Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Formula One: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo is daring to dream

updated 6:22 AM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
  • Daniel Ricciardo is enjoying a successful first season with Red Bull
  • The Australian has registered two race wins, in Canada and Hungary
  • Ricciardo is outshining his four-time world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel
  • He has out-qualified Vettel at six of the 11 races so far this season

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Daniel Ricciardo is daring to dream -- just not too big yet.

Halfway through a sensational first Formula One season with reigning constructors' champion Red Bull, it is easy to see why the Australian is in reflective mood.

Ricciardo returns to the track at next week's Belgium Grand Prix with two race wins in his pocket after he followed up a career-first in Canada with victory last time out in Hungary.

With eight races left to run, the 25-year-old finds himself in the unusual position of being the only driver apart from dueling Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to take the checkered flag this season.

Spa through the lens
Turning McLaren into a cartoon

"I definitely don't look too far ahead," Ricciardo told CNN's The Circuit at Red Bull Racing's headquarters near Milton Keynes, England.

"I don't get over-excited. I just try and focus on getting all the steps right and then believe that will turn into a good string of results.

"I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing and keep learning as I go along."

With the mighty Mercedes pair out in front of the field, Ricciardo knows he is unlikely to snatch the title from their grasp in the second half of the year.

Blog: The steel of F1's bubbly new star

But after such an encouraging start, Ricciardo -- who is 71 points behind championship leader Rosberg -- doesn't want to shackle his ambition.

"Since I entered F1 the second part of the season has always gone better for me," he said.

"I seem to learn from the first six months and really put it towards better results in the second half of the year.

The wind in Sauber's sails
Jenson Button's triathlon training

"We will see how it's going and try to get a few more wins."

Red Bull's newest recruit is also keen to retain the upper hand over his illustrious teammate Sebastian Vettel, having impressed since making the step up from Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso.

Ricciardo has out-qualified the four-time world champion at six of the 11 grands prix so far this season, and a 9-2 lead in race position (including his Australian GP result before he was later disqualified for a fuel-flow irregularity).

"I won't lie to you -- it feels great," Ricciardo said of his performance compared with the German. "He is an awesome benchmark to judge myself on.

"To have shown really good speed against him, not only in qualifying but in races as well, has been encouraging. I'm enjoying that."

The F1 season resumes next week at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit set amid the Ardennes forest in Belgium.

The fast, flowing and undulating track is unlikely to play to the strengths of Red Bull's car, which has lagged behind Mercedes in terms of straight-line speed.

"Spa is a fun track," said Ricciardo. "You feel like, in a way, you get a little bit lost out there. You feel like you're driving in a forest.

"There are some very long straights, which will unfortunately give a bit of lap time away.

"We will see -- it is probably going to be one of those tracks where we're there or thereabouts."

The same can be said of Ricciardo this season -- there or thereabouts, and then some.

Gallery: Nine champagne moments from Spa

Read: F1 chief's $100m settlement

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 12:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
updated 1:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
updated 5:58 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Sun October 12, 2014
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.