The Australian driver will replace countryman Mark Webber at the Milton Keynes based squad, with the current constructor’s champions announcing the news on Monday night. Ricciardo has stressed that he only found out on the Wednesday after the race at Spa-Francorchamps.
He said during the FIA driver press conference: “In Spa, I still didn’t know. I found out the following Wednesday – just a few days before the announcement. But I can confirm that at Spa I still didn’t know.”
The 24-year-old has faced constant questioning on the drive prior to the announcement, so he is relieved that the news is out in the open: “It’s a relief that there will be no more speculation and dodging questions. Everyone knows what is happening now, including me, which is nice. Obviously I’m very pleased with the news but we have eight more races this year and I am looking forward to giving Toro Rosso a nice farewell.”
Ricciardo’s performances will be put under the spotlight over the remaining eight races of the season but he is determined to end the year on a high with Toro Rosso before switching focus to his debut for Red Bull Racing over the winter.
He said: “I’d love to be as competitive as quickly as possible. I’ll finish the season as strongly as possible with Toro Rosso but as soon as it is finished I will switch focus to 2014, try to put in a really good off-season and do as much as I can to be prepared for the first race. All I can do is push myself and I’ll have one of the best team-mates in the world to measure myself against.”
The Aussie currently occupies 14th in the driver’s standings with 12 points.