New Schmidt Peterson Motorsport signing Tristan Vautier says that he is not putting himself under any pressure as he prepares for his first season in IndyCar.
The Frenchman was promoted to drive SPM's newly added second car after winning the Indy Lights title with Schmidt last year, and set the second fastest time when he tested the team's Dallara-Honda at Sebring in December. But despite his early promise, he insists that he is not thinking about results yet.
"I don't usually put myself any kind of pressure with results," he said. "In Sebring, I knew from the past season and [teammate] Simon [Pagenaud's] performance that I was in a car that was going to allow me to do the job of being up front. I always try to get that out of my head and focus on the process; what I have to do to make that happen.
"I really don't put any pressure on myself. I'm a rookie. I don't set any special goals to myself because I think it's the best way to create useless pressure. So I just try to get that out of my head, and focus on my job."
Pagenaud finished fifth in the standings and picked up Rookie of the Year honors in the single Schmidt entry last season, and said that he is looking forward to having a teammate to work with this time around.
"I don't think I have any advice to give Tristan," he said. "I'm really glad he's joining us in the team. We had a tremendous season last year. Now, having the opportunity to be a two-car team is definitely an opportunity for us to be fighting up front.
"I think Tristan knows exactly what to do. Obviously there's a few things he hasn't done, like pit stops and things like that, that he's going to have to learn. But he's a quick learner."