Ricciardo: My Formula 1 honeymoon is over
West Australian Daniel Ricciardo says that he’s no longer content to simply be on the Formula 1 grid, and is looking for consistent points finishes in 2013.
The 23-year-old enters the new year with 31 Grand Prix starts to his name after a part-season with the now defunct HRT in 2011 and a full campaign with current employer Toro Rosso in 2012.
Ricciardo started last season in brilliant fashion in Australia, scoring points in his first home Grand Prix despite taking heavy damage at the first corner.
A 10 race streak without points followed however, with the former British Formula 3 Champion managing just five subsequent top 10 finishes on his way to 18th in the championship.
Despite out-qualifying team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne 16:4 over the season, Ricciardo ended the year one place and six points behind the Frenchman.
“I never want to come across as cocky or big headed, but in your first full year, you’re happy just to be there and have arrived in Formula 1,” said Ricciardo following the final pre-season Formula 1 test at Barcelona.
“As soon as you get used to the environment, it’s not enough. So this year, it’s not enough for me just to be here and just to be racing.
“I want to be here for a purpose and to make something good happen.The confidence I have now is higher and for that reason I really believe I can make the results.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to do that and if I’m just racing but not doing anything spectacular, it’s not enough.”
Ricciardo believes he and his Toro Rosso will be good enough for consistent top 10 finishes this season, and is excited about the prospect.
“In the points you’re really racing for something,” he said.
“When you’re racing for 15th or 16th it’s not as fun. When there’s a prize on the line, it makes it more exciting.
“So definitely (I’m aiming for) more points finishes and to finish ahead of my team-mate (Vergne). Not by one point, but hopefully by a convincing amount. That will make me happy.”
Just 10 days remain until the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, where race organisers are crediting the presence of Ricciardo and countryman Mark Webber in the field for strong ticket sales.