Ricciardo: If I’m fast and able to win, then they’re not going to stop me winning

Daniel Ricciardo relishing the challenge of being a Red Bull driver starting in 2014

Daniel Ricciardo relishing the challenge of being a Red Bull driver starting in 2014

New signing Daniel Ricciardo is confident that Red Bull will give him a fair shot at race wins even though his teammate is multiple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Some believe that, despite the champion team pledging identical equipment and support for the young Australian in 2014, Red Bull chose Ricciardo over a high profile candidate like Kimi Raikkonen in deference to Vettel’s likely status next year as a quadruple title winner.

Indeed, while “excited” at the prospect of going head-to-head with Vettel in Formula 1’s top team, 24-year-old Ricciardo has also admitted that he is somewhat “nervous”.

“And I’m curious,” he is quoted by Spain’s EFE news agency. “Curious to know how much faster I can be with a big team.”

Ricciardo acknowledged, however, that taking on Vettel at Red Bull Racing – a task that ultimately broke the relationship between the German and outgoing teammate Mark Webber – is a “big wave” to surf.

Daniel Ricciardo with his future teammate Sebastian Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo with his future teammate Sebastian Vettel

“It’s true,” he said. “A very big wave. But it’s also the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had. I want to see if I really am the best in the world, or, at least, one of the best.”

“And there is no greater challenge than to compete against the best. I will work as hard as I can. If I can be as good as him or better, I’ll be happy. And if he crushes me, at least I will have tried. I believe in my ability, but when I measure myself against Seb then I will know for sure.”

But will Red Bull really give Ricciardo a free run at Vettel? A free run at grand prix wins, even the title?

“Yes,” Ricciardo answered. “They’ve said that if I’m fast and I am able to win, then they’re not going to stop me.”

As for the rest of the 2013 campaign, Ricciardo said Vettel’s rivals have an almost impossible task to stop him winning a fourth consecutive title.

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull at Silverstone in July

Daniel Ricciardo testing for Red Bull at Silverstone in July

“While there is a mathematical chance, there’s a chance,” he smiled. “But with the consistency that he has, then if he doesn’t have failures or accidents then it’s going to be difficult for them. Because even when Seb doesn’t win, he’s on the podium.”

Ricciardo said Vettel is now at the top of his game in every area as an F1 driver, “Many people think it’s easy when you have the best car. I don’t think so. Yes, he has a very good car, but when he doesn’t win he’s on the podium. And doing that every weekend is not easy.”

“He is very focused mentally and doesn’t care what people say…almost no mistakes. That’s how you win championships,” added Ricciardo. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Sure Daniel, Sure.

    Just like Webber: Smile for the camara’s, collect the money and remember you’re there to run cover for four times world champion Sebastian Vettel.

    You winning is secondary to the cause.

  • the fan

    thats the spirit Daniel!

    but im afraid, marko can stop you from winning

  • Faceman

    Why don’t they just run a #2 driver? Look at all the success it’s brought others… Schumi had an effing dynasty because of it.

    I just don’t get it… seems like poor management to me. Just look at Mclaren with Alonso and Fat Pablo Mctoya or Lewis… two strong willed and talented drivers take points off each other. Sure it’s good for the constructor title – to a degree! Watch Ferrari have a great car and still falter when Alosno acts like a petulant child with the Iceman in the next garage because two top drivers mostly causes conflict and drama and I’m sick of watching F1 become a soap opera. I miss racing where they had the fastest and most technological and best performing cars in the world.

    2014 doesn’t excite me in the least.

  • Boycottthebull

    Oh please guys you cynics (even though you are right) at least let him believe in the dream until next season and reality comes, he deserves that at least! LOL Besides miracles do happen in Red Bull, Marko just admitted publicly that sometimes Webber is faster than Vettel! Someone have the smelling salts ready I think Im going to f………….

  • Tamburello_1994

    @ Boycott

    :)

    Good post mate!

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    F1 teams are divided in 2 groups: teams that explicitly have a 1st and a 2nd drive, and teams that have a 1st and a 2nd drive without saying that.

    McLaren 2007 season, and RedBull 2010 season (almost lost due to Vettel/Webber rivalry) showed everyone that having two equally-treated drivers doesn’t pay at all, and all teams have adapted.

  • Urko

    Haha, agree. Just let the boy dreamin’…while he can:DD

  • Hawk

    @ real LOTUS…

    that’s really funny.. i would like to know the teams in the latter category

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    @ Hawk…

    All teams apart Ferrari that is in the first category! :-)

    …ehm, Ferrari WAS in the first category, cause i suppose that now they will declare that Alonso and Raikkonen will have same treatment… ;-)

  • iceman 2.0

    Keep dreaming son…few trophies will surely land in your lap as did with the elder countryman…Red Bull following the ferrari mantra of the Schumacher era…while ferrari thinking totally out of the box to bring in two roosters to clinch that elusive title. Can’t wait for season 2014 to begin ( oops 7 races this year still remaining, but who cares ).

  • knowall

    This man is seriously deluded

  • KC

    Red Bull never stopped Webber from winning, so why would they stop Ricciardo?

    F1 is divided into the intelligent teams, who use team orders in the second half of the season to support their driver who is ahead, and stupid teams, who don’t have team orders even then. Red Bull is one of the stupid teams. If they had team orders in Brazil last year Vettel would have strolled to the win instead of having to fight from last to sixth place.

    Of course that gave us a thrilling conclusion to the season, so I’m not really complaining. But this “Red Bull do too have team orders” line is garbage.

  • Butterfly

    Oh, Daniel, there are so many ways to sabotage a driver on track. All it takes is a little tweak to the strategy and you finish a couple of places down on the target.

    Strange fact: I read that Horner was on the premiere of the Rush movie when he got a call that Marko was on Austrian TV saying Ricciardo has been chosen. Then Horner arranged for an official press release with quotes from himself and Newey, but not Marko.

    Did Marko rush this? If they did, it’s going to cost them. This is going to put more pressure on Newey and his brainiacs to come up with winning designs since it won’t be that easy to drive the turbo cars of next year. Driver skill will be more important than ever.

    They may be shot themselves in the foot. Well, Marko shot Red Bull in the foot, anyway. :-)

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    “Red Bull never stopped Webber from winning, so why would they stop Ricciardo?”

    For sure they did it!

    Webber won 4 times in 2010, just 1 less then Vettel, but they almost lost WDC and then changed their strategy. In fact Mark won only 1 time in 2012 (and it was almost a “present” for him) and 2 times in 2012. This is history, the rest is garbage.

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    edit: 1 time in 2011 and 2 times in 2012

  • Ukwhite

    There is no way RB to shoot in their foot undermining team championship. With Alonso Kimi lineup, RB should perform flawlesly.

    It may be rough for Danie for a while, but if he is really good, heep his head down and beats Seb a few times, then step by step he can win the team on his side. It will not be easy, Seb has brought RB four championships, you cannot blame the not screwing thei golden boy.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Keep believing Daniel, just like Webber did.