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Why Daniel Ricciardo must be hired by Red Bull // A quick steerer with proven pace

Published by KerbRider

Ricciardo in Australia
Credit: Mark Watson

As I was sitting watching Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, I pondered logically about Red Bulls imminent driver decision for 2014. For me, hiring Daniel (Disco Dan) Ricciardo is a no brainer. Here's why...

By hiring Ricciardo, Red Bull will be, for one, demonstrating an actual purpose to their young driver program. For two, investing in the future of their driver line up for years to come and for three, making a wise marketing choice.

Point one - If Red Bull manage to convince Räikkönen to leave Lotus, because that is what they will have to do, then what they are effectively doing is closing the door for any driver in their feeder program(s). Kimi loves his Lotus family, and is more than pleased with a contract that allows him to attend promotional duties of his choice and for only a selected few occasions per annum. His car is competitive enough, and Lotus (née Renault etc) have a strong pedigree in building successful cars. With the prospect of a blank canvas on design from 2014, it could be a case of "better the devil you know" despite the Newey factor. In other words, Kimi appears to be content and moving to Red Bull could be a risk considering Vettel is clearly "the chosen one" and the best Kimi could achieve would only ever be seen as equal, rather than being seen as King of his domain at Lotus.

Red Bull must prepare for their future for when/if Vettel packs up for Marenello. Giving Ricciardo a chance to prove himself, and also prove that in Vettel, they do have a genuine legend in their stable, has to be a motivating force. Daniel is still young, and two years in the big league training against a (soon to be four times?) World Champion can only give a youngster the very best pressure cooker to fine tune your already substantial natural abilities in and out of the car.

Ricciardo has proven his pace. Vergne is no slouch. A very quick steerer who has been well beaten in sheer pace by Ricciardo.

Point two - Hiring Ricciardo will save face for Red Bull. They have spent unknown millions on young drivers for many years. So far, they have achieved a grand total of mentoring one driver onto the top step of the F1 podium. Granted, this one driver has overachieved by a large margin, but on pure ratio alone, that figure is far from acceptable. Red Bull, by placing Ricciardo into the seat is publicly demonstrating to all their youngsters that there is hope, as well as an entire F1 sub-culture.

"Do you believe there is other life out there, in the Red Bull young driver program?"

"Well, with so many of them out there, it'd be silly to think there wasn't Christian!"

If Ricciardo is not chosen, then Red Bull should be immediately putting Toro Rosso on the market, and tearing up the contracts of any driver younger than Vettel they have on their books.

It would be logical to put their money where their mouth is and show they aren't throwing away money just because they have the capacity.

Daniel has built himself a decent cult following

Point three - Granted, Ricciardo has not got the profile or following of Kimi, but in his short time in F1 Daniel has built himself a decent cult following. Thanks largely to his interviewing style that endears him to many and discovered by Red Bull podcast subscribers, Daniel is so personable, and affable that you can hear his big tooth grin shine so bright it subverts natural law and transmits as sound waves right through your speakers. Not only is Daniel serious about his racing, but he has personality. He isn't known for drunken escapades nor is he a boring, monosyllabic Scandinavian.

In their other sports, Red Bull sponsor and support many characters with big, marketable personalities. Regardless of Kimi being regarded as a Demi-god, (of which I am guilty) surely he is not as Red Bull friendly as Ricciardo. Kimi is notoriously difficult with the media, proactively advocates that he despises the modern F1 way of having to sell ones soul for a buck.

"Please sir, may I have more?"

"More! You want more?"

"Mmmm, yeah. Whatever. I mean, I dunno. It's racing. Sure it would be best, but we can ask someone else."

Let me wrap it up by posing a question for you to answer honestly to yourself.

Think of how Kimi reacts when he wins, or podiums... Kinda boring isn't it? An imperceptible smirk, a brief hand in the air to acknowledge the crowd and that's basically it.

Now imagine seeing someone like Ricciardo, who is the complete polar opposite personality of Kimi, win their first race.

Now that is how to sell winning to the want-to-be winning fans!!

  • I agree that Ricciardo would be the logical choice for the reasons stated, but RBR's goal is to win championships. Kimi would do far more for their chances than any fan goodwill brought by a personable driver.

  • drunken, boring and monosyllabic he may be, but Kimi is no scandinavian!

  • drunken, boring and monosyllabic he may be, but Kimi is no scandinavian!

    Very true. Despite the common misconception Finland is not part of Scandinavia.

    If I was running Red Bull I would go for Kimi. He is a proven winner and is less likely to be affected by the cult of Vettel than anyone else. Ricciardo has looked good at Toro Rosso but there is a huge difference between looking good in a bad team and looking good in a top team where you have to deliver every time you sit in the car while going up against a triple(probably quadruple) world champion and dealing with all the effects of hugely increased profile.

    Of course if Alonso reacts badly to Luca's recent tantrum then neither of them may get the job.

  • Very true. Despite the common misconception Finland is not part of Scandinavia.

    I don't think it's a misconception, it's more of a political argument.

    I checked before publishing. This site includes it: www.goscandinavia…ia/go-scandinavia

    Encylopedia Britannica says some authorities include it:…26461/Scandinavia

    Wikipedia has heaps about whether it is or isn't:

    I figured seeing as this was an F1 site and not a geography site, it'd be fine. I'm sure there's more constructive things to argue about Kimi than that!

  • I don't think it's a misconception, it's more of a political argument.

    I only know because a mate used to sell in that part of the world and every time he went to a customer in Finland he would open with a comment that he was responsible for Scandinavia and Finland. He said he always got a great response to that.

    I agree though that it is fairly irrelevant to the article as a whole

  • Riccardo to me is risk. Kimi proven and a world champion.Next year a different ball game a new car.The question is which of the two can adapt and can deliver.

  • Daniel has out qualified Kimi in 2 of the last 4 GP's driving a Torro Rosso! Can't see why he is such a risk. The only accident I can remember him having in 2 1/2 years is when Grojean ran up the back of him in Monaco. Shown himself to be fast, reliable and able to handle (in fact thrive on) pressure. Perfect choice for the No. 2 at Red Bull because he's too young to consider that an insult yet!!!

  • I don't think it's a misconception, it's more of a political argument.

    Many Finns go with outside from what I can tell.

  • Daniel would be a better long term choice if Red Bull are trying to build a driver (supposedly what they're trying to do with the Junior program) but Kimi will get more points next year.

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