Ricciardo seeing 'promising' signs as Renault try to close on top three

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Daniel Ricciardo believes the signs are "promising" from Renault as they look to close down the top three teams.

The Australian faces a different kind of home race this weekend, with the results he could aim for at Red Bull much less likely at the French manufacturer.

He and Renault though will still gain a first indication of the scale of the battle they face, with Ricciardo unable to draw a competitive conclusion from testing. 

"Not sure, so we’ll see how we go," he said on Thursday on what he thought the gap would be to the front.

"The second week, the last couple of days, we had a few new parts on the car and they seem more promising for our development, so that was encouraging. I think we left the test more encouraged.

"We’ll see. Judging the top three cars, I don’t even know where they stand at the moment, but yeah, a few more days and you’ll know."

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During the press conference in Melbourne, Ricciardo was asked about possible victory chances and while he unsurprisingly didn't rate them highly, he does see the opportunity to enter 'Honey Badger' mode.

"I might need some help from some others, probably, this early in the season," he said of claiming the win, "But yeah, there’s a chance of some overtakes.

"Early on, there won’t be too many front row starts so they’ll certainly be some cars in front, and being the hunter, that’s still going to be a lot of fun this year."