Red Bull star Daniel Ricciardo accepts the team have a huge gap to close on rivals Mercedes and Ferrari but was delighted to claim a first podium of the season in Spain.
Mercedes have been the dominant force in the sport for the last three years but Ferrari have stepped up to mount a strong challenge this term.
Red Bull were hoping to be among the group of title contenders but they have not been able to keep pace in the opening five Grands Prix.
Ricciardo, who is priced at 15.00 to win the Monaco GP, and team-mate Max Verstappen currently sit fifth and sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, having claimed 37 and 35 points respectively.
The Australian secured his first podium finish of the campaign at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend but was more concerned about the gap between himself and the front two.
The RB13 car did appear to show improved pace during qualifying in Barcelona but Ricciardo was left trailing 75 seconds behind Sunday’s race winner Lewis Hamilton and second-placed Sebastian Vettel.
“I’m aware of the gap to the leaders, I think they lapped up to fourth place, to Perez behind me, so I was the next place, the next victim,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1.
“I was wondering if they lapped me and then take each other out, do I win the race but get lapped, how does that work!? But to be honest right now, I’m aware still of our deficit but I’m just trying to soak up the podium.”