Ricciardo to put feet up before 2017 F1 campaign

Daniel Ricciardo, of Red Bull Racing, in action  at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhab.i
Daniel Ricciardo, of Red Bull Racing, in action at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhab.i SRDJAN SUKI

MOTORSPORT: Daniel Ricciardo says he plans to "put my feet up" back home in Australia "in the sun" before launching into another Formula One championship tilt in 2017.

"I'm not going to get too caught up with thinking about next year," the 27-year-old said after finishing an equal-best third in 2016 following the final race in Abu Dhabi.

"But if we woke up in February for testing and the car's quick then you'll see me fighting for it (the title)."

As German Nico Rosberg sealed his first championship from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull's Ricciardo finished fifth in the season-ender to cap a successful year, but one with missed opportunities.

He was left to lament pitting early in Abu Dhabi which cost him his ninth podium finish in 2016.

"We had the supersofts (tyres) at the start and it was still going pretty well," Ricciardo said.

"For sure it was close but we didn't pull it off and that really hurt me.

"I think we should have just gone long and one-stopped, but, in hindsight, it's always easy to say.”

It was a similar story earlier in the year in Spain, which followed a bungled tyre change in Monaco.

"We pitted a few too many times this year in general," Ricciardo said. "But we'll learn from that and hopefully next year we improve on that."

With the one win in Malaysia, Ricciardo equalled his 2014 effort of finishing third in the series, and recording a career-best 256 points - yet was 129 points behind Rosberg.

"It's definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points," he said.

"I got amongst it when I could so I think it was a good 2016 for sure."

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