BUDAPEST, July 28, 2011 (AFP) - Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo plans to outpace his Hispania team-mate Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi 'sooner rather than later' as he bids to secure his long-term future in Formula One.
Red Bull protege Ricciardo, 22, only made his F1 debut at this year's British Grand Prix, but with two races under his belt has shown enough potential to impress many observers.
He has also shown great improvement in his lap times and at qualified only 0.025 seconds slower than Liuzzi in last weekend's German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Speaking at the Hungaroring, 20 kilometres north of Budapest, on Thursday, he said that Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had not set him any targets during his loan spell at Hispania. But he did tell him to impress quickly, he said, by fighting with Liuzzi to gain the upper hand in the team.
Ricciardo, who was part of the Red Bull young driver programme, said: "He doesn't say, by tomorrow you have to out qualify him or that is it. But I know what he wants more or less and I know it is better to do these things sooner rather than later.
"He definitely expects me to be getting some results - I think he wants to see me out-qualifying and out-racing 'Tonio and mixing it with the Virgin guys. "At the same time I cannot get too caught up in what Tonio is doing - if that is my only focus and only task then maybe I will forget about my own tasks.
"First I will worry about myself and then hopefully the lap time will come, but the Nurburgring was definitely a good step forward for me. "Now, I just have to make that next step - and maybe this weekend I can ramp it up a little bit more."