Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull can be proud of the way it has made substantial improvements to its chassis over the course of the 2015 F1 season, suggesting it is now as good as Mercedes'.
With just the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix remaining, Red Bull is facing its first win-less season in F1 since 2008, a dip in performance largely attributed to the shortcomings of the Renault power unit.
It is a factor that was brought into sharper focus last time out in Brazil when the updated engine failed to represent a step forward compared with the erstwhile unit.
As a result, Red Bull will revert back to the former engine for the 2015 finale this weekend, with Ricciardo admitting he is frustrated the power unit has hampered his efforts this year, going as far to say he would win races with the right engine.
Despite this, Ricciardo says he is nonetheless impressed with the way Red Bull has evolved the chassis from early troubles to one he believes is as good as any on the grid.
“It's frustrating,” he admitted. “If we had more power we could probably win races, but at the same time it's quite cool that we know we have good guys in the team and we have a good car. It's frustrating but it is quite rewarding because the guys know the work they are doing is working.
“For me, we didn't have the quickest car at the start of the year, the chassis had some deficiencies, but I think what the team has done is make the chassis pretty much back to where it was last year, which is as good as the Mercedes.”
Indeed, Ricciardo believes changing the engine back is the right move for Red Bull this weekend, particularly for Ricciardo in his battle for leading status with team-mate Daniil Kvyat, who benefited from using the old unit in Brazil.
“At least it is even, and there is no 'he's got this and he's got that'. So put both in the car and then neither of us as any reasons to complain or make excuses.”