September 1st, 2013 (F1plus).- In way, it is not a surprise. Red Bull has finally decided who will be Vettel’s teammate for 2014, and the lucky driver will be the long rumored Daniel Ricciardo.
It is healthy to know that the “silly season” is coming to an end at least with one of the major spot open, as we still need to find out Lotus and Ferrari final driver line up.
It’s been months of speculation and at some point it was believed that Kimi Raikkonen was the front runner for Webber’s seat, but reportedly negotiations fell apart, by then Ricciardo’s name was making more noise and at the end, he earned the privilege of racing with a championship contender car for 2014.
The Australian will be part of Toro Rosso until the year’s end. It won’t be too much of an adjustment as he will be within a similar family, albeit some difference, like Red Bull headquarters being in England (Milton Keynes) compared to his current team in Italy.
Ricciardo comes from Red Bull’s own development program, which represents an achievement. The Last driver to be promoted like was precisely, Sebastian Vettel.
A poorly kept secret is now public, but Red Bull’s management project obvious excitement over the decision.
“It’s fantastic to confirm Daniel as the team’s race driver for 2014. He’s a very talented youngster, he’s committed, he’s got a great attitude and in the end it was a very logical choice for us to choose Daniel.
“He’s got all the attributes that are required to drive for our team: he’s got a great natural ability, he’s a good personality and a great guy to work with.
“The seat within the team is a wonderful opportunity and I think he’s going to be a big star of the future.” Christian Horner said.
Adrian Newey believed the process was more of challenge, recalling past times.
“We could have taken an experienced driver, somebody guaranteed to deliver to a relatively known level, or equally we could take on a much younger driver in the hope that they’ll develop to a very high level.
“We looked at the latter option and concluded that of the younger drivers, Daniel is the most promising.
“The decision actually reminded me a little bit of a similar situation we had when I was at Williams. Nigel Mansell was leaving and we needed someone alongside Alain Prost. We could stick with Riccardo Patrese or take a punt on a young driver called Damon Hill who was our test driver at the time. I think it’s good to bring young blood in and give promising drivers a chance.” The Red Bull Technical Director said.
As expected, Ricciardo could not hide his excitement over the best opportunity of his career.
“I feel very, very good at the moment and obviously there's a lot of excitement running through me. Since joining F1 in 2011, I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown; I had some good results and Red Bull has decided that this is it, so it's a good time.
“Next year I’ll be with a Championship-winning team, arguably the best team, and will be expected to deliver. I’m ready for that. I'm not here to run around in tenth place, I want to get the best results for myself and the team.” The newly appoint Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo said.