Ricciardo ready to 'push' Vettel

Tuesday 17-December-2013 06:20

Daniel Ricciardo insists he won't just make up the numbers at Red Bull, saying he is confident he can give Sebastian Vettel a run for his money.

Instead of fighting for midfield places next year, Ricciardo is expected to challenge for podiums and race victories as he has replaced Mark Webber as Vettel's Red Bull team-mate.

While the Australian has generally outshone his former team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne during their couple of years together at Toro Rosso, Vettel will be different kettle of fish.

The German has won the World Championship the past four seasons and, although Ricciardo knows he is in for a tough challenge, he is backing himself to do well next year.

"You know what they say, talk is cheap," he told ESPNF1. "So I'm not going to say I'm going to beat him and that's it, but all I can say is that I have confidence in myself and until I go up against him like-for-like and on the same day I really don't know how good I am in comparison to him.

"I know I'm going up against a very strong kid but I have faith that I can give him a bit of a push. We'll soon find out - hopefully I'm not a second off; that would suck! I'll try to see what he's doing that's so special."

Besides having to get used to a new team, Ricciardo and the rest of the F1 grid will also have to adapt to engine regulation changes.

"You're probably going to find that the more disciplined drivers are going to cope better; the guys who are able to stop the car a bit more in the corner and straight-line the exit," he said. "So not combining the throttle too much with the slip of the tyre and killing the tyre. From what we understand the tyres are going to be much harder next year, so they can probably tolerate a bit more of that."

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