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Horner expects Ricciardo surprises

Thursday 26-December-2013 08:24

Daniel Ricciardo will provide Sebastian Vettel with plenty of competition, according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Ricciardo was promoted from Torro Rosso after his Australian counterpart Mark Webber retired from the sport at the end of the 2013 season, and Horner is confident that his new recruit will be a handful in a better car.

"I think he could be a bit of a surprise because he is very quick," said Horner.

"He is going to have a lot to learn but I think he will surprise quite a few people with the pace he has.

"He has dragged massive qualifying performances out of the Toro Rosso, which obviously is sub-standard, and he has continued to impress us with how he has raced, how he has delivered and performed with the tools at his disposal.

"If you look at the pressure points with him, even if his weekend doesn't get off to a great start he recovers it.

"He seems to have the ability not to panic, but to put it together when it counts.

"Sometimes he's had difficult Fridays, or even Saturday mornings, but when qualifying starts, nine times out of 10 he is there.

"It is probably the right time in many respects.

"It's a change in so many aspects that now is the time to change the driver.

"Of course, he is pretty well known to us anyway so it's not like introducing a complete stranger."

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