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

  1. Yaya Ishaq (@ferrari_412t) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:28

    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.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:41

      “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 :)

  2. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:36

    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).

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:00

      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.

  3. 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.

  4. Sam (@sjh172) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:46

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

  5. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:50

    Welcome aboard Dan! Best of luck next year.

  6. andae23 (@andae23) said on 2nd September 2013, 21:51

    Shokking news #not
    Very happy with this news.

  7. caci99 (@caci99) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:21

    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.

  8. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:28

    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…

  9. davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:29

    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!!!

  10. davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:34

    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.

    • 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.

  11. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:34

    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.

  12. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 2nd September 2013, 22:37

    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.

    • has kimi been confirmed for the ferrari seat??????

      • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 3rd September 2013, 0:01

        Nope, just my predictions :)

        • BJ (@beejis60) said on 3rd September 2013, 2:31

          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 ;)

          • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 3rd September 2013, 12:09

            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.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 3rd September 2013, 0:14

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

  13. 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

  14. Guybrush Threepwood said on 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.

  15. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 3rd September 2013, 3:00

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

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd September 2013, 9:00

      @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.

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