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Red Bull better prepared than ever - Ricciardo

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Red Bull Racing vowed to hit the ground running in Melbourne, and its pre-season preparation will enable it to do just that says Daniel Ricciardo.

In the past few years, the Milton Keynes-based outfit has typically been a late bloomer when the season kicks off, stepping up its performance over the summer as development took hold.

But Red Bull got an early start on its new RB14 and headed to Barcelona with a competitive base from which to expand its performance from the outset.

According to Ricciardo, the team has never been this well prepared before kicking off a campaign.

"We're certainly more ready than we were last year - and probably every year before that since I've been with the team," Ricciardo said.

"We did a lot of laps, I think the pace of the car is not bad, I think we still have some things to improve, it's normal.

"But yeah, going to the race and having confidence to push the car on the limit and to push the engine a little bit, I think we have much more confidence now."

Despite the vagaries of the weather whihc impacted Week 1 of winter testing, Red Bull diligently ran through all its programmes.

"It's not always the case, especially the last few years it's been tough for us," admitted the Aussie.

"Last week it was frustrating, I felt like we were losing track time and losing testing time before the season. But this week fortunately we got to do a lot more."

Pundits believe the RB14, with Ricciardo and Max Verstappen on-board, will not only comfortably run among the usual suspects - Mercedes and Ferrari - but could very well emerge as an outright winner early on.

The Honey Badger is cautious however, and doesn't believe he has the fastest car of the field, at least not yet...

"I think we're looking okay," he added.

"I don't think we're yet the fastest car, I think we've still got to find a bit of time, but I think we'll be close enough to be in the hunt.

"I think we still do have some laptime to find, but I do believe we're in the ballpark. What does 'the ballpark' mean? I don't know. We're there, there or thereabouts."

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