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. 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…

    1. @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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

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

  5. The smile will only get wider!

  6. 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.

    1. @jonsan

      Not sure Kimi would have asked a contract of that length as he seems to prefer shorter contracts…You could be right about the euro part though..

    2. I also think Kimi would have gone for a 1 year (with an option based on performance?) contract, but the money might well have been 12+extras or something.

  7. Elizabeth De Rosa
    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. ;)

  8. 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.

    1. Hopefully Dan will provide a challenge to Seb for the next year or two, until the latter moves to Ferrari and that should allow JEV to come straight into the top team…

    2. Ya, I’m not so sure I care whether Nasr or Da Costa join…

      Or perhaps we can hope for a miracle that Frijns gets that STR seat? :p

  9. 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.

  10. He does have qualifying speed, that much is clear. However, his performances on Sundays usually leave me cold. It’s just not exciting in any way – he’s good, but that’s his problem. He appears to be good, not great. He’s clearly good enough for a better seat than he has, but I maintain he would’ve been nowhere near a RB seat had he not been driving a Toro Rosso. He “only” needed to prove that he’s on the same level as other future prospects, as he, along with his teammate, had an advantage in driving for STR.
    There’s something similar between him and Paul di Resta, the difference being their personality. Both are good drivers, but I don’t find them very exciting prospects at all. There were better options – I’m going to name Hülkenberg as the future prospect that is the benchmark for the young drivers, Ricciardo included.

    However, he’s got every opportunity in the world to prove his doubters wrong. He’s sitting in the top car of the past years going head-to-head against a triple (at that time possibly quadruple) champion. Drawing conclusions too early in the season would be unwise – I assume that around this time next year we’ll be able to assess how Ricciardo compares to Vettel. As I stated in the opening post, I’m ready to be proven wrong. Fresh blood in the club of top drivers is always a good thing, and I wish Ricciardo the best of luck. He must be on top of the world, given the opportunity.

    1. “Fresh blood in the club of top drivers is always a good thing”
      Thats what I’m gonna remember from your post ^^ I’m also sure that if Ricciardo underperforms a lot (which I doubt), they ‘ll try hiring Kimi again :)

  11. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke, by the sound of it. He’ll do well to match Damon Hill’s first season, keeping up with his team leader and nabbing a win or two.

    Prost & Patrese was never an option, was it? I thought Riccardo (without an ‘i’) signed for Benetton as soon as he knew Prost was coming to Williams for 1993. Some revision of history by Newey there?

    All eyes on the second Ferrari now, with two guys in particular deserving a step up: Raikkonen and Hulkenberg (add your own umlauts).

    1. The way I recall it is that he knew Prost had signed and therefore found himself another seat as he assumed that Prost was taking his seat rather than Mansell’s. By the time he found out he could have had the option to stay at Williams he already had his contract with Bennetton.

      Still it’s not the only revision of history by Newey and certainly not the most recent, how about the bit where he says that he and Christian thought that Ricciardo was the best young driver and it just so happened that he was in the Red Bull young driver programme which was nice for Red Bull.

  12. I’m quite glad they didn’t just bow to the desires of fans and go for the “easy” option in Räikkönen in hindsight: they took a gamble on Sebastian it is worth remembering, and well I don’t need to comment any further on that…

    I’m really interested in seeing how well he fares against a known quantity and his capacity to learn off of an experienced driver. I think he definitely has the raw speed and the potential to be a good driver, so now all he has to do is hone and refine that.

    Even though a Räikkönen/Vettel battle would’ve been epic and joyous to watch, Red Bull have played the smart game here.

    1. @vettel1
      I don’t think signing Vettel was a gamble; his Monza 2008 victory and his drive at Monaco 2008 and China 2007 are testamant to his outstanding ability.
      I can’t remember when he was signed, but I think he was already a race winner when he was.

      1. @xjr15jaaag he was, but they still had no basis on which to compare him: undoubtably he showed outstanding talent but again, he wasn’t a known quantity, so in that sense I’d call it a risk ;)

      2. DC announced his retirement at Silverstone that year and I believe Vettel was announced between British and German GPs.

    2. @vettel1 I don’t think taking Vettel was a gamble on that time. They were a midrank team when they signed Vettel, now they are world champions for three years in a row and on course for the forth. There is more to be expected from them now then then.

      1. @caci99 that’s very true!

  13. Now the red bull seat is solved, I wonder who will get toro rosso seat? My money is on Felix da Costa.

  14. Welcome aboard Dan! Best of luck next year.

  15. Shokking news #not
    Very happy with this news.

  16. Congratulations at Daniel. A tough position, but he is in there not for the easy tasks. Good luck, I really hope he can cope with the pressure that comes from RBR.

