Ricciardo aims to become a fixture at the front

2014 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Daniel Ricciardo says his aim on joining Red Bull is to establish himself as a front-running driver.

“I haven’t set any expectations in terms of where I’d like to finish,” said Ricciardo after the launch of the Red Bull RB10. “Obviously, if someone said ‘if you were to become world champion, would you be happy?’ of course I’d be happy.”

“I think for me, I’d love to get a win. To step onto the top step, that would be amazing. But just to go through the year continuing to learn and try and match Sebastian [Vettel], at least at some point, and to really set myself up at the front of the grid and not to be a one-hit wonder.”

Ricciardo added he was pleased to get the chance to compare himself to Vettel with the same equipment:

“I don’t expect to be treated like God. I’m not the world champion, but at the same time I’ve been reassured that I’m going to get the equal side.

“But I’ve got to earn my place into the team as well. It’s nice to know we’re going to have equal stuff, but hopefully after some time – hopefully not too long a time – I can let the team know that I’m capable of getting some top results as well.”

Mark Webber, whose place Ricciardo has taken at Red Bull, gave his fellow Australian some advice after joining the team.

“Mark and I spoke on the phone for a bit and he was really nice about it, as he’s always been,” said Ricciardo.

“His main advice was pretty much ‘don’t get overwhelmed by it all – just focus on the main thing’, which is driving. I’ve been doing well – I earned the position here.”

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

30 comments on “Ricciardo aims to become a fixture at the front”

  1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    29th January 2014, 14:12

    Well he’s easily quick enough, and then some. Just needs to work on his race craft (which I’ve no doubt he has been doing), and he’ll be on his way to a win or two!

    Go Dan! Reppin’ Duncraig! Haha

    1. He’s got a bit of a “no.2” about him already. If he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with he has to at least think top step and say it out loud and appear to be uncompromising. Remember, he is being summed up by 18 other drivers who will want to know how he will react. This performance leads me to believe that if he sees a red car in his mirrors for example, he will just point them by.

      Get yer elbows out son!

      1. @baron I couldn’t agree more. All this PR correctness rubbish. No sign here that he has the attitude and belief that he is better than all the others. For me every driver on the grid should be thinking just that.
        Most times they don’t win it will be any reason other than their championship winning potential…

        1. Of course he, like all drivers in his position, can only say pretty much what he is saying. But that is not to suggest he will be as diplomatic on the track. So I think it is folly for you guys to knock him for words. Let’s see how he likes the new car and driving style. Let’s see how SV does without his EBD downforce. Let’s see who will shine in the other cars and who will struggle. There may be drivers that have a pretty darn good car but can’t excel at driving the thing for various reasons that have more to do with them just not liking the feel.

          For now DR probably doesn’t quite know how he will do vs. SV but is probably pretty confident that he won’t make a fool of himself. And I’m sure his own thoughts are that he has a golden opportunity and would only harm it if he came out during the very first testing session with cockiness like he is going to kick SV’s butt. There’s nothing wrong with saying the politically correct things for now, especially for him in his unique position of stepping into the team that has won 4 years straight with a driver that has too, and is as engrained in a team as there ever was, and then proving something else with actions on the track.

          As political and backstabby as F1 is, one thing that other drivers, other teams, and fans don’t appreciate is someone boasting at the start of the year that they are going to do this or that, like it’s a guarantee. They only look the fool when what they bragged about didn’t come to fruition. They only heap pressure on themselves unnecessarily.

          1. There’s nothing I’d like more than for Ricciardo to be showing Vettel what the back of a Red Bull looks like.

            I miss the days when drivers would play mind games with each other and were not afraid to tell the world they were the greatest!

          2. Your first sentence…ya that would be great.

            Your second sentence…I don’t recall many drivers pulling a Mohammed Ali and getting away with it. Mind games, sure…like SV ignoring the team order in the first race last year. But bragging about being the greatest? I don’t recall much of that in F1, and if you perceive to have heard much of that it must have at least been from drivers who had something on their CV to back that up, which DR does not have yet. He’d only look the fool trying to convince people through words, not actions, that he is great. Also, WDC winners pretty much always need the WCC winning car, whereas with a boxer it is just him vs. another boxer and it’s all about them and their abilities. Drivers are very much dependant on the package they have. So they can’t even go near the words great until they have had great cars that allow them to show their stuff.

