Daniel Ricciardo is confident that his 2013 Formula 1 campaign will not suffer from the pressure of trying to earn a Red Bull seat.
Toro Rosso duo Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are up against Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen in the race to succeed sports car-bound Mark Webber alongside Sebastian Vettel at the reigning champion team next year.
Ricciardo made a strong start at Silverstone last weekend when he earned fifth on the grid, ahead of both his rivals for the Red Bull drive, and finished eighth.
“Obviously, talk about next year is pretty frequent,” said Ricciardo. “For me, I just keep doing what I am doing and keep pushing.
“It’s nice to hear some positive things and it is a great position to be in, but I have some work ahead of me. It didn’t hinder anything [at Silverstone] and I have to keep doing that. I haven’t won a race yet, so I have some further goals and ambitions, and I’ll keep striving for better things.”
The Australian acknowledged that he now needed to be consistently impressive rather than starring with one-off performances.
“Qualifying last Saturday was good, the race could easily have been better, but I still had points and showed consistent pace throughout,” he said. “There were definitely some positive things from that, and I’m happy to keep it going now.”