Horner backs Ricciardo to surprise

Wednesday 13-November-2013 09:39

Christian Horner is confident that Daniel Ricciardo will surprise many of critics during his debut season with Red Bull in 2014.

The Australian is replacing compatriot Mark Webber as reigning Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel's team-mate after two seasons at Toro Rosso.

While Horner admitted that it would be a "daunting" task for Ricciardo to challenge the winner of the last four Drivers' titles, he is sure that the 24-year-old will surpass the paddock's expectations of him.

"I genuinely think he will be a bit of a surprise next year," Horner.

He knows it is big shoes. To go up against Sebastian Vettel is a pretty daunting prospect for any driver.

"Daniel is a young guy that has got a lot of raw talent, he has got a great amount of natural speed.

"He knows the team pretty well having been a member of the junior team and through his time at Toro Rosso and through his time as a test and reserve driver for us.

"I think that he has got exactly the right character and approach to get the most out of the experience, to learn from Sebastian and to embrace being his team-mate and try to learn from it."

Ricciardo has two more races to complete with his current employers and Horner added that Red Bull was happy for their new acquisition to focus on racing at Austin and Interlagos.

"We have some dialogue, more so now with Daniel as he starts to make the transition across from Toro Rosso into Red Bull Racing," the Red Bull team principal added.

"But he needs to finish and focus on the job he has got to do for Toro Rosso before involving him fully in the programme for next year."

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