Some think Ricciardo currently has a better grip on the reigning world champions' new RB10 even than quadruple title winner and teammate Sebastian Vettel.
"The team have been a bit surprised," the always-smiling Ricciardo grinned to the Telegraph.
The 24-year-old has had a quite luckless 2014 season so far: disqualified in Melbourne and caught up in trouble in Malaysia, but he finished a solid fourth two weeks ago in Bahrain.
Ricciardo suggests he has exceeded even his own expectations.
"I don't know how to say it – I don't want to sound arrogant – but I believe a lot in myself, and I believed if I had the right equipment and the right opportunity then I would be able to show what I'm capable of, and that's been shown now," he said.
"I haven't surprised myself but it's been nice to confirm it to myself that I can do this. I believe I can keep doing it," Ricciardo added.