Red Bull will exchange one Australian for another as Daniel Ricciardo succeeds Mark Webber as Sebastian Vettel’s team mate. The decision was announced on the Red Bull-owned Servus TV channel earlier today.
“Since joining F1 in 2011, I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown,” said Ricciardo. “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.”
The 24-year-old said it would be a “great challenge” to partner Vettel, who has won the last three drivers’ championships in a row and is leading the points standings at the moment.
Team principal Christian Horner said it was a “very logical choice” to promote Ricciardo from sister team Toro Rosso.
“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.”
“I think he’s going to be a big star of the future,” Horner added.