Webber expects Ricciardo to test Vettel

Webber expects Ricciardo to test Vettel

11 February 2014 – Mark Webber expects Daniel Ricciardo to give Sebastian Vettel "a real hard time" during his first season at Red Bull.

Ricciardo, 24, secured a 2014 seat with the reigning World Champions towards the end of last season, following Webber's decision to leave the sport.

And although Webber could only out-qualify Vettel twice during their final term together, he reckons his fellow Australian can provide a stern test.

"He'll go well," Webber said in the March issue of Motor Sport magazine. "I think he'll give Seb a real hard time in qualifying – it'll be 50:50 in the first year, I reckon.

"I took a few off Seb last year – and the blown floor is gone now. I think Daniel will be fine, and it certainly won't hurt him that he's come through the Red Bull system. I just hope he gets better starts than I did!"

Webber went on to argue that Vettel is still the benchmark in terms of one lap pace, but sees Ferrari's Fernando Alonso as the most complete driver on race days.

"I always thought Fernando was the best, and I still do – on Sundays. On one lap, though, I think Seb's got him covered – and I'm talking in terms of preparation, not just pace," he said.

"Fernando's had a lot of poles in his time, but probably age has come into it – you lose a little bit. In the race, though, he's got more strings to his bow than anyone else, and he's relentless.

"Seb's strengths, as we know, are escaping at the start, and running in clean air – when you get these things in clean air now, it's a whole other story, in terms of tyres and so on.

"He's like a computer, isn't he? His only weakness was always fast corners."

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