September 2, 2013
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After months of speculation, Red Bull have finally unveilved Daniel Ricciardo as the man to partner Sebastian Vettel next year.
This means that the Red Bull team fully consists of drivers that have been nurtured through their own driver programme. Vettel joined the team after success with Toro Rosso in 2007 and 2008, and Ricciardo will be under huge pressure to deliver similar results.
Daniel’s contract with the team has only been described as a “multi-year deal”. Regardless, team principal Christian Horner has expressed his pleasure at signing the young Australian:
"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 3 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."
Ricciardo managed to fend off world champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen to the most hotly-contested race seat of the 2014 season, despite having only joined the sport less than 3 years ago, as a draft-in driver for the defunct HRT squad.