After finishing second in the Constructors’ championship to Mercedes in 2014 after four years of winning both championships, the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team are focused on regaining their place at the top of the championship in 2015.
The team have retained the services of one of last year’s outstanding drivers in the form of the popular and ever-smiling Australian Daniel Ricciardo, while promoting Russian Daniil Kvyat from sister-team Scuderia Toro Rosso to the second seat after Sebastian Vettel departed the team to race for Scuderia Ferrari.
Ricciardo feels in confident mood ahead of the new season, and will take the reigns of the RB11 for the first time during the opening day of the pre-season test at Jerez on Sunday.
“I feel really good coming into the 2015 season,” said Daniel. “After last year I come in with a bit of confidence and I’m really just ready to keep going from where I left off last year.
“I’m aware that third was a great result in the championship but I would love that big trophy and a few more trips to the top step. First, look at the wins, try to rack up a few more of those and hopefully that results in a good title fight.”
Ricciardo joked that his alter ego, the Honey Badger, is eager to get on with the job, and insists that he’ll be hungry to fight at the front of the field when the season begins properly in Australia next month.
“The honey badger is good,” joked Ricciardo. “He hasn’t done too much damage over the last month or two so I’d say by Melbourne he’ll start getting hungry. You obviously want to save a bit for the beginning of the season. He’ll have a pretty good appetite by March.”
Ricciardo’s new team-mate Kvyat is excited to be stepping up into a front running team in 2015, only a year after making his Formula 1 debut with Toro Rosso, where, ironically, he had replaced Ricciardo. Kvyat will have his first test in the RB11 on Monday.
“It’s going to be very exciting to drive a Red Bull racing car for the first time for me,” said Kvyat. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to finally getting into the car. It’s going to be cool.
“In a way it’s starting from zero, though many people in the team know me quite well there is still the challenge of entering a new team for myself. However, I haven’t really set any targets for 2015. I just want to keep doing the best job possible with hard work and the right attitude and that’s the best thing I can do.”
Kvyat believes there will be no issues about racing alongside Ricciardo in the team, having both been a part of the Red Bull Junior Team for a number of years, and feels they will help propel the team forward.
“Me and Daniel have known each other for quite a long time – about five or six years – from when I entered the Red Bull Junior Team,” added Kvyat. “We have a good relationship and I hope to have a strong relationship based on healthy competition, which will push the team forward.”