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Ricciardo fully focused on going head to head with Vettel next season
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Ricciardo and Vettel
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Nov 2013   |  3:40 pm GMT  |  149 comments

Daniel Ricciardo says he will take the fight to new team-mate Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season, adding that he has no intention of playing second fiddle.

The Australian replaced fellow countryman Mark Webber at the team which claimed its fourth successive constructors’ championship this year on the same weekend that Vettel won his fourth drivers’ title in a row.

Ricciardo joins Red Bull after two and a half seasons in Formula 1. The Australian has a career-best finish of seventh and is currently 14th in the drivers’ standings.

When asked by NBC Sports whether he will try and build the team around him, Ricciardo said: “In an indirect way, yes. It’s nothing personal. You need to build the team around you. Having the opportunity at a top team, I need to get what I want – that’s the sport.

“You want to make sure you’re getting at least equal [share] and then you always try and find an edge here or there. I’m coming in with a lot of respect for the guys at the team – including Seb – but I’m coming in with a vision and a goal and a motive. Bring it on.”

Despite the pressure of racing alongside the reigning world champion in a team which has dominated the sport for four years, Ricciardo has no intention of easing himself in. Instead, he wants to hit the ground running from the first race in Melbourne.

“Some people will expect me to be in there in Melbourne, others will expect to wait a few races. In terms of finishing positions, I have no idea but I am definitely not giving myself time. I want to come in at Melbourne ready and give it the best crack in the races from then on.”

Ricciardo pointed to Marc Marquez’s immediate success in MotoGP, where the Spaniard leads the championship standings going into the final race of the season in his debut year in the category, as inspiration.

“Marc Marquez is the best role model right now,” said the Australian. “I’m just switching teams and staying in F1 but he switched category – and he’s only 20 years old. So things are possible. I’m not going to put all the weight on my shoulders right now and say I’m going to this but you have to have faith. I’m going to give it a red-hot crack.”

That said, Ricciardo knows he has to bring home the results to keep his seat at the team. “If I give the team enough points next year to take constructors’, I’m sure they’ll probably keep me.”

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149 Comments
  1. DK says:

    I think Ricciardo is putting up a brave fancying his chance against Vettel. Honestly, I just cannot see what Ricciardo can do to better Webber in competing against Vettel unless the turbo car is very much against Vettel driving style.

    A few races down the road he will be made to support Vettel’s title challenge. Marc Marquez raced in a team that has not favoured a particular racer.

    1. Kerrbox says:

      In the Young driver test at Silverstone, Ricciardo was posting times as fast as and even faster than Seb in similar conditions. Not an exact measure and racing is very different to testing, but it’s the best comparison we have to date

      1. James Allen says:

        Ricciardo was 1/10th faster than Vettel in that test, on fuel corrected lap times, according to a team source.

        But that was a test. Wait until you see the fuel corrected graph Mark Gillan has done for this week of Vettel’s 1st stint in Abu Dhabi!

      2. JL says:

        James, do you know if they were running at similar time of the day, with similar car specs etc? and even so, you may think that Riccardo was driving for his career, while Vettel may have been cruising around?

      3. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        You make an interesting point James. Webber has been qualifying relatively well in the current season. But his starts and driving through traffic has let him down relative to what Seb has been able to achieve. My question is whether Daniel has the racecraft to beat the top tier drivers such as Alonso or Hamilton.

      4. Aadil says:

        Hi James

        That was just another test for Vettel, Vettel had nothing hinging or to gain from that test so you have to question his motivation to really give it 100%

        Im sure he drove his best but im also sure he wasnt losing any sleep the night before or after about being on the absolute limit of his ability.

        Ricciardo on the other had a race seat to fight for!

        When they arrive @ a race weekend fight for a race win things will be much different!

      5. Daniel MA says:

        I think Ricciardo will be able to beat Vettel in qualifying more often than not, however, his racecraft still has some question marks, he’s prone to loose places at the starts and first laps, so we’ll see.

      6. yassin says:

        I don’t understand why Webber’s car always seems to suffer technical failures. It is as if RB don’t bother to prepare his car as well as Vettel’s.

        I can only empathize with Ricciardo if the same starts happening to him. But I live in the hope that he is new blood and will drive better.

      7. All revved-up says:

        One driver is wringing the neck out of the car to win a seat.

        The other is “testing” parts, set-ups, tyres, etc . . . and there is absolutely no motivation for him to “show his hand”.

        I think it’s a case of SV knows he’s got DR covered, and DR thinks he’s got SV covered. DR’s cards are laid on the table, SV has 2 cards in hand and has doubled-up!

      8. Hendo says:

        One driver is wringing the neck out of the car to win a seat.

        The other is a 3 time world champion who would be trying pretty hard not to be upstaged by the rookie.

        Of course SV would say I wasn’t really trying – but he had just as much to drive for as DR.

      9. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah I heard these similar stories so yeah wow Ricciardo faster on the track first time driving that car and has been known to be faster on the simulator as well, so its a slam dunk that he’ll end Vettel’s dominance then… hmmm.

      10. KerrBox says:

        I don’t think anyone is saying that he’ll immediately dominate Vettel – only that he has the potential to be right there with him. I’m saying I’m not concerned about his speed and his attitude is right. If he attempts to spend a season settling in, he’ll get crushed psychologically and probably end up leaving F1 sooner than any of us would like.

        I’d also add, with all the rule changes, we need to see what the car is like. It’s very unlikely that it’ll be anything but brilliant, but Newey has had some lame ducks in the past (MP4-18 springs to mind – but he did share that a bit with Mike Coughlan). The new car might suit Seb way more than Dan, or even, and as an Australian here’s hoping, suit Dan more than Seb.

    2. Anon says:

      I think Webber is half the driver he used to be, he’s older now and since Pirelli came in he doesn’t seem to care as much. I wouldn’t be surprised if Daniel is closer over the course of a season.

      1. Maxxus says:

        Mark isn’t too old, he has still shown speed in the RBR, although not as quick as Seb. He already admitted as such that the Pirelli tires did not suit his driving style, as far as the machine he has a different style from Vettel, and thus as the years evolved Seb was the the team’s desire to suit his style. Happens all the time in a team environment. RBR saw a young driver who was succeeding so they went for him. Mark is still a talented F1 pilot, and he has had a great career..no shame in that…watch him win Lemans few times in that Porsche prototype

    3. Lohani says:

      I wouldn’t take anything for granted either way. These young drivers are a new breed, including Seb. What was considered bonus yesteryear, such as fitness, work ethic, technical insight are necessities today.

