Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013

Ricciardo confirmed as Webber’s Red Bull successor

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine


Daniel Ricciardo will take over from Mark Webber at Red Bull next year, the team have confirmed. The announcement was made on Red Bull’s Servus TV channel.

Ricciardo, who made his F1 debut for HRT in 2011, will partner Sebastian Vettel next year.

“I feel very, very good at the moment and obviously there’s a lot of excitement running through me,” said Ricciardo. “Since joining F1 in 2011, I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown; 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 would like to thank the team for giving me the opportunity to show what I can do.

“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.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “It’s fantastic to confirm Daniel as the team’s race driver for 2014.”

“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 Three 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.”

Kimi Raikkonen was in the running for the seat but in the end the team opted for Ricciardo, as Adrian Newey explained:

“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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195 comments on “Ricciardo confirmed as Webber’s Red Bull successor”

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  1. Thats interesting. I think he’ll be pretty good.

    1. Wish him the best. 2014 is still hard to predict but expect Red Bull to be up there, maybe not the dominant force of recent years but a race winning should come out of Milton Keynes garage.

    2. Charming fellow, but I don’t see the evidence that he is the best young guy.
      Is he better than Hulkenburg?
      Is he better than DiResta?
      Is he better than Vergne?
      Is he better than Perez?
      Is he better than Buemi?
      Is he better than Kobayashi?
      Is he better than Bottas?

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        2nd September 2013, 22:57

        Hulkenberg? No.
        Di Resta? About the same.
        Vergne? Yes.
        Perez? About the same.
        Buemi? The same.
        Kobayashi? No.
        Bottas? A little better.

        I think Red Bull chose Ricciardo because if they didn’t the Young Driver Programme would be seen as a failure. Plus they are probably going to put Da Costa in Toro Rosso,

        1. @lite992 I personally think he’s better than Di Resta, Buemi and Kobayashi but it’s all subjective ;)

          1. Ya, and I’m not so sure he’s better than JEV other than in SOME quali sessions.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            3rd September 2013, 3:01

            @vettel1 I’ve got no problem with your opinions.

        2. If he finishes ahead of Vergne for the first time in this years standings, I might be behind this decision. Otherwise I’ll be laughing as much as now.

      2. @j-dubya

        Well, he’s been involved in less incidents than Hulkenburg, Perez and Kobayashi. He’s less of a moaner than Di Resta, he’s had the measure of Vergne (Could go either way, I personally think Ricciardo has more potential than Vergne), Buemi had his chance and wasn’t able to convince another team to sign him, and Bottas has only had one stand-out moment so far after 8 races.

        Give Bottas a chance, I don’t know what he can pull out of the bag yet. But the rest of the drivers you mention all have their drawbacks…

        1. Hulkenberg is clearly better. Perez and Koba I’m not so sure. Di Resta sucks and is a whiny little kid who “got overlooked by big teams :(:(:(:(:(“. Buemi was never really it. And Bottas is in a GP2 car basically that handles badly.

      3. Hulkenberg? Absoloutely no!
        Di Resta? Slightly better
        Vergne? Slightly quicker, though I still want JEV at RB
        Perez? Checo is quicker, with slightly more potential
        Buemi? Dan is better
        Kobayashi? No
        Bottas? Slightly better

  2. Amazing news, expected it but great for it to be confirmed. Best of luck to him, I hope he gives Seb a run for his money!

    1. And I hope he doesn’t do a Perez and stops scoring points for the rest of the season!

  3. Good for him. And for the second time in 7 years, Toro Rosso actually worked to its purpose.

    1. Also, this is HRT’s first and only contribution to F1, isn’t it?

      1. In fact Red Bull sole contribution to HRT

        1. haha nice one

    2. Red Bull now have 2 drivers that have come through the programme and Toro Rosso. Can’t argue with that…

    3. I’m happy he got it. It would have been fun to see Raikonnen next to Vettel, but it’s always good to see some young talent promoting to the upper teams. Unfortunately Perez never got a car faster than his previous.

      I have my doubts about Ricciardo though, he’s certainly quick, but he’s nowhere near showed a season as impressive as Vettel in 2008 in the Toro Rosso. I hope his season ends on a high, so he joins Red Bull with the confidence he’ll need to drive alongside the increasingly impessive Vettel.

