25 Sep 2014

Ricciardo making life difficult for Vettel

6:55 am on 25 September 2014

The defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel admits Australian young gun Daniel Ricciardo has "made life difficult" for him this season, but insists he has no plans to join Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing,  Sebastian Vettel (GER). 2014.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing, Sebastian Vettel (GER). 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Responding to reports linking him to a possible move away from Red Bull next year, Vettel said he was definitely staying put.

"I've already said on numerous occasions that I've got a contract with Red Bull for next year and I'm working on the principle that I will still be driving for them."

Vettel, world champion for the past four seasons, has struggled to make an impact this year, failing to win once as his rookie team-mate Ricciardo has excelled with three victories.

"I've still got a lot to achieve with this team and I want to do everything to ensure that we make a comeback," the German added.

Last week F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone stoked the flames of the Vettel-Ferrari rumour mill by suggesting that the 27-year-old would be the perfect man for Ferrari, if he wanted to leave".

Despite Vettel finding himself in the unaccustomed role of playing second fiddle to Ricciardo he is taking his lack of success in good heart.

"Daniel has done a very, very good job and has made life difficult for me," he said.

"But it's good for the team's morale. His results have proved that our car isn't as bad as all that."

Vettel finished runner-up to championship leader Lewis Hamilton in Singapore on Sunday for his best placing of 2014.

With 124 points, he is placed fifth in the drivers' title standings, 57 points shy of third-placed Ricciardo with Mercedes duo Hamilton (241) and Nico Rosberg (238) out in front.