DANIEL RICCIARDO CONFIRMED FOR RED BULL
Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed as Sebastian Vettel's teammate in the 2014 Red Bull Formula 1 team.
The West Australian confirmed today that he has signed a multi-year deal with Red Bull, replacing compatriot Mark Webber who is off to race with Porsche in the World Endurance Championship.
"I feel very, very good at the moment and obviously there's a lot of excitement running through me. Since joining F1 in 2011, I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown; I had some good results and Red Bull has decided that this is it, so it's a good time," Ricciardo said today.
TMR reported last week that the Australian, the hot favourite to replace his countryman Mark Webber at the world champion team, hit a snag this week when he had a seat-fitting in the cockpit of the 2014-spec RB10.
Designer Adrian Newey is known for his tight-fitting cars, and European media reports claim Ricciardo's hips are wider than Webber and Sebastian Vettel's.
"It's not my arse per se," the 24-year-old told the Telegraph.
"Even when I signed for Toro Rosso we had to do a few seat fits and they did some scans to make that particular part of the cockpit a bit wider, so that we're not sitting on the actual carbon fibre.
"I can't do much about it. Even if I go on a massive diet my hip bones aren't going to change."
Ricciardo insisted, however, that his hips would not have hurt his dream of switching to F1's premier team.
"No chance," he grinned. "I'd shave my hips if necessary. I might die of blood loss but it would be worth it!"
Andrew Westacott, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, was quick to point out that Ricciardo has already established himself as a favourite in Australian race-goers’ eyes.
“Dan has raced at Albert Park for the past two seasons,” he said.
“On both occasions his happy-go-lucky personality and his ability to relate to younger fans in particular have made a major contribution to the feel-good factor at our event.”
“We are very confident he will build on that even further now he has been given the chance to drive the front-running car in Formula 1.”