      1. But the 2008 Toro Rosso was a significantly better car relative to the opposition than the current one?

  4. Finally, this was almost as bad as the Gareth Bale saga.

    Best of luck to Dan, I really hope he does well.

    1. At least Red Bull didn’t pay a ludicrous amount of money for Ricciardo – @f190 Bale is a footballer who transferred from Tottenham to Real Madrid for around £85million.

      Personally I’m a bit disappointed Raikkonen didn’t get the drive. As for Ricciardo, I honestly have no idea how he will do, he seems alright, but he doesn’t exactly scream “future world champion”.

      1. He certainly wouldn’t be getting the same pay-check as Webber did. It would be a nice pay-bump for him, but he still has to prove his worth in the seat before he can has any negotiation power.

    2. @davef1 perfect comparison haha! @f190 Welsh striker who has just signed for Real Madrid after months of speculation – it was just as tedious as this ;)

      1. Ahh thanks I thought he was someone coming into f1 ! Haha.

  5. Mclaren (@ahmej010gmail-com)
    2nd September 2013, 20:21

    @Keith, that was super quick, i was watching the live stream and before Dan stepped out the car you had it posted. Anyway, good news for Dan, he deserved it and hope he challenges Vettel.

  6. Congratulations, Daniel. Another example of a driver that broke in with a backmarker, to (hopefully) achieve great things. Hey, it worked for his predecessor, and Alonso, and Damon Hill before him…

    1. Yep, reminds me of Alonso’s history (remember him at Minardi right?), and that could mean Daniel will secure his place among the greats in history…. if he can beat or do a decent job alongside Sebastian

      1. @omarr-pepper
        Remember how Webber got in with Minardi?

        1. Yeah, 5th place and points in his first race.

    2. Agreed, many of the current front runners did this.

      McLaren took a huge risk with Hamilton, it did pay off though.

  7. Andrew Simmons
    2nd September 2013, 20:22

    At least Redbull can now honestly come out and say ‘look, he is number 2’. Its the best way to go for RBR whether we like it or not. Why would RBR and Vettel want someone as good or better the challenge Seb? They wouldn’t. Its common sense.

    1. “Why would RBR and Vettel want someone as good or better the challenge Seb?”
      Hmm … I don’t know … winning the constructors championship perhaps? :P

      1. Andrew Simmons
        2nd September 2013, 20:41

        They did that with Mark Webber. 3 years in a row.

        1. Well, Webber did a great job and effectively secured the constructors championchip :)

    2. I detect unnecessary sarcasm. Give it a rest! RIC deserved that seat. I’m absolutely certain that his raw pace will certainly trouble Vettel more than what Webber’s did!

      1. @sankalp88 especially at the starts, where everyone of us know how bad Webber usually is

        1. @omarr-pepper

          Yep Webber has been embarrassing himself with his starts. What is surprising is the amount of excuses his fans come up with to defend his starts. But let’s not go off topic here. RIC is a very welcome addition to the guys mixing it at the top. I’d be willing to put a fair amount of money that RIC will be closer to VET than Webber has been the past few years.

          1. @sankalp88 He has the age on his side. I mean, Webber had already reached his zenit probably in 2010, when he was a real contender for the championship. After that Vettel showed him who ruled in the team. And I think that it’s not only to say that Vettel always had the upper hand (which is 99% true) but that Webber was really on the top and even though he couldn’t match what Vettel did. Fair and square. The Aussie Grit is getting old.
            That’s where Ricciardo can really impress. He will learn from the triple world champion (even when they are almost the same age) and that could be a teacher-student thing the first year, but then they will be ready to fight for it. And I think Red Bull really needs Riicciardo to se if it’s worth it, because Vettel can fly away sooner or later and they will need another full-skilled driver

          2. That would only be valid if they were in the same machines , the V8’s . I’ll put some money on him not being as fast as webber !

    3. The constructors’ championship cash likely does mean SOMETHING to even a team like Red Bull.
      But let’s be honest: between Kimi and Ricciardo, we know who would be more likely to challenge Seb.
      Racers can develop into unexpected challengers, but the original post is correct about this being intended to establish a clearly defined No. 2.

