• Red Bull

Ricciardo has surprised me - Vettel

ESPN Staff
April 3, 2014 « Hulkenberg wary of Williams and McLaren | Driver weight issue becoming dangerous - Sutil »
Daniel Ricciardo led Sebastian Vettel early on in Malaysia © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel admits Daniel Ricciardo has adapted to life at Red Bull far quicker than he imagined and expects him to keep up his early level of performance throughout 2014.

Ricciardo has had an eventful time in his first two races at Red Bull; being disqualified after a maiden podium on home soil in Australia, before a botched pit stop in Malaysia blew his chances of what looked like a certain fourth. After out-qualifying Vettel in Australia, Ricciardo took the fight to the world champion in the opening stages in Malaysia, passing him into the first corner. Vettel has been impressed with what he has seen and hopes it continues.

"I can only take it from two races but yes I'm surprised," Vettel said. "He put a very, very strong weekend in in Australia, not just where he finished the race but how he raced all weekend. He made no mistakes, didn't go off track, always kept it on track, had a good qualifying session in difficult conditions, which are always especially difficult in Australia as it's so slippery. He then had another good weekend in Malaysia. It's difficult because you don't know what to expect, it's a new guy. He will try everything to give me the hardest time possible and in a way that's what I expected and so far he has delivered."

Vettel is relishing the prospect of further battles with Ricciardo in 2014.

"He has done a very good job. There are days he will be quicker and he will not be happy but from my point of view I will try to limit those from my point of view while he will try to make sure they happen; that's how it is between team-mates. I'm happy to race him on track and I'm sure we will keep getting better. We have the same car so equally it will happen that we will at some point fight for the same piece of track."

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