Daniel Ricciardo lands coveted drive with Red Bull for next season
Will team up with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel
Ricciardo is currently driving for Torro Rosso
Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen had been linked Red Bull
Australian Daniel Ricciardo has landed a drive with all-conquering Red Bull for the 2014 season, the team said Monday.
The 24-year-old, who is currently with Red Bull’s sister team Torro Rosso, will replace his compatriot Mark Webber, who is quitting F1 to race sportscars.
The announcement ends speculation that former world champion Kimi Raikkonen would be leaving Lotus for the reigning constructors’ champions.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said he was delighted that Ricciardo would be teaming up with three-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel.
“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 said in a statement.
“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.
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“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.”
Ricciardo has been groomed by Red Bull since joining Torro Rosso, claiming 21 points from 41 Grand Prix races.
He started in F1 with the HRT team in 2011.
Ricciardo is following in the illustrious footsteps of Germany’s Vettel, who also learned his trade with Torro Rosso before joining Red Bull in 2009.
The announcement comes ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, with Vettel again holding a commanding advantage over Fernando Alonso of Ferrari in this year’s title race.