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Daniel Ricciardo appears to have won the race to drive alongside Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season and believes he can be given equal billing in 2014.
The Australian has not yet been confirmed as Mark Webber’s replacement for next year but, after Kimi Raikkonen’s management seemed to rule out the Finn becoming Vettel’s new team-mate, the young driver is widely believed to have won the drive.
Ricciardo, 24, insists if and when he does eventually get the call from Red Bull he would jump at the chance and insists he would expect to be given his chance to show off his talents, rather than just merely play second fiddle to current world champion Vettel.
The issue is pertinent because several times Webber has been ordered to stay behind his team-mate for the team’s overall benefit and it is fair to say Webber and Vettel, who had earlier suggested he wanted Raikkonen on board for next year, do not exactly see eye to eye – on or off the track.
“I’m sure if I was in a position to win a race in the future, I’d be allowed to,” said Ricciardo. “I hear a little bit in the team about equality; people have different opinions on that.
“I’m sure if it was to all go forward and in my favour and if I was to get the shot there, I’d be given the same car and the same opportunity to show my skills, I guess. It wouldn’t be a concern at all.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists Red Bull are still finalising their plans for next season and a decision will be made at the end of the European leg of the season – which is after the Italian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.