      Add to that starting very early. Seb started karting at the age of 3. Just imagine how much the guy may have learned and understood about cars and motor-sport in general compared to guys who started late. This is the time when the child’s brain is under development with huge neural networks burgeoning inside. Driving may well have become a language to them. Not to mention that they grew up in the information age where resources for personal development are abundant compared to your predecessors had.

      Don’t know how early Ricciardo started, but I won’t undermine what he can do with that Red Bull. However, Seb has had to deal with success and pressure for the last 4 years as a 4-time WDC. 2014 might just edge in his favor, but given the regulation changes, anything can happen.

      All the best to both Seb and Dan!

  2. Kev says:

    I think it would be better for Ricciardo to first get in the car and compare himself to Vettel first hand and then talk about his promises. He doesn’t exactly know what he is up against, both in terms of pace and the team org.

    Failing to meet up to expectations will cause huge media focus which could be detrimental to his progress.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “Failing to meet up to expectations will cause huge media focus ”

      He’s going to have that – no matter what he does or doesn’t say – but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with talking up his chances.

      He knows the deal: Deliver or be shown the door.

    2. Glennb says:

      He has *promised* to “give it a red-hot crack”. I dont think that’s too much to claim. I would expect no less of him, nor would the team.

      1. Thomas in Adelaide says:

        Exactly! It’s not like he’s promised to win the WDC.

        I think, reading between the lines, he’s saying “guy’s, I know F1 is boring at the moment with Seb dominating. I’m going to try to beat him!”.

        Obviously Mark is also trying to beat Seb. But we’ve seen how that works out.

        Anyway, i think DR might surprise a few people next year.

  3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    “If I give the team enough points next year to take constructors’, I’m sure they’ll probably keep me.”
    Sounding like the perfect #2 driver already.

    It’ll be interesting to see Dan’s starts compared to Seb’s when they are together.

    In Abu Dhabi Horner said at his start from pole Mark “hit the KERS button a bit too early so didn’t get the KERS”

    Is that too early because Marko hadn’t given the activation signal yet ;)

    Must also be what caused his lap 2! KERS loss and recharge issue as well. :0

    1. SteveS says:

      “Is that too early because Marko hadn’t given the activation signal yet”

      No, it was too early because you have to be going at least 100km/h before you hit the KERS button and Webber was below that speed when he hit it. In other words, he messed up his start all on his own.

    2. bearforce says:

      No. It simply because Webber is craptastic at starts. Also because IVettel is the fastest driver out there and Seb is a super guy to boot.

      Yabbba dabba dooooo….

    3. Malik says:

      “Webber made a decent start but pressed the button at 99.5km/h rather than the requisite 100km/h, which means it doesn’t work. In India the week before, incidentally, Webber’s Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel did the same – at 98km/h.” By David Coulthard

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      I know, I know, leave me alone I know what I’m doing, as the Marko comment was a joke.

      I do wonder what percentage of Red Bull starts Mark has made a mess of, i.e. gone backwards, in his career though. I bet he holds the record for that. Can’t remember if he did it at Williams and Jag either, I guess you can’t count Minardi ;)

      Perhaps they’d be better tap tap tapping the button then holding when they’re sure it’s above 100, wonder if that would work – sound a bit console gamey though! Then again with Webber’s luck if he stabbed the button too many times his car may catch fire.

  4. Paul D says:

    He’s saying the right things, but I really fear the poor kid is going to get absolutley destroyed.

    Could be similar to Heikki in 08/09 but worse.

    1. Mansell Mania says:

      If he can equal Webber then it’ll be a fabulous result. It’s all just about making it respectible.

    2. Messrine says:

      I am not too sure! There are big changes next year. Imagine that Ricciardo manages to adapt to these changes better than Vettel and does take the fight to him. Then we might see a different side to the smiling Vettel and start seeing the toys being thrown out of the pram! Look at how Rosberg is performing against Hamilton or Grosjean against Kimi. What a difference a year makes!

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Or Massa compared to Alonso recently :P

      2. Rockie says:

        Am sure you dont believe that!

      3. Messrine says:

        Then why did I say it? Trust me. Everything that goes up must come down! Somebody new always comes along. And a time will come when the car, the conditions and the competition will not be the same and Vettel will be in a different game! It might not neccessarily be next season but it will come. And he will not beat Scumacher’s seven titles. You heard it here first.

      4. Rockie says:

        [ Mod] you have got same problem as Alonso and Hamilton until they realise how skilled IVettel is and lift there game, they are not gonna be anywhere near him sad but true as for you, you have many more years to “cry me a river” s IVettel is not anywhere near the peak of his prowess.
        So keep up you wuld find solace soon!

    3. Truth or Lies says:

      I agree and still cannot understand why Red Bull gave him the drive. Based on current form he will be obliterated by Sebastian Vettel.

      1. wolf says:

        I’m sure that Bernie wasn’t involved in giving them a nudge to choose Ricciardo in light of the contract for the Australian Grand Prix expiring in 2015. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the probably-heavily-loaded-to-the-end-of-the-contract management fee being negotiated for the race to continue at Albert Park for another 5 or 6 years.
        I’m sure they wont cut him loose at the end of the year once the rights to the Australian GP is locked in.

    4. Sut says:

      Shame because I like the guy but I think you’re right.

      He may be second consitently which is the best he can hope for. If he looks like beating Seb the electrical gremlins will start.

  5. AMSG says:

    I really hope he hits the ground running. But looking at how the wonder kit ran this weekend, I fear for him mentally.

    1. jmv says:

      indeed, it seems that Vettel is also practising for next year.

  6. UncleZen says:

    Ricciardo’s starting record is about as poor as Webbers he wont be anywhere near Vettel so he won’t be competing against him.

  7. Andrew M says:

    Reminds me of Barichello saying the same thing when he joined Ferrari. We’ll see but I expect Ricciardo to be further away from Vettel than Webber, and (as much as I like and respect him as a person), I don’t rate Webber particularly highly.

  8. K says:

    I think that intra team battle has already been decided and he hasn’t even touched the car.

    He hasn’t shown anything that would earn him a race winning seat. RBR is the only team that was interested in him and that is to validate their silly Young Driver’s program or whatever it’s called.

