Ricciardo given Red Bull warning

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has warned Daniel Ricciardo to be prepared for “a rough ride” should he become Sebastian Vettel’s new teammate at Red Bull.

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Ricciardo is firmly in the running to fill the void to be left by Mark Webber when his fellow Australian retires from Formula One at the end of this season, alongside Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen.

Although Tost is convinced Ricciardo has the talent to succeed, he also feels such a move would come “early” given the 24-year-old’s lack of success to date.

Overall, however, Tost claims Ricciardo – or any new teammate – “has to bring a lot to the table” if he is to compete with Vettel.

“Let’s have a look at Seb: he’s a three-time champion – at least per today – which indicates his huge talent,” said Tost, speaking to the official Formula One website.

“He’s extremely disciplined; he’s a sharp technical understanding – probably one of the best in the paddock; he can fight ferociously – he’s proven that time and again, and he is established in a winning team that he has built up with.

“Remember, when Seb left Toro Rosso to join Red Bull Racing the team was in no way the winner that it is today. Seb has contributed a lot to make it happen.

“So if you want to be the new kid on the block you better have all these facts in mind and show even more commitment to come at least close to Seb. That will be a rough ride.”

If Ricciardo does get the nod, with an announcement expected at the end of this month or early next, Tost will urge him to “prepare mentally” up until finally going head to head with Vettel next year.

Asked as to how Ricciardo would achieve that, Tost added: “That in the second half of the season he is inhaling that amount of self-confidence that he needs to survive in a team like Red Bull Racing.

“A simple example: if the car is not perfect, you override it and don’t lament. You work with what you’ve got as what you got is probably down to your own mistake – so go out and fight.

“You start to understand all the others are also putting on their pants one leg at a time – even a Sebastian Vettel.

“That he is moving over with a high fighting spirit and not settling for a passive role. Our talks move alongside these topics.”

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