Daniel Ricciardo had a successful 2014 Formula 1 campaign, finishing third in the championship. It was his first year with the senior team Infiniti Red Bull Racing and he scored three wins and eight podiums in all. He also beat his teammate and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel straight out. Some can say that Vettel had problems with his car but even then, it takes some caliber to beat a dominant champion.
For 2015, Ricciardo will be even more charged up. After an average performance with Red Bull, Vettel decided to move on to his dream team Ferrari, for at least three years. This allowed the rookie Daniil Kvyat, to take Vettel’s place from the 2015 season. Kvyat has made a rapid progress jumping from GP3 to Formula 1, driving with Toro Rosso. And after just one year with STR, he now in his early twenties is set to drive for the senior team Red Bull.
When we spoke to Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi about the prospects of becoming the lead driver of Red Bull, he insisted there will no big change for him, “It’s good yeah, not much really, in terms of leading the team, it’s the same people around me, the mechanics and the engineers. He stated that it will be more of a change for Kvyat coming from STR and that his work remains the same, “I think it is more of a change obviously for Daniil so it’s, you know, in the winter I will have enough feedback to give to the engineers on tyres, form relationship, probably with my experience into the team, to help into the development and yeah I don’t think much will change.”
Kvyat has had a decent start with STR scoring points in five races, finishing fifteenth in the championship. He beat his teammate Vergne in the qualifying battle, out-pacing the out-going French driver on ten occasions. A big challenge lay in front of him, going up against Ricciardo who has already proved his mettle in the team.
by Darshan Chokhani