6 September 2013
Italian Grand Prix: Webber: Ricciardo knows how to handle himself
Daniel Ricciardo will be able to handle new team-mate Sebastian Vettel next year, according to the German's current colleague, Mark Webber.
Mark Webber has no fears for compatriot Daniel Ricciardo, despite the younger Australian being named as his successor as Sebastian Vettel's team-mate.
Ricciardo was unveiled as the second Red Bull driver for 2014 at the start of the week, but many suspected that, as well as being a cheaper hire than rival Kimi Raikkonen, the Toro Rosso driver would also be less of a threat to Vettel's comfortable position at Milton Keynes.
Webber, however, insists that his compatriot can hold his own, even though the first few months will be difficult as he adjusts to lift at the front of the grid alongside one of the most successful drivers in F1 history.
“Daniel will handle it fine,” the veteran claimed, “He knows how to handle himself, so he'll be okay.
“It's great for Dan, obviously, and he thoroughly deserves it. The junior categories [in Europe] were initially a great test – it's not easy for us to come from our part of the world, but he's done brilliantly. It's the perfect scenario I think for the team, it all fits very, very well.
“After DC [David Coulthard] and myself, they've finally got another driver from the junior programme, which is what it's all about. He's the perfect age, so it's all in his corner. He can do a tremendous job and yeah, it works out well for him.”
As for his own F1 career, Webber continues to count down the races until he can head for Porsche's nascent LMP programme.
“The writing was on the wall for me,” he noted, “I knew, once I made the decision, that the season was going to come to a close eventually. The clock doesn't stop in F1 and I'm actually happy about that, otherwise I wouldn't have made the decision.
“I'm looking forward to getting as much silverware and the best results I can before the year's out and, come Brazil Sunday night, it's the next chapter. It's all good.”
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