    If RBR went for the best drivers available they would have picked Kimi and Hulkenburg way before Ric.

    1. bobw says:

      You are correct in that RBR wanted to validate their junior program. However, they also wanted somebody they could mentor and develop the same way they did with Vettel.

      1. Truth or Lies says:

        Mentoring is all well and good, but first you need a good candidate to begin with, one displaying the necessary attributes for success. Mentoring simply helps the individual get everything in the right order.

        When Sebastian Vettel signed for Red Bull he had many of the correct qualities, Daniel Ricciardo in my view at least, does not.

    2. Racyboy says:

      Oh that silly Young Driver Programme… what a waste of time and money… never produced anything…

    3. JK says:

      So true..

      I just wonder why he feels the need to put pressure on himself.

      He has done well to land himself where he is. That is how he should look at it and nothing further.

      He should not kid himself into believing that he got there on performance merit. Well, maybe he did, but the only other competitor in reality was JEV.. Just please don’t bore us with soundbites that imply that he deserves to be there.

      We have not seen flashes of true brilliance or remarkable performances from him so far that make him shine brighter than other stars.

      So even if next years Red Bull is a winning car (in the hands of Vettel), that wont necessarily make it a winning car in DR’s hands.

      Where does that confidence come from? Unless someone can tell me, I cant see it, and looks like nothing else but willful blindness

      1. Glennb says:

        Good point. DAn should look into the cameras and say “I suck”. I have zero chance against Seb and don’t deserve this seat.
        He should also apologise for taking the seat from forum favourite drivers and even from forum posters themselves.
        How dare he back himself.

      2. graham says:

        + 10000!!

  9. goob says:

    Let face it, all the racing will be done in Newey’s office… they will decide, who will dominate between the two, based on income potential.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Newey is chief aerodynamicist, he doesn’t run the team.

      And based on income potential? With the millions DM throws into the team money is the last thing they worry about.

      He doesn’t own RBR to make money directly – the team is there to promote the Red Bull drink. If it’s Vettel who wins (as he probably will) then fine, but if Ricciardo wins then what’s the difference?

      Finally, supposing I’m wrong, if Dan does start to beat Seb and all of a sudden he starts suffering mechanical failures / dodgy starts / detached wheels so that Seb can win then the conspiracy theorists are going to go absolutely nuts! :)

      1. Rockie says:

        Newey is not Chief aero guy he’s the chief technical officer.

    2. Damien K says:

      It’s all a business, F1 hasn’t been about racing cars for a long time now.

      1. Tim says:

        I heard a good quote from Frank at the weekend – F1 is all business, apart from the 90 minutes every other Sunday.

  10. James says:

    It’s not his decision whether or not he ‘plays second fiddle’.

  11. MichaelG says:

    Ricciardo might be saying the right things, but I’m not too optimistic as to how he’ll do next year.

    Webber, relying on talent and experience, was able to take the fight to Vettle a couple of years ago when there was a “sweet spot” relative to Vettle’s talent and relative lack of experience. Vettle has only been getting stronger and stronger as he’s gained experience and channeled his talent with the team behind him.

    Ricciardo comes into a situation with some obvious talent but nothing extraordinary and relatively little experience (as compared to Webber of only a couple of years ago).

    I don’t think it will be much of a fight. At this point, I think it would be exciting to see Vettel head to head with another top driver – an Alonso, Hamilton, etc. Short of that, we’re in for Schumacher Part II.

    1. Mansell Mania says:

      Please, please can Bernie sort something out for 2015. Get another top driver in the bloody second Red Bull seat. Alonso’s starting to get a little bit older now. We need Hamilton in there.

    2. K says:

      Hamilton got beaten by Button and having a hard time beating Rosberg so how is he a top driver if you use the same argument against Vettel?

      Same for Alonso, he was being beaten by Trulli until he got fired by Flavio, and then Alonso had Fisi, Romain and Massa as teammates …not exactly amazing driving legends. So how has he proven himself?

      The 2007 Ham-Alo team-up only ‘proved’ they are about equal…when they stopped acting like little kids. But they have individually been beaten by Button and Trulli so using the argument used against Vettel, neither of them have proven anything either.

      1. Elie says:

        Mclaren car failures and strategies beat Hamilton over Button. One race last year he almost lapped Button. Hamilton would have challenged Vettel last year had there not been so many pit stop failures and car failures when he was winning or on pole ( he was equal on pole most of the year). Rosberg has upped his game tremendously this year and has been in the team for 4 seasons and yet he is still behind Hamilton or is there something I’m missing..

        2007- despite the childish Antics of both Lewis and Fernando- it was very indicative of their respective talents and the fact that one of them was a rookie and not already a dual WC should tell you something. Last time I checked Jarno Truli was not a WC and if he once best FA- so what?

        I’m sure Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton or any other top driver wouldn’t mind a drive in an RB9 and I’m not quite so sure how many WC MR Vettel would have despite Sebs talent. AND using your argument other Mark – who has Seb beat in the same team for a WC — Sorry that’s using your argument !

      2. MichaelG says:

        Really? That’s your argument: Alonso was beaten by Trulli and Grosjean at Renault? Yeah, I don’t think so.

        Hamilton was beaten by Button at McLaren? I don’t think you can make that argument, but it doesn’t bear scrutiny. On balance, Hamilton beat Button during their time at McLaren – and I say that as a Button fan. Hamilton had better qualifying times, More poles, more front rows and more wins.

      3. Tim says:

        But they have individually been beaten by Button….

        Isn’t Button a former WDC? Small difference, but an important one wouldn’t you say.
        Seriously though, you appear passionate and sincere, but do you honestly think you know more about these respective drivers talents than their team principals? Both Ferrari and Mercedes went out of their way to recruit FA and LH. I guess they must have spotted something about them that you didn’t;-)

      4. L.B says:

        Overall Points is not the only criteria to evaluate performance especially in F1 where reliability is a key concern. I’ll refer you to an article on this forum last year;
        http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/hamilton-and-buttons-head-to-head-record-at-mclaren/
        Hamilton-8/12 Button-4/12.
        Alonso and Hamilton have themselves as yardsticks. Vettel is a good driver but he doesn’t have a yardstick…yet.

      5. Odjebi says:

        Hahahahahahahahahahaha that’s gold!

