HANGAR-7 saw the unveil of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing line up for 2014, as the anticipation has been rather palpable in reference to who would just be replacing the outgoing Mark Webber at the end of the season. The seat that is the most coveted in the world of Formula One was up for grabs, as the 26-year-old F1 veteran emigrates to pastures new, as he joins the Porsche WEC LMP1 works outfit for 2014 onwards… His replacement: Another Australian.
Speculation, as per the usual “Silly Season” antics, was rife with just who was to take said seat, with Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, Lotus GP’s Kimi Raikkonen and even Scuderia Ferrari’s double world champion Fernando Alonso were mentioned, but the wait was finally over.
Servus TV unveiled the new driver exclusively with the help of Dr. Helmut Marko on “Sport und Talk Aus Dem Hangar 7,” as Daniel Ricciardo is officially the new teammate for Sebastian Vettel from 2014, as the young Australian was unveiled to rapturous applause in the Austrian countryside.
Dr. Marko said that part of the selection process of selecting Daniel to be Vettel’s teammate, was partly due to the fact that he is a year older than current teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, as well as having more experience by 11 more Grand Prix. The Red Bull motorsport advisor said that a driver that would be quick enough and able to provide technical feedback with the requirements to help Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s charge to keep themselves at the front of the grid was a clear requirement, even with the technical changes that all the teams will be now working hard towards for next year.
“I feel very, very good at the moment and obviously there’s a lot of excitement running through me. Since joining F1 in 2011, I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown; 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.
“I would like to thank the team for giving me the opportunity to show what I can do. I know the team quite well already since being its reserve driver in 2010, which should make the transition easier. It will be a great challenge to be up against Sebastian Vettel, I’m looking forward to that. My aim is to finish this season as strong as possible for myself and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Then, once the off-season is here, I’ll be fully focused on next year and the next stage of my career.”
“He is a great driver, and I’m sure I can learn a few things from him,” said Ricciardo live on air, flashing that charismatic smile from ear to ear, still in awe of where he will now sit on the grid in 2014. He looks to be able to help push the team forward, but his rise to Infiniti Red Bull Racing has been as quick as his performances on track. The 24-year-old’s journey is set to go stratospheric, as he enters a new level for 2014…
Images courtesy (c) Infiniti Red Bull Racing.