Some unfinished business
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Ricciardo in pole position for Red Bull seat as Raikkonen talks end
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Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Aug 2013   |  5:08 pm GMT  |  423 comments

It now looks likely that Red Bull Racing is set to promote junior driver Daniel Ricciardo to the second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel next season, after Kimi Raikkonen’s manager confirmed that his driver is no longer in discussions with the Milton Keynes team.

As journalists scrambled after the weekend to try to stand up a story in Sport Bild Germany, suggesting the deal is done for Ricciardo, Steve Robertson told Autosport that his client was no longer in talks for the drive.

Ricciardo is the only other candidate.

“Kimi will not be driving for Red Bull in 2014. We held some talks, but a deal will not be happening,” said Robertson.

The Sport Bild story said that Ricciardo would be announced at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. The source of the story was believed to be Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who is responsible for the young driver programme which has produced Ricciardo.

Red Bull have made no comment today and Ricciardo’s team has also said nothing.

If and when confirmed, the decision is something of a gamble by Red Bull. Ricciardo has scored 21 points from 41 Grands Prix and has to prove he can perform consistently at a high level.

With Mercedes in strong shape for the next few years both technically and with two well matched drivers, the pressure will be on Red Bull to retain its Constructors’ titles and thus on Ricciardo to hit the ground running.

When Vettel joined the team from Toro Rosso the bar was lower and he was able to rise with the team.

That said, Ricciardo has shown when the opportunity arises that he has scintillating single lap pace, so he should be able to start races from close to the front of the grid and strategy is more straight forward when you have a car with lots of pace, starting in the first couple of rows of the grid.

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423 Comments
  1. Peter says:

    I am very disappointed. Red Bull Raikkonen would have been mega.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      MARKO had said that “Hamilton will be weaker” at Mercedes and he proved to be wrong.

      Now MARKO also choose RICCIARDO and he’s weakening Red Bull…

      I cannot imagine drivers like ROSBERG, RAIKKONEN or the 2nd Ferrari driver (if HULK, DI RESTA, or maybe BUTTON) being beat by RICCIARDO in his first season at Red Bull.

      1. eetFrog says:

        Of course he’s not weakening Red Bull, F1 is all about having one prime driver these days and a team mate that looks after his tail and that is what they have still got.

        He’s just swapping one willing Aussie sap with another!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Webber was never willing and never a sap, he just had some bad luck with some help from the professionals at RBR.

        Ricciardo may have a #2 clause in his contract, but if that’s the case then at least he goes in with eyes open.

      3. Random 79 says:

        ‘He’s weakening Red Bull…’

        Ricciardo hasn’t officially gotten the seat yet so at least give him the chance to go out and weaken Red Bull before you make a comment like that.

        Having said that if by ‘weakening Red Bull’ you mean beating Vettel then I agree 100%.

        They joys of being a hypocrite ;)

      4. Rudy says:

        RB´s loss is some other team gain. Love to see RB going down.

      5. JTodt says:

        2nd Ferrari driver. You mean Massa? Massa is staying in red. Again, like the Ricciardo story, you heard it here first.

      6. AndyG says:

        Yep, he’s off to Marussia to replace Chilton!

      7. About Ricciardo, I think he is a brilliantly fast driver and given an equal car he will give Vettel a run for his money, unless his contract states otherwise.

        I’d love to see Daniel do to Seb what Seb did to Mark at Red Bull. The young boy blows the experienced guy away. But sadly the difference is Helmut Marko liked Vettel more than he did Webber and I dont think Daniel will have that advantage over Vettel.

      8. Nick says:

        He’s beaten a few of them in Qualifying lately in inferior machinery; as well as showing he can hold of drivers like Alonso before having to let them go by because the machinery cant hold them at bay.

        Its the same gamble as Perez going to McLaren…where he’s shown he has what it takes, even in an inferior McLaren.

        Kimi at Red Bull would’ve been good…but the heads would’ve butted eventually and probably led to a Hamilton/Alonso type situation.

        Plus they had to promote a driver eventually otherwise whats the point of having a junior team to give drivers experience if you always go for someone outside the program when a seat opens up.

        Its all on Daniel, if he’s named, to make the most of it. Which I believe he can.

    2. dufus says:

      I am very happy.
      Great decision by RBR to hire new talent and not drivers in the way out.
      This is then consistent with the culture of RBR which is about youth in the brand.

    3. chris green says:

      +1

    4. Ron says:

      Raikkonen was the premier natural talent on the planet at that time. If you had watched you would remember he only had 23 races under his belt in professional motorsports and won half those races. That is different to not being able to beat JEV in points over a season.

  2. blackmamba says:

    Bild also speculated that Kimi is headed for Ferrari and if it’s true, it just shows how little faith the Tifosi have left in Alonso. And he must be fuming inside that he might actually have to fight his teammate on top of everybody else.

    1. Christopher says:

      Ferrari would not be getting Kimi to replace Alonso. It would be to make a real run at a Constructors Title. The idea that Alonso has not delivered to me is nuts. He has dragged their cars up the grid several places higher than they deserved for 2-3 years. Having Kimi push Alonso(and vise versa) will help both drivers. They have both been around long enough to not let competition rattle them. If I recall, Kimi helped Massa on his title bid in 08. Many people say Hamilton bested Alonso, but I think they tied on points, yes?

      1. Chapor says:

        The only difference was that, in 2007, Alonso was defending double world champion and Hamilton was a rookie. just saying… :-)

      2. CL says:

        Another issue is that I dont think Ferarri have the management capability in Domenicalli to have both ALO and RAI.

    2. S Butts says:

      Hiring Kimi has nothing to do with Alonso. Everyone at Ferarri know how good Alonso is. They still owe him for 2010, remember.

      This is about the Mercedes threat next year. This is about the WCC and selling road cards.

    3. Dave Aston says:

      Poor Fernando.

    4. I don’t think the tifosi have lost any faith in Alonso just because Montezemolo has given him a talking down and the tifosi don’t decide if Kimi comes or not.

      But I wouldn’t be surprised if Luca brings back Kimi to show Alonso that he is replaceable and they can find another number 1 if they need to.

      1. johny bravo says:

        they can find anything but the car. i’m suprised tifosis haven’t lost their faith in a team which has one of the best recourses and cash, probably best driver on the grid but all can do – just bull*** talking about need to improve for 4th year in a row. i’m wondering when is the day coming when Alonso would lose faith in that bunch of talk show old lads

    5. W Johnson says:

      The Horse Whisperer has not denied that Raikkonen is going to Ferrari….

      1. James Allen says:

        He’s sleeping..

  3. NickW says:

    This is not surprising and I think most people were expecting Ricciardo for the drive. Despite the public noises made that Vettel would be happy with either Ricciardo or Raikonnen, I think the reality is that he would prefer not to partner Kimi as this would dilute the focus on him within Red Bull.

    i’m sure there will be many reasons and Kimi’s well known aversion to playing the marketing/media game would not suit a marketing machine such as Red Bull very well.

    Good for Ricciardo but not so good in the short term and a shame that we won’t get to see a Vettel vs Raikonnen head-to-head.

    Still there’s always MotoGP if we want to see competitive team mates matching up week-in week out…..

    1. SteveS says:

      Ha ha, I was wondering how long it would take for people to claim that Seb vetoed Kimi’s move to Red Bull. Never mind that Seb was the only person who ever seem enthusiastic about such a move.

      1. Christopher says:

        I actually think Vettle would be the kind of chap to enjoy a 1 on 1 just to put the nay sayers to rest. Yes Newey builds awesome cars, but you have to be able to drive em. (And I am not a [mod] fan to say the least. :)

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I think the truth is kimi’s manager used RBR as a lever to get a better deal for his driver. LdM has not been happy with Alonso for some time, don’t delude yourselves that Alonso’s comments last year, threatening to reveal basic development flaws via twitter were acceptable to the boss.
        This has been compounded by his comments post Hungary. The team wins together and loses together.

        Kimi will be a brilliant alternative to Massa and will push FA to the limit.. Or FA will sulk off like he did from Mclaren. If so, he will buy his way out of the contract, Ferrari won’t have to pay him off and Kimi’s friend, Sebastian is available for 2015.

        I hope the matador stays and actually proves himself against someone who is regarded top 4, if he does, Ferraris driver line up will be the best we have seen since Prost/ Senna or Hamilton/ Alonso

      3. Elie says:

        Ross Brawn once said that Raikkonen did not bag the team even when times were tough he was very much a team player at Ferrari. I don’t think Fernandos constant ( rightly or wrongly) bagging the car & of him out driving the car last year and again this year have been forgotten by the upper echelons of Ferrari.

        Definitely Ferrari need to get rid Felipe and I don’t care if he drivers te wheels off the car next 9 races- why does it have to be at contract neg time every year ! I have mixed feelings about Fernando and Kimi- I definitely think they would be a formidable pair buy I just don’t trust the Spaniard and I don’t trust Ferrari management. Fernando is a born trouble maker he’s an arrogant little brat and he won’t tolerate and equal no2- If Ferrari allow Kimi the space to work through the cars issues they will make inroads – of that Im sure look at how te car has progreses. I don’t know if Ferrari will persist with that pull rod front suspension- that’s something Kimi will have to adjust to. The single biggest positive will be a James Allison/ Kimi revival – they really could work wonders in that team and its boundless resources.

      4. Elie says:

        Apologies that’s ” look at how the Lotus has progressed”

      5. H.Guderian says:

        It will be VERY funny to see Kimi against Fernando. We will see how good he really is. I guy that was beaten by Massa against Alonso??? Schummy should have nightmares till this day. Kimi is going through the same path. Wait and see.

      6. Sid says:

        Dont’ forget Massa trounced Kimi on points in 08 and 09

      7. NickW says:

        Do you believe Vettel’s comments? In public of course he would say he’s happy etc, but in private I think he would rather partner Ricciardo. I don’t think he fears Kimi but Seb I think would prefer the ‘easier’ option of Daniel.

      8. Tim says:

        I agree, Vettel’s duplicity is a matter of fact. Even if it was not, he can hardy come out in public and say he doesn’t want Kimi as a team mate. From Vettel’s perspective Ricciardo is a no brainer.

    2. blackmamba says:

      I have tried watching Moto GP this year but I just don’t get that excited about it. I don’t know what it is about it, considering I can sit for hours on end watching the Tour de France, Giro and La Vuelta.
      Anyway about Redbull, it would have been a 2 fingered gesture at their driver academy if they had overlooked the junior drivers and hired Kimi. It would have made Helmut Marko irrelevant and I don’t think he would have taken too kindly to that. Once the rumors emerged that Marko was against Horner’s preferred choice Kimi I just felt it wasn’t gonna happen. And so it’s proved, and he must be pretty pleased with himself seeing as he is telling all and sundry about it!

      1. JustGuessing says:

        Absolutely no opinion F1 transfers but was intrigued by your comments re. Tour de France and MotoGP. Like you, I can stay awake all day watching Tour de France but fall asleep watching F1 and, more especially, MotoGP.

        Why is that?

      2. Hendo says:

        Phil Liggett

      3. kingszito says:

        F1 is the best sports in the world IMO! It keeps one at the edge at all times.

      4. Anant Deboor says:

        Hmmmm…maybe you just don’t like hard-edged racing that much…? Have you tried any treatment in case if it is serious?