    3. Erik says:

      I agree in the most part, minus the comparison of Webber to Vettel today. Whilst Seb is indeed stronger today than 3 years ago, it can also be argued that Webber is slightly weaker than 3 years ago. You lose an edge with age, and as Webber admited over the weekend he has a few more grey hairs today. So while Seb is good I also think Mark is making him look slightly better. What the Ric can bring to the equation is youthfull energy, you can see that the guy is not experienced enough yet to know that he’s not invincible. This youthfull ignorance should help him do things Webber wouldn’t try on, or do things Webber knows won’t work – like trying to build the team around him. In any case I hope Dan can keep himself motivated till year 2 or 3, he has no chance next year – needs to pick up new turbo cars, new team, new team mate, extra media scrutiny, pr commitments, and on top of all this beat a 4 time wc to the championship?.. I don’t think so. The best he can do is hold on to his status in the team and make sure he isnt beaten into a no2 position. If he can do that then by year 2 or 3 he will have a chance.

      1. MichaelG says:

        I think we’re agreeing more than disagreeing.

        That was my point: Webber is weaker today than he was a couple of years ago, while Vettel is stronger today than a couple of years ago.

        You’re assuming Ricciardo has a few years to go up against Vettel. I don’t think Marko and Co. will give him anywhere that amount of time. If Ricciardo doesn’t deliver within a year or so, Marko will move in another drive Kviat? – his new “golden boy”- sooner rather than later.

      2. Erik says:

        I think that if Dan underperforms nothing can save him, question is what would be considered as underperforming in a season where he faces all the challenges I raised earlier. Red Bull understands that this is a massive strain on Dan, who is also in Helmet’s like pile, but Kimi was prefered by Newey/Horner and Helmet won that political game. We’ll see what happens to the kid.

    4. Glennb says:

      “Ricciardo comes into a situation with some obvious talent but nothing extraordinary and relatively little experience (as compared to Webber of only a couple of years ago).”

      Gee, that sounds familiar. In 2009 there was a young guy just like Dan. He did have a race win to his name but he was young and relatively inexperienced too. I forget his name but he turned out to be OK.

      1. MichaelG says:

        You’re talking about Vettel? The point is that Vettel won in 2008 at Monza.

        Has Ricciardo won an F1 race? That’s a big distinction between him an Vettel.

        The point is that Vettel had placed down a marker as something extraordinary. Ricciardo? Not so much.

      2. Simple says:

        You can’t compare the Toro Rosso of 2012/13 that Dan has to that of 2008 Toro Rosso Seb had, and then say Dans rubbish by comparison because he hasn’t won in it.

        Sebs Toro Rosso was basically the same car as the Red Bull…

      3. Equin0x says:

        But that ‘young’ guy back in 2009 already proved he could fight at the front with a slower car (Japan and China 2007) and of course (Monza 2008 and Brazil 2008) and he stood out like the closest star to us (the sun), in Ricciardo’s case alots been made about his pace at the ‘young’ drivers test and also how much faster he is than Seb on the simulator but the fact is all these claims are useless until the first quali next year. Just to note Susie Wolff at that ‘young drivers test’ was ‘faster’ than Bottas and Maldonado but in reality who’d believe it?

      4. TGS says:

        It was Vettel.

  12. woodframer says:

    LoL, good luck with that mate!

    1. Mansell Mania says:

      Maybe over the winter after the excitement from this seaason has faded down he’ll suddenly realise “what the blazes have I got myself into here”

  13. Anil says:

    He has a chance you know. Seb was incredible in 2011 and 2013, both times when the Red Bull had significant rear grip which complimented his driving style. His improved performances in the second half of 2010 and 2012 also came about after updates were put onto the rear of the car. However, in the first half of 2012 (when they were suffering due to a lack of EBD downforce) he did struggle at times and rarely looked as amazing as he did in 2011.

    He will have all the confidence expected as a 4xWDC and he’ll have the advantage of knowing everyone in the team, but with Ricciardo’s one lap pace, things could get interesting. I expect Vettel to come out on top but people who think Ricciardo will be nowhere should think again.

  14. All revved-up says:

    I think DR’s comment that Marc Marquez is the model is a good observation.

    Marquez is a once a decade star – even out pacing Rossi’s track record of winning in every category.

    DR has to be a Marquez to beat SV. Question is – is he a Marquez talent?

    All will be revealed in 2014!

  15. jmv says:

    When will an incoming / challenging driver repeat the famous words: “I am going to blitz him”

  16. Richard says:

    I wish Ricciardo all the luck in the world, and I think he is going to give it his best shot. On the other hand Vettel knows the team, and the curent car intimately so it will take Ricciardo some time to get himself into that position. He is young and hungry so anything is possible, and given the regulation change next year which will serve to pull Vettel back a little from his familar position giving Ricciardo the chance to feel his way in, but he will have to get up to speed quickly.

  17. Andy says:

    If the regulations weren’t changing in such a big way, I don’t think Ricciardo would match Webber’s performance, let alone challenge Vettel.

    A fairer comparison should be made in 2015 when the cars have settled down with the new engines and the drivers have learned how to get the best from them.

  18. Let`s give the kid the benefit of the doubt. No point specultating whether he`ll be destroyed or not. As a matter in fact he has the luxury of being destroyed in his first season by Seb without being kicked out of F1. He will after all be measured against one that is considered among the greats and there is no shame in loosing to Seb.

    I think that is what Ricciardo has got going for him. Nobody expects him to beat Vettel so he will get enough time to prove his worth.

    I for one think he`s a very good driver that has definitely earned his seat in Red Bull. But in order to compete with Vettel he has to make the step from “very good” to “exceptional”. Only time will tell if he`s able to, but he will get a fair chance.

    1. Equin0x says:

      Exactly nothing to gain from Vettel everything to lose, only the championship will keep Seb’s legacy alive, tall order but if anyone can.

  19. Ronnie says:

    Dan clearly separated himself in qualify from Vergne; but not much on Sundays (19:13 so far). When Vettel was in STR, the ration was 35:4.

    The new kid – Kvyat, just won GP3, right? It would be interesting to see his ratio against Vergne as a rookie. I’m having a sense of hope that I had in 2007 when Vettel first popped onto the scene.

    I wonder what RBR will do if Kvyat performs above expectation, and Ricardo’s performance goes under the shadow of VET next year… Meanwhile, there’s the saying that RIC is faster in the simulator than VET. If he pulls out a Hamilton 2007 in 2014, it would be very exciting (as much as I would be devastated for VET).

