While Silverstone’s high-speed corners should suit the RB11 more than the long straights of Canada and Austria, Ricciardo says a series of new updates have also boosted his confidence in the team’s ability to make genuine strides in Great Britain.
“I feel our slowest days are behind us now, and this is where we can start to turn it up,” commented the Australian, who was seventh fastest in Friday morning’s opening practice.
“We obviously aren’t as far up the grid as we thought, and other teams have made bigger steps than we thought. I think from this point on… I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’d like to think that we can start looking forward.
“We have some updates here – we’ve got a new front wing this week, which is sort of the last piece of the puzzle to try and fix some of the aero issues we feel we have. I think once we have cleaned that up we’ll be pretty much on top of where we can be with the car, so it looks promising.
“They might not find a second, but we should find some time from those. We should get better.”
Ricciardo added, however, that beating Mercedes, as Red Bull did three times last year, will be unlikely given their shortfall to the world champions on the power unit.
“I think we’re getting close with the car, but the rest of the deficit… we know where it is,” he said. “From the power side I think we will find bits and pieces, but we know it will not be what we need to challenge [Mercedes].”
After eight races, Red Bull lie a distant fourth in the constructors’ championship on 55 points, 74 behind third-placed Williams.