Daniel Ricciardo has adapted to life at Red Bull like a fish to water, but he admits it’s a pity his move co-incided when the team lost their domination.
Having won four consecutive titles through Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull were once again expected to be pacesetters this year and the general feeling was that Ricciardo, who replaced Mark Webber, would be challenging for wins nearly every race.
However, that has not been the case as the Milton Keynes squad have often been well off the pace of Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Ricciardo, though, has done an excellent job in a struggling RB10 and has often outshone defending World Champion Vettel.
He no doubt would’ve liked to see how he would’ve fared against Vettel and the Mercedes duo had the Red Bull car been at its best.
“Looking at it, it’s been a really solid first eight races,” the Australian said.
“To get podiums and then to back it up with a win, it’s been good, so I can’t complain with the start of the year.
“Obviously from a team perspective we’d love to be more competitive, but that’s just how it is. You can’t dominate forever.
“It’s a shame I’ve come in to the team now when we’re not dominating, but at the same time we’ve still been able to get good results.
“If we were just fighting to get in the top 10 – if every race had been a bit more like the last one in Austria – it would have been a bit of a disappointment, frustrating.
“But so far that’s been more of a one-off as in every other race we have there or thereabouts, so I’m not down.”
What makes Ricciardo’s performances even better is the fact that he is constantly getting the better of Vettel during qualifying and on race days.
“I came into the season knowing what I had around me and if I could use it all as I had hoped, get my stuff together, I would generally be able to challenge Seb,” he added.
“Did I think it would be six-two? Probably not. To sort of get the better of him quite often on Saturdays and Sundays has been surprising.”