Ricciardo is pleased to see his team’s stature change, formerly AlphaTauri and now Visa Cash App RB. During the VCARB01 presentation, the Australian discussed how the team is preparing.
“There’s a lot of new personnel, big partners coming in,” Ricciardo told F1.com. “The team has always taken itself seriously, but I feel this is a new step. It’s no longer just a platform for Red Bull Racing; it’s time for us to fight at the front.”
“I like what’s happened, the changes that have taken place. There’s something in the team, the mindset is a bit different, kind of like we have something to prove. It’s cool. It’s fun.”
Asked about the team’s goals at the start of the season, as it takes on many solutions from the formidable Red Bull RB19, Ricciardo does not hold back and thinks that aiming for the top five regularly might be feasible, though he remains cautious.
“You have to aim high, but having been in this sport for so long, you have to stay realistic not to end up disappointed. Aiming for a few top 5s should be a goal, and if we reach this position, maybe a few podiums will come our way.”
“Of course, we want to win, I think we made progress last year, so let’s take a few more steps. I think top 5s are within reach and could be during the first half of the season. I like to think so.”
“Many reasons to stay optimistic”
After a winter in Australia, Ricciardo is ready to hit the road again, and he assures he has perfected his preparation. According to him, it was less difficult to get back in shape than his rivals, having had a shorter 2023 season.
“I feel good. I didn’t need as long an offseason as the others, with a short 2023 year. It’s always nice to go home, but I didn’t need to disconnect as much.”
“It’s like a pre-season now, I’ve had all that, I’ve had the preparation, I got a bit of a head start last year, so I know the team well. In Bahrain, there’s nothing left to wait for. I can’t predict where we’ll finish, but from a preparation standpoint, there are no more questions.”
“I didn’t feel like I was sitting on the couch during the offseason. I stayed mentally in it, so getting back in the car won’t feel like I haven’t driven for months, so I plan to get right back into it.”
Ricciardo is convinced the team will capitalize on the lessons learned last year and continue on the upward slope the team saw at the end of the 2023 season.
“By developing the car at the end of last season, we found things that initially worked for me. Then, I think Yuki [Tsunoda] found the car’s strengths with his driving style, making a good GP in Abu Dhabi. There are many reasons to stay optimistic before the start of the year.”
Ricciardo Visa Cash App RB. Ricciardo Visa Cash App RB
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