Daniel Ricciardo is refusing to be swept up with excitement over the possibility of a drive at Red Bull Racing in 2014, but insists that if given the opportunity he can match Sebastian Vettel next season.
Ricciardo has been linked with a move to Red Bull since fellow countryman Mark Webber announced his intention to retire from Formula One at the British Grand Prix back in June, but despite comments from Webber to Australian TV before the Belgian Grand Prix which stated that Ricciardo was now a certainty to take over his seat for 2014, Red Bull are yet to officially confirm who will join Sebastian Vettel in 2014.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Ricciardo explained that he was trying to keep his feet firmly on the ground regarding the opportunity of a move to Red Bull, stating that it would be senseless to get his hopes up, only to then be let down if the drive were to go to someone else.
“Until something is done I’m not getting too excited. Then if it doesn’t happen I won’t kill myself.”
Despite a summer of uncertainty over his future, the 24-year old, who is still yet to finish on the podium in Formula One, insists that if he is granted the opportunity to partner three times world champion Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next year, he will prove that he can be more than a match for the German.
“I am definitely aware that if I do get the opportunity to race alongside [Vettel], it is not going to be easy, but I would love to get the opportunity to prove to everyone that I have what it takes – and more than that, to know for myself that I can mix it with the big guys. If I can’t, well, at least I can say I tried. But I believe I can.”
The Australian also dismissed any notion that he was worried about the possibility of team orders or favouritism towards Sebastian Vettel if he were to make the step up to the senior Red Bull team next season, maintaining that the Milton Keynes-based-squad had a professional approach to equality, despite some very public spats in the past, such as at Silverstone 2010 or Malaysia 2013.
“I guess I only know what you guys know. Malaysia this year, Silverstone a couple of years ago. But it’s not something that I’m concerned with. From what I hear the team is very much interested in equality.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic