are roughly where the best cars are, but we're not there yet.

"I think sooner or later we will begin to fight for the top positions -- hopefully in Melbourne! We're also in good shape, but we need a little more speed.

"Wouldn't it be great if three teams were fighting for the title?" Ricciardo smiled.

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