        ;-)

      5. NickH says:

        Motogp is class, proper racing. And the riders have big balls, some would say crazy

      6. Tim says:

        Agreed, the riders in Moto GP earn every last penny of their salary :-)

      7. Zombie says:

        Blackmamba, if you dont find Motogp exciting then probably motorsports is not for you. In Motogp, they dont give a quarter and ask for none. Nobody radios the pits to say ” Did Charlie see that ? ” or “I think we should complain to Charlie”. There is no tyre drama, testing drama or twitter dramas. It is pure racing with 18 riders fighting hard for every inch of space.See the wonderful documentary ‘Fastest’ to see what these guys are made of. Comparing Motogp to F1 is like comparing Rugby to Soccer.

    3. Rachael says:

      Hah. I agree with Steve Speed. Where does the notion come from that Vettel chose Ricciardo? Because everything that Seb has said and done indicate that Kimi was his preference. Make no mistake, Daniel was Marko’s choice, not Vettel’s.

      Despite, reputations, I don’t believe that Seb has reason to be more afraid of Kimi. Based on current form, VET would be confident that he can out-qualify RAI, and thus dictate race strategy from the team’s point of view.

      However, Ricciardo is a different prospect. It makes sense to me, that Daniel has the one-lap speed to trouble Seb in qualifying. After all, it’s starting position that sets up the race strategy.

      1. Sri says:

        Where does the notion come from that Vettel chose Kimi over Ricciardo? Vettel only chose Kimi over Alonso. He said both options of Daniel and Kimi are good – so he really did not choose one over the other. All this was stated in public, of course privately what he conveyed to the team, we do not know.

      2. Rachael says:

        Sebastian Vettel is an employee of RBR, and whilst he has an important role with the team, contract negotiation is not part of it.

        Red Bull management will afford Seb all due courtesy & respect, but little more, when it comes to selecting Webber’s replacement.

        Sebastian’s thoughts, whether public or private are…

        irrelevant.

    4. + 1.

      I fully agree on the Moto GP. Hands down the best racing.

  4. Kanman1 says:

    Bild got it spot on since summer break started.

  5. Clear View says:

    So Kimi to the red team then!

    1. blackmamba says:

      Kimi will only go back for an extortionate price and a smooch from Luca where the sun don’t shine.

      1. Bradley says:

        So Kimi to the red team then!

  6. . says:

    So, Kimi to Ferrari!!!

  7. Steven L says:

    The cryptic twit this morning from alonso was more interesting, it sounds like he has been sacked.

    He could go to Renault, otherwise he has to retire as nobody else would have him. But you James pointed out that Luca DM would not want Kimi again, so is LDM also leaving ? Sooner or later heads have to roll at Maranello

    1. Random 79 says:

      SO going by your post and some other rumours:

      Alonso is leaving Ferrari.
      Massa is leaving Ferrari.
      LDM is leaving Ferrari.

      So who is going to serve Kimi’s ice cream?

    2. Will Wu says:

      Interesting to imagine who would Luca DM prefers if he needs to choose one from the two, Alonso or Kimi.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        HE ALREADY DID THAT!!!! He FIRED Kimi to hire Alonso.

      2. Will Wu says:

        That was then. Wondering about now. (Considering the latest development of Alonso’s tension with Luca DM.)

    3. Quade says:

      At one point few thought Alonso was employable by any big team, but Ferrari took him on, so I wouldn’t bet on him retiring soon.

      The sad part of the tale is that Alonso’s number 1 status at Ferrari seems to have destroyed Massa’s psyche. It just seems wrong for them to keep wanting to replace him with that in mind.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        Wrong! What “have destroyed Massa’s psyche” is that he is being consistently beaten by his teammate by 0.7s. Just that.

      2. Fireman says:

        The 2010 German GP team order incident was the last straw. Sadly.

      3. Quade says:

        @H.Guderian
        You are forgetting that Massa (in a Ferrari) was almost the champion in 2008. Also forgotten is the fact that he beat the highly rated Kimi two seasons in a row. His present predicament is clearly psychological.

        Massa’s natural skills might be the same, better or worse than Alonso’s, but that cannot be measured when he is boxed up as number two.

  8. Dai Dactic says:

    Well, thank F1 god(s) for that . . .

    And not to the prancing farce either, iceMan, please.

  9. Rekha says:

    That’s really a good news for Lotus more than to anyone.

  10. Steve Zodiac says:

    Good step up for Ricciardo but can’t see why any established front runner would want to go there and risk being made second fiddle to Vettel. I remember when Barricello went Ferrari with assurances that he would be on an equal footing to Schumacher but it was clear to see that was not the case

    1. From what I have read and remember, it was in Rubens contract that he would be a number 2 till schumi was there…or maybe im wrong

      Rubens on Austria 2002
      “It’s very rare that I lose my temper, but I was screaming on the radio. I kept going right to the end, saying I would not let him pass.

      “That’s when they said something about something much broader. It was not about the contract.

      “I cannot tell you what they said, but it was a form of threat that made me think about re-thinking my life, because the great joy for me was driving

      1. Zombie says:

        Rubens can scream all i care, the fact is Schumacher was faster 99% of the times when they raced for Ferrari. Also, Rubens should remember Schumacher holding the bay at Monza that year and again letting him by in US which helped Barichello take the 2nd place in the championship.

        Ross Brawn in one of the 2007 edition of Motorsports magazine was asked if there was a contractual clause for No.2 drivers in Ferrari. Ross said the only clause was that Schumacher will have the first take on the T-Car, the rest was all down to their performance against each other.

  11. Random 79 says:

    Looks like Christmas might have come early this year :)

    1. Sebee says:

      For Daniel, yeah.

      And as a side note, I’d like to nominate “Ferrari say “no foundation” in Raikkonen link as driver market hots up” as one of the best discussion posts in recent memory at JAonF1.

      Seriously. Great fan insight and opinion, great comments, and I promise I’m going on a “comment diet” because I went a little overly active on that one. But it was fantastic intelligent discussion by all that took part.

      1. James Allen says:

        Thanks. That’s the idea!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Seebee going on a comment diet?

        I’ll believe when I see it ;)

      3. Elie says:

        Ok then James me too.. Dowwh I just messed it up didn’t I ? Lol

    2. JTodt says:

      Yes, for Ricciardo, Sebastian, Marko and RBR.

      RBR sees drivers as a dime a dozen and have treated their junior drivers accordingly. There is a long trail of demoralised F1 drivers and potential drivers in the wake of RBR’s headlong steam towards F1 greatness.

      Ricciardo won’t win a WDC in an RBR so long as Seb is there, but this promotion will increase his stock price dramatically. He is now on the radar. When he starts winning races, he will start challenging for other coveted F1 seats (post RBR).

      1. Random 79 says:

        ‘Ricciardo won’t win a WDC in an RBR so long as Seb is there’

        That is the prevailing opinion and I’d have to agree. He only has two chances:

        First, he does phenomenally well and gets enough of a points lead on Vettel so that RBR has to give him priority so far as the championship goes…but that’s unlikely – even if he did start to challenge he might find that he starts to suffer from WBLS (Webber Bad Luck Syndrome). Symptoms are well documented but remain unproven.

        Second, he does reasonably well, gets enough points to justify his seat, bides his time, and then gets leads driver status when Vettel leaves for redder pastures.

      2. Laurence H says:

        Unless he’s a Kovalainen or Patrese…

  12. Michael S says:

    I think it was always set to be Ricardo. Makes no sense to do anything to rock the boat at Red Bull. Now the question is if Kimi stays home at Lotus or if he is Ferrari bound. Cannot imagine for one second Alonso would allow another Rooster in the hen house after his one year with Hamilton, but who knows.

    1. dimitris says:

      Provided Alonso wants to stay at Ferrari, or, if Ferrari wants him to stay. He committed a cardinal sin by putting himself, as Luca said, above the team.
      Alonso has matured since his Maclaren days, and he and Kimi have a lot of respect for each other. I do not think pairing them will be an unmanageable task. The only problem I see, if the pair is to be successful, is designing a car that is suitable to the driving style of both.
      Kimi’s first choice has always been Lotus, and he will stay for less money if convinced that the team is financially viable and can be competitive. If the deal with Infinity Racing comes thrugh, he will remain with Lotus.

      1. dimitris says:

        PS. I do not know what to make of Alonso’s comment on twitter:
        “The warrior that uses the sword when insulted cannot be considered brave.
        “Brave man does not flinch, because he has higher goals.”
        I presume he is the warrior who did not answer to Montezemolo’s insult with an insult, but what are his higher goals? Do they include Ferrari?
        Any suggestions?

      2. aveli says:

        ferrari has designed cars which raced in every f1 season to date and have won many championships so why should it be a problem for them to design a car that is suitable to the driving style of both drivers?
        if they thought that was a problem why would they sign the drivers in the first place?
        leave myths and politics alone and try to embrace reality. nature can never be fooled.

  13. Grant says:

    What a decision by Redbull….

    1. Andrew Woodruff says:

      Astonishingly bad decision if you ask me!

      Nobody knows for certain, but the working hypothesis for Red Bull must surely be that Mercedes with Hamilton, Rosberg and potentially the best in class engine are going to be a serious handful next year. On that basis you need to recruit the best possible drivers so you can to maximise points from both cars. Forget hurting Seb’s feelings or worrying about “two goddamn roosters”, if they find themselves in a gunfight for the constructors, as the pace of development will undoubtedly be rapid next year, that all becomes irrelevant. I think they will regret this decision.

      1. Andrew Woodruff says:

        Also, while I’m up here on my horse, I can’t understand why people can’t see the marketing potential for RB with Kimi in the team! The Red Bull brand is all about edge and cool – Raikkonen has those qualities in spades. They could have had a lot of fun together, even launch a new drink – Red Bull ICE! And Kimi could have just been himself. Wasted, wasted opportunity.

      2. Edd Boland says:

        I would suggest that Red Bull is one team where Kimi could certainly not have been himself and perhaps that’s a factor. They might have a lot of cool kids with tattoos and long hair throughout their sporting portfolio, but Red Bull is about as free spirited as The Apprentice!

      3. crndl says:

        Kimi did have a tie in w/Red Bull during his rallying “vacation” & lived to tell the tale…hope he lands somewhere he can fight for another well-deserved championship. He owns 2 very underrated statistics: most fast laps in a season [Schumacher has one, but Iceman has 2] and now most consecutive points finishes. Hope that superlative level of speed and consistency finds [or keeps] a good home. Go Iceman! :)

    2. Jason says:

      Was it a Red Bull decision? A negotiation is in its nature a discussion between at least two parties. I would argue that it was a joint decision…some aspect of the contract were neither party would fold. Looks to me that Kimi was the first choice for Red Bull…also consider that Kimi said before the summer break, that it was his decision.

      1. aveli says:

        raikkonen said he made the decision and some will say it’s not a wise decision but he made the decision which suits him best. redbull didn’t meet his demands and he decided against joining them.

  14. Paige says:

    I think the momentum has been building for Ricciardo ever since he decided that he belongs in the first four rows of the grid around Silverstone. He’d shown form before, but it’s undeniable that he saw a challenge when Webber’s seat was officially open for business and responded. He reportedly did a great job in the test at Silverstone, so frankly, the writing has been on the wall for weeks.

    For Kimi, this means either Lotus or Ferrari. Personally, I think the momentum is moving toward Ferrari. (Which I suspect you may delve into with your “more to follow” comment.) I already went into this at length, but it makes sense for him. He goes back to a team he won a championship with and who surely remembers him fondly for the magic that he delivered in the 2nd half of 2009 (which the engineers couldn’t explain), and the team that now employs the guy who designed the cars in which he has set a remarkable new standard for consistency in F1. Meanwhile, Lotus is having enough financial trouble that there is really no guarantee they can pay the salary he’s looking for, especially when they have had literally already had trouble paying his salary. If they can’t do this, how can they give him the car to win a championship in the future with their technical ace gone?

