Following a stellar first season with Red Bull Racing in which he took three Grand Prix victories, last year’s results weren’t quite so headline-grabbing for Daniel Ricciardo – but our Aussie driver still took a great deal of satisfaction out of his 2015 campaign.
"You'd call it an average season for us in terms of results, and we wanted a lot more podiums than we got – but there were definitely high points. Budapest (with both drivers on the podium) was the first big one. It really set up the second half of the season for us and we carried that momentum through as the car kept getting better. Singapore (where Daniel finished second) was great and leading in Austin was cool. So, we had our moments."
I do expect us to improve on where we were last year – let's see how we go.
Daniel says he wants to win races, however according to race engineer Simon Rennie, what he really wants to do is overtake everybody else: there's nothing he enjoys more than getting embroiled in a scrap with the best racing drivers in the world.
"Perhaps they weren't noticed by the cameras because we weren't necessarily fighting for points but there were really good fights last year. Russia was fun; coming from the back into the points and Monza was good too. It's less spectacular when it isn't the lead you're fighting for – but I felt like I was racing with good intensity and making good moves. I was happy with the way I drove last year – we just had a few more hurdles to pick our way through."
Watch the full the pre-season lowdown from Daniel below
Daniel's mindset going into 2016 is one of realistic optimism. "I'm starting the season with fewer expectations than last year. There haven't been many rule changes so realistically the pecking order won't change much. I do expect us to improve on where we were last year though – let's see how we go."
While 2016 is a season more of continuity than change, Daniel argues that the new things on the horizon are intriguing. "I think the new tyre and the changes to the tyre rules will be cool. Quali is the only time we can get all the fuel out of the car and really put it on its limits. Having a softer, stickier tyre for one lap in qualifying will make it more fun. It'll make the lap time a bit quicker too, so I'm very happy to see it.
"Likewise I'm very excited to see what Baku's all about. A new circuit is always exciting, but a new street circuit even more so – as everyone knows, I love street circuits and I've heard there's a pretty narrow section through the city which should be fun. Hopefully it should also be a strong race for us – we're often at our best on that sort of surface."