After more than two months of speculation and deliberation following Mark Webber's announcement he would be quitting Formula One at the end of this year, Red Bull finally confirmed on Monday Daniel Ricciardo would be his replacement.
After emerging from the team's young driver development programme and two and a half years learning the ropes in F1, initially with Hispania and then Toro Rosso, Ricciardo finally has his big break.
But in going up against Vettel, the three-times champion who could land title number four later this year given his lead in the current standings, Ricciardo is facing a mountainous task to prove himself.
The likeable 24-year-old Australian is fully aware of that, which is why he will be doing everything he can between now and when he first steps into his Red Bull in testing in January to ensure he will be on as much of a level playing field as possible.
"Obviously, I would love to be as competitive as I can as quickly as possible (next season)," said Ricciardo, speaking at Monza ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.
"So I'll finish this season as strongly as possible with Toro Rosso and as soon as it's finished I'll switch my focus to 2014.
"I'll try and put in a really good off-season, do as much as I can to prepare myself for the first race.
"I know it's obviously not going to be as easy as it seems, but the best thing I can do is push myself as much as I can.
"I will have one of the best team-mates in the world to measure myself against, so no better man to have but him and to push myself as hard as I can."
Ricciardo appreciates already being a member of the Red Bull family at least helps him in a number of respects, as opposed to going in blind.
"I'm pretty fortunate to have spent some time with Red Bull Racing in the past as a reserve driver," added Ricciardo.
"At Toro Rosso, we still go to Milton Keynes (Red Bull factory) to use the simulator, so I see a fair chunk of the team away from race weekends.
"Now the news is out I will try to get some extra time to start to mould a relationship with the crew for next year and to understand the way they work.
"I'm quite fortunate I already understand a little bit about them and that I've a little bit of a head start."