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'Who knows if history repeats itself'

Friday 06-September-2013 08:11

Christian Horner is not willing to predict whether he has another Sebastian Vettel on his hands in new signing Daniel Ricciardo.

Next season the Australian driver will follow in the footsteps of Vettel when he moves up from Toro Rosso to senior team Red Bull Racing.

When Vettel was promoted, though, the German had already claimed his first grand prix by taking the chequered flag at a wet Italian Grand Prix in 2008.

But whether Ricciardo has what it takes to follow Vettel in all ways, including Monza wins and World titles, his soon-to-be team boss says that's difficult to predict.

"It is impossible to compare different times," Horner said when asked if history was repeating.

"Toro Rosso had a near identical chassis to the Red Bull car when Seb was making the switch and his talent was obvious. We signed him in Hockenheim that year - before he won the race in the wet here in Monza.

"There is rain in the forecast for Sunday, so who knows - maybe history repeats itself.

"Fact is that you cannot compare them in terms of the equipment that they had before joining Red Bull Racing.

"But Daniel has a very strong team-mate with Jean-Eric [Vergne] who is constantly pushing him, so the signs are there.

"I think it is an investment in youth that Red Bull has committed to over the years and has provided that opportunity on merit to Daniel as we always said that we want the best two drivers and there was never a prerequisite that it has to be a Red Bull junior driver if he is not good enough."

The Brit also ruled out any suggestions that Ricciardo's likeability factor played a role in his signing, instead that he secured the Red Bull drive on his on-track performances.

"Let me say one thing: you might be the nicest person in the world, but if you are not quick it doesn't help - not in Formula One.

"Yes, he has a nice personality - I have hardly seen him without a smile - but, and this is important, he has a very good natural speed and he has a very good feeling for the car, which means that he has all the attributes to succeed.

"But, of course, time will tell because it is a difficult job as he is going against Sebastian Vettel - and to be measured against that is enormously difficult for any driver.

"I think Daniel will be able to learn a great deal from being alongside Seb. He already had a taste of how Seb operates when he was our third driver and I am sure in the future he will inhale everything that he can from being paired with a three-time Champion."

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