Jean-Eric Vergne says he is delighted about the impressive performances Daniel Ricciardo has delivered for Red Bull so far.

Ricciardo and Vergne were team-mates at Toro Rosso for two seasons before Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull in place of Mark Webber from this season. Vergne said he has been watching Ricciardo's progress because the two drivers were closely matched when paired in the same team, and he said he was pleased to see Ricciardo taking the fight to Sebastian Vettel for both their sakes.

"I'm extremely happy with what he does," Vergne said. "First of all I really like him as a guy, we've been friends forever since I've been racing in single seaters and I'm really pleased to see his performance. Last year, except for the bit at the end of the year when I lost my head and I was not the same Jean-Eric Vergne anymore and I was doing a bad job, up until that point we were really similar.

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"I had more points in the championship, I think I learned a lot from him in qualifying and he learned a lot from me in racing. I think we've been the best pair of team-mates and we pushed each other in such a good way with no pressure and no arrogance ... it's been by far the best driver relationship that I've had, and for the working of the team as well.

"So I'm really happy with what he does. Of course it shows that we were two good drivers. When you compare two drivers who are rookies it's difficult to say where they are if they don't have the car to win, but if you're comparing the same to a four-time world champion it makes a big difference."