It hasn't been the easiest of pre-seasons for Red Bull, but Daniel Ricciardo is hoping to pull off a surprise this season.
Unlike in previous seasons when they started the new campaign as the team to beat, Red Bull are lagging behind their rivals after they struggled during testing. Many are even wondering whether or not both their cars will see the chequered flag at Albert Park.
However, new recruit Ricciardo says everyone at the team have working flat out ahead of the Australian Grand Prix and it won't be long until they close the gap.
Speaking to ESPNF1 he said: "I definitely hope we can surprise some people. I know for a fact the team has been working ridiculously hard all through the off-season and even more during testing after we realised where we stood.
"Since Bahrain they have done a lot back at the factory, but I think it's one of those things where I'm sure we've made progress but until we get on track we are not going to know how much ground we have made up on the other competitors.
"We've still got a bit to discover, I'm sure, but we are still going to get stronger and stronger. Each lap we do we will learn more and more and hopefully sooner rather than later we will close the gap."
Having joined one of the best teams on the grid, Ricciardo harbours ambitions of winning his maiden grand prix, but he knows it won't come easy.
"I don't expect winning to come easy if it does come, but it's still our target and our goal to work towards that and that's the challenge we have in front of us," he said. "If it was easy we'd all be doing it, but, honestly, I haven't got close to a win yet. Seventh is the best I've managed so far, so I've got a bit of learning to do."
As for their hopes in Melbourne on Sunday, it's all about finishing in the points.
"Not to play it down, but if we could finish [the race] and start the season with some points then, considering the winter we've had, I don't think we'd be crying - I think we'd probably take that," he said. "Then again, if we come out on Friday and we're in the top five in practice and then in qualifying too, then if we finish tenth we'll probably be a bit disappointed."
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