    1. Equin0x says:

      19-13 against JEV??? I thought the gap was wider than that but yes thats not a god stat even if he was to often out qualify Vettel like Massa and Grosjean does to their team mates Seb should come out on top in the races much like AbuDhabi, so yes this Ricciardo looks devastatingly quick on lap times but racecraft is lacking. Kvyat? Yeah I have a feeling Vergne will beat him and Daniel matching Seb in quali, it won’t be 2007 Horner woon’t “basically racing Sebastian”.

    2. Jato says:

      I don’t understand the notion that DR is worse on Sundays. On Saturdays, he clearly has JEV’s measure but if you look at his Sundays, the majority of the time he is ahead of JEV easily:

      - 13-4 in his favour by an average of 0.4s
      - He would have scored points in 4 of his last 6 races if not for Japan he had a penalty/Korea the car broke. Where was JEV? Fighting with Caterhams
      - If you look at JEV’s points, most of the time he has been in points is due to changing conditions
      - DR has also had the poorer strategies (partly because he is using more tires by making it to Q3) e.g. trying to a one stop in Hungary where he lost almost a pitstop in time to JEV in 4 laps because of STR’s strategy, STR stuffing up his strategy in Silverstone when he was running 5th
      - His racecraft is fine, kept Alonso behind for what 15 laps in India, he kept Schumacher back last year in Suzuka when Schumacher clearly had the faster car to get into the points

      So the question is, why do people rate JEV better on Sundays?

      From what I see DR puts the car where it doesn’t belong in qualifying and at least I have seen him drive with the big boys where I don’t think I have ever seen JEV race near them in a race. Hamilton himself in his July QA singled out DR as the driver that stands out the most of the new generation so he has respect of the other drivers

      While he is from the development programme, he has IMO earned his seat. Him and Hulkenburg look to be the best outside of all the top teams

    3. Martin says:

      It isn’t one lap pace that will win many races next year. Right now there’s a bigger difference in the races between Webber and Vettel than in qualifying. The vibe I get from reports is that Ricciardo’s one lap pace is excellent – not really noticed in a Toro Rosso – but it is less clear what his race pace is like. JEV at times has had an edge, and also has gone better in the rain.

  20. Andrew C says:

    Sometime around February, the happy chappy Helmut will come out with the first of many comments about the drivers which will be something astoundingly belittling of Ricciardo before he’s even stepped foot in the car. This will be the beginning of real life at RBR for young Ricciardo sadly and only then will he realise what he’s truly up against when competing with team Vettel.

    1. James Allen says:

      No – don’t forget RICC is one of his products from the development programme

      Webber was – and is – an outsider to him

      1. C Lin says:

        Was about to say the same, RIC is also Marko’s product. He will have it easier than WEB.

    2. Equin0x says:

      Young Ricciardo? Is he even 2 years younger than Seb?

  21. Irish con says:

    Potentially Daniel with get 1 of the biggest ass whoopings ever seen in f1 by a team mate. Vettel is 1 of the best 10 drivers ever in f1 and Daniel is in the bottom of the current top 10 drivers currently in f1. All adds up to a total smashing. Good luck Dan.

  22. Rob says:

    He is going to get the shock of his life… he genuinely doesn’t deserve that seat. But Webber hasn’t either for sometime.

    Senna and Michael Andretti springs to mind in terms of the size of talent mismatch.

    1. Gary says:

      Michael Andretti – ruined potential opportunities of American open wheel road racers for a generation.

  23. NoahRacer says:

    He certainly has a vivid imagination.

  24. Rob Newman says:

    Ricciardo is a fast driver and he has set a faster time than Vettel during testing. But doing it on a race day is a different story.

    I have a feeling that Kvyat could be a bigger threat to Vettel than Ricciardo one day.

  25. Doug says:

    To Daniel: You better hope that the Red Bull marketing men need to push the soft drink in Australia come 2014…..If not expect poor starts, failing KERS, multiple Multi 21′s for the whole season ( and you’ll be blamed for it) as they strive to make a legend out of Vettel…….. God do I pray the new regs mix up things and we can race again come 2014!

    1. Equin0x says:

      Multi 21 was designed to help Mark was it not? If we hear more of that it’ll be music to the ear for Ricciardo, as for KERS its always been dodgy for RBR not just Mark just look at Japan quali, as for starts well control that right foot better is all I can say, you see the wheel spin destroy Webber again??? As for Daniel I’m sure he’ll do fine.

  26. Charan says:

    Completely unrelated – but what was the 25g impact that Alonso sustained during the race ?

    1. James Allen says:

      From kerbs as he exited pits

      1. UncleZen says:

        Or illegal overtake as it is otherwise known.

    2. Martin says:

      20 to 25 g impacts over bumps on the track where not that unusual from from what I understood with these very stiff cars, but it is more the duration of the force that makes the difference. The current seating position doesn’t help.

  27. Richard says:

    Ah the second fiddle with supposingly equal oppertunities as Mr Germany has finally spoken about his supposingly equal oppertunities!

    Honestly, I would have no problem with a clear No.1 driver in the Red Bull team if only Helmut Marko and Christian Horner just told every F1 journalist in the world that their equal chances policy is nonsense.

  28. Mark says:

    Wrong way to come out IMO. He hasn’t watched Marquez closely enough. Marc deflects pressure at every opportunity but brings it on the track. Dan here is putting pressure on himself.

  29. Aleksandar says:

    He will fully experience the powers that is ties that bind…

  30. jay dee says:

    Took me a while to get to cum round to Ricciardo but u have to say he is doing a good job in the Torro Rosso. Will be tough for him to beat vettel but I hope he gets an equal chance to give it his all.

  31. Karim says:

    I really do feel for Ricciardo- he is up against a racing beast who is on the verge of reaching his peak and been around the RBR folks for a good 5 years. He knows the ins and outs of the racing team, he is bloody quick and he is a much better champion today than he was in 2010. To tell you the truth, I think an Alonso or a Hamilton would find it very challenging to pair up with Vettel, let alone Ricciardo.

    The only sensible thing for Ricciardo is to accept that his first year will be tough and that he should treat it as a complete learning experience, albeit a relatively fast one and forget comparing himself to Vettel. If he is mentally strong, he could put Vettel up to a good fight for 2015.

