Daniel Ricciardo has identified how AlphaTauri has broken away from its 'back of the field' tag in a major mindset shift.
After returning in the United States from injury, Ricciardo and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda enjoyed a late purple patch as the team climbed from the foot of the Constructors' to challenging Williams for seventh in a heavily-upgraded AT04.
The team is undergoing major changes off track as well, with long-time boss Franz Tost stepping down to be replaced by CEO Peter Bayer and new Team Principal Laurent Mekies.
AlphaTauri is set to take more transferable components from Red Bull in 2024, something that has prompted Zak Brown of McLaren to question the "unhealthy" alliance, but Ricciardo is sure that the team can continue its upward trajectory.
Viewed by others:
Riccardo on AlphaTauri
"I feel a shift in the team, even though I jumped in pretty much half way through the season," Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.
"I feel like they are wanting to break away a little bit from this kind of junior team and want to start showing themselves a little bit more.
"There's definitely an element of - I don't want to say taking this thing seriously because of course they do - but just like: 'Let's step it up' and there's obviously a few new people coming in next year.
"Even over the past few weekends and getting some points from both Yuki and myself, it was like the team needed it to give a bit of confidence and a bit of self-belief.
"I'm expecting that to carry over to next year, and hopefully we are fast, but we're not talking about a back-of-the-field team anymore, I'm confident we can push it forward.
"Even with the length of time I have been here, I do feel like some of the direction that I pushed in and what we were able to do in Mexico has given the team a little bit of: 'Alright, we can keep pursuing this' and it is fun to be looking forward.
"I am really in a good place so my off-season won't be too long because I've been off, so I'm looking forward to maybe having a little bit of time off, but training my butt off and starting the new season strong."