Daniel Ricciardo has reported that everything appears to going to plan for Scuderia Toro Rosso as it races to get its 2013 contender ready for the first group test at Jerez next month.

Speaking in a video call to the team's official website, Ricciardo - who returns for a second year at Faenza - admitted that he was finding it difficult to contain his anticipation for the season ahead, and was excited by the news coming out of team headquarters as he prepares to form an unchanged pairing with Jean-Eric Vergne.

"It looks good [and] the team is saying everything's running to plan and on schedule - which is the first thing you want to hear," he confirmed, "However, in terms of how the car's going to perform, no-one's really going to say too much until we're out on track.

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"So, even if they tell me it's the best thing since sliced bread, I'm not going to get too excited until I drive it and feel comfortable myself. But we've got good expectations, definitely."

Ricciardo, who was edged in the 2012 standings by his rookie team-mate, will return to Europe ahead of the opening test on 5 February and confirmed that he will be the first to sample the STR8 when it is unveiled at Jerez.

"I'll be driving on the first day, so it's not long at all [to wait]," he smiled, "It's three weeks I think, so it's good stuff, and I can't wait. I just hope it's not too cold because I'm used to the heat now!

"I got the holiday spirit out of my system and, since I've been training, it feels like we're back in business and ready to go. Training's fun and I enjoy, it but there's nothing that I enjoy more than driving the car. That's the best training we get, so I'd like Melbourne to come around quickly. Testing's alright, but racing's better!"