Vettel: Ricciardo has earned his place and I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time

Sebastian Vettel with Daniel Ricciardo

Sebastian Vettel with Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo will have to make his own way within the Red Bull team, quadruple World Champion and teammate Sebastian Vettel has warned, while acknowledging that the Australian has earned his spot in the team.

Ricciardo, with just 50 grands prix with HRT and Toro Rosso under his belt, has arrived at the reigning title-winning team to replace Vettel’s recently retired teammate, the highly-experienced veteran Mark Webber.

Vettel and Webber endured a notoriously strained relationship at Red Bull, and now Vettel has made clear that he will not be actively helping 24-year-old Ricciardo get up to speed.

“Obviously there’s a lot of new things this year that everybody will have to adapt to,” he said.¬†“But I’m sure [that Ricciardo] will find his way quickly: to give advice is difficult because everybody has his own style.”

Daniel Ricciardo made his F1 debut with HRT in 2011

Daniel Ricciardo made his F1 debut with HRT in 2011

“He doesn’t have the experience that Mark had but he’s earned his place and I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time,” said Vettel.

Ricciardo, on the other hand, said that he is hoping to “learn as much as I can” from Vettel, “and hopefully challenge him, of course”.

David Coulthard, a former Red Bull driver, said that he thinks that Ricciardo has less pressure on him this year than Vettel.

“If [Ricciardo] matches him, people will say ‘well, he’s really got some pace’. If he beats him, then people are going to really sit up and take notice,” the Scot told AAP news agency.

“So I think the pressure is off Daniel in many respects,” Coulthard said. (GMM)

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