Ricciardo: I can't wait for Vettel challenge
29 October 2013 – Daniel Ricciardo has congratulated future team-mate Sebastian Vettel for securing his fourth successive world title, and says he is looking forward to seeing how he matches up against the German when he joins him at Red Bull next season.
Toro Rosso driver Ricciardo, who is replacing fellow Australian Mark Webber at the Milton Keynes-based outfit, admits that it will be a "real challenge" to race alongside Vettel, but he is hopeful of giving the 26-year-old "a tough run for his money".
"Four times in a row… phenomenal!" said Ricciardo during his blog on the Toro Rosso website. "At the start of the season it looked like it could be anyone's title shot but from the summer he's not let anyone even look at the trophy. He's just ran away with it.
"It's very impressive and I can't wait to have the best in the world as my team-mate. That's the real challenge and an opportunity for me to see how good I am. Hopefully I'll be giving him a tough run for his money."
Meanwhile, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has played down Ricciardo's slight downturn in results since being announced at the senior squad, insisting that he would make the same decision again given his performances throughout the year.
"Absolutely! Without a shadow of a doubt!" Horner explained to the official Formula 1 website when asked if he would choose Ricciardo again. "Daniel's performances have continued to impress us with the equipment that he has at his disposal.
"The determining factor was the test that he did for us at Silverstone, as well as the background knowledge that we have of him, whether from the simulator or previous testing he has conducted for the team. He has a huge amount of natural speed and a great deal of talent. The only thing he lacks is experience. We have been considering our options for a long time and we all firmly believe that Daniel is the right man for us."
Red Bull's driver change is its first since Vettel joined Webber for the 2009 season.