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Horner - Hamilton 'foolish' to discard Ricciardo

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Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner says Lewis Hamilton is wrong to underestimate Daniel Ricciardo as a 2018 title contender.

The Mercedes driver and four-time world champion concocted his own short list of the strongest drivers in F1, citing Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen as the three men he fears the most.

But Horner sees no reason why Daniel Ricciardo isn't on Hamilton's list.

"Lewis would be very foolish to underestimate Daniel," Horner told Sky Sports News.

"He's a phenomenal driver, he's arguably the best overtaker in the business. He's driven some great races this year and some great races in his time at Red Bull.

"He's absolutely ready for a championship challenge if we can provide him with the tools to do the job."

The Aussie ended his 2017 campaign with just one win under his belt, having been dealt - just like his team mate - his fair share of bitter DNFs by Renault's reliability issues.

The Red Bull Racing boss has no doubts however that his team and drivers will be a force to be reckoned with in 2018.

"If you look at the number of points we have given away through unreliability, it's close to 160," Horner said.

"Engine reliability has hit us really hard. At the beginning of the year we undelivered on the chassis, we didn't hit the ground running.

"We understood those problems quickly and moved to address them quickly.

"I'm really excited that we've got the strongest driver pairing in Formula 1," Horner added.

"Max and Daniel, they push each other to such high limits and that's tremendously exciting for us."

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