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Vettel 'won't be closest mate' - Ricciardo

ESPN Staff
March 10, 2014 « Magnussen 'already very at home' - McLaren | Gerhard Berger breaks arm in skiing crash »
It has been all smiles between Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel so far © Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo knows he and Sebastian Vettel will never be the closest of friends but he insists he does not foresee a breakdown of trust with his new Red Bull team-mate.

Ricciardo's predecessor and compatriot Mark Webber had a famously tumultuous relationship with Vettel, punctuated by accusations of favouritism towards the German. Ricciardo is determined to be as competitive a team-mate to Vettel as Webber but is determined not to let history repeat itself in 2014.

"I guess they're trying to find something with it," Ricciardo told AAP. "A lot people are probably waiting for the day that we have an incident on track and get into a fist-fight or something. But at the moment all I can say is there's no issues. I respect him as a competitor. Naturally, if I am competitive, I'm sure we're not going to be the closest mates because he's not going to like that and I'm not going to like getting my arse kicked if he's going to be doing that. We'll see. I don't expect it to get out of hand. It'll just be competitive and professional."

Along with Lotus, Red Bull was the most notable team to struggle over the winter, but Ricciardo insists he has put pre-season behind him and cannot wait for his debut race for the team on home soil.

"Testing can be a bit boring, so I'm just happy to go racing," Ricciardo said."The sooner it starts the better, and then we know as well where we stand. All the hype and everything will start to die down once people see what's happening. I've got to make sure the race is my biggest focus and not get sidetracked.

"Obviously there's a lot of Aussies and a lot of home support, and friends and family that have come over from Perth, but I can see them Sunday after the race. I just have to be smart and ensure I'm not getting pulled left, right and centre."

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