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.”

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free


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

  1. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:31

    Marko won.

  2. tmekt (@tmekt) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:49

    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.

  3. LSL1337 said on 2nd September 2013, 20:49

    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.

    • 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.

    • George (@george) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:16

      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…

    • 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)!

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

      • Rhys Lloyd said on 3rd September 2013, 4:44

        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.

      • @tophercheese 21

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

        • I meant will wait and see if 2 is true…

          • Robbie said on 3rd September 2013, 20:30

            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.

  4. 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.

  5. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:52

    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?

  6. Roald (@roald) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:52

    I’m really curious to see how he’ll do! I’m not a fan of Ricciardo per se, but I like the fact that a young driver goes to a topteam! Much more excited than I was with Perez moving to McLaren. Still secretely hoping Raikkonen will move to Ferrari…

    • schooner (@schooner) said on 3rd September 2013, 1:11

      @roald Interesting thought. Perez signing with McLaren was a bit of a surprise for me, but for some reason, I also find myself much more intrigued with the Ricciardo / Vettel pairing than I ever was about Button vs. Perez. Should (hopefully) be fun!

  7. Absolutely awesome news for us Aussies, I’m personally totally over the moon stoked, cracking open a stubbie at 6am to celebrate ;D I wish Dan all the best, I’m sure he can deliver!

  8. Hairs (@hairs) said on 2nd September 2013, 20:56

    Oh my god, what an amazing shocker! Daniel Ricciardio! Who knew???


    Who thinks this was only announced now to try and trump mclaren’s pr blast for the 50th anniversary, and the rush premiere? Given that it was a rush announcement on a facebook page a couple of hours before, and broadcast on a Webcast.

    Not that I’m cynical or anything.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:04

      You know who is sick today? Alguersari. If he hadn’t stuck up for himself, and done what he was told by marko, the seat would be his.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd September 2013, 9:00

      I think it was timed based on a deadline or option to take up their offer by Kimi had passed @hairs, as it was in the middle of the rush premiere.

      Agree on Alguersuari. Interesting to see where they go with Vergne now, after all he has been beating his more experienced teammate on points the second year in a row so far.

  9. Vergne has just bought a rope and a bucket to kick…

  10. The smile will only get wider!

  11. While I was obviously not privy to the negotiations between Red Bull and Kimi, I suspect it went something like this.

    Red Bull: “We are prepared to offer you a rolling one-year contract similar to the one Mark Webber had. Base salary will be seven million euro a year, which could rise as high as twelve million if you meet all possible performance goals, such as winning the WDC.”

    Kimi: “I want a guaranteed four year contract on twelve million euro per year”.

    They never bridged that gap.

  12. Elizabeth De Rosa said on 2nd September 2013, 21:25

    I’m very disappointed at the news that Ricciardo is the new Red Bull driver. Red Bull had the chance to sign Kimi and really shake up the grid but no, they went for the predictable, Vettel-friendly option. But looking on the bright side, it makes it easier for Lewis Hamilton to win his second WDC. ;)

  13. hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:26

    I am a fan of Vergne but I’m happy for Ricciardo anyway as I like him as well and it’s nice to see a young driver getting the chance to have a go with a big team, though I am really hoping for equality in the team and waiting for some good performances by him. The other good part of this is obviously the fact that another young driver will get the chance with Toro Rosso – I’m really hoping for Antonio Felix da Costa, but I read somewhere that Felipe Nasr wants to join the team too. Both of them are great talents, and Nasr could probably get in F1 in a different team as he has wealthy Brazilian sponsors and could leave space for da Costa in STR. I could imagine Nasr getting a Williams seat in case Maldonado gets a place in a bigger team.

  14. Merv (@) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:27

    Only 1 part of silly season sealed off though. As a Kimi & Lotus fan I’m pleased and I also like RIC so glad he’s got a shot in a (the) top team.
    Everything hinges on Ferrari now I feel. Pretty sure Hulk would jump at Lotus if Kimi left, even if it means another year with “unreliable” pay, then the dominoes would keep falling.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.