Fresh off his unlikely Monaco GP victory, where he drove over half the race on 75% engine power and holding off Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo appears to have a taste for the winners' row and has claimed he needs a third win of the 2018 season before the summer break to really put himself in the title frame, albeit only as an outsider.
Notching up a respectable 72 points already this season has seen Ricciardo rise to third place in the drivers' standings, but it's clear he's not getting too carried away, with Lewis Hamilton still 28 points ahead of him at the top of the leaderboard.
The engine disadvantage for Red Bull against the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari is clearly a leading factor in this debate but Ricciardo believes he can still challenge, even if he is seen as an outsider.
"Lewis still has a pretty good buffer on me, so we're still on the outside of that," he said, as per Motorsport. "It's not impossible but not really at the forefront of my mind yet... we've a nice little outside chance."
"Even if it was, I’m not going to change the way that I’m driving or trying to attack.
“We’ve got to probably prove on at least one other circuit before the summer break that we can win again and then maybe we’ve a nice little outside chance.”
Red Bull and Ricciardo will be looking to the Hungarian GP in July this year as a good circuit to secure that third victory of the season.
Despite Lewis Hamilton having the most wins (five) as an individual on the circuit, Red Bull combo have a good recent history there with Ricciardo winning in 2014 and Mark Webber in 2010 as well as finishing in the top three in 2016, 2015 and 2013.
It seems Ricciardo is not alone in feeling optimistic about his team's chances, as Hamilton himself is very wary of the real threat that Red Bull are posing this season.
“They’ve dropped the ball a few times and we’ve been there to capitalise, so we’re further ahead than we would be if everyone had done the job,” said Hamilton.
“But it is a three-way battle. I think Red Bull have got a potential upgrade coming, engine-wise, at the next race.
“It’ll be interesting to see their performance. They will continue to get stronger through the year.”
Renault, the Red Bull's engine provider, said that they plan to upgrade at the Montreal GP next week. This will provide viewers and other GP teams with an insight into how dangerous the Red Bull cars can become (or not, perhaps) throughout the rest of the season.