Ricciardo won't roll over for Vettel

Monday 10-March-2014 06:08

Daniel Ricciardo has made it clear that he won't be playing second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel this season.

Last season 'Multi-21' dominated the early part of the Championship when Vettel ignored that order from the Red Bull pit wall to stay behind then team-mate Mark Webber at the Malaysian GP.

This year, Vettel will have a different Australian driver flying the flag alongside him at Red Bull as Webber has retired with his compatriot Ricciardo taking his seat.

And the younger Aussie has made it clear he won't be rolling over for his four-time World Champion team-mate.

Asked by Fairfax Media what he would do if there was a repeat of Malaysia 2013, Ricciardo said: "Well, that would be good because that would mean I was in front. I'd be pretty pleased with that.

"And I'd make sure I stayed in front."

And staying at the front for a Red Bull driver means taking on some of the best names in the sport.

For the first time in his F1 career, Ricciardo faces the prospect of racing against the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

The 24-year-old, though, insists that has not added to the pressure.

"Definitely even when I got close to Formula One I'd still look at all the drivers, the World Champions, and think, 'Wow, these guys are pretty cool. I wish I could be them one day.'

"But when you hang around it, you realise that everyone is human. No one is superhuman or has special powers. Obviously they've got unreal ability behind the wheel, but they're still human and they're still doing the same things.

"You just bring them back down to reality and realise they can be beaten. Until I do that on track, I can't really talk too much.

"I see Seb as a normal person. Obviously he works hard, he trains hard but he's not invincible."

However, this season getting to the front may not be an easy task for Red Bull as the team struggled in pre-season testing.

Red Bull completed just 183 laps in the final Bahrain test, 105 for Ricciardo and just 78 for Vettel, who was in action on the final two days.

"Then I passed it to Seb, thinking it was going to keep going, and then he did no laps the next day.

"We're still a little bit unsure how competitive, how reliable we're going to be. There's still a question mark unfortunately.

"I know the guys are putting in a lot of work now. Hopefully we can a), see the chequered flag, and b) get some points to start the year. [But] we don't really know if it'll last the distance because we haven't proven it."

© 2014 - 365 Media Group

Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.