Daniel Ricciardo is confident Red Bull are better prepared for the start of the Formula 1 season and believes they will be among the quickest at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
The youngster goes into Sunday’s curtain raiser in Melbourne with high hopes of a podium finish after being denied a dream debut by disqualification last year.
The Australian crossed the line in second on his Red bull debut, behind race winner Nico Rosberg, before being excluded for breaching fuel consumption rules.
While Ricciardo admits Mercedes look set to continue their recent dominance of the sport this year after some impressive times in pre-season testing, he is confident Red Bull can challenge with closest rivals Ferrari and Williams.
“I think, if you look back at last year, for sure we’re in a better position,” he said. “I don’t think the times we put down in testing have shown that yet, but we’re coming here this weekend with a lot more confidence in reliability and have actually got a plan for Sunday whereas, last year, it was ‘put the car on the track and hope to see the chequered flag’.
“It looks pretty close and we’re in that group so we’ll see what happens on track.
“It does look like the Mercs have got a bit of pace again this year but, for that last step of the podium, it looks pretty close between us, Ferrari and Williams.”
Ricciardo is 15.00 to win the Australian Grand Prix and 17.00 to be crowned 2015 world champion while Red Bull can be backed at 21.00 to win the constructors’ championship.