Horner: Vettel will not be given priority
3 September 2013 – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has insisted that Sebastian Vettel's status will not elevate to that of a lead driver when Daniel Ricciardo joins the outfit next season.
On Monday evening it was confirmed that Ricciardo, who has spent the past two years with Toro Rosso, is to partner triple World Champion Vettel in 2014, the latter having taken a near-identical route to the top echelon via Red Bull's junior programme.
But despite Ricciardo's relative inexperience to Vettel, currently on target to secure a fourth successive Drivers' crown, Horner says there will be no driver preference.
"Nothing changes as far as we're concerned," Horner stated. "Inevitably there will be a natural pecking order and that will be determined by the driver that's in front. Sebastian has won a lot of races and is a multiple World Champion, so with that comes expectation. But the reality is that both drivers, as has always been the case, will get identical opportunity and equipment."
Horner added that Ricciardo's long-term potential elevated him above other drivers vying for the seat, claiming the Australian has "all the attributes" needed to succeed.
"The thing that gave Daniel the edge over the other drivers was the potential of what he can be," Horner added. "We've seen in his junior career in British Formula 3 and World Series by Renault that he's capable of winning championships and winning races. He's been a standout driver in each of the categories he's competed in. We've followed his progress at Toro Rosso with great interest and some of the testing he's done for Red Bull. He's got all the attributes that are required.
"Yes there are drivers that have great achievements under their belts, but if you don't give somebody the chance, how are you going to get those achievements? We've taken a good look and we've come to the conclusion that Daniel is the right guy."