Daniel Ricciardo Announced as Mark Webber’s Replacement
After months of speculation and a plethora of rumors, the news the Formula One world has been waiting for has been announced. Daniel Ricciardo is Sebastian Vettel‘s new teammate at Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
Speaking of his new seat, Ricciardo said, “I feel very very good. Obviously it’s a lot of excitement running through me right now, so it’s great news. It’s something I’ve worked for so to hear the news I wanted is great news. Next step in my career.”
When Mark Webber announced his retirement this summer, speculation immediately surrounded both Ricciardo and his Toro Rosso teammate, Jean Eric Vergne. Both were solid candidates for the seat, but Red Bull eventually ruled out the Frenchman due to his lack of experience relative to Ricciardo.
This announcement comes amid a flurry of changes to rumors regarding the driver market, with Kimi Raikkonen being ruled out of the running for the Red Bull seat by his management before the Belgian Grand Prix, only for Red Bull to reveal at the race that he was still being considered. Raikkonen is also heavily linked to Ferrari for next season, possibly as Felipe Massa’s replacement. Fernando Alonso was also rumored to be in the running for the Red Bull seat, but those rumors were quickly quelled in a few days when the Rumors Flew in Belgium.
Ricciardo’s appointment means that the driver market is much less complicated for the rest of the season. Raikkonen still has yet to make a decision about his seat for next season, but it is widely expected he will stay with current team, Lotus, especially considering their imminent partnership with Infiniti Racing.
Alonso is expected to stay at Ferrari which means that all the pieces of the driver market should fall into place relatively soon.
For now, Daniel Ricciardo will focus on making the most of his time at Toro Rosso. A big year awaits him in 2014.