Daniel Ricciardo may be nothing if not an optimist, having claimed that you can never discount a victory for his Toro Rosso team.
Although the Australian's sensible side is targeting enough points finishes to propel the Italian team into sixth spot in the constructors' table, he highlights Sebastian Vettel's victory at Monza in 2008 as reason to believe that bigger things may be possible.
“I think our goal should be to become the best team after the 'big fight', so we'd be racing with – and beating - Williams, Force India and Sauber. For me, [the aim] is to be in the points regularly and, if possible, get some podiums. It's not easy of course but, maybe with rain – thinking about what Vettel managed – then it's not impossible to win with Toro Rosso. Vettel's victory is a motivation for us, to show us what is possible.”
Of course, there will be those that, especially with the benefit of hindsight, will be quick to point out that Vettel is a bigger talent than Ricciardo, but the Australian's confidence in the new STR8 has since been echoed by team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who agrees that the car is a step forward compared to the last year's.
Both drivers have been mentioned as contenders to replace Mark Webber in the main Red Bull Racing line-up when the Australian veteran moves on or retires, but Ricciardo insists that he is only focusing on the job at hand this season.
“What I have to do is have a good year and then let's see,” he claimed, “I know what I have to focus on right now. Last year, our car was not competitive enough, but we'll see what we can do this time.”