    On the other hand, he does seem to have genuinely meshed well with Lotus, so it wouldn’t be anywhere close to a surprise if he decided to re-up with them. If he does, I think we can take it as granted that Lotus has gotten their financial house in order and that the Infinity deal is on.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Could go either way, but I still reckon he’ll stick with Lotus. Cash problems aside he just seems much happier there.

  15. Elie says:

    This was always going to be a bitter sweet moment. Because clearly we are all going to miss the opportunity to see triple wc Sebastian Vettel against the greatest natural racer of his generation. At the same time we get Kimi in another team strong team ( regardless of where that is) taking his own lead.

    If Red Bull racing truly did want the fastest 2 driver available in their team- then sadly they will not get that with Ricciardo and we shall waited with baited breath as to why.

    1. Elie says:

      My gut feel is that they would have wanted at least 2 years from Kimi.

  16. Ravi says:

    What a waste of a premium seat, so now according to RB there is NO OTHER driver better than Riccardo ?

    Ridiculous

    1. cc says:

      Marko’s fingerprint as ever (and SV’s). CH can be the talking spokesperson in effect.

      If DR is so good I wondered which team (if any) would go after him if say Toro Rosso happened to close down.

    2. [MISTER] says:

      RBR have Vettel and they don’t need someone better than Ricciardo if he scaore points and stay away from Vettel’s way.

      Kimi wouldn’t have move out of Vettel’s way, that’s why he is not driving a RedBull next year.

      There are better drivers than Daniel, of course, but a better driver would’ve upset the balance at Red Bull, and then don’t need that.

      1. Tim says:

        +1
        Spot on.

      2. H.Guderian says:

        Perfect!!!

    3. Andrew says:

      Vettel is scared to go up against Kimi so has got Red Bull to go for someone who he thinks he’ll beat. No, of course I don’t have evidence of that but it’s my opinion. It’s also what Schumi did. He retired rather than drive in the same team as Raikkonen.

      Whatever people may say about Hamilton or Alonso or Kimi, their speed is verified against various other drivers. Vettel isn’t.

      It’s pathetic really. Ricciardo has proven very little so far. I’m not saying that he is a bad driver but he clearly doesn’t merit to be in a top team yet. He is behind Vergne in the championship although he has obviously been faster in qualifying.

      It will be sickening if Red Bull have the best all round car again (IE quali and race combined) as they have had for the last 4 and a half seasons.

    4. JTodt says:

      Seb is looking at the record books. Perhaps he is looking for 10 WDCs and 100 wins. Achieving this would make him into an F1 demi-god. Given his career start and talent, he has the best chance of anyone on the grid to achieve this. Even Lewis claims he is getting on.

      If Kimi were to go to RBR, it would hamper Vettel’s WDC run towards the beating Schumacher’s records (7 WDC, 91 wins).

      And he nor Dr Marko would want that, would they?

      For all those Kimi fans, don’t take it personally. Sebastian’s success validates Dr Marko role. Only No.2 drivers could have taken that seat. Which is why, RBR were keen on Webber staying on – but Mark had had enough being Dr Marko’s punching bag.

      1. aveli says:

        schumacher has most championships and wins in the history of the sport and yet he is not seen as the best so why would vettel be seen as a demi god if he wins more?
        beating multiple champion teammates is valued more i think.

  17. Max F says:

    Wrong move from Red Bull…

    1. [MISTER] says:

      You are so wrong. That was the best decission Red Bull made since promoting Vettel from Torro Rosso.

      The WDC can be won by only one driver, and RBR have Vettel for that. They needed a 2nd driver to score points every race to win the WCC.

      Having 2 top drivers in Vettle and Kimi would’ve been a disaster. We all seen the fireworks when Mark was challenging Vettel. They don’t want that anymore.

      I am just amazed of how many people actually don’t understand how a team works… Dissapointed!

      1. Glennb says:

        ^
        In a nutshell ;)

      2. Matthew Cheshire says:

        +1 To that. Look at Mercedes with their points shared between two winning drivers. Fun to watch but they could be contesting the constructors already.

      3. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Oops. Meant driver’s not constructors..

      4. Elie says:

        Im very surprised that a most people cannot see past their noses. If you have the 2 best drivers in Formula one in the best car inF1. Then the likelihood is that one would become a WDC and the other would be 2nd or at worst top 5( as is the case with Webber). Which means you would still win the Constructors title.

        If you have 1st and 6 or 7 then you run the risk of fighting be only for 2nd or 3rd or worse in the Constructors which is the risk Red Bull have now made.

        When will You people wake up and realise that ..
        We now have Mercedes Benz out qualifying everyone regularly and starting to win many races with Both Drivers. IF Ferrari hire another fast driver ie Kimi- then you have another very strong pairing. The thing that has made a no1 /2 driver work is a dominant car and two consistently fast drivers. This has not been the case at Mclaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and even Lotus for the last 3 years .
        Next year is a clean slate and Red Bull only have one proven consistently quick driver & the other unproven.
        The other teams are catching up and will have experienced proven consistently quick performers.

      5. MISTER says:

        How about teammates runing into each other, or one teammate holding position in the pit box to delay the 2nd? How about arguments over the radio and justifications by team principals during races.

        If you really believe that Vettel and Kimi would’ve put up with each other shows how much you know about the current F1. Vettel was throwing his toys out of the pram when the Torro Rosso was warming his tyres almost causing Seb to crash and you believe he will put up with Kimi not moving along? Or Kimi giving the place to Seb or holding position? Seriously? You rly believe that?

      6. Elie says:

        @mister – it’s only because the team “secretly” support it at the moment. Further why would a driver sit in the pits to mess up his team mates pit stop and run the risk of loosing position on track / what really pointless argument you make. Further if it is agreed and written into their contracts is- goodbye if you do/ who would be stupid enough to do it.
        Also if you have to drivers who respect each other then running into each other is a very small risk you take. If they don’t respect each other then you don’t hire them do you!.. Eg Seb and Fernando. But Seb & Kimi or Jenson or even Lewis now.

  18. Mike from Colombia says:

    So, is it a given that Kimi now goes to Ferrari?

    What does this say about Alonso’s future at Ferrari?

    Could this mean that we will now see Kimi and Vettel as team mates? At Ferrari in 2015.

    1. Ash says:

      There’s no way it’s a given! I’m really struggling to comprehend how people can be so convinced of Kimi going back to Ferrari, it would be the backflip of the century, not to mention the technical state that they’re in.

      Kimi wants to hit the ground running, he doesn’t have youth on his side anymore and he can’t wait around for the team to rebuild, something that Lotus easily have as an advantage over Ferrari. Lotus may not be at Red Bull/Mercedes pace but they have a more stable baseline to work with than Ferrari, and consistency is key for Kimi (car, setup, team etc).

      Anything is possible, but after the way Ferrari (‘read’ LDM & SD) treated Kimi and the ensuing politics that he so dislikes, I would be EXTREMELY surprised to see him go back.

  19. Sebee says:

    So….Kimi…

    Ferrari – against Luca, Alonso, Santander wishes

    Lotus – looks like patience may pay off.

    1. Crusty says:

      Reports: Luca has locked himself away with tranquilisers and milk, and his Nana Musskouri records. Kimi is bound for Maranello!!!

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Bear in mind that LdM signed Kimi first te round to replace Schumacher against Todt’s and MSC wishes. I don’t think Kimi was sacked by LdM but by the incoming sponsor Santander. If this is true, Kimi has no issue with LdM or vice versa

      1. Kimi1 says:

        So Santander calls the shots. What amuses me most is how the Ferrari fans turn against Fernando, Six months ago they worshiped the ground he walked on, Now they are all for Kimi again. Lets not forget Ferrari ousted Kimi in 2008 using underhanded tactics to take Fernando and Santander a year early, This was after Kimi had won the World Title for them…..
        They tarnished Kimi, with the Lazy not hard working image they tried to portray in the press, Now they want him back, This makes Luca look foolish.

      2. Antti says:

        I think you got the first part wrong. It was Todt who wanted Kimi to Ferrari, LdM has always wanted Alonso.

    3. Tone says:

      Lotus have trouble paying anything at the moment

      1. Sebee says:

        So does Kimi…

        1. Stay at Lotus with current Salary knowing payment may be a little late
        2. Accept a paycut to join Ferrari?

        Clearly he’s in a weak position to extract a high salary…unless Ferrari WANT Kimi.

  20. BK201 says:

    Somewhere in Germany, Sebastian Vettel breathes a huge sigh of relief. Perish the thought Vettel might actually have to ever “race” anyone for his success – be it when he is caught in traffic or a top-level teammate!

    Ricciardo will no doubt have a clear “no.2 driver” clasue written into his contract and Red Bull will continue to operate as “Team Vettel.” (See Malaysia 2013)

    Most successful car designer in F1′s history in his corner, overall the best car (by some distance) since mid-2009 and now an official no.2 driver to cater to Vettel’s every whim.

    Vettel has had it so, so easy in F1.

    1. Grant says:

      He’s a very lucky man….

    2. NJB says:

      Hear hear. And that, in a nutshell, is why vettel is unpopular, not multi 21 as the media like to make out.

    3. dean cassady says:

      more like, he can calm down, ready to have a tantrum.
      not rocking the boat seems to be one of the driving forces in this prospective decision, if Ricciardo is indeed promoted.

    4. Spinodontosaurus says:

      How has Vettel had it easy when he has had to fight down to the wire for the title every season bar 2011?
      You can also make a very strong case for Vettel not even having had the overall best car since around mid 2011.

      Your not so strongly veiled stab at Vettel’s ability in traffic is completely unfounded too; I invite you re-watch Spa 2012 or Bahrain 2013 for recent examples to show this.

      Also I find it funny how you cite Malaysia 2013 for you ‘Team Vettel’ claims. You know, that one race where Red Bull told Vettel not to pass Webber; to let Webber win.

      I’m not going to deny that, at least on an emotional level, Red Bull favoured Vettel over Webber. But in fairness they should; Vettel is from their young driver program, is simply the better driver and has a longer future in F1 due to his younger age. In the same way Ferrari should and do favour Alonso over Massa.

      But I also won’t deny that I would have liked to have seen Vettel vs. Raikkonen at Red Bull though.

      1. BK201 says:

        “How has Vettel had it easy when he has had to fight down to the wire for the title every season bar 2011?”

        In both 2010 and 2012, Vettel had/casued a lot of collisions and received numerous penalties. He did his best to throw both titles away and in 2012, in particular, Newey and Red Bull bailed him out. Both Hamilton and Alonso delivered an infinitely better season in 2012 but crucially their teams, unlike Red Bull, did not perform well.

        In other words, 2012 showed more than ever that F1 is a team sport. If a driver’s car and team is the best (Red Bull 2012) then it doesn’t matter if a driver isn’t the best performing driver over a season (Vettel 2012). And it’s worth pointing out that Vettel received more penalties in 2012 than Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen COMBINED.

        “You can also make a very strong case for Vettel not even having had the overall best car since around mid 2011.”

        As much as you could make a case that the Caterham has been a good car in the same time period, I suppose! i.e you could make any case for any team but some would rightly be laughed at by a majority of F1 fans.

        “…I invite you re-watch Spa 2012 or Bahrain 2013 for recent examples to show this.”

        I invite you to rewatch them!

