Jean-Eric Vergne says he is not putting any pressure on himself ahead of his grand prix debut in Australia this weekend.
The Frenchman, the 2010 British F3 champion, is making his race debut in Formula 1 machinery in Melbourne after having secured a deal with the Toro Rosso team. Vergne conceded he was still finding it hard to believe he is an F1 driver and says he will treat his debut as any other race.
"I don't believe it, and I don't want to believe it," Vergne said on Thursday in Melbourne. "I want to take it like a normal race, except with an F1 car in my hands. It's great to be here in Melbourne for my first grand prix.
"I don't put any pressure on myself. I will try to learn as much as possible and take the race as it comes."
He says he is not focused on beating teammate Daniel Ricciardo this weekend, but rather on doing the best possible job for his team.
"I haven't set any targets for myself. I will drive the car as quick as I can and then we will see where we are. It makes no sense to me to say that I will start behind him or ahead of him. I just take it easy, drive fast, try to make the car better and, in qualifying, try to be as quick as possible."
The 21-year-old Frenchman admitted it was hard to say where Toro Rosso stands, although he believes it will be involved in the tight battle in the midfield.
"I think it's quite hard to see where we are compared to the others. I think we are pretty similar with Sauber, Williams, Force India. Some might be a little bit quicker, some may be a little bit slower. We have to wait until Malaysia or China to get a better idea."