Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo. Getty Images Sport - Paul Gilham

Ricciardo targets teammate

YOUNG Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo says he is not overawed heading into his first home Grand Prix this weekend.

The 22-year-old from Perth will begin his first full F1 season with Torro Rosso and says his chief aim at the season-opening race will be to outpace his French teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.

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For the first time, two Australians will line up on a F1 grid, with Mark Webber targeting his first win on home soil in a Red Bull.

Ricciardo said despite the hype surrounding his debut, he would remain strictly focused on his program.

"As intense as this all looks, I'm pretty relaxed actually," Ricciardo said.

"I've been here since the weekend and had some time off - just some time to chill out. Being back in Australia is just great.

"I'm relaxed and, once today and tomorrow is over, I'm in the car and that's where I'll probably feel most at home," he said.

Ricciardo said he had high hopes for his first race in Australia.

"To finish in the points is the real goal that I'm after. I guess we'll see where our performance is on Saturday in qualifying.

"We'll try and have the best race we can but anything is possible. Even if qualifying doesn't go to plan, Sunday is a long race so I'll be staying positive until the end," he said.

Ricciardo said that Vergne was "quick and capable" but he said he would not be happy if he were to be behind the French driver at the weekend.

He has also pointed Torro Rosso at two midfield teams, Sauber and Force India, which finished ahead of the Italian outfit last year, and said he wanted to reverse the situation this season.


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