Daniel Ricciardo thinks Red Bull should be able to capitalise on the limited changes to Formula One's rule book to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for victories in 2018.
Beyond the introduction of the Halo, there have been no significant changes to the new breed of cars introduced to the grid at the start of 2017. Despite a slow start to last season, Red Bull enjoyed a resurgence in pace towards the end of the year which Ricciardo is expecting to carry over into the new campaign.
When asked if Red Bull will be able to fight Mercedes and Ferrari this year, Ricciardo said: "I believe so. With not many rule changes and stuff... we improved the car quite a lot last year so in principal we should be able to carry that over to this year and keep evolving from there.
"We should be able to fight more often. Time will tell, but I'm confident."
The start of the V6 turbo era coincided with Ricciardo's arrival at Red Bull in 2014, but it has been a frustrating spell for the team. Having dominated the early part of the current decade, the team has been unable to produce a championship-winning car since the move away from V8s.
Ricciardo is clearly mindful of this -- he is delaying his decision on whether to sign a contract extension beyond 2018 until he sees the competitiveness of the Red Bull's RB14. However, he believes the team has carried a quiet confidence into the new campaign.
"I feel there's a good intensity. Everyone's not getting too excited, everyone knows we have some work to do if we want to really achieve what we want. We've got some desires to attack this year."