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Ricciardo: Top-five results are on the table

Ricciardo: Top-fives should be a target

Ricciardo: Top-five results are on the table

Daniel Ricciardo issued an upbeat statement about Visa Cash App RB F1 Team’s (RB) chances in the 2024 Formula 1 season, claiming top five finishes should be on the cards.

The Australian was speaking during the launch event RB held in Las Vegas to launch their new car with which they will contest the 2024 F1 season, and which was named VCARB 01.

Ricciardo’s expectations are quite ambitious given the form of the team in 2023, when they were still named Scuderia AlphaTauri and finished the season eighth in the F1 Constructors’ Standings, a result only possible thanks to a late season upgrade to their car.

The team has undergone numerous changes in addition to the new branding with a new leadership – CEO Peter Bayer and Team Principal Laurent Mekies – in addition to various key technical hires.

Reflecting on the changes, Ricciardo told F1.com: “There are a lot of new personnel, some big partners coming onboard.

“The team has always taken itself seriously, but I feel like this is another step up. It’s no longer just a platform for Red Bull Racing, it’s a time for us to fight at the front of the midfield.

“I like what’s happened, the changes that have taken place. There’s something about the team, the mindset is a bit different, kind of like a point to prove. It’s cool. It’s fun,” the Honey Badger added.

As for the team’s 2024 potential, the 34-year-old added: “You have to aim high, but being in this sport so long, you want to remain realistic as you don’t want to end up ultimately disappointed.

“Top-fives should be a target and if we get into that position, maybe some podiums present themselves. Of course we want to win but, you know, let’s…I think we made steps last year, let’s make a few more steps.

“Do I think top-five results are on the table – and could they be on the table in the first half of the season? I’d like to think so,” the RB driver maintained.

Ricciardo: I didn’t need to let my hair down so much

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo is now gearing up for the new season, his second after his return to the Faenza outfit replacing Nyck de Vries midseason in 2023, but he insists he never felt he was off.

He said: “Feeling good. I didn’t need as much of an off season as everyone else, with a short 2023. It was still nice to go home, but I didn’t need to let my hair down so much.

“It’s like a pre-season now, I had all that, I had the preparation, I had a bit of a headstart last year – so I know the team well. Come Bahrain, there’s nothing left on the table. I can’t predict where we’ll finish there, but from a preparation point of view, there’s no more questions,” he explained.

“Personally, the off-season didn’t feel like I was just on the couch,” Ricciardo added. “I mentally stayed in it so getting back in the car won’t feel like I haven’t driven for a few months – so I expect to get back into the swing straight away.

“I would say the way we developed the car through the tail end of last season, and we definitely found some things which at first definitely worked for me, and then I think Yuki [Tsunoda] found the strengths in it with his driving style, having a good Abu Dhabi.

“There is a lot to stay pretty upbeat about coming into the start of the year,” the eight-time grand prix winner concluded.