SPA, Belgium (AP) — As Mercedes tries to get to grips with the latest dispute between its two bickering drivers in their tussle for the Formula One title, Red Bull is quietly enjoying an encouraging return to form.
It has been a difficult season for Red Bull, which had won the past four drivers' and constructors' championships thanks to the previous dominance of its car and the consistency of four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel.
The roles have been reversed, with Mercedes rolling over everyone for most of the campaign and Vettel struggling.
Red Bull has won the past two races, however, with Daniel Ricciardo following his success at the Hungarian Grand Prix with another win at Sunday's Belgian GP.
In those races, Mercedes finished third and second, conceding some ground in the constructors' championship.
Down in sixth place overall, Vettel is showing signs that he can be more competitive. The German driver has qualified in the top three positions three times in the past four races; compared to three times in the first eight.
Although Mercedes still has a huge constructors' lead with 411 points to Red Bull's 254, Ricciardo is optimistic he can add to this three GP wins so far.
"I see good things ahead," the Australian driver said. "If we can collect maximum points (in Spa) it gives us a bit more hope for the races that are coming up later in the season, Singapore, Suzuka (Japan). We'll see how it goes in Monza (Italian GP)."
Picking up maximum points on Belgium's vast Spa track was unexpected — due to the superior straight-line speed of Mercedes — even if Ricciardo's win was somewhat helped by the clash between Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Ricciardo is 35 points behind Hamilton, but with double points on offer in the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi in November, he remains hopeful of catching the 2008 champion.
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