Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he was only informed of his 2014 seat at Red Bull on the Wednesday after the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, 24, was unveiled as Mark Webber’s successor on Monday and dismissed speculation that the deal had been concluded several weeks previously.
“I think it’s a bit of a relief now that there’s no more speculation and no more dodging questions and all the rest of it,” said Ricciardo.
“Everyone knows what’s happening, including me. It’s nice. It’s something to look forward to and obviously I’m very pleased with the news but I have eight more races this year and looking forward to giving Toro Rosso a nice farewell I hope and I’ll put all my energy into that.”
“I think this weekend will of course be a bit hectic because the news is fresh but I think from this point on it should start to settle down and get back to normal stuff.”
“To be honest, in Spa, as I said, I still didn’t know – that was the truth,” Ricciardo said when pressed about his confirmation with Red Bull.
“I found out, I think it was Wednesday that following week, so a few days before the announcement took place. I can confirm I still didn’t know at Spa, so no lies being told there. Yeah, that’s it.”
Ricciardo is also anticipating the transition from Toro Rosso to Red Bull to be a fairly straightforward one.
“I think I’m pretty fortunate to spend some time with Red Bull Racing in the past as a reserve driver,” he said.
“At Toro Rosso, we still go to Milton Keynes to use the simulator so I see a fair chunk of the team, also away from race weekends. Obviously, now that the news is out I will try and if I get some extra time to start to mould a relationship with the crew for next year, yeah, so I’ll ease into it and by December when we really start, I will already try and establish a good relationship with the guys and understand the way they work.”
“As I say, I’m quite fortunate, I already understand a little bit about it, so a little bit of a head start.”