    Personally, my immediate concerns are that McLaren and Mercedes have to step up to the plate for next year and not allow Redbull to dominate the way they did this season. It is farcical, they should be embarrassed at how they are getting so humiliated and that there rate of progress have been so abysmal compared to RBR, who have only been involved in the sport for less than 8 years. Ferrari are a hopeless team, so I have no grand expectations for next year despite the driver pairing. Utter chaos reigns supreme with these Italian pot noodles- seems like their engine won’t be completely ready for next year either, which is why they are lobbying the FIA to allow for more engines to be used through the season.

    In any case, how on earth can a energy drinks team annihilate such prestigious automakers at their own game? It really is baffling….. yes sure they had a lot of money poured into this project…. but I would expect RBR’s rivals to be a bit ahead on racing and F1 technology, or at least put up a good fight. It took them only 5 years to get their first constructors championship. IMAGINE!!!! 5 YEARS- that is NOTHING in F1 terms and all these guys are supposed to be the brainiest people in F1, yet they allow a DRINKS COMPANY to win the F1 CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ONLY 5 YEARS AND DOMINATE FROM THERE ON.

    The likes of Ferrari and McLaren should be kicked out of F1 for allowing this to occur. I have never heard of something like that in my life (ok Brawn GP was a miraculous one off achievement that I don’t think will ever be repeated- but that was only because of Brawn’s interpretation of the rules which allowed for the double diffuser). RBR’s rivals need to SERIOUSLY step it up for next season……

  32. Chris Ralph says:

    Different cars next year, whole new ball game. Let’s just see what happens. Dan is obviously no.2 (how could be not be?) and we don’t want his spirit broken, but the cards will be shuffled…

    1. Martin says:

      While Dan’s car will have a #2 on it, there isn’t any evidence that there will be an inherent performance disadvantage with it. The front wing in Silverstone 2010 was about Webber wanting to deny Vettel a part that Vettel wanted but Webber found of no benefit. Other than that, in five years, I’ve not seen a recorded instance of a difference in parts between the cars, beyond a reference to Webber getting a lighter chassis last year by Horner. Yes his car has had failures, but so has Vettel, and I cannot recall a time when Webber’s car failed while he was leading.

      On team strategies it is less clear cut, but generally it has been the leading driver who gets the first call if everything is equal. In the Pirelli era, since Vettel is better at looking after his rear tyres, not everything is equal and the drivers have different pit stop windows. In qualifying they alternate between who is last over the line.

      Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ricciardo has to do more media appearances than Vettel, and that time will reduce his preparation time for the races. Time in the simulator will be important for making best use of the fuel. Pat Fry has said that that will be significant next year.

      Cheers,
      Martin

      1. Chris Ralph says:

        Well put Martin and everything you say is spot on. But perhaps I didn’t put my point clearly enough as I was referring to the new engines in 2014. With a grid full of new donks and the need to adapt car design and driving styles the supremacy of team over team or driver over driver will all be up for grabs, although you’d be foolish to bet against Newey/Vettel under any circumstances..

  33. dufus says:

    We will see how Dan does.
    He will have to let his talent do the talking.
    Seem like theres not enough fan love here yet….

  34. BogRacer says:

    Give the boy a chance folks. He’s a quick peddler. I say this with expectations in check, but this kid has punched above his weight for most of ’13 and was a sensation in the YDT before he was drafted in to drive for STR. The kid is good. ‘Vettel’ good? Not sure, time will tell. But he has shown plenty of promise.
    His Silverstone testing lap was impressive, but I don’t put a huge amount of stick in that. I’m more impressed with his performance in a slow Toro Rosso. Most of the front runners have had to contend with Ricciardo near the front this year and his elbows look pretty sharp to me. There have been 3 mid-fielders who have consistently mixed it in the top 1 this year: Hulkenberg, Di Resta and Ricciardo. Arguably, Ricciardo has been the cleanest and most consistent of the 3.

  35. bobw says:

    I think next year Dan will be on a steep learning curve. He has a lot to learn about the car and technology and race management. It will be interesting to see how quickly he develops without bending the car up.

  36. JohnH says:

    I think Ricciardo will receive 100% support
    from red bull Racing to be the best no2 driver out there.
    To those who don’t “rate” Webber as a driver? They should get in contact immediately with Porsche and tell them of their mistake. Or maybe he is going to be paid several million euros p/a because he is a good bloke?

    Perhaps one of his detractors could take up the challenge and show us how it is really done, It’s obviously no harder that driving an arm chair. LOL

  37. AliPan says:

    Sebastian Vettel’s response to that:

    “Remind me to be worried tonight….”

  38. Marc Saunders says:

    I think its stupid to come in Red Bull with threats against Vettel. He should state that he will do his best to learn from Vettel and, eventually do similar performances. Remember Heikki Kovalainen when he came to McLaren threating Hamilton?

  39. Craig says:

    Gee everyone is so quick to write the guy off!!!!

    Give him a chance, he has made a pretty average car quick this year and has raced it to its potential (its like the merc. fast in qualifying but not as much of a beast in race trim).

    I think its great to see him so positive, He is a driver with character and every time you see him he is smiling and has a positive attitude. Rarely do you hear him making excuses, he owns up to his mistakes (very refreshing in today’s F1)and I think he deserves a drive on his ability and not through his wallet (like half of the drivers currently in F1)

    I for one hope he does hit the ground running and does give Seb a hard time. You have to remember that Dan is also in Dr Marco’s stable, so the chance of Helmut pressing for more equality is likely to be much higher than it is with him giving 100% to Seb and none to Mark.

    I just hope that if he is not fast right from the first few races, that people don’t give up on him. Give the guy a chance to make his own legacy at RBR.

  40. Andrew Woodruff says:

    Strange thing to say at this stage – “they’ll probably keep me if I get enough points for WCC”. How defeatest is that?!

    With the reg changes I think Ricciardo has a decent chance actually, more so than others seem to be giving him at least. I expect some plucky Ricciardo performances early on, and he could even out-qualify Seb over the first half of the season, but I think Vettel and the Red Bull car itself will get stronger as the year goes on.

    1. Equin0x says:

      Yeah you’re right its exactly how I think things will go down, as usual the third 1/4 of the season Seb will come alive much like 2012 so the haters shouldn’t celebrate too early when Ricciardo can match or even beat Seb in the first half of the season.

    2. yst_01 says:

      Agreed.

