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. We’re finally seeing younger drivers being given chances at the sharp end of the grid. I thought last year we were going to see Perez up there with McLaren, but that obviously has to wait because of their struggles. Even if this is an anti-climax as well with the Red Bull not being so good, we will see how Vettel with fare against a new young team-mate. Well done to him.
    Now for Hulkenberg at Ferrari and I’ll be very happy.

  2. So, my predictions for next year (because I’m bored), plus the already confirmed:

    Red Bull: VET, RIC
    Mercedes: HAM, ROS
    McLaren: BUT, PER
    Ferrari: ALO, RAI
    Lotus: GRO, HUL
    Sauber: GUT, FRI
    Force India: BIA, COL
    Williams: MAL, BOT
    Toro Rosso: VER, FDC (I assume that would be De Costa’s tag would be?)
    Caterham: PIC, VDG
    Marrusia: CHI, (No idea).

    Speculation is fun.

    1. has kimi been confirmed for the ferrari seat??????

      1. Nope, just my predictions :)

        1. Bianchi can’t really go to FI and I suspect Gut is gone if Telmex is the title sponsor of McLaren next year. I suspect FRI won’t pan out and IDK who COL is unless you’re as drunk as me and Kimi and meant to type SIR, then I’ll understand ;)

          1. I think Frijns will get Sauber, but maybe GUT won’t be there. COL was meant to be CAL :P Maybe @austus is correct and we could have Bianchi there instead of Frijns. The Sirotkin in the other seat.

            Okay reformed list:

            Red Bull: VET, RIC
            Mercedes: HAM, ROS
            McLaren: BUT, PER
            Ferrari: ALO, RAI
            Lotus: GRO, HUL
            Sauber: SIR, FRI
            Force India: DIR, CAL
            Williams: MAL, BOT
            Toro Rosso: VER, FDC
            Caterham: PIC, VDG/BIA?
            Marrusia: CHI, BIA/Someone else?

            I should stop with these, it makes me think too much about things that are entirely conjured up in my head.

    2. I wonder if Ferrari could pull some strings and put Bianchi in Sauber and another young driver in Marussia.

  3. i’m glad for Ricciardo, it’s a small let down because vettel must validate his talent against another world champion to quiet the naysayers… but on the other hand having a teammate such as vettel with hone the talents that red bull see in ricciardo to a fine point… a fine successor to webber’s seat

    1. @jasonryan he’ll just have to commandeer Ferrari in 2016 and destroy whoever happens to be there like Schumi did – he never really had a massively strong teammate ;)

      1. “Schumi did – he never really had a massively strong teammate ;)”

        Which is why, despite his records, isnt regarded as highly as the likes of Senna/Fangio, etc.

  4. Guybrush Threepwood
    3rd September 2013, 1:20

    Well done Ricciardo and RBR. Time to see what you’re made of :)

    I still don’t understand what all the hype about Hulkenberg is though…what have been his outstanding performances? I know he put his Williams on pole in Brazil a couple of years back in a gamble that paid off, but I don’t know why people rave about him so much. Yes, he is good, but the way people talk you would think he was the next Vettel.

    1. watch last years Brazilian GP, also he dominates at Sauber this year. He deserves a top drive, has shown time and time again he can drive a car beyond its means.

  5. Red Bull chickened out, listened to Vettel and got their “Massa”… Boooooo.

    1. @mpmark – Perhaps they felt that they had better things to spend their money on than a specialised steering rack that takes six months to develop, stops almost all other work on their car, then does one lap of Monaco before being unceremoniously dumped by the driver who requested its development in the first place in such a way that the team do almost no running on Friday.

  6. Ooo.. juicy… if RAI joins Ferrari and wins the WDC. That would be epic. One finger to Ferrari for ditching him before and another one to RBR for not hire him when they had the chance.

  7. I am a bit disappointed for Kimi .

    But , I think Red Bull did the correct thing considering their own constant ambition for success (Ricciardo may not be the fastest out there but he maybe works very hard with the team ). I also think that Kimi’s personality does not fit Red Bull . It’s good that they focus more on personality traits and are giving their own graduate a push to the next level .

    Now, for the bad part . Why did they take so long to announce it ? So that they could make a video of ricciardo saying CHEESE ? Or did they play mind games with Kimi ? Kimi had said that he had not received any info from Red Bull in the past few races.He however had agreed a month ago that he was in talks with Red Bull. Maybe, their initial talks with him broke down or they wanted to give him a chance to get back to them by keeping him in the loop which Kimi never did . I guess , We will never know what exactly transpired .

  8. IMO this is bad news for Vettel because he’s basically checkmated… if he beats Ricciardo everyone will be like ‘He’s the #2 driver who never had a chance but in the unlikely scenario Ricciardo can get the upper hand everyone will be like ‘Hah so it was all because of the car after all’. I’d much rather have Raikkonen in the RBR seat.

    1. I agree, Kimi would ‘ve been a better choice to properly see what is the part of the car in Vettels success.

    2. Vettel will move to Ferrari in 2015 I reckon, so he can do that then. Until that time he can just rack up a couple more championships. Numbers first, then cement his reputation – it’s actually a pretty good strategy.

  9. This is cool stuff… Having a new driver in a winning car (hopeffuly) and see how he performs… looking foward to it…
    I’m not australian, but is good to be a aussie replacing another aussie…. Ric seems to be a very cool dude like Mark was. Now I just hope that there is more of an even treatment from the team, and that Ric and Vettel, can show their true speed.

