Daniel Ricciardo doesn't think that the new regulations that will be introduced this year will make the cars dramatically faster.
Formula One will once again enter a new era as next season we will see wider, fatter tyres and radically altered aerodynamics.
Ricciardo admits the tyres feel strong, but isn't convinced the cars will produce the times predicted.
"It’s [the 2015] car and the team bolt on some bits to add a bit more downforce to it."
“The tires felt a bit stronger, the rear mainly you can push a bit harder on traction. But we’re still running the cars quite heavy and I don’t think it’s quite that representative to what we’ve got [in 2017]."
“I think they will be a step quicker, but we’ll see. People talk about four seconds a lap quicker or five seconds a lap quicker. I’m not yet convinced it will be that much quicker but I’m sure it will at least be a couple. But four or five would be impressive if we get there.”
The last time F1 saw a regulation overhaul was 2014 were Mercedes produced a dominant machine and continued to do so for the next three seasons, standing comfortably atop the constructor standings.
That change was focused on engines whereas this time the emphasis is on aerodynamic efficiency which is expected to play into the fortunes of Red Bull.
“There’s only one of them now, so that’s a bit easier! Ricciardo joked. “It will be interesting to see the other seat… but I’m confident."
“Obviously right now Mercedes has the best car; I would say I’m confident we’re at least the next ones behind them so we’ll see what we can do in the winter and try to close the gap."
“I’m sure on day one at testing they’ll still be the favourites to be the quickest guys but I think we can close it up and hopefully enough to challenge.”