Ricciardo confirmed as Webber’s Red Bull successor

2014 F1 season

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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.”

Red 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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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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196 comments on “Ricciardo confirmed as Webber’s Red Bull successor”

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

    1. 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.

    2. 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?

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        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,

        1. @lite992 I personally think he’s better than Di Resta, Buemi and Kobayashi but it’s all subjective ;)

          1. Ya, and I’m not so sure he’s better than JEV other than in SOME quali sessions.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            3rd September 2013, 3:01

            @vettel1 I’ve got no problem with your opinions.

        2. If he finishes ahead of Vergne for the first time in this years standings, I might be behind this decision. Otherwise I’ll be laughing as much as now.

      2. @j-dubya

        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…

        1. 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.

      3. 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. 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!

    1. And I hope he doesn’t do a Perez and stops scoring points for the rest of the season!

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

    1. Also, this is HRT’s first and only contribution to F1, isn’t it?

      1. In fact Red Bull sole contribution to HRT

        1. haha nice one

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      2nd September 2013, 21:52

      Red Bull now have 2 drivers that have come through the programme and Toro Rosso. Can’t argue with that…

    3. I’m happy he got it. It would have been fun to see Raikonnen next to Vettel, but it’s always good to see some young talent promoting to the upper teams. Unfortunately Perez never got a car faster than his previous.

      I have my doubts about Ricciardo though, he’s certainly quick, but he’s nowhere near showed a season as impressive as Vettel in 2008 in the Toro Rosso. I hope his season ends on a high, so he joins Red Bull with the confidence he’ll need to drive alongside the increasingly impessive Vettel.

      1. But the 2008 Toro Rosso was a significantly better car relative to the opposition than the current one?

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

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

    1. 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”.

      1. 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.

    2. @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 ;)

      1. Ahh thanks I thought he was someone coming into f1 ! Haha.

  5. Mclaren (@ahmej010gmail-com)
    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…

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      2nd September 2013, 21:05

      Yep, reminds me of Alonso’s history (remember him at Minardi right?), and that could mean Daniel will secure his place among the greats in history…. if he can beat or do a decent job alongside Sebastian

      1. @omarr-pepper
        Remember how Webber got in with Minardi?

        1. Yeah, 5th place and points in his first race.

    2. Agreed, many of the current front runners did this.

      McLaren took a huge risk with Hamilton, it did pay off though.

  7. 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.

    1. “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

      1. They did that with Mark Webber. 3 years in a row.

        1. Well, Webber did a great job and effectively secured the constructors championchip :)

    2. 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!

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        2nd September 2013, 21:07

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

        1. @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.

          1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
            3rd September 2013, 0:51

            @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

          2. 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 !

    3. 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.

      1. 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.

    4. 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

      1. 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.

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

    1. Worst kept secret since Alonso moving to Ferrari.

      1. @austus Alonso’s moving to Ferrari!?


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

  10. Lotus must be delighted

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        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.

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          3rd September 2013, 22:20

          sorry, swapped the block quote :p

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

    1. Don’t be absurd. Kimi isn’t frowning, he’s drunk and won’t find out til morning.

    2. @hellotraverse
      I think you mean
      Ricciardo’s mood all the time! :D

    3. I don’t think so. Its pretty clear that Red Bull had this prepared some time (funnily enough Horner himself was at a Rush premiere when it was published).

      Bit of a strange time to announce something you want the media to pick up, I think it could have actually been timed like this to come after a deadline or an option to take an offer by Kimi had expired. I am sure it was not Red Bull doing the choosing but Kimi having made up his mind.

    4. @hellotraverse

      I would think Vettel’s mood would be – ;)

      After all, he got what he wanted

  13. 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?

    1. The Finnish media is still pretty sure Kimi will return to Ferrari, idk, I think Alonso Räikkönen would be epic to watch…

      1. Its tauted a lot in the italian media as well, so maybe there is some truth in it afterall

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

    1. @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 ;)

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        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

        1. @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 ;)

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            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.

        2. 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 …

    1. 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.

      1. +1killion!!

      2. @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 ….

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

        2. @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.

      3. @andrewtanner

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

        1. @todfod Honestly, I do find them a bit juvenile at times. I’m not really that fussed about drivers or teams – what attracts me is the combination and how that dynamic works.

    2. 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.

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

    4. 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!

  16. Marko won.

    1. He sure did!

    2. Marko to Ricciardo: “Daniel, you will always be Mark to me.”

  17. 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.

    1. @tmekt No, that’ll be when Massa is confirmed at Ferrari ;)

      1. Pretty sure that’s the same announcement…

    2. @tmekt : I have been having the same anti-climactic feeling. Alonso’s “big announcement” came to nothing. Red Bull went for Ricciardo.

      Now, Massa will be confirmed by Alonso and Kimi will stick with Lotus.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Valid point :D

      2. Thats not a valis argument realy, he would be stupid to refuse a promotion to RB.

        1. Kimi refused a promotion to Red Bull.

      3. Most likely that is it @jonsan.

    2. 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…

    3. 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)!

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      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.

      1. 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.

      2. @tophercheese 21

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

        1. I meant will wait and see if 2 is true…

          1. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    2nd September 2013, 21:11

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

  25. The smile will only get wider!

  26. 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.

  27. 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. ;)

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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 :)

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

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

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

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

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!!!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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 .

  47. 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.

  48. 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

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

  50. 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.

  51. 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 ;)

  52. “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

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

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

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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

  59. 2014,Red bull be like
    Dan, we believe it’s a ker’s issue
    Dan, Seb is faster than you,hope u understand that messsage
    Dan, ehh gear box failure,return the car to the pits in 2 gear please,sorry
    Dan, We have a problem with Hydraulics drive with caution

    1. Let’s see how DR’s starts go if he’s close to SB on the grid… I don’t remember MW having consistantly bad starts at Williams, Jaguar or RB pre Vettel. I may be wrong.

      1. @kenke @dirk Oh not these conspiracy theories again… is there actually any evidence of this being true? And yes, Webber has made bad starts well before Red Bull, he put a Jaguar on the front row once only to slip to the midfield by the end of the first lap >_> There are definitely moments when Webber didn’t botch the start (Sepang 2013, Monaco 2013 and Nurburing 2013 and in the latter 2 he started right behind Vettel) but for most of the part he messes up. Why do people find so many excuses for Webber? Nobody raises questions when Vettel gets mechanical failures (Especially in 2010) but when Webber gets them it’s like ‘ZOMG HE GETS INFERIOR MACHINERY!!!1!1’ >_> Vettel is simply the better driver, it’s that simple and anyone who can’t accept that is just delusional.

  60. RB 10 !!!!

  61. I do believe all of the ideas you’ve presented on your post.
    They are really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the
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