MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was altered with digital filters. Image has been converted to black and white) Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing poses for a portrait during the final day of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 10, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

During winter testing Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton hinted that the Red Bull Racing contender was a lot faster than their test times indicated and feared that they would be the one to watch when the lights went out in Melbourne next weekend.

This of course was music to Aussie racer Daniel Ricciardo’s ears as his highest ever placed finish on home soil was a fourth, even though he actually crossed the line in P2 back in 2014, only to be disqualified afterwards for a fuel irregularity.

“I would be most happy with a win, but if we generalize the word happy then a podium,” he was quoted as saying. “It would be good to start with a podium and be on the podium in Australia. That would be very nice. If I was to say where do I want to be at the mid-point of the season, I think in the fight, still within reach of the championship lead. That would be great. I guess that would have meant probably at least one race win, but by mid-season to be within striking distance that would be a nice little mini goal for now.”

Red Bull Racing finished second to Mercedes in last year’s title fight so the possibility of an even stronger year is well and truly on the cards and Daniel himself is more than up to the challenge, and so is his young teammate, Max Verstappen….

“I do feel like in pressure situations I’m normally performing well. Experience is something which you can learn a lot from, but at the same time I don’t necessarily think Max is a rookie any more. He’s done two full seasons now in F1. He’s certainly not a rookie. I don’t even know if he’s 20 yet, but in racing terms he’s done a bit now. I don’t think the rookie card will be played any more, but I think my maturity can potentially be a strength.”

Team boss Christian Horner has already gone on record saying that the wont favour either of his drivers over the other and is asking for fair play between the two on track.