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Daniel Ricciardo Q&A: I drove to my ability 18 Jul 2013

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Thursday, 18 July 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Thursday, 18 July 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing talks with the media.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Thursday, 18 July 2013 The Red Bull Racing RB9 of Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) is returned to the pitlane after stopping out on track.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Thursday, 18 July 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing talks with the media.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Thursday, 18 July 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Thursday, 18 July 2013

All eyes were on Daniel Ricciardo at Silverstone testing on Thursday. The Australian spent the morning trialling Pirelli’s revised tyres with his regular team, Toro Rosso, but it was his afternoon stint behind the wheel of Red Bull’s RB9 that was of most interest.

With Red Bull team principal Christian Horner having confirmed that the 24-year-old is on a very short list of candidates to replace the outgoing Mark Webber in 2014, Ricciardo had the chance to prove his worth to the world champions. After what could prove to be one of the most important test runs of his career, he spoke about his day…

Q: Daniel, you spent the afternoon driving the world championship-leading car. How was it?
Daniel Ricciardo:
It was good fun. It was a busy day so at the moment it’s a bit of a blur having jumped out of one car and into another. I did quite a few laps and I was happy with how it went. I had a small off earlier but it was a pretty trouble-free day.

Q: What caused the off?
DR:
It was my mistake - I just lost the rear on the entry to the corner. I was probably pushing a little too hard. The gravel was a bit like quicksand - I thought I’d get out but I couldn’t. I could see the guys weren’t very busy in the garage so I thought I’d give them a job to do to clean the car! (laughs) No, it was just a small error.

Q: What are the differences between the RB9 and the Toro Rosso STR8?
DR:
Umm, to the media I’m not very descriptive! (laughs). I’ll keep it blunt - it was a good opportunity to get the drive and to get the half day and to have a look what it is like. There are some differences (between the two cars) - I can’t really say what, but it was good to get the comparison for myself.

Q: Did you take your chance today?
DR:
Yeah, I think I drove to my ability and did what I could. It was a bit tricky with the circumstances - we weren’t really allowed to adjust the car. Ideally you’d like to make some mechanical changes and set the car up for the conditions, but it’ll be the same for the other guys. It was a good opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience two different beasts.

Q: Christian Horner wanted to see how quick you’d go in the Red Bull. He reportedly thinks it is down to you and Kimi Raikkonen for the seat next year. Are you feeling any pressure yet?
DR:
No. It’s fun, it’s exciting. You know, whatever happens, happens. It was nice to get a few laps in the car - obviously testing is pretty limited, so to get that opportunity and to see what it was like, if I don’t get a chance further down the track, that was a nice little bonus. I’ll watch Seb’s (Vettel’s) times tomorrow (Friday) and hope he doesn’t put me to shame. (laughs).

Q: So if it is down to you and Kimi for the drive, what turns the decision in your favour?
DR:
I don’t know. It’s not my decision. I’ve still got the season ahead with Toro Rosso. The last few races have been better so I have to keep continuing like that. I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there is still the rest of the season which I’m sure they’ll observe. So I won’t get too caught up in today and now I’ll switch my focus back to Toro Rosso.

Q: What’s your overall feeling at the end of the day?
DR:
I feel good. As I say, it’s still a bit of a blur. It was a pretty hectic day, even yesterday going between meetings in both teams’ trucks trying to soak it all in. I’ll look back on a few things tonight and probably wake up tomorrow with a better understanding of how it all went.

Q: Will you be keeping an eye on Seb’s times?
DR:
I’ll do my own thing tomorrow. I don’t usually go on the websites - sorry! (laughs). I’m sure I’ll have a look, maybe at the end of the day.

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