        SPA 2012 – FOUR cars (RG, LH, FA, SP) out at the first corner. TWO other cars (KK, PM) had their races ruined by the same crash – KK pitted at the end of lap 1, PM spun.
        SIX cars out of the race by the first corner and ALL of those cars started ahead of Vettel.

        Also this was a race in which Red Bull were on a one-stop strategy and gained numerous places that way. Yet Spa 2012 somehow shows that Vettel is good in traffic!?

        Bahrain 2013 – Are you being serious!?

        Vettel started second, dropped to third at the first corner and then made routine passes on Alonso and Rosberg, in a Mercedes which had horrific race pace for most of the first half of the season. Yet this somehow shows that Vettel is good in traffic!?

        “Also I find it funny how you cite Malaysia 2013 for you ‘Team Vettel’ claims. You know, that one race where Red Bull told Vettel not to pass Webber; to let Webber win.”

        Vettel showed in Malaysia that he is above team orders and that he can sideline Horner on a whim, all whilst not only escaping censure from the Red Bull team but continuing to have the protection of Marko. How the Multi-21 fiasco doesn’t show Red Bull being de-facto “Team Vettel,” I do not know!

    5. Rockie says:

      So you are not happy to see Kimi vs Alonso? its only Vettel vs Kimi you want to see!

    6. luqa says:

      So by your reckoning:
      -Pre Vettel when MW and DC were in the team, the car was useless even though Newey designed it.
      - MW blew the opportunity to establish himself as team leader in SV’s first year with the now superior car
      - MW is only a less than average driver
      - MW must be even worse than average, because it was only the car. ( If it’s only the car why don’t RB finish each race 1, 2 and come 1,2 in the world championship during their time together as team mates?
      I agree with CH snubbing SV is hugely disrespectful of MW who is anything but a slouch of a pay driver as proven in his days with DC as team mate.

      1. BK201 says:

        “Pre Vettel when MW and DC were in the team, the car was useless even though Newey designed it.”

        Newey only designed the Red Bull cars, 2007 onwards. That there were also major regulation changes due in 2009, immediately focussed Newey’s priorities. Even then, it’s worth remembering that the 2007&2008 Torro Rossos were Newey designs and in 2008 the STR3 was good enough to win a race. And before you make the obvious reply, even the unheralded Bourdais qualified 4th in Monza.

        And by the end of 2008, the STR3 was better than the 08 Red Bull. Remember some people arguing that Vettel was better off staying at Torro Rosso for 09? Little did they know what Newey had in line for Red Bull 2009, onwards…

        “MW blew the opportunity to establish himself as team leader in SV’s first year with the now superior car…”

        I remember Vettel struggling to get the better of Webber (a good, not great, driver) for large parts of the 09, 10 and 12 seasons.

        In an era where priority for new parts was for Vettel’s benefit. And developments made to the Red Bull suited Vettel’s driving style, rather than Webber’s. Hmmmmm!

        And in an era where Vettel crashed his teammate out in Turkey 2010, costing Webber 15 points and yet STILL getting the backing of Red Bull.

        “If it’s only the car…”

        I haven’t said “it’s only the car!” Vettel is a very good driver, in a great car. Webber is a good driver in a great car.

        A number of drivers would have won multiple WDCs in these Newey Red Bulls. Perhaps even in 2009 too or without doing their best to throw away the WDC in 2010&2012 as Vettel very nearly did.

        The difference is Newey. There are five WDCs on the current grid. But there is only one Adrian Newey.

    7. Rob says:

      +1 for the having it easy comment, although one must acknowledge that he drove the wheels off that Toro Rosso for a while back when…

    8. Tom says:

      Malaysia 2013 is the worst example to show that Red Bull is operating as “Team Vettel”. Why didn’t they just ask Webber to let Vettel pass then?

      Yes Vettel is in a great car but give the lad the credit he deserves.

      1. Rockie says:

        I have always wondered why people don’t see this way!

  21. Phil Glass says:

    Hope this means it’s Kimi to Ferrari. I had hoped for that from the start but didn’t really expect it!

    Can’t mean Kimi stays at Lotus, surely! They haven’t even paid the milkman in months.

    1. dean cassady says:

      … means that RB DON’T have the fastest car next year, eh?

  22. Il Leone says:

    Good luck to Daniel, it’s a great opportunity for him. But has he been signed as a ‘No 2 driver’ or will the team allow him to race Seb?

  23. Hansb says:

    Ricciardo now @ RB and Ferrari denying a possible return of the Iceman, Kimi’s management now has no more options than Lotus to negotiate a new contract ?

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Ferrari have said they have no interest in the driver market. If Kimi is signed, then they are honest, they have no interest in the market any longer. Read between the lines

  24. shri says:

    If Ricciardo is selected. Good luck to him and hope he proves more than a match to Vettel.
    Only time will tell.

  25. dimitris says:

    Since, according to reports, Rebertson said that talks stopped a while ago, the Kimi-Ferrari rumour must have some basis.

  26. AlexD says:

    Well….ok. Problem is, Kimi should be given a chance to fight at the front and Lotus will not have this chance next year. Allison is gone. Either he goes to Ferrari or…he willl be the best of the rest

    1. Michael S says:

      I agree… I have my doubts Lotus will be up front again next year. Then again everything changes next year so who knows. One thing is sure, engines will play a huge part in who is up front and Lotus has not gotten clearance on a Renault lump as of yet.

    2. Sebee says:

      May I just say something that hurts me to say?

      Kimi doesn’t have big sponsor money behind him.

      Perhaps because of his lack of desire to do marketing gigs. Perhaps corporate world doesn’t think he’s marketable enough. But I think it’s finally becoming a factor in his options as EVERY team wants money. A shame really, but ’tis appears to be the reality of the situation. Kimi is a pure expense at top teams, and it’s up to every team to justify the ROI when no Santander type money is following Kimi around. It may very well be Lotus for Kimi, because Kimi at Ferrari upsets Alonso/Santander apple cart, and Kimi has no one who can replace that pot of gold from Santander.

      1. Antti says:

        He doesn’t directly bring sponsorship money with him, but that doesn’t mean he is a pure expense. First of all, he brings a lot of exposure to the team: media wants to hear about Kimi all the time. That alone will attract sponsors to the team. Secondly, he scores a lot of WCC points to the team, consistently. This means a lot of money by the end of the year for the team, much more than any standard sponsor would bring to the team.

      2. Quade says:

        Powerful argument, but then you’ve got to also put yourself in Santander’s shoes to see it could also go the other way.

        Santander would have to weigh their associations with Ferrari on the one hand and Alonso on the other. If Alonso isn’t bringing the beans home, then the math begins to tip the way of Ferrari who have just had a brilliant financial year.

        All Ferrari has to do if they mean to employ either Kimi or Hulkenburg (two drivers who would rather be caught dead than play number two) would be to get their PR team to run the math past Santander and Alonso could well find himself breaking rocks at Alcatraz.

      3. Fireman says:

        Well, no worries. He has desire to do marketing gigs and he’s very marketable. Just in a more unique way.

      4. Sebee says:

        Agreed. But it doesn’t change the fact that Lotus would have loved to have 15m sponsor follow Kimi. And there isn’t one. Hence Kimi has no sponsor work to do unless the TEAM find a sponsor.

        Really, Kimi’s thinking is the way things should be in F1. But it is not how it is anymore. Money talks, and everyone else drives karts at their local ring. Break down each top driver and see the company that backs him to drive.

        Vettel, Lewis, Alonso, Nico, all have big corporate money behind them in form of Santander Red Bull or Mercedes. I think even Massa has some. Kimi…not so much. He wants to drive not be a poster boy for a product. I understand, but again F1 is a marketing tool. And it appears the balance has shifted in a big way toward that goal.

      5. Fireman says:

        @Sebee

        Vettel doesn’t bring Red Bull to Red Bull. Neither do Nico and Lewis bring Mercedes to Mercedes. They gain nothing extra as Ferrari gains with Santander.

        So, I’m not sure your point is valid, since there are less drivers in top teams with major outside backing than without. Alonso in Ferrari (Santander) and Perez in McLaren (Telmex). That’s it.

      6. Sebee says:

        It is valid. Because in both cases teams are owned by brand that want Vettel and Nico and have made them their spokesmen. But in case of Ferrari it is Santander that influenced Kimi’s departure and Alonso’s #1 status. And so at Ferrari it is better to come with big sponsor money than naked like Kimi. Sure Ferrari have say. But they won’t bring on Kimi and give up the fat Santander cheques that pay Alonso’s salary.

      7. Fireman says:

        @Sebee

        Why is Ferrari any different as a brand compared to Mercedes or Red Bull? If Ferrari wants Kimi as their brands spokesman, the situation is same as currently in Mercedes and Red Bull. As a brand, Ferrari doesn’t need Santander. Thus, Kimi doesn’t need sextillion sponsor euros to get the Ferrari seat.

      8. Sebee says:

        It is different because Ferrari doesn’t want F1 to be an expense. They want it to be free. I’m not sure how successful they are at this, but considering the special status and payments and sponsorship money – I’d say close.

        Mercedes pays directly for Nico and for Lewis because they directly want them to be their spokesmen, and at the same time Mercedes owns the team they have them drive for.

        Red Bull pays Vettel directly because he’s a Red Bull man. Now in this case, they have built up Vettel to be a marketable force, which they now use to better their relationship with Renault/Infiniti.

        Meanwhile, Ferrari don’t like to pay 30M or more for a driver. Schumi and Co. was possible thanks to Marlboro. Kimi likewise. Now with less cig money, a driver with money like Alonso is a golden goose even at Ferrari. He will get the drive, and the team will protect that goose.

        Fireman, I’m not saying Ferrari have no say, and can’t hire Kimi if they insist and work on convincing Santander. But if they know they are peeing into their own tea by doing so, they won’t do it. Because truth be told, Alonso is at worse a net $0 cost, and more likely couple of tens of million benefit for Ferrari. And so would you upset a setup in which you get Alonso free, plus a bag of money in a sport like F1? I think odds are against it clearly. Possible – yes. Kimi wishes it – yes. Likely – not so much.

        I say again, EVERY team wants money and sponsor backed drivers over ones that aren’t.
        And this plays against Kimi – since he has none or few. I wonder, between him and Massa – who has more money behind them? Doesn’t Massa have some good mid-east sponsors backing him who also invest in Ferrari? If yes, that makes displacing even Massa a tough call.

      9. Fireman says:

        @Sebee

        You can’t possibly know what Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull wants and doesn’t want. Or what they want in the future. Thus, your point is mere speculation.

        Sponsors come and go.

      10. Sebee says:

        I thought we were having a good exchange. Yourr reply is quite weak I think.

        We know what Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull want because we can see it with their actions. Money talks and blankettyblank walksm Red Bull and Mercedes are outting their money where you can see what they want. They want Lewis and Nico to be their men. Vettel is clearly Reb Bull man. Alonso while being a Ferrari driver is Santander’s man, and Ferrari want that Santander money. No speculation.

        Sponsors come and go. Except Mercedes and Red Bull aren’t going anywhere right now. And as long as Santander money is here, Alonso isn’t going anywhere and Kimi may not be admitted to the Ferrari party.

      11. Fireman says:

        @Sebee

        Sorry, man. I just disagree. My point was that you can’t possibly know what Ferrari or other teams are up to. And even if you guessed right, Ferrari might revert doing so starting tomorrow.

        So, Kimi to Ferrari. It’s possible, and Alonso and Santander aren’t really in the way.