      I also think this combination won’t last more than a year. In 2015 Vettel will replace one of the uber-frustrted Ferrari drivers.

  41. Craig in Manila says:

    He’s obviously impressed RBR enough for them to want to take him and I can’t imagine that they would want him if they think that he’s gonna be a dud.

    And, for all we know, Red Bull might be thinking that he will be a better marketing tool than Vettel and will switch their allegiance to RIC instead ? I mean, maybe they’d rather have a big-smiling big-talking aussie as their poster-boy as opposed to a quiet german who gets booed all the time ..?

    Anyways, I’m really hoping that RIC can surprise a lot of the people who are (already) posting negative comments about him.

    All the best to him.

  42. clyde says:

    With godfather marko around ….Fat chance :-)

  43. Neshaen says:

    I dont see Ric hitting the ground running.
    Lets give him a few races and see how he performs.
    There is no doubt that Ric is quick BUT is he quicker than Seb?

    1. Equin0x says:

      Even if he ‘quicker’ than Seb is he more consistent than Seb? I doubt it.

  44. TGS says:

    “If I give the team enough points next year to take constructors’, I’m sure they’ll probably keep me.”

    If this year is anything to go by he’ll have to produce exactly 0 points

  45. Elie says:

    Gosh he’s just stating the bleeding obvious and people are having a dig.
    Nowhere is he saying he will beat Seb
    Nowhere is he saying he will win the WC
    Nowhere is he saying he will do a better job than Mark.

    He’s just saying he will give it a red hot go and he’s not coming to learn!. People who think he should just learn are joking right !!- he’s had 2 full seasons In STR &RBR want him to win or at least come second often -Tremendous ask of any driver and if you are not driving at your very best you won’t even come close. If you don’t come out with this mindset- then he might as well pack his bags and come back to Aus because there are many drivers who are ready..

    Nothing he says or doesn’t say will detract from the expectation of RBR. He just has to deliver-and very quickly will it be enough – not convinced and there are some incredible talents in RBR juniors just cuing ip for their turn. I think he will only have 2014 and absolutely nothing else- and no one should expect any more !

  46. Racyboy says:

    What we saw from Seb in Abu Dhabi was a masterclass in tyre management. The ease with which he won(and seemingly plenty up his sleeve) was astonishing.
    Dan is going to need more than speed to beat him.
    Luckily for Dan, Seb will also be in learning mode next year.

    I wish him well and hope to see him on pole in Melbourne.

  47. Eff1osaurus says:

    Red Bull said themselves they wanted a young driver with potential to be groomed over an older driver. That’s why Kimi didn’t get a look in…

    I think to be fair, we’re all sitting here saying DR will be destroyed by Seb. However, Seb ranks among the top 4 drivers in history on WDC alone…

    Pitting DR hed to head against Seb is like bringing a knife to a gunfight…

    DR’s best chance is to learn as much as possible from SEB and the team, and APPLY it succesfully…ie, we need to see stronger results in the 2nd part of the season as opposed to the 1st part, when he will still be coming to terms with the car,team,PR,monster team mate etc.

    I reckon he’s got potential…he’s mixed it up at the front in a painfully slower car – it’s quick in a straight line, but doesn’t turn for … at least it looks that way.

    I just wonder what we as Hamilton/Alonso/Kimi worshippers will say when the day comes that DR beats our heroes…because it will happen, of that i’m certain.

  48. DomS says:

    Guys, don’t underestimate the Aussie fighting spirit. Webber has struggled this year with tyres and admitted it’s too late for hIm to adapt. He’s an old school racer. RIC on the other hand has only experienced this crappy spec tyre and and coupled with his youthful motivation, might surprise all of us earlier rather than later.
    Easy to criticise from here, I’d like to see you negative folk get in a race car and see what you can do at 300 clicks. If he was in the paid driver category different story, but he was picked up and has been part of the RBR program for a reason…… He can race! If he was genuinely no good they would have got rid of him already.

    1. DomS says:

      I meant pay driver category, sorry

  49. Owen says:

    Why is Bernie even bothering to organise the 2014 World Championship?

    According to the majority of comments here, Vettel has already won it and Ricciardo has already been fired by RBR.

    Armchair experts … apparently we’ve got a surplus of ‘em around here.

  50. AndyRat says:

    When you’re given a poisoned chalice and ordered to drink, there’s only one thing left to do… pluck up all your bravado and suck it up & see! Let’s hope the boy turns out to be immune… could make for one hell of a season!!!

  51. tropek says:

    I believe Vettel is joining Ferrari for 2015 with Fernando to McLaren. Vettel doesn’t care about Ricciardo as he knows RBR may not be front runners next year – he even has said that recently.

  52. Andrew S says:

    For me the yard stick of any newbie in F1 would be to compare them to Hamilton when he first raced for McLaren.

    I dont see there being time for getting used to it or bedding in. Ricciardo is an “experienced” F1 driver now.

    Do we expect Kimi to go back to Ferrari and take a few races to get back up to speed?

  53. Nedder says:

    I remember reading of John Watson’s advice to Senna when he joined McLaren, to take it slow, learn the ropes, watch what The Professor does and take it onboard… Senna’s response was that he intended to destroy Prost on every lap, in every qualifying session, every race. Bold words indeed, but it seemed to work pretty well for him. Having said that, Ricciardo ain’t no Senna…

    Mind you, having said THAT, why would a fairly well-funded team take a driver who DIDN’T think he was the quickest guy out there? They all do, don’t they? Good luck to the man, I say. Admirable bravado, looking forward to seeing how it all pans out next year. Seb won’t rule forever…

    1. James Allen says:

      My own view is Ricciardo should forget about beating Vettel but focus on getting as close to the maximum from himself and the car every time in quali and the race.

      If does that he’ll have nothing to be reproached for and he’ll see where he is relative to Vettel. If he’s close, he might rattle him.

      But Vettel is so well ensconced in that team and driving at such a high level that to go for him risks Ricciardo doing his own head in!

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        It’s absolutely possible that Ricciardos’s maximum is better than Vettel’s maximum. We won’t know until then. Equally possible; Red Bull are conquered by better teams. Schumacher’s 2004 was profoundly different to his 2005.

      2. Ravi says:

        Its absolutely easy to be supremely confident about totally unverifiable opinions.

        Anyone who has experienced life in a team be it sports or other professions know for a fact that one million variables have to be managed consistently to deliver.

