Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko was encouraged by Daniel Ricciardo’s performance at the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo has come under pressure from Marko to up his performances following an underwhelming start to the season compared to his RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

The Australian was given a new chassis in Shanghai and enjoyed a better weekend. He was running inside the points in ninth place until Lance Stroll rammed him from behind before a Safety Car restart.

Ricciardo’s car was damaged beyond repair in the incident and he subsequently retired from the race.

Marko noted how Ricciardo’s performance was “much better” across his first weekend since changing chassis.

“Daniel Ricciardo had a new chassis available in China and the whole thing was planned from the start because it is our third chassis that we wanted to bring to the track,” Marko told SpeedWeek.

“But of course this change also played into psychology after Daniel’s disappointing performances on the previous weekends.

“Things went much better for Ricciardo in China.”

Marko also hit out at Stroll after the Aston Martin driver appeared to blame Ricciardo for their collision which occurred under the Safety Car as the field bunched up at the hairpin.

“I find it unbelievable that Lance Stroll called him an ‘idiot after’ the chequered flag fell,” Marko added. “And that he also had to receive a penalty for Miami. This really wasn’t his weekend.”

Ricciardo will serve a three-place grid drop at the upcoming Miami Grand Prix after the stewards determined he overtook the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg while running behind the Safety Car in Shanghai.

There has been speculation that Ricciardo is in a fight to retain his RB seat but the eight-time grand prix winner insists he is feeling no additional pressure.

“I haven’t had a great start to the season but I’m also not a rookie that’s trying to establish myself in the sport and prove something. I do have a track record,” he said. “There is some proof there that I can do it.

“And the team believes this and knows I can, so it’s just trying to clean it all up and making sure we can get it.

“I don’t want this to take a whole year and I don’t expect it to because, on the one hand I’m not a rookie, I’ve got experience, so that should also speak for something.

“It’s not like I’m trying to show them something that they haven’t seen, we’re just trying to get me, I guess, in a place where I feel like I can deliver.

“There’s no additional pressure from ‘shit, am I going to have a seat next weekend’ or anything. It’s not anything like that.”