Australian Daniel Ricciardo claims the new rules coming in 2014 offer the perfect opportunity for him to challenge his new team-mate, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
As the 24-year-old prepares to step into the seat vacated by fellow countryman Mark Webber, the man from Perth believes the new engine formula and other technical changes can upset Vettel’s momentum.
“He has been so dominant with the car over the last few years. If there were no changes, then he would probably continue to be dominant,” Ricciardo told Autosport.
“At least with this change now it could make the playing field a bit more even, hopefully he’s not as dominant with this new package as he has been.
“It definitely brings some things more into my favour,” he added.
One thing that the product of Red Bull’s young driver programme is sure of is that to challenge the imperious German he will need to up his game both on and off the track.
As a result Ricciardo will be keen to get to grips with every aspect of the RB10.
“On that front, I guess I have still got some things to catch up on but let’s just hope I can do that quickly,” said the Australian.
“Having the team around me will fast-track that as well given their level of experience.
“Hopefully they can bring me up quickly and then I will do everything I can to get up to his level in terms of the technical stuff.
“But naturally it will take a little bit of time.”
One man who has confidence in Ricciardo is Red Bull team boss Christian Horner who believes the former HRT and Toro Rosso driver will surprise in 2014.
“I think he could be a bit of a surprise because he is very quick,” said Horner.
“He has dragged massive qualifying performances out of the Toro Rosso, which obviously is sub-standard, and he has continued to impress us with how he has raced, how he has delivered and performed with the tools at his disposal.”
Horner also believes Ricciardo has the kind of attitude towards racing that will make him a success.
“If you look at the pressure points with him, even if his weekend doesn’t get off to a great start he recovers it.
“He seems to have the ability not to panic, but to put it together when it counts.
“Sometimes he’s had difficult Fridays, or even Saturday mornings, but when qualifying starts, nine times out of 10 he is there.”
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