Daniel Ricciardo insists that things are 'looking good' at Toro Rosso
heading into the 2012 F1 season.
After half a season with HRT last year, Ricciardo will be the 'senior' driver in the Toro Rosso
line-up this year alongside rookie Jean-Eric Vergne, with the pair having replaced Jaime Alguersuari
and Sebastien Buemi
over the winter.
How the pair perform on track this season remains to be seen after an encouraging performance in pre-season testing, but Ricciardo said he was confident that the youngster would help to drive the Italian team forwards.
"It's hard to make predictions for now; whether we can achieve eighth, seventh or whatever," he was quoted by ESPNF1
when asked what results were expected this year. "But what I do know is we're both more or less rookies - well [Vergne's] a rookie, I'm half a rookie - and we're very competitive, particularly against each other.
“I know we're going to push the team as far as they can go. For them as well I think it's a new motivation, a new challenge which brings more motivation or a different kind of motivation to have two new people in the car.
"So from what I've seen and the feeling within the meetings there's a good vibe, basically. Everyone is doing as much as they can for us and to make us feel as comfortable as we can so we can get the results. Obviously I don't want to talk too soon but so far it's looking good."
Ricciardo added that his time with HRT last season had been beneficial ahead of his 2012 campaign, having given him the chance to gain valuable experience ahead of his first full campaign in the sport.
"I think it will have helped quite a lot,' he said. “Just simple things like first race nerves - I think I've got most of that out of my system - and then just racing, doing 60/70 laps under the intensity of a Formula One race.
“Now there's more opportunity to hopefully score some points and really get more in to the thick of the field. Racing competitively with maybe Schumacher, these more experienced guys who I'm sure I can learn a lot from, and hopefully beat them as well."