Daniel Ricciardo heads into the Belgian Grand Prix in a positive frame of mind after his first podium finish of 2015 last time out in Hungary, and feels the result at the Hungaroring has given him reassurance that this year’s Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB11 chassis is finally performing well.
The Australian, who took victory at Spa-Francorchamps in 2014, understands the team are still not ideally placed due to the power deficiencies from its Renault power unit, but the result in Hungary bodes well for the team moving forward.
“Obviously the overall result from Budapest was great, but the big positive for us as a team was that the car was working well,” said Ricciardo. “Sure we know the lack of power let’s say, with the engine, but there’s been times this year when the chassis has been under-performing as well.
“But the last few races, particularly Budapest, it was if we get it in the sweet spot, it’s back to where it was last year.
“It’s a very strong car. I think our understanding now of where the sweet spot is a lot better, and I have confidence that we’ll now find it more often than not.
“The car is coming a long way. We’re getting a few updates here and there, which are helping.”
Renault are set to bring a revised power unit to the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in October, with the Australian believing that it could bring Red Bull back on par with Ferrari, although he remains cautious about just how big a leap the jump in performance will be.
“Let’s say on paper, if we gain the horsepower and everything that we should, it should put us in a good position,” added Ricciardo. “You’d think it would put us comfortably alongside Ferrari. But again it’s one of those things.
“On the dyno sometimes you might see something, but when you put it on track you might see something else. I’ll always downplay it a bit. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised, than let down.
“It could be a very big turning point in our season, and obviously for next year as well. I guess time will tell for now.”