Ricciardo fully focused on going head to head with Vettel next season
Scuderia Ferrari
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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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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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.

Christer Hammarström

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


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

Tornillo Amarillo

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.


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…


“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.


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.


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!


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…


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.


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


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?


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.


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!!!


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.


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.


I meant pay driver category, sorry


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.


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.


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 !


“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


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?


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


With godfather marko around ….Fat chance 🙂


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.


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.



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


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.

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