Jean-Eric Vergne has conceded that Scuderia Toro Rosso teammate Daniel Ricciardo may have the edge on him at the start of next year, but hopes he can develop quickly to catch him up.
The Frenchman has been handed his Formula 1 chance by Toro Rosso, after the team announced on Wednesday that it was dropping Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi. But with new teammate Ricciardo already having half a season of racing for HRT under his belt, Vergne is realistic about his expectations for the start of his grand prix career.
"In Formula 1, you only get one teammate, so you have to make the best of it, working together to do as good a job as possible for the team," said Vergne. "We have similar driving styles and we get on well and that will be a positive factor for us next year.
"Dan could probably have a slight edge over me at first as he has done 11 races this year, but let's see how it develops, as we have all the winter testing ahead of us before we start racing.
"I know that I have a lot to learn, so I hope I can do that quickly. I am conscious it could be very tough, but I also know that in general, I learn and I adapt very quickly: certainly that's been the case in every category that I have raced in so far. Formula 1 is different, tougher than all the rest, but I feel confident."
Vergne has already done some running in Red Bull Racing's simulator to get himself more acquainted with F1, while he plans to spend some proper time at Toro Rosso's Faenza factory after the Christmas holidays.
"I've got quite a few questions going 'round in my head, so it will be good to get to Italy and discuss everything calmly before it's time to get in the cockpit again," he said.