Ricciardo ready to be number one

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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Daniel Ricciardo is confident he will be able to cope with the weight of expectation now on his shoulders at Red Bull following the departure of Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel bade a fond farewell on Tuesday to the team that made him a four-time Formula One world champion with a leaving do at the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes.

But with Vettel now headed for Ferrari, Red Bull’s attentions quickly turn to 2015 and pooling their resources behind Ricciardo and new team-mate Daniil Kvyat.

Ricciardo recognises that after a successful debut campaign with Red Bull in which he won three races and finished third in the drivers’ standings behind the all-conquering Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, he is the man in the spotlight.

“The weight of expectation won’t affect me,” Ricciardo said.

“But the reality is now I can win. People know I’ve – shall we say – got the goods.

“So if I’m coming sixth and seventh when they feel the car should be fourth and fifth then that obviously isn’t meeting expectations, but it honestly doesn’t add any more pressure to me.”

Ricciardo, however, answered a lot of his critics who suggested his promotion from Toro Rosso was based on the back of some inconsistent performances with the Faenza-based marque.

Asked whether he felt the season had proven a big stepping stone in his career, Ricciardo replied: “Massive.

“It’s just proven all the things I had believed, and it’s obviously nice to prove it to myself.

“But I think I’ve shown everyone else I’m here to stay now, so to speak.”

Ricciardo, though, will not have it all his own way in 2015 as Kvyat proved on numerous occasions in his rookie campaign this past season he also has what it takes.

Assessing the 20-year-old Russian, Ricciardo said: “To be honest I’ve followed him probably for the last five years and he’s always been pretty quick and adapted very quickly.

“I really thought he had some fantastic showings this year in Formula One, and I wasn’t too surprised (he took up Vettel’s seat) in the end.

“He’s young, but I expect him to be quick. It should be a good battle.”

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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