Jean-Eric Verge says he has no concerns about his Toro Rosso job security if he does not make a good step forward in the 2013 Formula 1 season.
The Frenchman driver is well aware that the previous drivers at his team – Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari – were dropped without warning after Red Bull chiefs believed they had not delivered all that was expected of them. But, ahead of a campaign where he is convinced he and Toro Rosso can make good progress, Vergne says he is not concerned about the future.
"I am not too worried about this," he said, when asked about Red Bull's potential impatience for its young drivers to make progress. "I trust in myself to have the performance.
"I know when I have a good car, I can do something good. I showed it last year with the car we had, and we had some good races, I would say. This year we definitely have a better car compared to last year's one. I am a better driver I believe, with more experience, and therefore these two combined will automatically give us better results."
Vergne and teammate Daniel Ricciardo will face increased pressure to do well, however, because rising Red Bull junior Antonio Felix da Costa (BELOW) is knocking on the door of a promotion to F1.
Although aware there is some hype surrounding the Portuguese driver, Vergne said he did not feel threatened by another youngster emerging as a candidate for Toro Rosso.
"I don't see any problems in this," he said. "It is the way Red Bull works. I have been in the same position too.
"Antonio is a good driver. If he keeps doing a good job he deserves a seat in F1 and, following the politics of Red Bull, if one of us, Daniel or myself, is good enough to be one day at Red Bull, then that will leave a free seat at Toro Rosso, anyway.
"Everybody has to deserve a seat – whether in F1, whether in the best F1 team to be World Champion. You always have to perform.
"In any case, I am not here to just be in F1, just to garnish the driver platform. I have some objectives and I want to succeed. The pressure is only on me from me."