The writing has been on the wall for some time now that Toro Rosso's Formula One driver will move up to the Red Bull championship team next year. Daniel Ricciardo has visited the team during the summer break, and even more recently. He even admitted that he had a seat-fitting when he commented on his hips being a tight squeeze at the wheel of Red Bull's 2014 car.
"I can't do much about it. Even if I go on a massive diet my hip bones aren't going to change,” Ricciardo commented.
However while the media and others were busy thinking that Kimi Raikkonen may end up with Red Bull to partner with the three time world champion, Sebastian Vettel. Even Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were tossed into possible candidates for the coveted Infiniti Red Bull ride.
When the championship team announced that they would not name their 2014 driver-lineup at Monza, the rumors expected it to be a more experienced driver to end up as Vettel’s teammate; however the team was busy signing their new 2014 driver.
“It’s fantastic to confirm Daniel as the team’s race driver for 2014. He’s a very talented youngster, he’s committed, he’s got a great attitude and in the end it was a very logical choice for us to choose Daniel," said team boss Christian Horner.
On August 27th, Vettel commented that moving Ricciardo over from Red Bull’s sister team “made senese”. He also added, "Some people may doubt Daniel is ready, but you could also ask if I was ready when I arrived at Red Bull. How can you know beforehand?"
Ricciardo is one of the young drivers over the years who have been selected as members of the Red Bull Junior Team and since 2008, they have watched his progress from his Formula 3 days and other open-wheel series over the past years.
Ricciardo said “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."