Thuesday, 13 february 2018, 09:34 , by Matthew Scott
Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he is eager for immediate success in the 2018 Formula One campaign and wants to get on the podium in the very first Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne, which just so happens to be in his native Australia.
Ricciardo, along with Max Verstappen, is hoping to catapult Red Bull on to the same level as Mercedes and Ferrari who were the main competitors for the constructor's championship last season.
He admits that, last year, the team of the energy drink manufacturer knew they were behind Mercedes and Ferrari, but this winter appears to be different behind the scenes.
"Last year we realised already at the winter tests that we were behind Mercedes and Ferrari," the Australian Ricciardo told Speed Week.
"This year we want to be in good shape from the beginning. We want to be on the podium in the first race."
Red Bull suffered some engine reliability issues with Renault last season, but insists the French manufacturer has improved their parts this time around
"It is clear that the reliability and efficiency are better now.
"We are working hard with the aerodynamics and if our calculations are correct, then we will be in good shape in Melbourne and fighting for a place in the top three."
“From the power unit side, reliability looks like it’s in a better place already, and the first race is still six weeks or so away.
“But, aerodynamically things look on target. If she runs on track as it is in the simulator at the moment then we should be in a better position in Melbourne, and hopefully at least fight for a podium.”