Red Bull Racing hasn’t enjoyed the success they’re used to in recent seasons, even last year when Mercedes asserted their dominance in the sport, Red Bull were still able to reach the top step of the podium three times thanks to Daniel Ricciardo.
Battling at the tail end of the front-runners and the midfielders has become somewhat of a recurring theme for the Milton Keynes outfit in 2015, with just the single podium coming at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Josh Kruse sat down with Ricciardo at the Singapore Grand Prix to discuss the future of Red Bull and the challenging 2015 season.
How do you rate your season to date?
Yeah from a results point of view it hasn’t been as friendly, I mean, we’ve had the odd race which has been difficult but I still don’t feel that eighth represents the season I’ve had and obviously I’ve still got time to change that. We have seven more races so I expect to finish in front of Daniil [Kvyat] to be honest, and yeah hopefully another podium at least.
Have you been surprised at Daniil’s progress since the start of the year?
Yeah he’s definitely grown with the team. The first few races I’d say it might have been a bit full on, in terms of what
he was trying to get out of the car. But it seems like he’s settled a bit and now the results have gotten better. He obviously got his first podium, I may have handballed it to him, but anyway he still got his first podium. He’s done well, I think a podium was inevitable for him so I’m not going to say he didn’t deserve it because he did. I think we’ve swung a bit, I started off as the calm guy in the team, he was a bit too much, and now it’s sort of swung and I feel the last few races I’m in a better place personally. So yeah we’ll see what happens for the rest of the year, I’m confident I can get some more results.
What are your thoughts on possibly having a Ferrari engine next year?
To be honest, there’s a lot of talk, you know Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari, who knows? For me personally, taking all of the politics out of it I want whatever is fast and whatever can give us the chance to fight at the front. Obviously the ideal scenario is to get Renault back up with us and to have success with them. But without talking about brands and that, we all want to fight for a win, basically, and the team has the people to do it, we’re big enough, so yeah.
What do you think the expected gains are if you were to change from Renault to Ferrari? Has the Renault politics been a distraction?
Starting with the politics, it hasn’t been a distraction, not as a driver, because this is all stuff that’s going to happen in 2016, so I know what I’m driving this year, that’s not going to change. Whatever happens it’s still going to be a Renault/Red Bull and it is what it is. So that hasn’t changed anything. What would the expected gains be? I don’t know, I mean you look at the step – you’re speaking of Ferrari – them as a team made a big step this year, a pretty massive step. So if we could do something like that then it would be good to be that competitive again.
Is the RB11 fundamentally a good chassis?
I think so, it’s been more complex than the RB10. I think the RB10 out of the box last year was a good car. This year it seemed like the RB11 had a smaller window in terms of getting it right, the sweet spot. It seemed like we were always on the outside of it but never really in it, but I’d say the last three or four races we’ve found it. So fundamentally it’s still a good chassis.
So this weekend in Singapore should be a good proving ground for your aero package.
Yeah, this is where we obviously rely less on the engine around here, so if we get that sweet spot with the chassis then I really think that we can fight with Ferrari and hopefully maybe smell some champagne and get on the podium.
What are your thoughts on the contract renewal for the Australian Grand Prix?
It’s good, obviously it’s definitely a privilege having a home race. You know, it’s not Perth! But sure Oz is Oz, especially when I’m so far away from it these days. I think it’s until 2023, so it’s a long extension and it’s good for Australian motorsport. Hopefully by then there might be another Aussie in Formula 1 and can sort of take over at some point. But it’s good to have some stability and I can enjoy a home race for many more years.
Images via Red Bull Content Pool & XPB Images