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Newey likens Ricciardo move to Hill punt

Tuesday 03-September-2013 08:56

Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey says the team have always been in favour of giving youngsters a chance, saying the move to hand a seat to Daniel Ricciardo reminds him of Williams' decision to bring in Damon Hill.

Ricciardo, who has come through the ranks at the Red Bull Young Driver Programme, has won the race to replace Mark Webber at the Milton Keynes squad next year, beating veteran Kimi Raikkonen to the job.

The 24-year-old started his Formula One career on a loan deal with HRT - a move that was negotiated through Red Bull - before being promoted to a Toro Rosso seat in 2012.

He has now progressed to a Red Bull drive, much to the delight of Newey.

"Since Mark announced his retirement, Christian [Horner] and I have been looking carefully at the driver market, along with Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz," he said.

"We could have taken an experienced driver, somebody guaranteed to deliver to a relatively known level, or equally we could take on a much younger driver in the hope that they'll develop to a very high level.

"We looked at the latter option and concluded that of the younger drivers, Daniel is the most promising. From Red Bull's point of view that also fits well because the driver that Christian and I feel is the most promising is part of the Red Bull young driver programme."

Newey also compared it to his time at Williams when they opted to hand Damon Hill the race seat in 1993 instead of veteran Riccardo Patrese.

"The decision actually reminded me a little bit of a similar situation we had when I was at Williams," he said.

"Nigel Mansell was leaving and we needed someone alongside Alain Prost. We could stick with Riccardo Patrese or take a punt on a young driver called Damon Hill who was our test driver at the time. I think it's good to bring young blood in and give promising drivers a chance."

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