Ricciardo happy to be world title 'king-maker'


Austin (AFP)

Australian Daniel Ricciardo believes he has a perfect solution to Mercedes’ internal battle for the world Formula One drivers title -– let him win to keep everyone happy.

The beaming Red Bull driver said he knew he had the potential to play a role as a possible 'king-maker' in the title race.

"The best thing is that I win the race and that keeps everyone happy,” he laughed.

But, he warned, Sunday’s race could be a feisty and dramatic affair if he and his Red Bull team can maintain the performance levels they delivered in practice on Friday when he split the Silver Arrows in second practice.

Nico Rosberg, who leads his Mercedes team-mate defending champion Lewis Hamilton by 33 points with four races remaining, wound up fastest ahead of Ricciardo.

Hamilton was third.

“It was okay, but I had a minor problem that we will have fixed for tomorrow,” he said.

Rosberg said he was aware of the threat from Red Bull.

“They are fast and competitive, just like they have been in the last few races," said the German.

Mercedes have given Rosberg a new engine and several other new power unit parts for this weekend, a move that may give him an edge over Hamilton.