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Ricciardo confident Toro Rosso won't become a backmarker

ESPN Staff
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Daniel Ricciardo: "I still think our race pace will clearly be better than Caterham's" © Sutton Images
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Daniel Ricciardo is confident Toro Rosso can maintain its advantage over Caterham towards the back of the grid.

Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen outqualified both Toro Rossos at the last grand prix in Valencia and the team is expected to make a big step forward at the British Grand Prix with a new upgrade. In recent years Toro Rosso has been in the midfield and out of Caterham's reach and Ricciardo is confident the team will continue to hold its advantage despite the mounting threat.

Asked by ESPNF1 if he was worried about struggling to make it through the first knock-out round of qualifying ahead of Caterham, Ricciardo said: "No, not at all. Although I do believe they've got some more updates for Silverstone - some that they are quite modest about - and it will probably work and they had good pace in Valencia.

"I think with overall pace we're still a fair bit in front, it's just the qualifying we have to soak a bit more out of. I think it's between us drivers and also understanding a bit more with the tyres. But then our race pace still seems to be quite a bit stronger than theirs. I think if we don't get on top of our qualifying they will have more opportunities to be in front of us, but I still think our race pace will clearly be better than theirs."

Ricciardo has been Toro Rosso's top performer in qualifying this year and has only been outqualified once by team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne. He's hoping he can maintain that advantage too.

"I guess on paper with the qualifyings it's been good. I think it's 7-1, which is nice. I guess the first thing is that you look at your team-mate, but if we're 17th and 18th then even if I'm 0.3s or 0.4s quicker than him it's not going to give me a great sense of satisfaction. I think we've always got to push for more. He's had some strong races and I think the last few have been stronger.

"I'm finding a bit more, which is good for the Sunday, so that's encouraging. If I can keep working this way then in qualifying I think I've already got a bit of an edge and in the race hopefully I can run away and get my nose clean in front. But in saying that, we can't really afford to try to push each other down because as a team we've got to try and get each other up. The rivalry is pretty good at the moment. I'd say it's healthy."