Red Bull Racing have unveiled Daniel Ricciardo as their driver for next year to replace the retiring Mark Webber.

Riccardo, who has raced for sister team Toro Rosso for two years, will partner triple World Champions Sebastien Vettel at the team.

The identity of Webber's replacement has been up in the air ever since the Australian announced his retirement at the end of the season.

Almost every driver on the grid was linked with the seat at one point or another and it is believed Kimi Raikkonen was the front runner before contract talks broke down with the Red Bull team.

They have now confirmed that Ricciardo will partner Sebastian Vettel next season. 

The team's website said: "We confirm that Daniel Ricciardo will drive for the Team in 2014. As Sebastian Vettel is already confirmed for next year, this concludes the Team’s 2014 driver line-up."

Team Principal Christian Horner said: “It’s fantastic to confirm Daniel as the team’s race driver for 2014. He’s a very talented youngster, he’s committed, he’s got a great attitude and in the end it was a very logical choice for us to choose Daniel.

"He’s got all the attributes that are required to drive for our team: he’s got a great natural ability, he’s a good personality and a great guy to work with.

"Daniel knows what the team expects from him; he’ll learn quickly and it’s very much a medium to long term view that we’re taking in developing him. The seat within the team is a wonderful opportunity and I think he’s going to be a big star of the future.”

Red Bull Chief Technological Officer, Adrian Newey, further added this: “Since Mark announced his retirement, Christian and I have been looking carefully at the driver market, along with Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz.

"We could have taken an experienced driver, somebody guaranteed to deliver to a relatively known level, or equally we could take on a much younger driver in the hope that they’ll develop to a very high level. We looked at the latter option and concluded that of the younger drivers, Daniel is the most promising."

He further drew historic comparisons to back their choice for the relatively unexperienced driver.

"The decision actually reminded me a little bit of a similar situation we had when I was at Williams," he said.

"Nigel Mansell was leaving and we needed someone alongside Alain Prost. We could stick with Riccardo Patrese or take a punt on a young driver called Damon Hill who was our test driver at the time. I think it’s good to bring young blood in and give promising drivers a chance.”

Ricciardo was ecstatic at the announcement. He said: “I feel very, very good at the moment and obviously there's a lot of excitement running through me.

"Since joining F1 in 2011, I hoped this would happen and over time the belief in me has grown; I had some good results and Red Bull has decided that this is it, so it's a good time. Next year I’ll be with a Championship-winning team, arguably the best team, and will be expected to deliver."

He has already made his Championship intentions clear, and is ready to compete with Champion driver and partner Vettel.

"I know the team quite well already since being its reserve driver in 2010, which should make the transition easier," he said.

"It will be a great challenge to be up against Sebastian Vettel, I’m looking forward to that. My aim is to finish this season as strong as possible, for myself and Scuderia Toro Rosso."

Before the Spa GP, Mark Webber had let slip that Ricciardo had been confirmed as this replacement, but RBR had denied the claims. However, now it seems that was just to keep the media rolling.

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