Daniel Ricciardo believes his seventh place in the Chinese Grand Prix showed Toro Rosso's true potential, despite only managing a 16th position in the following race in Bahrain.
The Australian scored his best result in Formula 1 to date with a strong drive to seventh in Shanghai, but he was unable to repeat the feat at Sakhir, where he qualified in 13th and dropped down the order as he struggled for pace.
Ricciardo reckons Toro Rosso has to repeat the China result in order to confirm its competitiveness, but he does believe his team's true pace is better than Bahrain suggested.
"I think we definitely have to do it again to, to know where we are," Ricciardo said of his Chinese points haul. "We finished seventh and we qualified on seventh pretty much on merit.
"I don't think we got lucky. I think we were going to be quite competitive. I think we finished seventh because we had the speed. It could be a one-off circuit – you never know – so we want to do it again to really know if that's what we've got, but I think that was a true indication of our speed."
The Toro Rosso driver admitted the result in China had eased some of the pressure to show what he is capable of, but he is aware that he cannot relax.
"I think it makes the approach a bit more relaxed, but I definitely have to balance that," he said. "I think if I'm too relaxed and expect to get seventh again, that'll be a big mistake.
"I'm definitely still going to have to work for those top-10s. It's taken a bit of weight off the shoulders, but we're going to keep chipping away."