To end the speculation Red Bull have announced the seat vacated by Mark Webber is to be filled in 2014 by fellow countryman Daniel Ricciardo.
Rumours have been rife for a suitable replacement in the 2014 Red Bull Racing F1 team. All manner of names have been thrown with the main alternative contender including 2007 Formula One World Champ Kimi Raikkonen.
Chritian Horner has finally been able to break his silence about the decision and is no doubt relieved and excited to end the speculation. On referring to Daniel as their choice “He has all the attributes that are required…he is capable of winning championships and races…Daniel is the right guy that we’ve identified to take on the mantle and he knows what the team expects of him…”.
It really seems a decision that makes the most sense. Daniel has proven his ability in a lesser car mixing it with the top teams this season. His ability to keep a clear of trouble under extreme pressure has shone through time and time again on many occasions whilst remaining competitive in his own race. Certainly recent testing at Silverstone for Red Bull aided greatly with the decision to choose Ricciardo, a current driver from sister team Torro Rosso.
Adrian Newey is suitably pleased with the decision having worked with Daniel for some years since his days in the Red Bull young driver program. Newey is also confident that the feedback Ricciardo provides is in line with the current drivers and will be a great compliment to the team.
Although naturally Raikkonens name was never mentioned in the news release, both Horner and Newey indicated that a driver of his profile was certainly a consideration.
No doubt spectators will be watching Ricciardos involvement in the Red Bull team very closely with comparisons no doubt made to the apparent “treatment” that his fellow expat has received. Only time will tell how it all unfolds, but you’d expect the dynamics to be quite different all the same.
It will be interesting to see how things unfold in the 2014 with all regulation changes for the teams. It’s possibly a great time for a new driver to fill the spot in Red Bull as they’ll all be on a new page together. One thing that’s for sure that Ricciardo will be doing all he can to prove his worth as a choice for Vettels team mate by pushing for podiums as he won’t be content with finishing at the lower end of the top 10.