      1. I think it has more to do with the amount of hours the drivers need to spend in the simulator for next year’s car and the workload in the off-season.
        according to RBR – RIC’s feedback to engineers at the YDT was very good. And Marko said that this was a big criteria in the selection process.

        And I guess it’s also part of a long-term strategy – Vettel will probably leave sooner or later and with Kimi they would have to replace 2 drivers within a few years if that happens.

    4. Gotta agree with Andrew. I like how Newey likes to justify it with the ‘young blood’ routine… but the fact is that Red Bull have learnt that Ferrari’s #1 driver philosophy is the way to go.

      There is no way Seb could handle getting beaten by Kimi. So might as well avoid hiring anyone good enough to challenge Seb, and just give some bs pr excuse about ‘young blood’ etc. to justify to the world how a tier 3 driver just got the most coveted seat in F1.

      If they wanted to really give a young driver a chance then they should have gone for the Hulk

      1. I can’t help but notice that none of the other top drivers have ever shown any signs of actually coveting a job with Red Bull. Alonso could have moved there in 2008 but opted for Renault instead! Kimi could have moved there this year, but opted not to. The press likes to call it “the most coveted seat in F1” and some fans have started repeating that. But I have yet to see any drivers saying things like “I’d take a pay cut to be able to move to Red Bull alongside Vettel”, which is what a genuinely covetous driver would say.

        1. I dont think you can say Alonso wasn’t interested in the seat… I mean absolutely no one on the grid at the end of 2007 knew that Red Bull were going to dominate the sport.

          Kimi didn’t have much of a choice in Red Bull’s decision. He made it pretty clear RB was option #1

  8. Hands up, who’s surprised? No, me neither

    1. Worst kept secret since Alonso moving to Ferrari.

      1. @austus Alonso’s moving to Ferrari!?


  9. Here we go then, I hope it goes well for him. Now it remains to be seen what happens to other drivers.

  10. Lotus must be delighted

  11. Let’s see what happens, but you have to ask:

    -Is RED BULL going to be the fastest car next year?
    -Will the Mercedes and Ferrari powered cars have that little advantage over the engines over RED BULL?
    – Will Ricciardo “be equal status” with Vettel?

    1. I’ve heard that Mercedes are already leaps and bounds ahead of Renault in engine development while apparently Ferrari are falling behind both. But that is just speculation, of course.

      To be honest, I see no reason for Vettel to receive unconditional favourable treatment. Both of them are Red Bull’s “babies” so they will favour whoever emerges as the more likely bet for the championship.

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        3rd September 2013, 22:19

        I’ve heard that Mercedes are already leaps and bounds ahead of Renault in engine development while apparently Ferrari are falling behind both. But that is just speculation, of course.

        Exactly, thank god somebody doesn’t actually believe that BS. It’s common sense – if Merc and Renault can do it, the guys at Ferrari aren’t exactly fools – they make some of the world’s very best cars.

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          3rd September 2013, 22:20

          sorry, swapped the block quote :p

  12. Ricciardo’s mood upon hearing this news: :D
    Raikkonen’s mood: :'(
    Vettel’s mood: -_-

    1. Don’t be absurd. Kimi isn’t frowning, he’s drunk and won’t find out til morning.

    2. @hellotraverse
      I think you mean
      Ricciardo’s mood all the time! :D

    3. I don’t think so. Its pretty clear that Red Bull had this prepared some time (funnily enough Horner himself was at a Rush premiere when it was published).

      Bit of a strange time to announce something you want the media to pick up, I think it could have actually been timed like this to come after a deadline or an option to take an offer by Kimi had expired. I am sure it was not Red Bull doing the choosing but Kimi having made up his mind.

    4. @hellotraverse

      I would think Vettel’s mood would be – ;)

      After all, he got what he wanted

  13. I’m very pleased for him as he seems a thoroughly nice person as well.
    And so Kimi either stays where he is . . . or returns to Ferrari?

