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Formula One's Daniel Ricciardo quickly validates Red Bull's decision

Open-Wheel Racing
Daniel Ricciardo shows why he was hired to replace veteran driver Mark Webber
Ricciardo, on team dominated by Sebastian Vettel, won Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo trails Mercedes team's Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton in Formula One title standings.

It took only seven races for Daniel Ricciardo to validate the decision by his Red Bull team to put the Australian in one of the most coveted seats in Formula One.

Ricciardo, 24, was hired this season to replace departing veteran Mark Webber on a Red Bull team dominated by Sebastian Vettel, who's won the last four consecutive Formula One championships.

Undaunted by the pressure, Ricciardo on Sunday won the Canadian Grand Prix for his maiden Formula One victory.

Ricciardo also put a temporary stop to the Mercedes team's juggernaut. Its drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had won all six of the season's prior races.

Though Rosberg leads the Formula One title standings with 140 points and Hamilton is second with 118, Ricciardo is now third with 79 points.

"I always knew that if I had the right [car] package, I would be able to challenge not only my teammate but also the front-runners," Ricciardo told Formula One's website. "So I always kept my spirits up."

When it was announced last September that Ricciardo (pronounced Ric-ar-do) had been hired, Red Bull's technical director Adrian Newey said that "we could have taken an experienced driver" or  "we could take on a much younger driver in the hope that they'll develop to a very high level."

Ricciardo has done just that.

Even before his victory at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve track in Montreal, Ricciardo had earned two third-place finishes and a pair of fourth-place finishes this year.

Then again, Ricciardo jumped into Formula One expected nothing less.

When he was hired, Ricciardo told reporters that being with the powerhouse Red Bull team meant he would be "expected to deliver. I'm ready for that. I'm not here to run around in 10th place."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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