Daniel Ricciardo is confident Scuderia Toro Rosso has produced a car that will enable it to move up the order in 2012.
After some positive early indications from the new STR7 during the first tests at Jerez and Barcelona, Ricciardo feels that the team can achieve its ambition of finishing in the top seven teams this year.
"It's going pretty good," Ricciardo said about testing of the new car. "I think we're still going to be fighting the guys we were last year, realistically – but even if we get one further spot up in the constructors' championship, it is still a huge deal and accomplishment. I'd say we're on the right track for making progress.
"Jean-Eric [Vergne] and myself are really happy to be here, and for the team it's another challenge to work with us, like a new motivation for the team. At the moment the vibe is very good, and I don't expect it to change. It's a good feeling inside the garage."
Ricciardo feels that the new car has built on the positive aspects of last year's car, which he tested regularly on Friday mornings during the first half of the campaign.
"The team finished with a pretty good car last year from my understanding and what I saw, and I guess they've just refined that even more for this year," he explained. "I think everyone will start off with a similar car, so with that, plus myself and Jean-Eric eager to impress, I'm not too surprised. I'm happy, I'm happy to be competitive at least for now. It's still early but it's nice to be up there."