Ricciardo feels RBR can win anywhere
20 October 2017 – Daniel Ricciardo reckons Red Bull can now fight for victory at each Grand Prix, after making gains with its RB13 across the second half of the campaign.
Red Bull lagged behind rivals Mercedes and Ferrari during the opening half of the season, regularly a lonely third, amid correlation issues with its chassis, accentuated by engine deficiencies.
However, Ricciardo charged forward to fourth in Italy, took successive podiums across the Asian flyaway races, while Max Verstappen triumphed in Malaysia and chased Lewis Hamilton to the line in Japan.
Ricciardo is confident that Red Bull now has the pace to take victory if it maximises its potential at each Grand Prix weekend, and is no longer reliant on Mercedes or Ferrari encountering a hiccup.
"Yes, it seems like that," said Ricciardo, when it was put to him that Red Bull can win anywhere.
"The race pace in the last few races has been good, and this track [the Circuit of the Americas] typically has been a pretty good one for us.
"Obviously we need to be at our best to win, it is not going to come easy, but if we execute [it] then we have a chance to win.
"I still think if we get it all right we can be there whether they [Mercedes/Ferrari] do or not.
"[In] Malaysia I don't think Mercedes got it wrong, their pace just was not as strong.
"If Ferrari execute well, then they have probably the quickest car, but it does not seem like it is easy to do every weekend, so if we focus on ourselves we can be in a position regardless."
When asked whether Red Bull's recent gains had been down to new parts or a better understanding in setting up its chassis, Ricciardo admitted to a split mindset.
"We've had a few updates, but now it has been more … it is a good question, I don't really know," he said.
"The updates have worked and… it is kind of the same every season, by this point you kind of know where to set the car up and therefore the window feels bigger.
"We have more knowledge than we did at the start of the year, that on top of the updates working make it easier to hit the sweet spot.
"So we know what we want in the car now where for sure the first few races it was tricky to manage.
"These cars in general can still be on a knife edge, they can still snap and catch you at points, but I feel we are more in control of that now."