Red Bull finally confirms Ricciardo for 2014

Red Bull has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will partner Sebastian Vettel in 2014.

While the decision was not unexpected, the team admits it had looked at some more experienced drivers, which presumably explains why it took a while for the announcement to finally emerge.

“Since joining F1 in 2011 I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown,” said Ricciardo. “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.

“I know the team quite well already since being its reserve driver in 2010, which should make the transition easier. It will be a great challenge to be up against Sebastian Vettel, I’m looking forward to that. My aim is to finish this season as strong as possible, for myself and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Then, once the off-season is here, I’ll be fully focussed on next year and the next stage of my career.”

Team boss Christian Horner said: “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 joined the Red Bull Junior Team in 2008 and we’ve seen in his junior career in Formula 3 and Renault World Series that he’s capable of winning races and championships. He’s stood out in each of these categories and we’ve followed his progress with great interest.

“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; he’ll learn quickly and it’s very much a medium to long term view that we’re taking in developing him. The seat within the team is a wonderful opportunity and I think he’s going to be a big star of the future.”

Adrian Newey added: “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. 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.

“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.”


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7 responses to “Red Bull finally confirms Ricciardo for 2014

  1. peterg

    To Red Bull’s credit they have a real driver development program that brings drivers through the lower categories to F1. That program also has a chew-em up spit-em out record, whatever happened to Ricciardo’s colleague Brendon Hartley? Where is Jamie Alguersauri these days?

    I can’t think of any other team that dedicates so much of its capital to junior drivers, sure Mercedes ran Schumacher, Frentzen and Wendlinger back in the day, but it was “their” sports car program.

    What happens now with Kimi, he is clearly looking for seats outside of Lotus, did he ask for too much money at Red Bull? Were they worried about having to WC’s in the one team (IMHO, Red Bull would not care if they had a Senna/Prost – Alonso/Hamilton internal feud as F1 for Red Bull is all about promoting the brand)

    Will Kimi be happy at Lotus? Are Ferrari or McLaren willing to rehire him?………or is he very cleverly keeping his powder dry. Next year is all new cars, technology, tires, engines etc. Is there a logic to sitting back and waiting to see where the 2014 cards fall?

    • GeorgeK

      The only compelling logic is the logic of the moment: All the prime seats are seemingly taken. Plan B is to have to take at least a one year deal for 2014 from Lotus and see who has the best package going into 2015. And as we all know the best package at the end of 2014 may not stand up in 2015 what with all the “equalization” the FIA
      will allow.

      I’d still have to plunk my money on a Newey car over all others, unless he seriously screws the pooch in his design assumptions or stretches
      the regs to the point of getting parts of his design banned.

  2. If they were looking for the best up an coming driver, surely Hülkenberg would be in the frame, yet his name wasnt even mentioned.

  3. danielsussex

    If they wanted the best up an coming driver, surely Hülkenberg would be the frame. Didnt hear his name mentioned once.

    • kenneth chapman

      why hulkenberg? apart from his freak/fluke pole in brazil for williams he has done nothing to warrant a top drive. like raikonnen, they are both overrated. IMO of course.

      • LMann

        Sorry, but Kimi is not overrated at all. Clearly he is one of the top drivers on the grid. The only thing bad about Kimi is his “luck”. We’re it not for the many mechanical failures he endured at McLaren he would be a multiple WDC.

  4. peterg

    Could be another silly season rumor….but hasn’t Hulk been mentioned as a replacement for Massa at Ferrari?

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