Daniel Ricciardo is confident he still has more to come despite beating Sebastian Vettel in the last two grands prix.
While Vettel retired early from the Australian Grand Prix and finished third in Malaysia, Ricciardo responded to beat his team-mate in straight fights in both Bahrain and China. Asked if he was surprised to have started his Red Bull career so strongly, Ricciardo played down the significance of the early results but expects both drivers to improve as the season goes on.
“I don't know how much of it is a surprise; obviously I have a lot of belief and confidence in myself, I think otherwise it's hard to get to this level without believing in yourself,” Ricciardo said. “At the same time I think it's still very early. I think a lot of people are talking as if the season's finished and it's like I beat him quite easily over the season.
“I think it's still very early and obviously things have been going very well for me and I'm happy with that, I feel good behind the wheel. Confidence and everything is growing and growing, I still see progress to come from my side and then we'll see.
“I'm sure Sebastian will get back up to four-time world champion speed but at the same time I think I genuinely am doing a good job, but we've still got three guys who have finished in front of us in the last few races that we want to catch. It's not only an in-team fight that I'm looking at, it's obviously the fight with the others around us.”
And Ricciardo believes if he can keep up his good form he may be able to convince Red Bull to back him later in the year if required.
“I would say we're still on an even playing field. I think it's too early for the team to say 'Yep, you're the number one guy, let's listen to you more than the other guy'! We have to see. If it was to continue like this up until August then maybe things will change but it's definitely still too early and obviously Seb has quite a lot more experience than me and he's providing a lot of good feedback for the team.
“To be honest I'm still learning from that and from him. Even in the debriefs and everything I'm still trying to understand the best way to get my point across to the team. There's still a lot going on, but it's all good.”