Webber backs his replacement Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo is replacing compatriot Mark Webber at Red Bull next season PHOTO: Red Bull Media
Daniel Ricciardo is replacing compatriot Mark Webber at Red Bull next season PHOTO: Red Bull Media

Mark Webber has backed compatriot Daniel Ricciardo to succeed after it was announced the young driver will replace him at Red Bull next season.

In June Webber announced his plans to quit F1 at the end of the season and current Lotus driver Raikkonen was immediately installed as the favourite to replace him.

However, Ricciardo’s chances appeared to have been strengthened after he was handed the chance to test for Red Bull at the Silverstone Young Driver Test.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was also linked with Webber’s seat but after much speculation, Red Bull announced the promotion for their Torro Rosso racer and the Aston Clinton star has fully endorsed the move.

He said: “Great stuff Daniel. You deserve it, some special days in the future I’m sure. Australian flag still flying too... little bonus.”

Speaking in the press release issued by the team this week, Red Bull chief Christian Horner said the decision to promote the Australian had been “very logical”.

“It’s fantastic to confirm Daniel as the team’s race driver for 2014, he’s a very talented youngster,” Horner said.

“He’s committed, he’s got a great attitude and, in the end, it was a very logical choice for us.

“He’s got all the attributes that are required to drive for our team: he’s got a great natural ability and he’s a good personality and a great guy to work with.

“Daniel knows what the team expects from him. He’ll learn quickly and it’s very much a medium to long term view that we’re taking in developing him. The seat within the team is a wonderful opportunity and I think he’s going to be a big star of the future.”

Webber will be racing sports cars in the World Endurance Championship next season for Porsche.