      12. Sebee says:

        Fireman, I do say somewhere that it’s possible. Everything is possible, a numbers man will give you clear statistical odds of a person being abducted by aliens. But possible and likely are two different things.

        If you thinks Alonso, and more important Santander and their bags of money aren’t really in the way you’re not looking closely enough and the equation. Can someone please tell Fireman the estimated annual amount Santander dedicates to Ferrari so he can understand the pile or rather mountain of cash in Kimi’s way.

      13. Fireman says:

        @Sebee

        I argued earlier that as a brand Ferrari doesn’t need Santander. To clarify, it’s more like Santander needs Ferrari. Remember, no driver is bigger than Ferrari and that goes for other brands too.

        I like to think teams want the two best drivers available and everything else comes second. Even if that means hiring Kimi and rocking the boat.

        I guess I’m arguing that F1 isn’t always all about money. And that’s where our perspectives differ.

      14. Tim says:

        I think you are right on this one. I remember an interview with Frank Williams (years ago when Williams were on top)and he was explaining how they justified the money spent on a driver. Basically the team had a formula that went along the lines of £x million spent on engineering equates to y tenths off the lap time. So, unless the driver can make up the y tenths they were better off spending the money on engineering.
        I don’t know how much time the Santander money buys, but unless Ferrari believe Kimi can make the difference back they are better of with Alonso and the money he brings.

  27. Veena says:

    What is the reason for Mr Roberson to end the talks with Red bull?

  28. DC Corey says:

    James:

    So attention will now turn to Lotus and Ferrari. Assuming Kimi stays at Lotus, what happens to Massa? Is Hulkenberg positioned to take the seat?

    1. Richard says:

      Alonso has posted something twice about Bianchi comming to Ferrari, his latest update was as it happens today. I won’t be surprised if Bianchi will be confirmed soon.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Alonso can tweet what he likes, he has no authority. Bear in mind that Perez was also a Ferrari academy driver with 2 seasons experience at a podium challenging Sauber yet was declared not experienced enough.
        Bianchi has been with a tail ender for half a season, get real!

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        I would be very very surprised. Ferrari almost never take on a driver with anything less than three years experience in F1. Bianchi certainly is the standout talent of the rookies though and should surely get at least a mid field drive for next season.

      3. Rockie says:

        Bianchi looks good against Chilton and Chilton is not a good driver so don’t see what the hype is all about!

      4. Kimi1 says:

        Why not take a chance with Bianchi? Enzo Ferrari did years ago with Niki Lauda, more recent Mclaren did with Lewis Hamilton, it could have gone either way with Mclaren, like it did for them with Jan Magnussen.

    2. Paige says:

      Hulkenberg will go where Kimi doesn’t. If Kimi is satisfied with Lotus’ viability and strength going forward, then Hulkenberg will go to Ferrari. Ferrari knows they need someone who will score a lot more than Massa and have more competitive pace, even if it means giving Alonso some anxiety. (Which it won’t. He has always stepped up his driving when faced with competition from his teammate.) Outside of Kimi, Hulkenberg is the remaining guy who looks most capable of doing the job. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, he had a terrific season last year in terms of consistency while also beating another young candidate out there who could compete with him for the drive, and he’s doing what he can with a terrible car, scoring in half of the races that he’s finished. This compares with Perez at McLaren and Sutil at Force India, who haven’t done much better in terms of points scoring frequency despite having better cars. Hulkenberg is the obvious choice for Ferrari if they don’t get Kimi.

      If Kimi goes to Ferrari, then Lotus will take Hulkenberg for the reasons stated above.

  29. So then, will Kimi be at Ferrari or Lotus next year then I wonder?

    1. Sebee says:

      I thought Ferrari, but now I’m thinking more and more Lotus.

      I think Kimi will be that fan favorite in an “underdog” team I mentioned before. Santander money is too big at Ferrari to be upset. I mean for crying out loud, they sponsor GPs and hand out trophies to winners shaped like the Santander Logo. If Santander says no Kimi at Ferrari, guess what? No Kimi at Ferrari.

      So go ahead, buy that Lotus/Kimi hat, it will still be good in 2014.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Santander is in massive debt, what makes you think they will continue?

      2. Kimi1 says:

        The Marlboro funded Wrooom event held at Madonna di Campiglio is cancelled for 2014 i understand, do Ferrari face a funding crisis? will they continue?

      3. Sebee says:

        Certainly Santander money stopping changes the equation. Do we hear reports that their cheques are late to Ferrari? Or perhaps Santander agrees to Kimi. Eventually as a sponsor they want a championship too.

        I think we’re doing well thinking through the possibilities. Kimi at Ferrari got me excited, but I just can’t get around the fact thay Alonso’s backers make him the golden boy and it is them Ferrari will have to satisfy or convince. And let’s be honest, Alonso is an OK driver too. ;-) Although. ..behind Kimi in standings.

      4. Quade says:

        Haha!

      5. Elie says:

        I hope Kimi stays at Lotus for a whole lot of reasons.
        As for Santander- how much longer can they spend ??30million or more and still be sitting behind a fizzy drink ad and more often a hair products ad?. Im no rocket scientist but if your talking roi Sebee- Im just not seeing it… Are you.??

      6. Sebee says:

        No, I’m not. I have no idea why Santander is spending such amounts on F1 and forcing us to look at those Lego Fire logo tropies. Are they doing it for ego, image, to get F1 fan’s appreciation and business, to offer financial service and credit to all the money sloshing around in F1…whatever the reason, they are spending. And while they are, they have say in certain decisions because parties on the receiving end of those funds wish to continue that stream of revenue.

        Will it all end up like RBS involvement in F1? Perhaps. But at least the journey will be fun while it lasts.

        Wasn’t there a survey at some point of financial performance of firms involved in F1? What happened to that? Scrapped after financial crisis because it wasn’t backing investment in F1? And while we’re talking money, look at all the rich companies in America that have little or no interest in F1. Don’t you find it interesting that such corporate giants and capitalist experts have found such globaly reaching sport of little interest? All the while they invest heavily into Olympics showcasing mostly sports few care about for 3 years and 11 months between events? Why?

      7. Elie says:

        We’re drifting off topic a little here but to clarify a few things. Santander probably will continue a little more with sponsorship- of course it still has its F1 circuits and title sponsorship that’s reaching a different market. But sooner or later the Ferrari deal must fall into jeopardy.

        As for the US companies James did a great podcast a while back where Zac explained how the US market was quite different and we all know that US companies are very much National focused as well as international and they need the balance just right. This too highlights why they are so strong on things like Olympics because the US national team is more often than not number 1 in the world- and having their ” brand” at that level is surely a Gold mine in marketing terms. Santander on the other hand is reaching Latin American fans globally in South America and Europe, so the coverage is much broader focus- and they have 2 drivers in the games-( and now both struggling due to Ferrari/ it may be seen)
        Again your point of not knowing why F1 is not so strongly supported is tied in with this and the global financial situation and the fact so many Americans only believe in their local racing formulas – of which there are so many and are so well covered by their media.Americans are very proud and nationalistic that way- they will only follow if Americans are racing and its something that happens on their own soil- that is why the prospect of 2 US GPS and a us driver is so important to Bernie and F1! It’s an untapped market that’s ready to go and Austin has fired the rockets I you will.

      8. Sebee says:

        Elie,

        Bottom line, you know sooner or later yes, that Santander deal may fall into jeapardy.

        But while they are here, and while the going is good, are you going to rock the boat if you are Ferrari? Other forces will have to play a role. And I think my point about power consolidation in a previous discussion a few days back on this subject comes into play.

        Bernie has a relatinoship obviously with Santander. You think he feels it’s better to consolidate all these drivers into top teams, or to have Kimi at Lotus to keep that team at the sharp end or Kimi at Ferrari? I would bet you if asked, Bernie would rather see Kimi at Lotus to keep that team in the mix. Otherwise, thet whole story may quickly become a 2 team story, instead of the nice 4 team story we have today.

        I just don’t see Kimi at Ferrari. More I think about it, the more I think it’s wishful thinking in the silly season.

  30. Michael Carty says:

    Ricciardo was the only realistic option IMO

  31. Rob Newman says:

    It will be interesting to see if Ricciardo’s contract will be a multi-year one. Probably they will try him out on a yearly basis.

    According to Kimi’s manager, Kimi has ‘multiple’ options. If it is not Red Bull, there are only two options for Kimi. Either stay at Lotus for another year or go to Ferrari which I pray won’t happen. A self-respecting Kimi should not go to Ferrari unless they replace Alonso. Kimi is no number two driver.

    If Ferrari needs a new driver, probably they should talk to Juan Pablo Montaya.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Montoya? Are you serious?

      First, Montoya and F1 never really got on well together, which is part of the reason why he ended up leaving halfway through 2006.

      Second, I don’t watch much Nascar at all, but from what I can tell he’s enjoying a bit of success there so why would he want to return to F1?

      1. Sebee says:

        Would he fit in an F1 car? ;-)

      2. Random 79 says:

        Wellll he used to, but now I think he lives in America so maybe not anymore.

        Please direct all replies to Sebee; he started it ;)

      3. DC says:

        Montoya is out of a drive next year in Nascar. Anyway, I think he was joking. …..

      4. Kirk says:

        Actually, he didn’t had any success in Nascar, just a couple of victories in all these years, also it is confirmed now that he won’t be with its current team next year, and he is now 37, probably he will retire now.

    2. Ash says:

      Lol, good call.

    3. Quade says:

      Montoya, number 2 to Alonso? No kidding!
      The man is far too temperamental to play number 2.

  32. David C says:

    Fair play to RBR giving young drivers a chance firstly with Torro Rosso and now a promotion to the first team.

    1. Matthew Cheshire says:

      +1. And everyone seems to be ignoring the kudos to Red Bull who may have a winning pairing from their own development. Not long ago that was only Ferrari or Maclaren that could do that.

  33. dean cassady says:

    Even if true, there are too many variables to isolate they why.
    Hopefully, James may well be able to piece together the clues, after the fact, to determine the key drivers behind the decision.
    a. RB and Kimi could not come to terms; money and guarantees of equal treatment?
    b. Since uncertainty concerning engine performance, and associated package development for the 2014 cars, is the overwhelming variable for next year, why would RB spend a top dollar on Kimi, when they could get toothy marketing material cheap, and maybe good performance as cream, to compliment their know world champion?
    c. no rocking the boat for the number one driver, RB already have a proven top driver, support is what he needs, not an icy-nerved top calibre challenge in-house?
    d. RB has to shown fruit in their driver development program?
    e. RB must have a longer term plan to deal with the assumed pending departure of Vettel.
    f. Kimi decided a return to Ferrari, reuniting with Allison is a superior success path to a next world championship?
    g. Kimi assesses the Lotus development plan as a better option for next year/making the right move for 2015; McLaren/Lotus with Honda power; perhaps it is Lotus that becomes the Honda works team?
    Too many variables, makes intense speculation on the blog… go for it!

    1. Quade says:

      Brilliant points.

  34. Sun Beam says:

    Is that because Kimi has signed for ferrari?

    1. Anne says:

      That´s what the BBC and Eddie Jordan are saying

      1. Sebee says:

        I read Kimi wants Ferrari return.

        This is as no news as it gets.

        I’ve read comments here that rightly point out the weight of that Santander sponsorship at Ferrari. It’s too great a mountain to climb for Kimi. Alonso is Santander’s man, and there is no way they will throw money into Ferrari to have Alonso underminded by Kimi.

