Renault finished "best of the rest" last season as they claimed fourth place in the constructors' championship. But there were questions regarding its in-season development in comparison to teams around them - such as Haas and Racing Point, formerly Force India.
"I think the philosophy this year will be quite different as far as the upgrades we get," Ricciardo said to Autosport. "I think the plan and the structuring is going to change, and their philosophy on what to bring and when to bring it. I believe that is going to change (as well).
"I will be part of that and trust that process, and hope we are staying ahead of the curve."
On the evidence of the two weeks of pre-season testing in Barcelona - it looks as if the 'midfield' teams on the grid will be as closely matched as ever before.
The likes of Haas and Racing Point will be gunning for the "best of the rest" status off Renault, and even Alfa Romeo Racing (formerly Sauber) - who have made numerous changes to its car for this season.