A race win is not out of the question for Toro Rosso in 2013, claims their driver Daniel Ricciardo, who this year will tackle his second consecutive season with the Red Bull-owned team which has been notoriously tough on their drivers since its inception.
Speaking to Spain’s AS newspaper, the Australian recalled his Toro Rosso test debut prior to the 2012 season. Now, Ricciardo insists, the feeling about the new STR8 is “more positive”.
“I think our goal should be to become the best team after the big fight, so (competing with) Williams, Force India, Sauber. For me it’s to be in the points regularly and if possible get some podiums.”
23-year-old Ricciardo was also asked about Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, who had reportedly told former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari to secure his place in F1 by winning a race.
“Er, no, he hasn’t said anything like that to me,” Ricciardo smiled. “Last year, our car was not competitive enough, but we’ll see what we can do this time.
“It’s not easy of course, but maybe with rain – thinking about what Vettel managed (at Monza in 2008) – then it’s not impossible to win with Toro Rosso.”
AS correspondent Manuel Franco asked Ricciardo if Vettel’s success with the team in 2008 is like a weight around the neck of Toro Rosso’s subsequent drivers.
“No I don’t think so,” he answered, “I think it’s really a motivation for us, to show us what is possible.”
As for whether he might succeed his countryman Mark Webber at Red Bull’s main team in 2014, Ricciardo said: “What I have to do is have a good year and then let’s see. I know what I have to focus on right now.”
When Ricciardo lines up on the grid for his home grand prix, on 17 March, in Melbourne it will be for his 32nd Formula 1 race. (GMM)