Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that the Red Bull chassis earlier this season was not as competitive as in previous years, but he feels that this chassis deficit has been made up in recent rounds.
“I think we’re now back at a level we were at last year,” he proclaimed on Friday.
Speaking in advance of the Italian Grand Prix the Australian admitted that in this season’s early rounds Red Bull’s struggle weren’t just about the relative lack of power from its Renault engine.
“We knew the chassis was strong [in 2014], we felt most of our deficit was the power and then yeah, I think earlier this season it looked like we obviously had issues on both sides, the chassis… obviously I had experience from last year and I didn’t feel like it was where it was last year so I thought we had similar deficiencies on both sides.”
But Ricciardo feels that the chassis has improved a lot since the Silverstone round: “We’ve had quite a few updates since [the early rounds]. All year we have updates but I’d say since Silverstone it’s really come on strong and we seem to be in the window a lot easier now with getting the car there so I’m definitely a lot happier with where the chassis is now. I feel it’s like we were last year.”
He also spoke of how Renault’s relative lack of horsepower impacts on the team’s approach.
“The power we know, we’re trying to make up what we can but we know we started too far back and it’s… I don’t like the word impossible but it nearly is impossible to make all that gap back in one season so I think that’s what it is for now.
“We’re always going to be somewhat down for the rest of the season, that’s why we look at Singapore and some of these circuits which are obviously a lot less power-dependent, a lot more chassis and we look at those as potential podiums for us.”