        It ain’t happening. I think James’ source he mentioned in one of the past article comments is right. Ferrari is a dream for Kimi and his team, but Lotus is the reality for 2014. We were hopeful, but we were wrong.

      2. dean cassady says:

        open your analysis to wider varilables in motion, here, and maybe a Kimi move to Ferrari doesn;t seem to far fetched. For example, say Boullier had already signed on to replace Domenicalli? I’m not saying there is any foundation to this supposition, I’m just saying, there could be more motion, under the radar of the media, that could make such a move much more viable; Allison, Boullier, Kimi, plus bucks$$$$$ and, presumably one of Alonso, Hulkenberg, Di Resta, it looks a lot better. Luca has no excuses left for Domenicalli; I can’t see how he’ll be there next year.

      3. Crusty says:

        with respect Sebee, You are very confident of this view and pressing it on every post here. What if it turns out you are completely off the mark, which I believe to be the case …

      4. Fireman says:

        I guess it now depends what Enzo would’ve done :D

      5. Sebee says:

        Crusty, we’re just discussing possibilities. Clearly chance is there, but we are just speculating here – obviously.

        dean, certainly scenarios are possible. I just thought of the possibility that Santander may want a WDC/WCC as a sponsor more than to protect Alonso as their investment. But I just can’t see how such a power sponsor with clear track record of backing Alonso heavily moves to change their tune unless someone does some serious convincing on Kimi’s behalf. But in deed, that’s why we’re tslking through some scenarios to see if it may work somehow.

  35. ramsa says:

    that is bad… was looking forward to Vettel Kimi combination. Is there any truth to Kimi-Alonso combo in Ferrari. What else option does Kimi have besides Lotus. If Lotus falls off… then Kimi is stuck in a bad car and probably retire… Will Mclaren replace him for Perez/Button? Somehow Perez does not come across a top end talent like Hulkenberg and dare I say even Bianchi.

    1. dj says:

      why would mclaren replace parez? vodafone is leaving end of this year. and perez’s mexican sponsors will sponsor mclaren.

    2. dean cassady says:

      Even more than a Vettel-Kimi head-to-head, I’d love to see a Lewy-Kimi head-to-head in the Mercedes.
      I believe Rosberg, who is a fine driver, has been flattered by the way the season has unfolded, in comparison to Lewis. Fundamentally, Lewis is better in everything, though Rosberg has clearly started with the edge, especially in qualifying.
      But I don;t expect to see any more Rosberg winning the intra-team Mercedes battle. I put Rosberg on par with Webber, could be a world champion, has the driving capability, but perhaps, and I’ve never doubted Webber actually had it, but never that intangible something to push it over the top? Button fits this category, but, there it is, he got his world chmpionship. Any of these three could get it, under the right conditions, but the Kimi, Lewis, Vettel, and Alonso’s can get it under a much wider and more variable range of conditions and comparatives.
      Kimi has it; so any decision clearly didn’t have the primacy of having the best driver line up, possible. But maybe Alonso is going there?!?
      In comparing Alonso to Kimi, I believe in different environments, one would be better, but, by in large, very comparative.
      Still, I couldn’t see Alonso being better in the inherited Red Bull situation, than Kimi. But who knows; it looks like Daniel, but can you really believe anything in the media, until it’s done?

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      I find your reasoning amusing, how many podiums does Hulkenburg and Bianchi have? I’m sure I remember someone called Perez standing on it at Malaysia, Canada and Monza, or was that someone else?

      1. ramsa says:

        I am not saying perez is bad… but last year Sauber was a fine car …. something similar to what Lotus is this year … a good car. A more capable driver could have actually mustered a win… yes he came close to it malaysia… but somehow he did not blow over Kobayashi like Hulkenberg did to Diresta last year or Bianchi doing it Chilton..this year to Button has the measure of Perez. he is fine driver no doubt.

    4. Will Wu says:

      Could Alonso be seeing his way out of Ferrari in the a year or so thus making Ferrari wanting another champion driver when the day comes. Wonder how much more faith does the tifosi and Luca has on Alonso…………

      1. Kimi1 says:

        By the sound of things Ferrari and the Tifosi have already decided Fernando is on his way out, like his successful World Championship winning predecessors before him. That is what makes the Kimi to return stories the more remarkable.
        The Williams Team they had it all. Good Budget,Designers,Engines and Drivers,the whole package that dominated,They got a bit blasé about things,Made some bad decisions kicked out 2 World Champions, Mansell,Hill and forced out Prost to a degree when Senna was signed and look where they are today.

  36. Sarvar says:

    James, this fits well with RB philosophy for having a junior team, doesn’t it?

    So Kimi is going to stay at Lotus then?

  37. hey James

    well that is a real bummer. F1 would have enjoyed a huge benefit if both Kimi and Sebastian were teammates. very rarely do we get to see two top drivers let alone champions in the same and equal machinery.

    back when mclaren confirmed Jenson the inter-team rivalry b/t him and Lewis i thought was quite enjoyable.

    but more importantly with kimi in the other car Sebastian could once and for all put to bed the idea that it is the car that has allowed him such success and not his skill set.

    out performing Kimi, a properly fast driver would have really elevated his stock.

    conversely if Sebastian was out performed by Kimi then Sebastian’s detractors would have been proven right.

    shame that neither one of these conclusions will be reached.

  38. Rayz says:

    Disaster for Raikkonen. I can’t see Lotus staying competitive next season without the technical expertise of James Allison. Also, they apppear to be in trouble financially and to top it off, the Renault engine is rumoured to be quite a bit down on horsepower compared to the Mercedes V6 for 2014. That said, so too is the Ferrari.

    I don’t suppose McLaren would tell Perez he isn’t god enough and draft in Raikkonen to give him a chance of the title. There is no doubt in my mind that Ferrari won’t bring back Raikkonen to partner Alonso. Fernando wouldn’t have it.

    1. dean cassady says:

      No, they should put Button out to pasture and have the liveliest intra-team war in the last 20 years.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I have read unsubstantiated reports that the Mercedes is 100bhp more than the others, staggering when the others haven’t divulged any comparable information.
      I have also read reports that Mercedes wants bigger tyres because of this, and assptionx are Renault and Ferrari don’t need this as they have less power, or I suspect better designers.
      But I have also read that engine manufacturers may not use the full 15,000 rpm limit as they have fuel conservation to take into account, max power for qualifying is very different to effective race power levels.

      Beware

    3. Will Wu says:

      Or may be the Alonso driving the red car be history soon as well………considering the development of things over the past weeks? Just some speculation.

    4. Jake says:

      Massa out Button in.
      Kimi to McLaren.
      Hulk to Lotus.

      1. All revved-up says:

        Interesting. That would be fun. I’d like to see Webber make a surprise turnaround and sign with Lotus, and Lotus surprises many with a strong car next season. Webber deserves another chance in F1 in a top car – without a precocious super talented team mate.

      2. Jake says:

        How about Weber to Williams that is now competitive due to the Merc power plant.

    5. All revved-up says:

      If Renault is down on power by 100hp, the RB car won’t be able to make up the gap. Kimi won’t win the WDC in that car. Perhaps get a seat at Force India?

  39. Irish con says:

    Well that means no chance for red bull winning a constructor championship next year and it also means were denied vettel V kimi which I was really hoping for. Is kimi back to Ferrari really going to end up happening?

    1. Random 79 says:

      ‘Well that means no chance for red bull winning a constructor championship next year’

      Full points for optimism, bonus points for respect to Vettel.

    2. All revved-up says:

      If Ricciardo doesn’t score as many points or more than Webber, RB will be in trouble.

      Mercedes is looking very strong (to the surprise of many pundits who called Hamilton’s move a wrong career decision).

      But F1 often surprises with the unexpected. Perhaps there’ll be a surprise development in 2014 with the power units.

  40. Zombie says:

    Quite expected i would think. I just did not see Kimi driving for RBR while Vetter is still there. Just the way i really dont see Kimi driving for Ferrari while Alonso is still there. So Daniel it is for RBR – i am happy for him. It is probably time for Massa to make space for someone else..i hope it is Sutil or the Hulk.

  41. dansus says:

    Boring.

    Wheres Bernie when you need him.

  42. Richard says:

    Good bye 2014 Constructors Title. Should’ve put Ricciardo at Lotus for a year before putting him at Red Bull so he would’ve learned how to deal with pressure at a top team.

    1. Rockie says:

      Didn’t you watch the 2009 season like people say their nan can win in the redbull so they would be fine!

  43. chrisnz says:

    Wow that’s disappointing to say the least. Nothing personal against Ricciardo but apart from showing good qualifying speed he hasn’t really shown anything much in the races. Both Force India drivers and both Williams drivers and Hulkenberg (who might go to Ferrari) would be better bets than him. Dare I say it, looks like a waste of a seat

    1. All revved-up says:

      Kimi was a sure thing – in terms of consistent point scoring and running Vettel close.

      But Ricciardo might be a positive surprise. Let’s give him a chance.

      The great thing is that we will all see the answer right before our very eyes in 2014. Or we will see Kimi vs Vettel. Either scenario is quite interesting to a non-partisan F1 fan.

  44. Morten F-N says:

    No matter what Robertson says, I think they have a deal somewhere, as good as sown up. I mean, it wouldn’t be very tactical of him to remove his own leverage by saying they are now dealing with one team less! -therefore I believe they are pretty well set for next year.

    1. Antti says:

      Exactly my thoughts. I do not understand why Robertson would reveal something like that if Kimi didn’t already have an agreement for some team. Something is going on.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Robertson is known as a brilliant negotiator. He’s bested Ron Dennis, LdM and Horner. He’s only divulging info because the contract is signed

    2. Harshad says:

      Fully agree! i.e Kimi has been long enough in F1 not to make these kind of mistakes. So yeah, he definetly has a deal for next year….we just don’t know whether its Ferrari/Lotus..I suspect Lotus.

    3. Fireman says:

      His facial expression would tell the truth. I picture him giving his statement with a huge grin on his face.

      But not as big as Ricciardo’s.

    4. Rebellion says:

      Exactly. Guess his words make a whole lot of sense now.

      http://en.espnf1.com/lotusf1/motorsport/story/117843.html

    5. All revved-up says:

      I quite agree. I think Robertson/Kimi have an offer from Lotus that they are quite happy to accept; and are telling RB that unless, RB sweetens their offer – Kimi is staying at Lotus.

      The Lotus offer cannot be open indefinitely, hence Robertson is calling time on negotiations.

      I’m sure other teams including Ferrari have also out feelers out to see if Kimi has any interest. If the Ferrari offer is on the condition Alonson leaves, perhaps Kimi may be interested? The whole Ferrari Kimi story has taken me completely by surprise if it is true.

      F1 is almost as interesting off track as it is on track!

  45. Andrew Carter says:

    Not a big surprise, if Raikkonen really wanted to go to RBR then I suspect a deal would have been done some time ago.

  46. jmv says:

    Good for Dan!

    His performance during the remaining 2013 races will be interesting to see.

    If Dan steps up even more… he´ll be a good choice.

    If he flattens out… then he is just another driver who only steps up when he´s put under pressure (similar to the Fisichella´s, Heidfelds, Massa´s etc etc).

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      I remember PEREZ when McLaren reacted to hiring him: he lost momentum for several races in Sauber.

    2. Simon Haynes says:

      Exactly – I’ve just read 40 comments complaining Red Bull didn’t hire Kimi, when there’s a young guy in Dan who looks like he’s been given the chance of a lifetime. Surely some of the other commenters here can celebrate this (rumoured) decision from his point of view? If nothing else, his smile will be twice as wide as it was before.