    1. The Finnish media is still pretty sure Kimi will return to Ferrari, idk, I think Alonso Räikkönen would be epic to watch…

      1. Its tauted a lot in the italian media as well, so maybe there is some truth in it afterall

  14. A few weeks/months ago, I was 100 % sure Kimi would get the seat. Congratulations to everyone who predicted this long time ago :)

    1. @paeschli this is the first time I’ve ever predicted something correctly haha! I’ve said it since the rumours around Webbo started – I was 70% sure always ;)

      1. haha same! To be honest, I thought it was a fairly obvious one though. Red Bull want to let their drivers race but having someone like Raikkonen to take points off Vettel doesn’t make sense.

        The whole Red Bull F1 philosophy is about bring young drivers involved in the sport, nurturing them and giving them a chance with Toro Rosso. That team might as well not exist if Red Bull don’t use them

        1. @petebaldwin I know, hence why I predicted it correctly haha!

          It really just depends how good he turns out to be now; as Horner said, they want to try and develop him into a great driver instead of just picking one up that’s already been established. And of course that’s what Toro Rosso’s for ;)

          1. Yep. Good luck to them. Red Bull aren’t exactly my favourite team but I do admire their young driver programme. Most of the top teams wouldn’t have given a driver without sponsorship or much experience a go.

        2. Really, it was most likely Kimi’s call, not Red Bulls @petebaldwin

          I guess Kimi did not like the money vs. PR duties and possibly though he would have a tougher job getting equal treatment / beating Vettel for less reward than his chances to get equal treatment / beating Alonso and salary at Ferrari (or will he stay with Lotus? – that must mean he is serious with the PR engagements, because it can hardly be for the money, can it)

  15. There goes the perfectly good top F1 seat.Good for Ricciardo,boring and with predictable outcome,well …

    1. How else will drivers develop and come through? Personally I’d find it boring to have all the talent rammed into 3 teams, spread it out more.

      1. +1killion!!

      2. @andrewtanner I’ll tell you how,by distinguishing himself from the rest of the prospects,starting with his teammate.Hes not that better than JEV,if at all,nor he showed anything to distinguish himself from Buemi and Alguersuari for that matter.How about that?
        @john-h Got me laughing there,Vettel go up against a hungry young driver,yeah right,that’s exactly why Ricciardo was brought in,to challenge Vettel,shore thing.And don’t give me that BS about impartiality,fact is best available driver didn’t get the seat,rather the obedient yes man.Go up against Vettel,lol ….

        1. By the teammate logic, Hulkenberg, Bianchi and Vettel are the best drivers on the grid.

        2. @kimster381 Judging by your user name you were probably annoyed Kimi didn’t get the seat. RIC has proven he’s the dominant qualifier out of the Toro Rosso pair, and race wise he’s as good as if not better than Vergne. He punishes himself in qualifying because he usually gets into Q3 and the car doesn’t have the pace to compete. But race craft is easier to learn and develop than raw pace. Sure RIC isn’t the fastest driver on the grid, but he’s certainly the fastest Red Bull Young Driver, and he’s exceptionally consistent and smart.

      3. @andrewtanner

        Clearly your not a fan of inter team rivalries.. and having some of the sports best in equal machinery

        1. @todfod Honestly, I do find them a bit juvenile at times. I’m not really that fussed about drivers or teams – what attracts me is the combination and how that dynamic works.

    2. I see your impartiality does not impair your judgement. I’d actually rather see Vettel go up against a hungry young driver than an old one that loved F1 so much he left the sport once already.

    3. agreed. riccardo is unproven still. that red bull seat belong to an alonso, kimi, lewis character. if not them then hulkenberg for sure.

    4. Hej, give Ricciardo a chance to show what he can do with a Red Bull first @kimster381, before you write him off.
      Sure, Its likely he will take a while to get on top of the challenge posed, and Vettel has his feet comfortably under the table. But Daniel knows the team well enough, he knows Vettel so he knows what challenge lies before him. Let him take it on, and we could see a new star emerge. If not, at least he will have had his chance and Red Bull can move on. And that could at least make it challenging for the constructors championship again!

    1. He sure did!

    2. Marko to Ricciardo: “Daniel, you will always be Mark to me.”

  16. Now we just need confirmation that Kimi will stay with Lotus and it will be the most anti-climatic ending to a silly season ever.

