• Second Bahrain Test - Day One

'We are confident we can still be up there' - Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
February 27, 2014 « Perez fastest as Red Bull struggles | 'I've seen worse winters' - Raikkonen »
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Daniel Ricciardo is sure Red Bull has made progress despite being limited to just 39 laps on his penultimate day in the car ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull has just three days to get the new RB10 sorted ahead of the season-opener, but on Thursday stumbled across more problems while trying to get the car to run reliably. Despite the lack of mileage, Ricciardo said the team still felt like it had made good progress.

"From the outside it's just lap times and the amount of laps we are doing, but from the inside we know where we are with how much performance we are putting in the car," he said. "We are confident we can still be up there [with the front runners], but it's hard to say. I think it's clear that we won't come to Melbourne and dominate like the team finished last year, but it's still very early to say.

"Mercedes is probably a clear team that is consistently at the front at the moment, but the rest is still a bit of an unknown. I think we just need to focus on ourselves and get more laps in. The morning was better and we made progress in terms of laps we were doing and also the whole package was working better. Then we hit a few problems, but what we did on track today was the most positive stuff we've done. It's still not enough laps but at least we are going in the right direction.

"It's not really a main problem. We fix one thing and another problem arises. With the way it works, it all needs to feed onto each other and if one thing doesn't work then it plays on to the next. There are a few things but there are many boxes to tick and we are slowly ticking them."

Renault has brought an uprated power unit that to the final test that has allowed its teams to run the engine at full power. Ricciardo said the difference was notable.

"In terms of power, we have definitely made a step forward when I drove this morning. We got hit with other problems in the afternoon, but when the car was on track this morning it was feeling a lot more like a race car and everything was working better together. If we can work on that for the next few days it will be a big help for the first race."

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