    I’m not sure that Ric has the pace that Vettel has, especialy when Vettel is absolutely at the top of his game, Ricciardo will have a tought job… But I hope, like most F1 fans should, that Ricciardo has the pace to make Vettel have a run for his money… After all Ricciardo is a young driver that must be hungry to be successfull in F1, so having much or less talent, he will put his cards on the table and go for it… And at leas he’s fast in qualy, wich is also a strong point on vettel, should be very interesting to see in 2014… shame that it is so far away, because 2014 is all Vettel, the guy is in a incredible momentum

  10. What about his wide hips?? Did Adrian sign off this appointment? ;-)

  11. Red Bull were absolutely right in not choosing Kimi. Kimi doesn’t work with engineers, some what inconsistent season to season, poor overall qualifying record. The sky is the limit for Ricciardo. Kimi’s best days are behind him.

    Newey knows all to well what Kimi is capable of. Five seasons in a Newey car and only consistently competed for wins when he had the fastest car on the grid in 2005.

    1. yet, he was the one rooting for kimi. yet, not all of newey’s cars were race winning cars

      1. …just to add that you can turn your logic around and say newey really knows what kimi is capable of and he knows that he managed to get more of newey’s car than he expected and he was satisfied with his feedback etc. why would he be the one who recommended himi to irbr otherwise. he did convincingly beat all his mclaren team mates and you are forgetting there was a certain fellow named rory byrne back then

        1. Newey has always been considered better than Rory Byrne even when Ferrari won five straight drivers championships.

          At the end of the day, this “superstar team” of Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne only ever gave Schumacher the fastest car on the grid in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Raikkonen had his opportunity to work with the best designer in a team with the best resources and equal biggest budget, but failed. Same could be said for his time at Ferrari. Would have been a double world champion if he simply beat Massa in 08.

  12. I think this is the correct decision from Red Bull’s point of view. They know Vettel is good enough to win championships if he has the car to do it – on this year’s form a car competitive with the other top teams would be enough to be leading the championship imo. There really is no need to splash the cash on another big name and risk causing friction within the team (particularly if they took Alonso). It also vindicates their driver programme and opens up a space at Torro Rosso, probably for Felix da Costa. And Daniel has a long career ahead of him so it is a better long term prospect in that sense, especially if Vettel decides to move on at some point. Finally, Daniel has a great attitude so will be good for Red Bull’s image (in addition to all his activities outside F1).

    Best of luck to Daniel, hope he can cause a few surprises and take the fight to Vettel. Having said all that i would have loved to see Vettel up against Raikkonen or Alonso ;)

  13. “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.”

    What is Newey on about? Comparing Kimi to Ricciardo Patrese? I guess you have to do everything you can to justify the unjustifiable in not putting Raikkonen in the car

  14. Also thats very sad news for F1. Red Bull are officially taking the pragmatic Ferrari route of a clear number 1 driver. And the fans are the loser in this game actually, we are being robbed of great racing and rivalry between team mates. I never really liked Ferrari for their politics, now I can extend my dislike for Red Bull for similar reasons.

  15. I have 2 views, which will not necesarilly be accepted and I will most likely get flamed on but, here goes:
    I fail to understand picking RIC over RAI. Sure, he might be better on the long term but, RAI is not going to be along much which would have given RIC a bit more time to get more experience in F1.
    It also seems to me like if they knew RAI would not be easy to handle and would not have been a “yes man” and thus would create a problem to their “boy”. He probably would have beaten him as well.
    I also fail to see why pick him over Vergne. In all honesty, Vergne has more points than RIC and to me, that would have been a safer option and anyways, it´s not like RIC was devastatingly faster than JEV.

    I do however understand why they picked hiim… he has a winning smile! lol. He is much more PR friendly and a great marketting piece and a justification of the RBR young driver program. I just think we will see less of that smile once he´s in the RBR seat! XD

    Anyways, I´m glad this drama is over and hopefully everything will remain the same in this universe that is F1. Well, not really, I hope Massa gets dumped and maybe Ferrari will follow suit and hire Bianchi!

    1. Why don’t you want to see Kimi at Ferrari alongside Fred?

    2. I fail to understand picking RIC over RAI.

      I fail to understand why you think that’s what happened. It seems more likely that they tried to land Kimi but were unable to come to terms. And from watching and listening to Kimi when questioned about a move to RB over the last couple of months, his heart never seemed in it. If he had wanted a move to RB, it would have happened.

      It also seems to me like if they knew RAI would not be easy to handle and would not have been a “yes man” and thus would create a problem to their “boy”.

      It seems to me that you allow your strong emotions for the man you keep calling “boy” to cloud your judgement even on matters only tangentially related to him.

  16. predictable. though i still think red bull should’ve gone for vergne.

  17. Well done Daniel. Great to see Red Bull promote from within. His qualifying pace gave him the nod over Vergne plus being able to analyse the data from the tyre test must have sealed it.

  18. All the best luck for him. It will surely take a while to get used to the new team, but I’m definitely expecting him to at least win a race next season. Although it had been exciting to see Räikkönen or Alonso in the same team with Vettel, it’s nice to have new guy fighting on the top.

  19. Though I agree with the majority sentiment here i.e. young blood in a top team should do good for the sport. But, I can’t help but feel that they have chosen Ric not because he’s the ‘fastest’, just because he’s ‘fast enough’.

    1. young blood in a top team should do good for the sport.

      nonsense, intra team battles are good for the sport

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