Another win at the Belgian Grand Prix is probably still unlikely, but Daniel Ricciardo hopes Formula One’s revised start rules will at least give him a chance.
Under the changes introduced by governing body FIA, teams will be limited in the information they can give their drivers over the radio in setting up for launch.
It’ll now be solely up to the drivers themselves to find the clutch “bite point” at take off.
Mercedes practised the new procedures in Hungary last start, as did Ricciardo’s Red Bull team.
“We tried to do some little things on the simulator as well, but in reality for us it can’t be worse,” he told F1’s official website.
“Our starts haven’t been really good and I think the new procedure employs some new variability, as the teams will find it hard to get the optimum settings in terms of clutch temperature and so on.
“So I hope it’ll bring the good starters more to our level – and maybe that will help us.”
But Ricciardo said even with help from engineers on pit wall, you still need a significant amount of luck to have a good start.
“In the end my feeling is that (the changes) didn’t need to be done,” he said.
“But now that it is a fact of life, let’s embrace it.”
The Australian heads into the weekend after a well-earned mid-season break and on the back of a breakthrough third-place in Budapest.
While he said it was nice to be back on the podium, it’s not something to get carried away with.
“As a driver I didn’t need it for my self-confidence,” he said.
“I still have a strong fire inside my stomach, and if anything that is getting stronger each race,” he added in a pre-race media session.
But he is keeping a lid on expectations for Sunday’s race, even though he would love to walk away with a win like he did last year.
It was his third and final victory in 2014, capping off an impressive debut season at Red Bull.
“There are always uncertainties about this track – namely the conditions – which always give you the chance to have a good race,” he said.
“Aside from with HRT I have always been in the points here and had a strong race – so why not this Sunday?
“I think Mercedes will definitely be the top team here – the combination of medium-speed corners and the straights will be perfect for them. For us: delivering a decent race would be great.”
Meanwhile rumours that Ricciardo could be poached by Ferrari next season have been put to bed, with Ferrari re-signing Kimi Raikkonen for 2016.