      1. Mbrazel says:

        Mate best post of the day

      2. BenM says:

        It will be even better when he prove all of the chicken littles here wrong and is competitive with Vettel.

  47. David Hulme says:

    I’m glad that Kimi has not got this move. Given the changes that are coming in 2014, this really is not a time to be contemplating a move. Kimi has such a lot to offer in the development of the Lotus – which in his hands this season has been taking the race to RBR – and I’m sure that in his hands and with his input, the 2014 model will no doubt develop correctly and Kimi will knock RBR off the perch here and there splitting the WDC wide open.

    Lotus needs Kimi and they need to listen to him properly so he is provided with a car that will get him that first place – not only this season but for seasons to come. And Romain Grosjean will surely benefit from that.

    I know from the reports that I have read that Kimi is frustrated with only getting second places. There are still nine races to go this season so hopefully he will get a first in at least one of them.
    But moving now into an entirely new concept I think is wrong for any driver.

    Kimi, stick with the infrastructure that you know and improve upon it.

    As for Daniel, if he gets the seat then he will no doubt make an ideal number 2 to SV and probably suffer the same problems that Mark Webber has done. He will, no doubt, sit there wondering why the KERS isn’t working and why someone didn’t put the wheel nut on properly just as Mark has.

    Just my six penno’rth.

    Regards
    David

    1. dean cassady says:

      you could be right. maybe Kimi turns out to be a guy who can actually drive the entire development to favourable results, as is showing at Lotus. Maybe Lotus has got another top designer coming, and Kimi knows how to work with him, already?!? Who could that be?

    2. Quade says:

      There’s also the small matter of Lotus actually paying Kimi’s salary on time every month. If Lotus can’t do that, Kimi won’t stay).

  48. SteveS says:

    Not a huge surprise, assuming this story turns out to be correct. Kimi has never seemed enthusiastic about moving to Red Bull any time he has been questioned about it. I always got the impression he’d prefer to stay at Lotus.

    1. Poyta says:

      when was the last time you saw Kimi enthusiastic about anything?

      1. David says:

        Ice cream.

  49. Rich B says:

    pleased kimi’s staying at lotus, the more teams winning a race the better I think and kimi is the best man available to do so for lotus.
    I’ve read elsewhere that red bull refused his wage demand, surely lotus can’t afford to pay more than RB -the richest team in f1

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I obviously read English a little differently to you… I don’t remember seeing Kimi confirmed at lotus.

      1. Rich B says:

        nice sarcasm, unless they want to look stupid Ferrari won’t sign him

  50. deane says:

    Clearly this is Vett and Marko getting what each want.

    1. SteveS says:

      It looks to me like Kimi getting what HE wants. He has never expressed an interest in moving to Red Bull.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        To be fair Kimi has never really expressed much of an interest in anything other than really good vodka…

  51. Ezio Auditore says:

    All in all a good choice by Red Bull. RIC has talent and he’ll be pretty competitive alongside VET. Raikkonen meanwhile should stay at Lotus, unless of course Ferrari decide to give him an unlikely call to drive for the Scuderia again!

  52. testgate rules says:

    i an astonished to hear the news. F1 shoots again itself in the foot. there was some option to see some racing, and now they hire a second class driver, with no curriculum to make life easy for vettel.
    f1 has done it again.

  53. Mitchel says:

    What’s been Ricciardo’s best race?

    I thought he’d only really qualified well.

    1. Jato says:

      China/Silverstone for this season. Finished 2 seconds behind Massa in a Toro Rosso on merit. Would have been about 5th if it weren’t for another strategy fail by STR if they brought him in same time as Rosberg/Webber.

      I find it hard to see that so many fans are dismissive of Ricciardo before he has even had his chance. Not directly aiming at you, but by a lot of other fans who just look at the points tally or the result from the previous races without context.

      From what as been said, Button has been impressed by him. Hamilton said Ricciardo was the one that has stood out the rest of the grid in his recent Q&A and Hulk wants DR to get the seat too. Seems like he has respect from the grid unlike a lot of fans.

      I’d rather have DR than JEV despite what the points said. DR has smashed JEV in qualifying around 70-80% of the time and by a decent margin.

  54. Arya says:

    Without taking anything away from Daniel, I can’t fathom how RBR feel Ricciardo/Vergne have done anything better than what Jaime was doing!!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Maybe so, but when Jaime was at STR there was no seat vacant. Whether you’re a fan of Ricciardo or not the bottom line is that the timing was right for Ricciardo and Jaime kind of got shafted.

      1. Arya says:

        That is easy mathematics for us. But when a driver get dumped from a promised seat even after getting the best out of given machinery, it can be devastating. And we can already see that Jaime has not been able to recover from that setback. When you chose to treat your academy drivers( Speed, Hartley, Jaime, Klien) like trash then a promotion should happen only to an extraordinary talent.
        i still think it is bigger game to accommodate Felix Da Costa, supposedly the next big thing. Unless he does something spectacular, Dan might just be a transitional driver.

      2. Random 79 says:

        That’s a possibility, but time will tell.

  55. Sleeves says:

    James, you were right! When the talk started, you said RBS would appoint Ricciardo.
    What was interesting was that Robertson mentioned that other teams were interested in Kimi. So now we start the guesswork again, McLaren should seize the moment ….

    1. James Allen says:

      He has to say that to keep KR’s value up

      I’m sure there is plenty of interest – Raikkonen’s has been outstanding since his comeback

      Look at the $$ value of his hundreds of points !

      All kinds of teams might offer – Arrows used to always bid for Mansell, for example, even though they had 0 chance of getting him

      1. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

        Funny story about Arrows! But in the end it paid off, they signed Hill and he almost won Hungary GP 1997. :)

      2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Russians are offering KIMI a Sauber?

      3. Phil R says:

        Can you go into the Arrows example please, at what time was that? Sounds crazy but great…

      4. James Allen says:

        Throughout the late 1980s into early 1990s

      5. Lockster says:

        They got Damon Hill instead :)

    2. AuraF1 says:

      McLarens engineers always spoke highly of Kimi as he was so robotically consistent it was easy to do analysis. Sadly for Kimi, Button is there til retirement and is still younger than Kimi, while Perez shows some promise but he’s going to take a few years before he really peaks and McLaren won’t ditch him until he’s had a few years running.

      Saying that lotus are currently doing far better than the mclaren with its far superior budget.

  56. K says:

    RBR just being stubborn trying to push an average driver into a title winning seat. What other team would want Ricciardo in their team after 2 and a half years of being average and being beaten by his teammate?

    Kimi is going to Ferrari are sources saying now.

  57. Dan says:

    Good for Vettel. Bad for F1.

    1. AlexD says:

      agree with you

  58. Philip J Fry says:

    Whilst I wish Ric well, I think there are other drivers on the grid that deserve the seat more than him on talent, speed and race craft. He’s very good and very media savvy but IMO a solid third in line for a top seat. I hope he proves me wrong but more than that I hope any other seats that come up go with the skills rather than the sponsors $$$$ & £££s

  59. Serrated_Edge says:

    Vettel will be delighted, a willing patsy No2 driver

    1. SteveS says:

      So Vettel will have what Raikkonen, Alonso, and Hamilton have right now? Oh, the humanity!

      1. dean cassady says:

        very harsh on Nico, blunt, but … maybe…

      2. SteveS says:

        Already this season we have seen Rosberg obey orders to stay behind Hamilton (Malaysia) and orders to move over and let Hamilton past (Germany). That’s a heck of a lot move evidence of his being a “willing patsy No2 driver” than Webber has provided in the last four-plus seasons at RB.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        He always has, you honestly don’t believe Webber was allowed to race him do you. RBR has proven this more than Ferrari yet Ferrari only get criticised

      4. Random 79 says:

        Lol

      5. Mike Martin says:

        You might want to add Jenson Button to your list. Vettel already had that in Webber,,,,just saying.

      6. SteveS says:

        Vettel did NOT have that in Webber. Vettel was ordered to let Webber take the win in Malaysia. Can you imagine Alonso, Kimi, or Hamilton being given a similar order with respect to Massa, Gorsjean, or Rosberg? Never in a million years. Massa spent the last half of 2012 being a human doormat to aid Alonso’s title run, allowing his gearbox to be changed for no reason, moving over for Alonso even when he was faster. Can you imagine Webber doing any of that? Never in a million years.

    2. Jake says:

      Dan has had no problems getting used to the car anytime he has run in it. No reason to think that will change for the new car next year. Expect him to be challenging Seb in qualifying from the off and to be a serious challenge in the race by mid season if not sooner.

      1. James Allen says:

        I agree with your first point. But don’t underestimate Vettel. He’s right up there – and still improving – as Ricciardo will find.

      2. Sid says:

        Worth noting, great point James..!!

  60. Matt W says:

    It will be interesting to hear the reasons behind the breakdown in talks with Kimi.

    1. Pauli H says:

      Kimi signed with Ferrari with double the money that RBR had offered. The deal was done at the end of July.

      1. Matt W says:

        It will be interesting to see if those rumours are true. It would be a big U Turn for Ferrari after their expensive split at the end of 2009, and a big vote of no confidence in Alonso.

        Not sure why Kimi would be so keen, he seemed very unhappy with all the extra curricula activities he was involved in last time with all the PR commitments.

      2. Pauli H says:

        Estimates on contract offers to Kimi: Lotus = 9, RBR = 15 and Ferrari = 25 to 30 mil.
        I would say that it was a pretty good confirmation, when Alonso paniced and sent his agent to RBR to get a feeling on driving opportunities there.

  61. David says:

    Kimi to Force India. You heard it hear first. I just made that up, but why not?

  62. petes says:

    I feel there is still an outside chance someone other then Ricciardo could get the drive.I’m not confident for him at all.

  63. Thread the Needle says:

    Glad Daniel has got the drive, hope he does well

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Maybe only Australians are happy now.

  64. Kris says:

    Whatever the reasons for talks coming to and end may be, circumstances have robbed us of a truly mouthwatering prospect. A chance for Vettel to either confirm or dispel reasons to doubt him, a chance for Kimi to cement himself as an all-time great, so much potential for fireworks. As it is, I really hope Ferrari put somebody worthy into the second seat to make things interesting. kimi’d be great as a true reference point for Alonso and the car. Alternatively, what’s JB’s contract situation. I think he’d provide a refreshing change to Massa. Also, F1′s most stylish guy and great character in the most prestigious marque. Would be great to see!

    1. SteveS says:

      There exists as much reason to doubt Vettel as there does to doubt Kimi or Alonso. Virtually none, in other words.

      1. Kris says:

        Not really the point but…
        Point is that – rightly or wrongly – there are doubters and this matchup would give us a chance to see whether the doubters are right or wrong, with some great entertainment in the process.

      2. SteveS says:

        Point is that the doubters position does not have any rational basis and cannot be refuted by any evidence. If Vettel whipped Kimi in the same car, those “doubters” would simply come up with a laundry list of excuses for why that result should be discounted. “Kimi is past his prime”, “Kimis car is being sabotaged”, etc.

  65. expertf1 says:

    IMO there’s not much of a surprise here really. its so obvious vettel has the whole team behind him and he has so much influence in that team. kimi would have destabilised that and seeing as though he’s 33 he has a few years max at the top of his game like he is now and is it worth revolutionising the team for a few years in the eyes of mr horner? probably not. it would be interesting to watch from a fans point of view but honestly horner probably knows the team would implode and quite rightly so because his leadership skills are questionable (multi 21 for example). only someone like ross brawn could manage such a relationship.

