Ricciardo ready for the Red Bull hot seat

Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:31am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - Daniel Ricciardo is determined to be more than a "one-hit wonder" as he prepares to take the hottest seat in Formula One as quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel's team mate at Red Bull.

In fact, even the one hit has yet to come for the smiling Australian who graduated from sister team Toro Rosso following the departure of compatriot Mark Webber to sportscar racing with Porsche.

The Perth-born driver has yet to finish higher than seventh in a Formula One career that started in 2011 with now-defunct HRT but he now stands on the cusp of the big time with the dominant team of the last four years.

"I haven't set any expectations in terms of where I'd like to finish," the 24-year-old told reporters at the first pre-season test in Jerez, where he is due to get behind the wheel of the new RB10 on Thursday, when asked about his targets.

"I'd love to get a win, to stand on the top step would be amazing. But just to go through the year, continuing to learn and to try and match Seb at least at some point.

"And to really set myself up at the front of the grid, not to be a one-hit wonder so to speak," he grinned.

Vettel, only two years older, has won the last four championships in a row and showed last year that he can be a ruthless competitor.

His win in Malaysia, when he passed Webber for the lead despite the team asking him to hold station to save fuel, has gone down in Formula One lore for the ignored instruction 'Multi 21' - which meant car 1 should stay behind car 2.   Continued...

Toro Rosso Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia drives during the qualifying session of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 23, 2013. REUTERS/Nacho Doce