    1. @tmekt No, that’ll be when Massa is confirmed at Ferrari ;)

      1. Pretty sure that’s the same announcement…

    2. @tmekt : I have been having the same anti-climactic feeling. Alonso’s “big announcement” came to nothing. Red Bull went for Ricciardo.

      Now, Massa will be confirmed by Alonso and Kimi will stick with Lotus.

  17. Can anyone tell me ONE reason why RIC is better in any way at all than RAI? He may need less money, but SURE as hell RB will lose much more in the constructors. I mean seriously, he has less points than Vergne. Who is expecting him to get decent points? Specially when next year RB won’t have it’s aero advantage, like they have since the ’09 major rule change… Perfectly good seat wasted on an almost rookie. He doesn’t even remember how does a podium looks like. And after 2 years, he’s career will be in pieces, like KOV in McLaren, or maybe Perez, but i think he’ll be OK.

    1. One way he is better is that he took the job when it was offered to him, while Kimi did not. That’s a pretty big point in his favor.

      1. Valid point :D

      2. Thats not a valis argument realy, he would be stupid to refuse a promotion to RB.

        1. Kimi refused a promotion to Red Bull.

      3. Most likely that is it @jonsan.

    2. He’s not likely to do much worse (if any) than Webber, and that hasn’t exactly hurt Red Bull in the constructors the last 3 years. He’s also a vindication of the young driver program, and a possible long-term driver/successor for Vettel if all goes well. Kimi’s probably going to get bored again soon and retire…

    3. I’m not so sure: he’s one of the better young drivers IMO, along with Hülkenberg.

      On that, I hope the latter ends up at Ferrari (but Kimi would of course do nicely)!

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      3rd September 2013, 2:47

      I can give you several reasons as to why Ricciardo is a better option than Kimi.

      1) He’s a better long term choice.
      2) He’s incredibly quick. You cannot teach ‘fast’, but you can teach race craft.
      3) He has a better work ethic than Kimi
      4) He provides his engineers with some of the best feedback of all Formula 1 drivers.
      5) He requires less money, which means more resources for the car.

      He has only JUST been announced as their driver, and people are already writing him off.

      1. He’s also very marketable, and fits in with Red Bull’s greater image.
        And this probably matters less, but he’s also considerably cheaper than Kimi.

      2. @tophercheese 21

        Not sure how can you be so sure about points 3 & 4… Agree with 1 & 5 … and will wait & see about 4…

        1. I meant will wait and see if 2 is true…

          1. I wish DR the best, but frankly I had hoped for KR in the seat. I look at it like this…in KR we would have been guaranteed two gladiators on the team, as there would be no way KR would act the number 2 role. In DR I think there is a good chance he will not challenge SV on the track, not due to lack of talent, but I’m afraid he might take a natural psychological number 2 role, and/or the team will put him there to make their lives and SV’s easier, and that is not as good for the show that we the paying audience is there to see.

            I hope I am wrong and that we will still see two drivers going for it, but we will just have to wait and see, whereas with KR we know what we would be getting in that pairing…two roosters on the top team in what is touted as the pinnacle of racing. I hope DR becomes a rooster real quick, or at least is allowed to be one.

  18. Congratulations to Daniel. (Even if the way it was handled gives the impression he was really their second choice) It’s always good to see young talent given a shot in a top team. Also, I like his attitude and personality. He’ll be a nice change from Webber’s surly, chip-on-the-shoulder, self-pitying presence.

  19. Congrats to Ricciardo. This is good news for the Red Bull/Toro Rosso program on the whole. This will be a great opportunity for a young driver to prove himself in top gear. As an F1 fan I feel we missed a chance to see an epic matchup of teammates in Vettel and Raikkonen, but it is understandable why Red Bull chose to promote from within. Otherwise, why have a young drivers program at all?

    Now that the Red Bull seat has been filled, we must wait for Ferrari to decide what they will do. Much like Red Bull did not surprise many with their decision, I think Ferrari will be fairly predictable too. LDM has already stated he would like to see Felipe back for 2014. There is your answer. Sure, he wants Felipe to step up his game, but that has been said before.

    I’d love to see Kimi at Ferrari alongside Alonso, but it does not seem likely. So, back to Lotus for Kimi? Is there another team that has a car with enough potential for 2014 to lure Kimi in?

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