Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull career begins in earnest later tonight when he gets his first on-track experience with the RB10, but you sense he’s already in the driving seat.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to learn,” he said. “It’s a bit of a privilege I guess to have a four time world champion alongside me, to be able to see his data and what he’s doing on track and to try and better myself learning off him.”
Already assured of equal equipment Ricciardo says he hasn’t broached the Multi 21 issue with Sebastian Vettel, but understands his place in the pecking order.
“Obviously I don’t expect to be treated like God—I’m not the world champion—but at the same time I’ve been reassured I’m going to get the equal side, the same length of straw, whatever you want to say,” the 24-year-old said.
“But I’ve got to earn my place in the team as well. It’s nice to know we’re going to have equal stuff but I definitely want, after some time, to let the team know that I’m capable to hopefully get some top results as well.”
Whether it’s the result of team discussion or personal conclusion the Western Australian—only two years Vettel’s junior—has set realistic targets in 2014.
“I haven’t set any expectations in terms of where I’d like to finish,” he told reporters in Jerez. “I’d love to get a win, to stand on the top step would be amazing. But just to go through the year, continuing to learn and to try and match Seb at least at some point.
“And to really set myself up at the front of the grid, not to be a one-hit wonder so to speak.”
[Source: Reuters | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]