Jean-Eric Vergne insists it is helpful to have high objectives as he prepares for his maiden F1 season, with the possibility that a strong campaign with Toro Rosso could set him up for a future role with Red Bull Racing.
Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo will lead the Italian team into 2012 after both Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi were dropped, with the pair hopeful of impressing Red Bull enough to earn promotion to the senior team when Mark Webber elects to call time on his F1 career.
Speaking to the official F1 website, Vergne insisted that he wasn't over-awed by the pressure of trying to follow in the footsteps of current champion Sebastian Vettel – who moved up to Red Bull after a season with Toro Rosso – with it only giving him more desire to succeed.
“I feel it is helpful if you have high objectives in your career,” he said, “and, of course, it would be fantastic if one day somebody would call me the next Sebastian Vettel. For me he's the best driver on the grid right now. But then again I don't want to be anybody else - I want to be myself: a driver who is winning races. I don't need anybody to tell me to win, as I am the first one who wants that.
“I don't need anybody to put any pressure on me - I do that all by myself! Because in the end I want to be a race winner - and more - so pressure coming from someone else doesn't have any more weight than that coming from me.”
Despite the fact that a possible Red Bull role is ahead of him however, Vergne again insisted that his only focus is on the upcoming season and producing the goods for Toro Rosso.
“When, like me, you have been dreaming of getting there since you were a kid - and you've proved to be successful in lower categories - then Formula One in a best-case scenario is the next logical step,” he said. “Of course, a lot of things can go wrong on the way to F1 that have nothing to do with talent or passion - just adverse conditions - but so far such conditions have shunned me! I've made it now and it is not so different to anything I've done before: the target is to do well and to win.
“Right now I want to do my job at Toro Rosso - learn as much as possible and show them that I was promoted for a reason. And I haven't done a race yet so it does not make much sense to think about 2013. First things first, and the first thing right now is doing a good test season and then taking that to the Melbourne grid. And then to take it race by race. “