Daniel Ricciardo is keen for Red Bull to be the lead team chasing Mercedes at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
In Malaysia, Sebastian Vettel finished third behind Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, while Ricciardo was fourth in Bahrain having started outside the race top ten. While the team had issues with the RB10 during the two-day Bahrain test last week, Ricciardo said it is clear the car is getting quicker and he hopes it is enough to put Red Bull at the front of the chasing pack.
“I think it is [improving], also we have to look at the performance at the weekend [in Bahrain] and it was good,” Ricciardo said. “Obviously we don't go back this year, but I think we understood some things over the weekend and in the couple of days [testing], so I hope in China we can be … probably not the first best team but hopefully we can be the second best.”
With Red Bull losing time due to a lack of top speed from its Renault engine compared to Mercedes, asked if he was dreading the long back straight in Shanghai, Ricciardo replied: “Maybe!
“We'll see. I think the track rewards fairly good aerodynamics – besides obviously the long straight – but hopefully we make up enough time in the first few sectors and the compromise we lose on the straight will not outshine it.”