        Seb + Redbull combo have shown that this combination has worked.

        Kiddo Riccardo shows his ignorance already by saying such things , not the least coming across as an arrogant kid

      3. Nedder says:

        Agreed. The man’s got some talent, I’m looking forward to seeing just how much of that he’s going to display next year. And yes, I’ll admit that, while I said that ‘Seb won’t rule forever’, there’s a better than fair chance that he could rule for the next ten years or so. Tough gig for Ricciardo, but hey, someone’s got to be the next F1 superstar, what better place than the #2 Red Bull seat to test the theory? Looking forward to it…

    2. BadBob says:

      “Seb won’t rule forever…” Please remember that Vettel is only 26. Four WDC crowns down and he probably hasn’t hit his peak yet. Stongly agree with Mr. Allen’s response to your comment.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        F1 is as unpredictable as it is predictable, paradoxically. 2013 may very well be Vettel’s last championship. Jacques Villenueve’s success ended with his 97 championship. After that, almost a decade at the back then retirement. Vettel may win the next 10 championships for all anyone knows. If his domination is greater than Schumacher’s for a longer period of time, it could severely hurt the sport. If Ricciardo can’t best him then hopefully someone else can.

  54. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    The team needs to keep his power face Vettel, like Ferrari hiring Kimi face Alonso…

    IMO Red Bull needs Ricciardo for that and they will do enough “mapping” in 2014 for challenging Vettel… but not too much.

  55. Kaartik says:

    Ricciardo is quick no doubt abt it. He was able to put that STR consistently in Q3 which his current teammate struggle to do. But beating SEB is totally different thing i think, simply because he is just too quick and very consistent. Seb is like a machine day in day out he comes to the circuit and gets almost maximum out of the car which he his driving. It’s going to be good for Ricciardo to learn the most important thing which he lacks currently is his race pace.

    2014 will be battle between Seb vs Kimi for Title. Reason i didn’t choose either Merc drivers because they are not very consistent enough. Fernando is bit shaken since
    Ferrari signed Kimi. I put Kimi for title challenge because what Mika and Prost are saying abt 2014 Car might suit Kimi more than Alonso & his new found consistency and Seb for having one of the strongest team

  56. Christer Hammarström says:

    RBR is going for eight strait WCD whit Seb Vettel Sorry Daniel you dont fit in to that.

  57. Adam says:

    Everyone agrees that Seb will outpace Dan over the course of the season but I doubt whether RB would want him to fail. They would want him to be as close as possible to Seb. Not only for the obvious championship reasons, but also for the legitimacy of the Young Driver Program. They need to keep producing champions or else it looks bad. Dan can drive, they wouldn’t have put him in there if he couldn’t. Let’s see how he goes. I for one will be cheering him on in Melbourne. Who knows, with the new regs, the RB’s could be trundling around in 10th and 11th like the Mclarens this year!

    1. F1 Obsessed says:

      Unfortunately I think this is unlikely. I would love to see RIC do well, but I am growing extremely weary of the RB/VET dominance over the last few years. For the sake of the sport and to spice things up a bit I’d like to see a more unpredictable season next year.

      Christ, since Silverstone this year only 1 race has been won by a driver other than VET, not discrediting VET for what he has achieved but it has been one heck of a boring season.

  58. Ravi says:

    From one arrogant Aussie to another “I have immense respect for the team-including vettel” – Who are you again if not a glorified rookie who has won the seat due to politics ?

    You are talking about a 4 time WC and you think anyone gives a damn if you respect him or not…

    Can’t wait to see this loud mouth put in his place

    1. Bryce says:

      How on earth can you find a lack of respect from that????
      I think you should have a good read/listen to every single interview with RIC since his promotion (or any before that as well for that matter).

      Any person with even a little objectivity would have trouble to find an instance of arrogance or lack of respect from this agreeable young man.

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      Red Bull did not have to give him the drive. It could have gone to Vergne. It could have gone to anyone; there is no contractual obligation saying a Toro Rosso driver must get the drive.

      You come across as if you have a personal grievance with Ricciardo. He hasn’t been arrogant, he has been respectful and polite while saying the correct things to not appear too timid or meek. Until the day when Ricciardo does a ‘Vettel;Malaysia 2013′, he seems like a good enough guy.

  59. Ravi says:

    And i feel emotions can never win over cold robotic application of self – There is a reason why once Schumacher started winning he just kept winning, same with Vettel. It isn’t a coincidence that they are both German…

    Emotional/passionate drivers have no space in this sport

    1. DomS says:

      Neither do emotional comments on this site. Ever played a sport before? It’s called playing with heart as well as skill and usually gives you the edge over your competition.

  60. Glennb says:

    Maybe a poll is in order on this subject. It seems there is a lot of negative feelings towards Dan’s selection in RBR. I thing there is a ton of underlying animosity here due to the seat going to someone other than Kimi, fernando, Lewis, JEV etc. It seems that if someones fav driver doesn’t get a gurnsey then the driver selected is rubbish.
    Run a poll and I think it will all come out ;)
    Go Dan in 14.

  61. aveli says:

    i’d love to see button and vettel race as teammates.

  62. IP says:

    I think after a few wins Dan will become known as the smiling assassin. I really hope he does well and takes the fight up to Seb. It’ll be interesting if the RBR is not too competitive, how it’ll pan out.

  63. German Samurai says:

    I’m predicting 17-3 in qualifying. I think Red Bull are hoping for big things from Ricciardo. They are going for 5 constructors championships next season. They don’t want a Massa calibre driver taking up that Red Bull seat.

    At the same time if they wanted to truly ensure the constructors title and have someone groomed for the future (in the event Vettel leaves) they would have went with Hulkenberg. Ricciardo is a good choice. He has potential, will yield to Vettel in the first couple seasons and knows his time at Red Bull will eventually come if he can perform respectably against Vettel.

  64. bk201 says:

    If the Red Bull is a front-runner yet again, Ricciardo will have little-to-no chance of beating Vettel over a season. Vettel knows the team and has all that experience of winning races.

    However, if Newey somehow designs a car which is off the pace – say 3rd/4th best car – then the Red Bull team battle will be worth watching. Ricciardo could well give Vettel a hard time if the Red Bull drivers have to spend 2014 fighting for the scraps in 4th to 8th.

    In short, as always, Red Bull’s fortunes hinge on Newey.

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