Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed as the newest driver of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team and is set to compete alongside reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel come the 2014 season. Ricciardo replaces his compatriot Mark Webber who earlier this year decided to quit F1 and join Porsche for its LMP1 campaign in the 2014 World Endurance Championship.
Ricciardo, 24, is no stranger to the Red Bull squad as he currently drives for Red Bull Racing feeder team Scuderia Toro Rosso, so today’s announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In addition, his new role was virtually given away by Webber a week ago and he was previously confirmed as one of the top contenders for the seat, along with fellow Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen.
Ricciardo was born in the Australian city of Perth and has competed in F1 since the 2011 season, initially for Hispania Racing. In 2012 he joined Scuderia Toro Rosso where he remains. He is yet to notch up a win or even a podium finish but he does have a British Formula Three Championship under his belt.
“I feel very, very good at the moment, and obviously there's a lot of excitement running through me,” Ricciardo said after hearing the good news. “Next year I’ll be with a Championship-winning team, arguably the best team, and will be expected to deliver.”
As for any potential rivalry with Vettel, Ricciardo said, “It will be a great challenge to be up against Sebastian Vettel--I’m looking forward to that.”
We wish him the best of luck next season and look forward to seeing what he can do with a championship-winning team behind him.