Red Bull Racing's Pierre Gasly has made clear that he won't be racing as a number 2 driver in his first year with the senior bull outfit, although he admits it will take him some time to get up to speed.
The 22-year-old from Rouen was chosen as Daniel Ricciardo's successor at Red Bull Racing after a successful formative year with Toro Rosso.
Many believe the Aussie departed the Milton Keynes-based squad because he was surpassed by team mate Max Verstappen in terms of outright speed.
Gasly isn't expecting to challenge the Dutchman at the outset, but longer term the Frenchman won't be racing to serve Verstappen's interests either.
"Being one of the best drivers right now will be a great challenge for me," Gasly told Motorsport-Total.
"It will take some time for me to be competitive, but I am not here to be the number two driver, that's not what I want or what I'm happy with.
"These things take some time, and Max is one of the fastest guys in the paddock, which is super exciting for me, because it brings you to a higher level.
"For sure, I'll be better over the course of the season."
To fulfill its ambition of returning to championship winning status, Red Bull has opted to drop Renault and partner with Honda for its power unit, a move many see as a risky proposition.
The team can rely however on the outstanding talent of design guru Adrian Newey to produce a competitive chassis that will allow Red Bull's drivers to chase down race wins.
"If I have a car I can win with, I would like to," added Gasly.
"But if I have a car that is only good enough for the top five, that will be the goal."