Red Bull confirm Ricciardo to partner Vettel in team for 2014

Daniel Ricciardo promoted to the Red Bull team

Daniel Ricciardo promoted to the Red Bull team

Australian Daniel Ricciardo will replace compatriot Mark Webber at Formula One world champions Red Bull next year, the team announced on Monday.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the 24-year-old, who will partner Germany’s triple champion Sebastian Vettel under a multi-year agreement, was “going to be a big star of the future”.

The decision ended speculation about Lotus’s 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen moving to the team, as well as wilder talk that Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso could be in line for a switch.

The focus will now be on Felipe Massa at Ferrari, and whether the Brazilian can keep his seat, and Raikkonen’s future with Lotus keen to retain him.

“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,” Horner said in a statement.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel

“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. Daniel knows what the team expects from him.”

Ricciardo, who was Red Bull reserve in 2010, is currently with Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso and is 14th in the championship after 11 races with 12 points.

The seat became available after 37-year-old Webber announced in June that he would be leaving Formula One to race for Porsche in their Le Mans sportscar programme.

Webber had already told reporters at last month’s Belgian Grand Prix that Ricciardo had got the job, although Horner denied a decision had been made, and confirmation came as no real surprise.

Horner said Red Bull, who have won the last three drivers’ and constructors’ titles and are on course to win both again this season, were taking a “medium to long-term view” in Ricciardo’s development.

Daniel Ricciardo beat Toro Rosso teammate to the coveted Red Bull seat

Daniel Ricciardo beat Toro Rosso teammate to the coveted Red Bull seat

The Perth-born Australian, the driver with the biggest smile in the paddock even without Monday’s announcement, made his excitement evident.

“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,” he said.

“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,” added the driver, who has recently moved to Monaco from Milton Keynes in England where Red Bull are based.

“It will be a great challenge to be up against Sebastian Vettel, I’m looking forward to that.”

Red Bull had narrowed the choice down to Raikkonen and Ricciardo but they triggered speculation by delaying any announcement even after the Finn’s manager had said his driver would not be racing for Red Bull.

Horner told reporters in Spa that the team wanted time because Webber’s were big shoes to fill and some other surprising candidates had emerged.

Daniel Ricciardo tested for Red Bull at Silverstone in July

Daniel Ricciardo tested for Red Bull at Silverstone in July

Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s chief technical officer, said they could have gone for a more experienced driver but concluded it was better to take on a younger man and develop him.

“From Red Bull’s point of view that also fits well because the driver that Christian and I feel is the most promising is part of the Red Bull young driver programme,” he added.

“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.” (Reuters)

  • Alonso_is_slow

    This is a fantastic opportunity for Daniel, but on the other hand he got the world’s currently most successful driver as a teammate, who has never any other driver to beat him.

    If Daniel wants to survive, he needs to deliver consistent performances, and make the least mistakes, or he will be the next Kovalainen. Red Bull is not as tolerant and patient as e.g. Ferrari with Massa.

  • Faceman

    Australia buys a LOT of Red Bull… so as long as he doesn’t try and take out Vettel – ala Webber – he’ll do fine, even if he isn’t on the podium every race.

  • Boycottthebull

    Faceman you idiot, Australia doesnt buy alot of Redbull most preferring to buy a better locally made product The insinuation that another Australian got the seat just because of a tiny market of only 20 million people is fanciful. If that was the case then surely an American Driver would have been way more appropriate. 12 times bigger market and the push to get 2 GPs there. Ricciardo wont get any better treatment than Webber however he will not get the same equipment and will have to tow the line to the finger boy. Webber didnt come through the Red Bull family so he wouldnt lay down quietly. Unfortunately Ricciardo will. We will never know how good he is as long as Marko and his spoilt finger boy are around.

  • hillside

    Seb chickened out on Kimi and begs for Daniel

  • the fan

    i wonder why this announcement was prolonged as if daniel wasnt the obvious choice. marko has already mentioned that he favors daniel long ago and the decision was already made there. they need to protect vettel in that team and daniel will obviously be its sacrificial lamb. kimi was never in the running really as he wont care whatever a consultant or a manager would dare him to do. poor daniel, lucky sebastian

  • Tamburello_1994

    Duh, Totally expected – Webber ruined the surprise, and Ricciardo couldn’t have had a bigger smile on his face all last weekend at Spa.

    Why else would one pick up and move to Monaco?

    With the rule changes next year it’s a coin flip as to how this turns out. Good luck anyways.

    With the silliness of the summer fading – the reality of autumn might turn out pretty boring in the end.

  • MacStar

    Well Daniel! I wonder if That smile will dissapear alongside Vettel!

  • Ukwhite

    Vettel better embraces for a serious fight, he is gonna have a tougher competition than Mark.

  • KC

    Obviously Kimi chickened out out on joining Red Bull, fearing (probably correctly) that he would be shown up by Seb.

  • the fan

    KC… you say the funniest things in this forum really :D

    do you honestly think kimi would show any feeling on who’s on the other side of the garage? or fear perhaps? you seriously need to have your brain checked

  • Junior Johnson

    Hi guys its been quit a long time.Anyway im a bit sad that Rozberg did not get to drive for red bull next year.Why did they leave him out guys they didnt even talk of him guys.They could have even put him in a toro Roso for a few racers to see how fast he is and if he is as fast as or faster as Vettel.Just imagine how cool Rozberg will look in all those colors of the Red Bulls its radicalous!Guys Ive been saying since china when we has the chineese gram prix.Some guys here were there and will remember this as my witness.Guys like butterfly hillside Alonso is slow not bernie not not bernie and maybe some others.What I said was how fast Rozberg is and imagine what he could do in a red bull.Oh well guys now we will have to imagine cos its not happening.
    Anyway I still belief that Rozberg is defnitly one of the fastest maybe the fastest.My brother is not so sure that he is the fastest of all bit he defnitly agrees with me with the part that he is fast.Nice day guys

  • Faceman

    Boycottthebull

    Hey idiot look up the #’s, the marketshare, and Deiter’s own comments… then come back and continue to kiss my ass. :D

  • Junior Johnson

    I would like to know something please.Why does this
    Ricairdo smile all the time with a big smile?
    Is it because he thinks he is so good he can win everything now.
    My mammy says that people that smile all the time for nothing are stupid.I dont want to think its that cos you have to be reely clever to get into f1.Some other guy i know has too keep smiling cos he has some of pain in his jaws.Do you think this could be why.Thanks guys for ansering my qestion

  • Faceman

    @Sunshine117:

    better check the standings. ;)

    even better, calculate points vs starts. JEV is far superior.

  • AlonsoFan

    people who doubt kimi need to wake up and face the facts. Kimi is probably the fastest man in F1 today..