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Daniel Ricciardo Q&A: I still have to make it happen 25 Jul 2013

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Hungaroring, Hungary. Thursday, 25 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) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Hungaroring, Hungary. Thursday, 25 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) Scuderia Toro Rosso talks with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Hungaroring, Hungary. Thursday, 25 July 2013

An impressive test outing with Red Bull at Silverstone last week may have taken him a step closer to replacing Mark Webber next season, but Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo is under no illusions regarding the stiff competition for the seat. His plan for the Hungary weekend is business as usual, as he explained to Formula1.com in Budapest…

Q: Daniel, last week you had a taste of how it would be driving for Red Bull Racing. What was the most obvious difference?
Daniel Ricciardo:
You will be surprised: not the car as you might have guessed, as we were very limited in doing things, but the moment I came back to the Energy Station after a day’s work to do my media work. Boy, I have never seen so many journalists waiting for me and hanging on my lips for every single word I say. That had really a ‘wow’ effect. (laughs) I asked them if they are here because they’ve already seen the signed contract, because I haven’t seen one!

Q: Would it not smooth the whole situation for all the drivers involved if a decision on Mark’s replacement was made sooner than rather later - so that everybody can go back to work?
DR:
Well, I think that it doesn’t really make a difference for me. I think it is the media that gets giddy with excitement. I am happy with where I am and with half the season left I have plenty on my plate.

Q: But are you saying that driving the world champions’ car left you completely cold?
DR:
No, no, of course it was quite something. But I would have loved to make some set-up changes on the car, work more with the engineers and push the boundaries a bit more - but we had to comply with the guidelines from Pirelli and the FIA.

Q: What’s your guess: did you impress?
DR:
Well, I was pretty satisfied as I came down to the times pretty fast. And now when I think about it, if I had to do it again I would do it exactly the same.

Q: Have Red Bull indicated to you when they will come to a decision?
DR:
No. What I hear is basically what I know from the media - that it will happen around the summer break. If I get the news when I’m laying around on some beach, that would be just perfect! (laughs)

Q: But you are aware that the three-horse race - you, Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne - is now apparently a two-horse race, with Jean-Eric out of the picture. At least this is what Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suggested…
DR:
Christian said that? He didn’t tell me. That means that my chances are 50-50? Do you have a coin? (laughs) It would mean that I am a bit closer to what I want, so let’s see. I still need to have a good weekend. Of course, though, the fewer candidates the better for me…

Q: With hindsight, did Mark’s announcement come too early in the season - in that from that moment on it became much harder to focus on your job?
DR:
It’s fine with me. I knew from the beginning of the year that an opportunity could arise so I always kept this in the back of my mind and tried to learn as quickly as possible.

Q: Good results for one candidate can harm the chances of the others. How do you cope with that?
DR:
To make sure that you’re the best. To execute what you want - and stay relaxed and composed. And make it happen this weekend!

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