Reuters: Red Bull unveiled a new look for a new era last week but lead driver Daniel Ricciardo wasn’t entirely optimistic about his team’s chances in the upcoming season as Australian gears up for the start of the Formula One season in Melbourne next month.
Red Bull finished fourth overall in the constructors championship last year, with no race victories.
The launch of the team’s 2016 livery and Puma-designed apparel in London was designed to fuel a new era of optimism in the organisation but Ricciardo said he was being realistic and knows that the team has a long way to go before catching Mercedes, who have won the last two championships, led by Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia speeds his new RB12 F1 car during the first testing session ahead the upcoming season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain, February 22, 2016. REUTERS
“I wouldn’t say I am worried but I am not going to come out of here with heaps of optimism saying we are going to be fighting with Mercedes straight away. I am still realistic about it and I am sure we are still not going to be the quickest power unit in the first race but I think there is more optimism this year that we can find more from it, find more progress. I think after four, five races we should be able to get some more legs behind it and hopefully that gives us a real chance later on,” said the Australian, who remained in typically amiable form.
Ricciardo, who won three races in 2014, suffered last year but is hopeful that this time he can get a race victory, even if it means relying on his rivals slipping up in wet conditions.
“I think my target is to get back in the winner’s column so I am aware it might not happen very often but if it can happen once then I will make it happen and a wet race or a street circuit can be the place. So that is what I have got my sights set on,” said the 26-year-old.
Winners of four drivers’ and constructors’ titles between 2010 and 2013, Red Bull’s relations with Renault frayed badly last year as their engine proved underpowered compared to champions Mercedes and Ferrari.