Aug 31, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
All of the signs may suggest that Daniel Ricciardo is set to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next season, but the Australian driver is refusing to get his hopes up just in case he is left disappointed.
Webber confirmed at the British Grand Prix that he would not be racing in Formula One next season, instead favoring a move to Porsche’s LMP1 programme in Le Mans. This sparked a race between Ricciardo, teammate Jean-Eric Vergne and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen for the second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel. Vergne was ruled out a few weeks ago by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, whilst Raikkonen confirmed in Belgium that talks with the world champions had broken down. However, Ricciardo is refusing to believe the rumors.
“Until something is done I’m not getting too excited,” he explained to The Telegraph. “Then if it doesn’t happen I won’t kill myself.”
Partnering the potentially-four-time champ Vettel at Red Bull would appear to be a blessing on the face of things, but, as Webber has proven, the German driver is by no means an easy teammate. In Malaysia, Vettel ignored team orders to snatch the win away from Webber, causing their relationship to sour. However, Ricciardo is not expecting an easy ride.
“I am definitely aware that if I do get the opportunity to race alongside [Vettel], it is not going to be easy.
“But I would love to get the opportunity to prove to everyone that I have what it takes, and more than that, to know for myself that I can mix it with the big guys. If I can’t, well, at least I can say I tried. But I believe I can.”
Red Bull are yet to confirm when they will be making an announcement regarding the second seat, but the team have been known to confirm their drivers sooner rather than later.
Video from NASCAR America
- NASCAR AMERICA: Team Penske pushing for incredible season (VIDEO) 0
- Lotterer: “F1 (racing) isn’t what it used to be anymore” 0
- Joey Logano avoids “yellow fever,” wins at N.H. to advance in Chase 3
- Wreck involves several Chase drivers; Keselowski spins, suffers minor damage 1
- Rosberg reflects on a tough day in Singapore (VIDEO) 2
- Reports: 2015 Sprint Cup rules package expected to be released on Tuesday 2
- Hamilton rules in Singapore to re-take championship lead as Rosberg retires 1