Ricciardo lands Red Bull seat
Red Bull have confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will drive for the team from the start of next season, replacing Mark Webber.
The 24-year-old Australian moves to Red Bull from sister team Toro Rosso, who he joined in 2010 as a test driver before graduating to a race seat at the start of 2012.
Ricciardo emerged as one of the front-runners for the coveted seat alongside reigning triple world champion Sebastian Vettel in June, after compatriot Webber announced his intention to retire from F1 at the end of the season and move into sports car racing.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner announced the deal in a video on the team's official website, saying: "It gives me great pleasure to announce that our new driver for the 2014 season with Infiniti Red Bull Racing will be Daniel Ricciardo."
Ricciardo, who sits 14th in this year's drivers' standings on 12 points, is relishing the chance to pit himself against Vettel in equal machinery.
"Obviously there's a lot of excitement running through me right now," he said.
"It's great news, something I've worked for. To hear the news I wanted was great. It's the next step in my career now.
"Next year I'm going to have to put up with a bit more scrutiny. I'm ready for that and I want to get results for myself and the team.
"Sebastian Vettel has achieved a hell of a lot in his career. I want to be put against the best and see if I can mix it with Seb and the best guys in the world.
"It's the next step but for sure it's not the final step."
Ricciardo has seen off the considerable challenge of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen to secure the seat, while Ferrari's double world champion Fernando Alonso recently emerged as an outside bet for the vacancy.
Yet Ricciardo was always hotly tipped for the post, and was never in any danger of losing out to Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, despite the Frenchman sitting one point and one place ahead of him in the drivers' standings after 11 races.
A graduate of Red Bull's young driver programme, the likeable Ricciardo has plenty of admirers at the team's Milton Keynes headquarters, and Horner has earmarked the Perth native as a big star of the future.
"Daniel is absolutely the right man for the job," Horner said. "He really deserves this graduation on merit.
"He's a talented youngster, he's committed, he's got a great attitude."
Horner also defended the decision to not place a more experienced driver in the second seat alongside Vettel.
"Yes, there are drivers that have got great achievements under their belts, but if you don't give somebody the chance, how are they going to get those achievements?" he said.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for him and I think he's going to be a big star of the future."