The Australian said the experience he accrued last year with the team was already having an impact after just two days of testing, and that he was able to provide much more of a guide to the team's engineers.
Ricciardo will be partnered by Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne for the second year in a row.
In contrast to last year, when Ricciardo admits he was guided by the team, he expects to be able to have more influence in determining what it focuses on across the rest of the year.
"Even now, just in testing, in terms of feedback with the engineers we can definitely guide each other better [than last year]," he told reporters at Jerez.
"That's just simply down to experience.
"Last year I guess we relied more on them form their past experience to tell us what to do, but I can see already we are having much more of an input.
"They are listening to us because we have matured and we know what we are talking about - or we think we know what we are talking about!"
Ricciardo said he was also more secure in his driving after his first full season last year.
"OK I've always been confident in the car, but personally I have a lot of confidence coming into this year.
"I had some races last year which built that for me, I believe in myself 100 per cent and without talking myself up I believe in what I am capable of doing."