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Coulthard: Pressure on Vettel, not Ricciardo, at Red Bull

Despite Daniel Ricciardo joining the team where Sebastian Vettel has been dominant over the past four seasons, David Coulthard says he has nothing to lose
David Coulthard believes the pressure at Red Bull is on Sebastian Vettel and not his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo has stepped up from junior team Toro Rosso over the winter, following the path that Vettel took when he moved to Red Bull in 2009. However, despite Ricciardo having yet to prove himself at the front of the grid, Coulthard – who raced for Red Bull from 2005-2008 – believes it's Vettel who has to deliver.

“[Ricciardo] has had a great rise up to the point of driving for the world championship-winning team,” Coulthard told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It's better to be up against the best guy statistically over the past four years than to be in the mid-grid beating your team-mate, because ultimately this is about trying to win grands prix. He's got a much better chance of doing that with Red Bull Racing than he was going to have with Toro Rosso.

“The expectation will be that Sebastian, as a four-time world champion, will be the team leader, so it's all there for Daniel to play for. If he matches him, people will say 'well, he's really got some pace'; if he beats him, then people are going to really sit up and take notice. So I think the pressure is off Daniel in many respects.”

One area Coulthard feels Ricciardo needs to be ready to change is in his personal approach to aspects around racing, with scrutiny likely to increase now he's at the reigning constructors' champions.

''I think it's inevitable that there'll be changes in the way he engages with the public and media and the team as he develops. It's impossible in life not to change, and if you're not changing, you're not getting experience and being able to make better decisions. There's going to be a lot more demands on his time, especially making his season debut in Melbourne.

“He's an approachable, smiley character, and if he hasn't done so already, I think he'll really connect with the Australian people. But everyone has to remember that he's there to do a job. If he's outside signing thousands of autographs and Vettel's hidden away in the back of his engineering debrief looking at ways to make the car go faster, you can see which one is going to have the better opportunity.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10. 31.01.2014. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Jerez, Spain.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10. 31.01.2014. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Jerez, Spain.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing  30.01.2014. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 stops on the circiuit. 30.01.2014. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain.
(L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing and team mate Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing at the unveiling of the Red Bull Racing RB10. 28.01.2014. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain.
Start of the Russian Grand Prix
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, 2nd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid pole position and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11

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February 04, 2014 1:32 PM

As for Vettel, still not sure how good he is other than to say he is a talent. Really! He has won 4 WDCs on the trot, and you still wonder how good he is? Look at how he handled his first F1 drive, and how is he only driver who as won a GP in a Torro Rosso. Love him or hate him, there is no doubt whatsoever about his talent. If ever you get the opportunity to ask an honest current F1 driver about Vettel's talent, I am sure they will give you a similar answer.


February 04, 2014 4:48 PM

Coulthard is right in that the team will rely on Vettel to keep thing on track and to lead Ricciardo. The attacks continuing against Vettel have become a serious bore. I hope he continues to be hugely successful, simply because it seems to take up so much space in the heads of his detractors. Unfortunately 2014 is a throw away season with reliability, fuel strategy and tire management a greater factor than all out driver skill. In this regard, who wins the WDC will be the one on the team delivering a car that can win the WCC, not the other way round. Red Bull is capable of it, the question is whether Renault can deliver the power unit they need to make a go of it. The jury is obviously still out on that. Mercedes seems to have an early advantage, but these things evaporate all too quickly to make any predictions now that aren't pedantic.

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