Ricciardo Hints 'Top-Five' Results Might Be On Table With New RB Car

F1
by Adam OndrikFriday, 09 February 2024 at 12:00
ricciardo daniel aphatauri rbcp50
Daniel Ricciardo suggested during today's launch of RB's VCARB 01 that finishing consistently in the top 5 might be possible.
Visa Cash App RB just unveiled its 2024 challenger, and based on words from Daniel Ricciardo himself, the team looks like it's on a great trajectory heading into this season.
The Honey Badger joined the team in the middle of 2023 as a replacement for Nyck de Vries. The 34-year-old has been with the team early enough to witness the big changes it has undergone over the last few months, and he said at the launch:

"I like what’s happened, the changes that have taken place. There’s something about the team, the mindset is a bit different, kind of like a point to prove. It’s cool. It’s fun."

Some teams that already unveiled their car openly admitted they expect to lack some pace on their rivals during the first few races. When asked what he expects from this season, Ricciardo replied:

"You have to aim high, but being in this sport so long, you want to remain realistic as you don’t want to end up ultimately disappointed."

RB (formerly AlphaTauri) struggled quite a lot throughout the majority of 2023 but made a great step forward toward the end. Nevertheless, the team's best result was seventh place in Mexico. The Australian would like to aim for consistent top 5 finishes.

"Top-fives should be a target and if we get into that position, maybe some podiums present themselves. Of course, we want to win but, you know, let’s…I think we made steps last year, let’s make a few more steps."

However, top-five finishes are quite an ambitious target compared to where RB has been last season. So it would suggest Ricciardo believes his team made significant progress.
To consistently finish in the top 5, RB would need to have at least the fifth or fourth fastest car, which means it would need to overtake some of the teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, or Aston Martin. The Honey Badger added:

"Do I think top-five results are on the table – and could they be on the table in the first half of the season? I’d like to think so."