As Formula One prepares for the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, one question is whether Daniel Ricciardo can do the improbable: Win his third consecutive race.
Ricciardo (pronounced Ric-ar-do) is a 25-year-old Australian rookie driver for the Red Bull Racing team, and together they've slowed the Mercedes juggernaut of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton that's dominated much of the season.
Of the 12 races held so far, Hamilton has won five, Rosberg four and Ricciardo three.
Ricciardo won the Canadian Grand Prix in early June. He then captured the race in Hungary in late July and won the following race in Belgium last month after Rosberg and Hamilton collided early in the event.
Rosberg still leads Formula One's championship standings by 29 points over Hamilton, and Rosberg has a 64-point lead over the third-place Ricciardo.
That's likely too big a gap for Ricciardo to close in hopes of winning the title. But there are still seven races left, including the U.S. Grand Prix on Nov. 2 at the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas.
In addition, Formula One this year is awarding double points at its season finale, in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 23. So if Ricciardo gets within striking range of the Mercedes drivers by then, he might still have a chance.
For now, Ricciardo and the others have their sights set on the famed Monza track in northern Italy, just north of Milan, for the Italian Grand Prix.
The crowd naturally will be mostly rooting for Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso, a two-time Formula One champion, has yet to win this year but the Spaniard is fourth in the title standings, 99 points behind Rosberg.
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