Lotus gambled to try to beat Red Bull

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Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane said Romain Grosjean lost out to Mark Webber at the end of the race because the team took a gamble on trying to beat both the Red Bulls.

Grosjean led almost half of the race but was passed by both Red Bulls during his final stint.

“What we could have done, and we discussed it at the time, was to forget about [Sebastian] Vettel and assume he was going to beat us anyway so go longer on that second stint,” Permane told Autosport.

“We may then have beaten Mark. But at the time we said, let’s just try and win. Let’s give it a go.”

“To gamble with second and third wasn’t a huge thing for us,” Permane added, because the team were already comfortably out-scoring Mercedes and Ferrari.

It was the second race in a row Lotus have taken points off their closest championship rivals, meaning the contest for second place in the teams’ points is very much a three-way fight. Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus are covered by 33 points with 172 up for grabs before the end of the season.

A key factor in Lotus’s recent gains has been the improving form of Grosjean. He scored podium finish in the last two races and was on course for another in Singapore before suffering an engine problem.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”