Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull are in a more competitive position than it might have appeared from pre-season testing.
Red Bull only posted the seventh-quickest time of the eight days spent at the Circuit de Catalunya. However they were one of few teams not to set their fastest lap time on the softest tyre available.
“If you look back at last year, for sure we’re in a better position,” said Ricciardo in a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
“I think the times we put down in testing I don’t think have shown that yet but obviously we’re coming here this weekend with a lot more confidence and reliability.”
He said the team are in a much stronger position than last year, when they arrived in Melbourne following a badly disrupted pre-season testing schedule.
“We’ve actually got a plan for Sunday where last year it was just ‘OK, let’s put the car on the track and hope to see the chequered flag’,” said Ricciardo. “So within the team obviously there’s a lot more that’s progressed since then.”
“With myself obviously I’ve moved along, I fee a long way, I’m a more evolved driver and have a bigger impact within the team. Obviously spending the 12 months there that I have now. It’s all there on the table ready for us to use and pursue to put up another strong fight.”
Although chief technical officer Adrian Newey was expected to play a less active role in the development of the team’s new car, Ricciardo says he’s already having more input than many predicted.
“Adrian’s here this weekend. I’ve been asked a little bit about him and how much he’s stepped back – I don’t want to put him in the spotlight but he was in all the tests and he’s here this weekend. Looks like he’s already probably done more than he thought he would.
“I think he’s still very much interested in the RB11. From what I can see the team definitely wants to get back on top. Obviously it was an off year for them from their standards last year. I don’t think we’re too keen to let Mercedes get any further away.”
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24 comments on “Testing masked Red Bull’s gains – Ricciardo”
12th March 2015, 5:30
My intuition says that – after winning four consecutive championships – Red Bull are in for a big slump, similar to McLaren after they lost Honda in the early 90’s, or Williams after the 1998 regulation changes, or Ferrari after the 2009 regulation changes. Every giant tends to have a big slump after a period of domination.
They’ve lost Prodromou and Newey is taking a step back, those two guys who were key to their fast cars from 2009-2013. They have also lost a lot of their aero advantage over the competition now all those exhaust blowing tricks are banned (a concept RBR always understood better than anyone else) Obviously the limited engine development and Renault’s deficit to Mercedes isn’t helping them either. I’d say that Vettel has left the team at the right time.
I believe that the Red Bull era is pretty much over, but then again, that is just my hunch. They could very well be second best again in 2015, who knows, but I personally doubt they will even get anything more than a few podiums here and there.
12th March 2015, 10:54
Considering what Red Bull achieved last year with that Renault engine, I feel you could not be further from the truth. Their aero package was still the class of the field! So much so it allowed them to mix it at the front when they really shouldn’t have been able too. The fact that they have now further integrated the engine development into the team means that they will undoubtedly catch up.
12th March 2015, 15:46
ftfy “Their aero package was still the class of the field, apart from Mercedes”
12th March 2015, 17:23
I agree, I think Red Bull will remain a force for the foreseeable future.
13th March 2015, 1:22
I see where you’re coming from, but I liken RBRs 2014 season to that of McLaren/Ferrari after winning their respective champtionships in 2008. All their resources into making the most of the formula at the time, which cost them when the formula radically shifted for the following season, yet they were still able to manage victories as the season progressed.
It’s still unclear what the loss of Prodromou and Newey will do in the long term, but given what they were able to achieve last year, I’d be very surprised if they fell way off as a team (i.e. back to their pre-2009 levels of performance).
12th March 2015, 5:31
Should be close between Williams and Red Bull for the 2nd fastest car… Don’t see Ricciardo taking 3 wins this season though
David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard)
12th March 2015, 6:18
@todfod Becuas eKvyat will instead? :P
12th March 2015, 10:14
Kvyat was pretty impressive last year… I think he’ll fare better against Ricciardo than Vettel did
12th March 2015, 6:38
I would add Ferrari in the mix.
12th March 2015, 10:14
Maybe on some circuits…
12th March 2015, 6:53
Ricciardo is talking too much these days
12th March 2015, 8:49
People are asking him the questions.
12th March 2015, 17:24
It’s also his home race so he is obviously going to be the subject of a great deal of media attention.
12th March 2015, 22:17
@ Optimaximal “People are asking him the questions.”
I love quick, direct responses! Awesome! I very much like hearing from Danny Ric. He is honest, direct, funny and a real racer with probably more drive than anyone on the grid. He helps fill the Aussie void after Webber left.
12th March 2015, 7:21
2015 @kingshark Nom my intuition says RBR is right at the sharp end again. I think their aero and chassis is the best, but the PU is both heavier and weaker than mercedes albeit an evolution in last years, but still stronger than Ferrari’s. Rbr is going end in exactly the same position as 2014. At this moment in time their pace is masked by their pre-season nose, it wasn’t made to cope with their rear end, when that comes forward they should be okay.
12th March 2015, 7:37
From testing, isn’t it likely that the Ferrari engine is actually stronger now @peartree?
I agree that we can’t ignore them, and I do hope Ricciardo is right and they are ready to fight with Ferrari and Williams right from the off (probably better aero still, but others better engine), and maybe even closer to Merc. than we thought two weeks ago, but I can’t see them quite go head to head with Merc either.
13th March 2015, 4:34
@bosyber No, the Ferrari PU is still very poor, the red light at the back was reportedly still blinking all over the track meaning that Ferrari is probably still suffering with energy recuperation issues.
After watching FP1 I can confirm that Ferrari is still lacking battery charge, possibly just with this unit they brought to Melbourne.
12th March 2015, 7:25
Lets see how it goes in the race first. Sure, RBR is better, but last year they had Hamilton dropping out in front of them, Massa’s race ended in the first graveltrap and they were helped with burning more fuel than allowed (which they now shouldn’t need for the same speed, see Renault claimed improved fuel efficiency). Sure, McLAren is unlikely to be as close up but then Ferrari and Lotus will be probably be in the mix
12th March 2015, 8:01
“Obviously” in 5 out of 10 sentences.
12th March 2015, 9:28
12th March 2015, 8:21
Have I missed something? When has RBR run the car in its championship livery? Did it have a filming day?
12th March 2015, 9:41
They had filming day after the third test at Barcelona
12th March 2015, 9:42
Meant as a reply to @countrygent
12th March 2015, 10:01
@tdog Now THAT is a promotional video! Red Bull may have just become my favourite team!
Comments are closed.