Ricciardo confirmed as Webber’s Red Bull successor

2014 F1 season


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. Alex White (@alex-white) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:19

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

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:40

      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.

    • J Dubya (@j-dubya) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:35

      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?

      • Michael Brown (@) said on 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,

      • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 2nd September 2013, 23:15


        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…

        • rambler said on 3rd September 2013, 11:17

          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.

      • 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. Mathers (@mathers) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:20

    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!

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:20

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

  4. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:21

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

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

    • 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”.

      • Rhys Lloyd said on 3rd September 2013, 4:40

        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.

    • @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 ;)

  5. Mclaren (@ahmej010gmail-com) said on 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…

  7. Andrew Simmons said on 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.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:27

      “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

    • 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!

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

        • @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.

          • @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

          • Greg C said on 3rd September 2013, 7:30

            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 !

    • troutcor said on 3rd September 2013, 3:39

      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.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 3rd September 2013, 6:44

        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.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 3rd September 2013, 16:13

      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

      • 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.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 4th September 2013, 15:37

          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. Edward F (@fedward) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:22

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

  9. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:24

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

  10. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:26

    Lotus must be delighted

  11. Krichelle (@krichelle) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:27

    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?

    • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:38

      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.

      • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 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.

  12. Traverse (@) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:29

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

  13. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:29

    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?

  14. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:29

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

    • @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 ;)

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:55

        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

        • @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 ;)

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:43

            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.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd September 2013, 8:53

          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 …

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:26

      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.

      • Traverse (@) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:31


      • @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 ….

        • Breno (@austus) said on 3rd September 2013, 0:03

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

        • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 3rd September 2013, 12:47

          @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.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 3rd September 2013, 18:38


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

    • John H (@john-h) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:47

      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.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:41

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

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd September 2013, 8:56

      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!

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