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Daniel Ricciardo

RB podiums 'a wish' rather than 'reality' – Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo doesn't think RB will be contesting the podium places from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend.

Ricciardo winter testing Bahrain Day 1
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It's no secret that RB – known formerly as AlphaTauri – have undergone a complete makeover during the winter break, with the side having strengthened their relationship with parent team Red Bull.

As part of their rebrand, RB have closened their relationship with Red Bull and are using several components from the Milton Keynes-based outfit in their 2024 challenger. The likes of McLaren CEO Zak Brown have complained about Red Bull owning two teams, whilst others have suggested that podiums aren't off the cards for the sister team.

Yuki Tsunoda drove for the team during the opening session of pre-season testing and secured P5, with the Japanese driver having looked good. How RB perform next weekend in the season-opener is something many are excited to see, given the strength of the parts they've received from Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo, though, has ruled out the side claiming instant podiums and even victories; however, the Australian is hopeful that RB will get closer to the leading teams as 2024 develops.

"I'd like to say yes, but truth is we're trying to certainly build something right now," Ricciardo told select media including RacingNews365. "And I think this is the year where the team really tries to establish themselves and kind of stand on their own two feet, and obviously then try to establish a fight towards the front of the midfield.

"I think, yeah, wins and podiums are a little bit of a wish, at the moment more than maybe a reality. But as the year goes on, I think we will progress and hopefully keep getting closer and closer to the front."

Ricciardo 'enjoyed' 2023 testing absence

Of course, 2024 pre-season testing is Ricciardo's first since 2022 when racing for McLaren, as he initially started last year as Red Bull's development driver.

Ricciardo didn't miss not driving at the start of last year given where he was mentally following the termination of his McLaren contract, although he's thrilled to be back this week.

"I enjoyed missing it last year," Ricciardo added. "Where my headspace was, I was enjoying having the time off but yeah, a year later, I'm weirdly very happy to be here at pre-season testing.

"I just want to go racing, which is still true, but yeah, really excited to get in the car in an hour's time or something and do this afternoon session. So that's cool. Yeah, liking the atmosphere."

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