Daniel Ricciardo says he is expects to be on the pace with Red Bull from the opening round of the 2014 season.
Ricciardo, 24, will race for Red Bull next season after spending two years at Toro Rosso.
“I’m under no illusion that next year is another step and another challenge so I’ll look forward to that,” he said after being confirmed as Sebastian Vettel’s team mate for 2014.
“With experience you gain a lot so I’m not going to allow [myself] too much time. I’ll expect to be there from the first race. I know it won’t come from the click of a finger but I’ll do whatever I can to make the process as fast as possible. I’m here to measure myself against the best in the world and I’ve been given an opportunity and if I am [competitive] then I’ll succeed. That’s all I plan on doing.”
Ricciardo says he has not yet spoken to Vettel but is eager to learn from his future team-mate.
“Not yet, we’ll probably speak this week in Monza and I’m sure I’ll get a welcome from him and hopefully we can push each other. I’ve got a lot to learn from him as he’s an incredible driver and I’m sure we can learn a few things. My challenges are set for me and my targets are there so I’ll put in a very good off-season and prepare myself the best for 2014.”
Ricciardo says that the call came asking him to visit Salzburg in Austria.
“It was obviously a bit of waiting around and anxious to know what will happen but I wasn’t having the phone next to me all the time. I knew that if the news came it would come at one point or the other.”
“I got the call saying that I needed to go to Salzburg and asked ‘why do I need to go there’ and I was told some good news so I heard it’s official and that’s all I needed to hear!”
Ricciardo also reckons there will be raised expectations for him at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix but is eager to produce a strong race for Toro Rosso.
“Definitely. I think now with the news as well and Toro Rosso’s home race and my background with Italian roots, it’s always a special race. I’d definitely love to give the team and myself a good result. We still have eight races left and I want to finish as well as I can with Toro Rosso. I’d like to give the guys a nice home present.”