        2. There is no points for acting tough with a helmet off. This is the game he has been playing from very early age.

          He knows you can’t win races by being nice or reckless off the track. Unless of course you are Fernando Alonso and just can’t help it.

          Most of those guys are self obsessed ego maniacs when they put the helmets on, no matter who they are during the interviews :)

  2. I haven’t set any expectations in terms of where I’d like to finish.

    I think for me, I’d love to get a win. To step onto the top step, that would be amazing.

    I already miss Webber

    1. What was he supposed to say? “Finishing second would be great”?

      1. he is being realistic and that is the best way to go about it. Afterall, he is up against a world champion who is at his peak.

        What else do you want him to say?

  3. I hate his face.

    1. @joshua-mesh

      Sorry, cant help but ask…does he look like you?

    2. Yeah! And I don’t care much for his ears, either.

      1. I wonder if he whitens his teeth…

    3. I am sure he hates your face too…

  4. “I haven’t set any expectations in terms of where I’d like to finish,”

    None of us expect much from him anyways

    1. I’ll ship a spatula to you now…to remove the egg on your face once the racing begins. This boy is very good.

  5. Sound advice from Webber then! Good luck Daniel in showing us what you can do with a Red Bull

  6. I haven’t really seen him perform miracles in the Toro Rosso or the HRT whereas Vettel did in the Toro Rosso… Nice enough guy though…

    1. Vettel had a much better STR than Ricciardo. I think they’ll be quite evenly matched on Saturday.

      1. @AdrianS – It’s not about how good the car was, it’s about what you do with the car you’re given. Vettel performed above the level expected of his car in 2008 (beating all bar the Ferrari’s Mclarens, BMWs and Alonso’s Renault), much like Alonso in 2001, or Senna in 1984. Despite me not writing him off, Ricciardo in 2013 did not, so I agree with @craig-o 100% on that.

        1. How do you know that the 2013 STR wasn’t the slowest car on the grid and that RIC and VER are two of the best drivers on the grid?
          Clearly they’re both good because STR never keeps drivers for more than 2 years but they kept Vergne, and Ricciardo was picked over basically every driver who didn’t have a contract in 2014.

          It’s all relative, but for the record, there were many races where Ricciardo was ahead of much faster cars. This picture has been used many times on this site:

          1. @AdrianS

            How do you know that the 2013 STR wasn’t the slowest car on the grid and that RIC and VER are two of the best drivers on the grid?

            This is one of those cases where “because it wasn’t” is a sufficient answer. All the performance data, analysis and common (rational) opinion leads to the idea that STR clearly did not have the worst car on the 2013 grid. The odds of STR finding 2 rookies at the same time who are amongst the best on the grid are also incredibly long.

            The bottom line for me is, Ricciardo didn’t IMO make the waves Vettel did in 2008, or to use a more modern example, Hulkenberg, in 2013. Hulkenberg for instance, actually finished in the sort of position (4th-5th) portrayed in the Silverstone image, while Ricciardo did not.

  7. Still weird to see him in Red Bull colours. I hope he keeps up, but I… honestly, highly doubt it.

    1. Still weird to see him in Red Bull colours

      I know what you mean – before he was in blue and red, now he’s in blue and red! :-P

  8. Red Bull have been clever here.

    By keeping Vergne at TR, there’s always a replacement ready if Ricci’s season is a disaster.

  9. Mark: Hey Dan, how are you mate? Whatever happens, whatever they do – don’t give a **** about what that gray-headed bloke is saying.

  10. Good to know Ricciardo will get equal equipment to Vettel… so we can expect him to complete about 11 laps over the next two days as well?

    1. @us_peter – Looks that way ;)

  11. Well if Daniel does his thing, blistering qualy laps. He will be in a very good position for the race. Clean air makes wonders, ask any one :)

Comments are closed.