  17. So Webber (an Australian who Vettel crashed into behind the safety car in the third-last race of the 2007 season whilst one was driving for Red Bull and the other for Toro Rosso) is replaced by Ricciardo (an Australian who Vettel nearly crashed into behind the safety car in the third-last race of the 2012 season whilst one was driving for Red Bull and the other for Toro Rosso) as Vettel’s team-mate…

    1. @paulgilb I seem to have missed that particular episode in Brazil; I only seem to remember Senna hitting Vettel…

      1. Wait, I’ve misread haha! He had slight damage – he didn’t nearly hit Ricciardo at all – DRS board though…

    2. @paulgilb Wasn’t that Vergne at Abu Dhabi 2012?

    3. JP (@jonathanproc)
      2nd September 2013, 22:59

      Strange coincidence, bad omen maybe? I joke, I’m sure Ricciardo will fit in fine with Vettel.

      @paulgilb – It was definitely Ricciardo.
      @vettel1 – He did nearly hit him, that’s why he swerved off the track. – “Swerving to avoid Ricciardo he damaged his front wing for a second time and had to pit.”

      1. @jonathanproc “nearly hit” implies to me that he was simply lucky to avoid contact, but I’m just pedantic over details ;)

        However, it was a lack of vigilance to not account for the fact they’d be doing different programmes. It wasn’t going to result in a car crash though.

        1. JP (@jonathanproc)
          2nd September 2013, 23:20


          “nearly” adverb
          very close to; almost.
          “hit” noun
          an instance of striking or being struck.

          He nearly hit Ricciardo. You can’t disagree with that.

          1. @jonathanproc I disagree as the connotations of “nearly” include beyond control and fortune: he wasn’t ever going to actually hit Ricciardo ;)

          2. JP (@jonathanproc)
            3rd September 2013, 22:28

            @vettel1 Well you’re misunderstanding the English language if that’s the case. Denotations of nearly include “Almost but not quite”. Vettel almost but not quite hit Ricciardo as he swerved to avoid him.

          3. @jonathanproc well I’m just pedantic then – I wouldn’t say nearly hit Ricciardo, I’d say hit the DRS board ;)

          4. JP (@jonathanproc)
            3rd September 2013, 22:41

            @vettel1 I’d say he nearly hit Ricciardo before he hit the DRS board.

    4. @jonathanproc fair enough – I wouldn’t – but that wasn’t what was said in the initial comment ;) The DRS board is the main component.

      1. JP (@jonathanproc)
        5th September 2013, 17:58

        @vettel1 It was said in the initial comment. “an Australian who Vettel nearly crashed into behind the safety car in the third-last race of the 2012 season whilst one was driving for Red Bull and the other for Toro Rosso”

        1. @jonathanproc …hence omitting the DRS board.

          1. JP (@jonathanproc)
            5th September 2013, 18:23

            @vettel1 You’re bringing up the DRS board which has nothing to do with my point. The initial comment said “nearly crashed into”, which is the main component.

          2. @jonathanproc I disagree: the main component was the collision with the DRS board – “nearly hit” means didn’t.

          3. JP (@jonathanproc)
            5th September 2013, 18:33

            @vettel1 You’re missing the point altogether. The first comment referred to Vettel nearly hitting Ricciardo. Not the DRS board.
            Yes, “nearly hit” does indeed mean he didn’t hit him, but I didn’t say he did hit him, nor did paulgilb.

  18. Mixed emotions for me. Glad a youngster has been given a chance in a top team, but at the same time Raikkonen Vs Vettel would have been a fascinating battle. Interestingly the promoters of the Australian Grand Prix were promoting to the 2014 Melbourne Grand Prix back in April of this year with a front page picture of Ricciardo (last 3 yrs it’s been Webber). Maybe this deal has been locked in for longer than we think!!!

  19. The interesting question now is how long will Webber continue this season? It would make sense in some ways for him to depart before the end of the season to give Ricciardo a chance to get up to speed with the car and the team. Webber’s world championship chances have all but gone and you have to question how motivated he will be as hit the fly-aways. It might put their Constructors Championship at risk, but if they think Ricciardo is good enough to drive a red bull then they have to back him and themselves to keep bagging points and podiums in the sister car.

    1. I think webber will see out the year. He has a contract so RedBull can’t force him out and i think he will want to try grab a final win before retiring. My prediction is Vettel will win the driver’s championship in Abu Dabi and Redbull will try to help webber get a win in the final two races: dodgy gearbox for Vettel maybe, “maintain the gap” ;). Mark goes well in Brazil so that’s probably his best shot, would be nice to see him go out on a high.

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