    1. plantsman says:

      Few years left max!!how old was mansel when he won wc 39 i think kr has more than a few years at the top

  66. Lai Lai says:

    Kimi to Ferrari it is?…Our very own Crystal ball Eddie Jordan has finally piped up.

  67. darren w says:

    Well, since we are all in a speculative mood…

    Robert Kubica!

  68. Alexander Supertramp says:

    called it *

  69. NJB says:

    Sadly this was all too predictable and is another example of RBR distorting the sport. If this were any other team, without the need to validate a young driver programme, Ricciardo would have been fourth favourite behind more experienced/proven drivers such as Raikkonen, PDR and Hulkenberg. Perhaps he might not have been in contention for the seat at all given his lack of experience or outstanding results and the fact he is currently behind his teammate.

    Hiring Raikkonen would have given RBR a desperately
    needed popularity boost and the chance for us to properly understand Vettel’s level. Worse still because of RBR internal politics we are denied the chance to see one of the sports greatest drivers challenge for the WDC in the final stages of his career.

    We can only hope that Ricciardo can provide Vettel with a real challenge but given Vettel’s status within the team that is hard to imagine. F1 will be in dire need of a fresh champion in 2014. The odds on that have happening have just lengthened significantly.

    1. dean cassady says:

      totally agree.
      what if when Kimi said it might seem supid, he’d agreed to go to Torro Rosso? (no, that’s not reasonable, is it?)

      1. Me says:

        Totally disagree… the bloke has nothing to prove.

    2. Rob Newman says:

      I don’t think RBR is distorting the sport. How can they justify their own driver development programme if they start taking drivers from outside?

      Yes, Kimi has a large fan base and would have been good for RBR. From a marketing point also that would have been great.

      2013 is not over yet. We have a long way to go and it is not a done deal. There can be a surprise; you never know.

    3. SteveS says:

      Your entire argument rests on the assumption that Kimi was rejected by Red Bull and not the other way around. I don’t think Kimi was ever interested in moving to Red Bull. He certainly never behaved as if he was.

      1. NJB says:

        Not really. My argument is that RBR are not hiring best available option be that Raikkonen or another driver better qualified than DR.

        Also, why should Raikkonen ‘behave’ like he is interested in going to RBR? If his agent is talking to them, he’s interested.

  70. Andrew C says:

    The new lap dog as arrived. I guess it’s best to get them while they’re young and it’s still possible to train them!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Let’s hope he bites the hand that feeds…

  71. Ricciardo2 says:

    I see the Ricciardo option as very smart, as Red Bull are more a qualifying car, Ricciardo will be around the top a lot, giving Vettel a run for his money. There is no doubt in Dan’s speed, he is much faster than Vergne.
    I hope Vettel isn’t an ass to Ricciardo. No No.2 driver for ricciardo, just let him race

  72. Rachael says:

    Red Bull have signed the best driver available.

    In terms of risk, Red Bull’s biggest risk is, if they don’t secure Dan’s future, they could lose him to another team.

    Don’t underestimate Daniel. He has the demeanour of a young Mick Doohan.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      No they haven’t, he’s as good as half a dozen others who would have done a better job. Kimi, without question, but also Hulkenberg, Sutil and I’d add Kobayashi to that mix

    2. Random 79 says:

      Dan and Honda in F1 together…now there’s a thought! Has anyone called Repsol? :)

    3. Fireman says:

      At least someone has faith in Ricciardo. Reading these comments, he will have a tough season proving himself.

      1. Rachael says:

        It’s a good thing that the fans don’t get to choose the drivers (even though some here seem to think they do), because fans can’t spot talent.

        Who wrote the rule that only “established” drivers are worthy of driving for the top teams. How does one think that one becomes an “established” driver?

        Kimi himself, only drove one season for Sauber, before he was recruited by McLaren to replace the retiring Hakkinen.

        It’s lucky for Kimi that Ron Dennis didn’t believe that you have to be “old” to drive for a top team.

      2. Fireman says:

        Maybe it was easier to take risks with driver recruitments when you could do more testing. McLaren did bring Hamilton to test sport though and it was already 2007.

    4. Aadil says:

      Loose him to another team?

      I hardly see Ferrari, Mclaren or Lotus running after Riccardo.

      Infact I don’t see any team at all running after him.

      There are so many young drivers on the horizon with potentially so much more talent but they not part of Red Bulls failing young driver program.

      Frijns, Bianchi, Bottas, Magnessan, Vandoorn

      Probly the crop of the current young drivers not of though are apart of Red Bull.

      Red Bull may have Antonia Feliz de Costa but his hardly setting Formula Renault 3.5 alight.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Oh, you mean so many young drivers on the horizon with potentially so much more cash ;)

      2. Rachael says:

        Firstly, Ferrari, McLaren & Lotus are not chasing ANYBODY, because they don’t have any seats available at the moment.

        Secondly how can you claim that Red Bull’s driving academy is failing, when they are on their way to winning four WDC & WCC in a row???

      3. Rachael says:

        Yes, there are potential drivers on the horizon, but how many were actually available?

        Whilst Raikkonen may have been available at one time, I believe that at the time RBR signed Daniel, Kimi was off the market.

        I think that the story will emerge that Red Bull misjudged, in that they thought they were only competing with Lotus for Kimi’ services.

        Meanwhile, Ferrari outmanoeuvred everyone and signed Kimi for a much better deal.

        Of the four other drivers mentioned, Frijns, Bianchi, Bottas, Magnessan, Vandoorn none are ready to fill Mark Webber’s boots (yet).

    5. Racyboy says:

      I don’t see the comparison.
      Mick Doohan was retired for three years before he cracked a smile :)

    6. Elie says:

      That’s one of the craziest things Ive ever heard. First the comparisons to other more successful and proven F1 drivers and then the reference to the legend on 2 wheels- that’s the one that gets up my nose- Mick Doohan was a freak on two wheels with 5 titles and unbelievable winning instinct and Dan has had 2 years in F1 where his top finish was at best a commendable 5th was it? As an Aussie I should be proud that Dan is there- but honestly he got a long way to go.

  73. Aadil says:

    Raikkonen apart.

    Ricciardo is that the best Red Bull could have done? Really?

    Hulkenburgs like a million better. (My opinion)

    Ricciardo is fast probly good 4 a odd win here or there on his day! Probly just another Webber/Coulthard type character good but far from great!

    But the again maybe thats what Red Bull want.

    Its just a shame that a real talent like Hulkenburg who deserves better is stuck where he is.

    Marko hit a blind fluke when he found Vettel. He couldnt spot talent if kicked him in the nuts!

    1. dimitris says:

      I agree that the Hulk is the hottest young prospect at the moment, followed by Biancci, but as Dr Marko said, We still have Vettel’. That I believe sums it up.

    2. Rachael says:

      Hulkenberg? Would that be Nico Hulkenberg?

      The reason I ask was because only last week, Nico Hulkenberg made a statement to the media, urging Red Bull that they should pick Ricciardo, as Webber’s replacement.

      He was pleading with the teams to give young drivers a chance.

  74. Olivier says:

    Actually, Kimi vs Alonso would be much nicer. A natural racer versus the most complete racer.

  75. Sleeves says:

    Since Silverstone, Red Bull got lots of publicity by keeping the speculation on going. But after Dr. Markos statement that the driver who was elected would spend a lot of time in the simulator and with the engineers, then I felt that Kimi did not fit. The management at Red Bull rarely talk the same language! Webber will probably be even more outspoken about his time there ….
    Historically, only McLaren and Williams had two top drivers at the same time!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Webber’s autobiography post RBR is going to be an entertaining read :)

      1. SteveS says:

        You should look for it in the “fiction” section of your local bookstore.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Maybe, but never let the facts get in the way of a good story :)

  76. DK says:

    A bit of a let down, has been hoping for Kimi to join RBR since he left Ferrari.

    Now I am holding my breath to see what is the rest of the story…. Now it looks like the Ferrari option has gained weight.

  77. Dan Taylor says:

    Could this not be just a ploy by KR’s management to make RBR think they are out of the running in order to force a higher bid?

  78. Thread the Needle says:

    Bernie and Eddie at it again, must be something in it if he’s announced it to the world

  79. Edgp says:

    Ric has shown he’s a capable operator I hope he can turn himself into a world beater over the next few years. Fair play to RB for giving a young gun the chance. You just have to look at Marc Marquez is doing in Motogp to see how good a young guy can go in top machinery.

  80. dean cassady says:

    I’d just like to point out, that the Lotus is definitely better in all aspects, except start off the line, than the Ferrari, as of Hungary.
    Also, Lotus really have demonstrated a commitment to fully respecting Kimi, and working to his strengths, rather than a la familia, in Maranello; so the real question is, what is Lotus bringing to supplant the Allison departure? Let’s face it, only another star could fill those insightful shoes.

    1. Sid says:

      Wow dean, you’re the most active forum er today!…

  81. dufus says:

    Its great for Daniel and Aussie fans. I hope Daniel brings a lot of new young fans. Dont you think the sport needs it ?
    From a different angle he really has big shoes to fill in replacing Mark Webber. Mark is a a great consistent driver.
    Good luck Daniel.
    Just realized ill be getting up again at all hours to watch races !

    1. Random 79 says:

      Honestly if Dan had gotten the flick from STR I would have watched the new regs for a bit (just out of curiosity)…and then probably just turned off.

      F1 is good, but I’m not sure it’s good enough to stand on it’s own anymore unless you’re somehow invested in it.

    2. Me says:

      “I hope Daniel brings a lot of new young fans”

      As long as they’re not as myopic as the current young fans.

  82. Keith says:

    Surprised, somewhat, but not really, as Red Bull somehow have to validate there young driver program, or the whole thing turns into a very expensive farce, that even billionaires can’t afford for long, and it appears ruins a number of fairly decent drivers in the process.

    So now the smart money is on Kimi going to Ferrari. As he is a racer and wants to win, plus driving a Rory Byrne / James Allison designed car, which is one that a lot of drivers would love to do or have the opportunity to do, like drive a Newey designed car.

    As I said in the past the Joker in the Pack is Fernando. What is he going to do if Kimi is going to Ferrari? Will he throw his toys out of the pram, or revert back to dirty tricks to get his way within the team. Would this harm the team, as we saw at McLaren and also at Renault? Political politics is nothing new at Ferrari, but is it needed or required and would Kimi really want to be part of this sort of game. It drains drivers.

    Of course he could stay at Enstone, and if they do finish second in the Constructors race, then over the last 2 years he has been there, it means they could be on for a fairly large pay out from Bernie. That alone if handled correctly, could be the “guarantee” salary package he needs, but we still have this black hole in the finance and no investment coming in, and most importantly, unless James Allen knows something, the one key person has left the team, who have they got with the visionary skill set to pull a winner out of the bag, like James Allison has done over the years?

    Of course another dark horse in the running which isn’t talked about much is the Williams Team. One thing that does puzzle me right now is why is Maldonado, talking about wanting to stay at Williams? Just this last week Williams were talking up there other driver, Bottas, yet nothing said about Maldonado. One therefore assumes that the Venezuelan money is not as strongly tied to having him in a race seat, as one may of though in the past. This could actually be down to the way the contract was drawn up, that he had a seat for a few years, then after a set period of time, Williams could re-a validate his performance, but keep the sponsorship. Just a though.
    Kimi did look at Williams, but went to Enstone. Now they will have Mercedes power, and so far that maybe the way to go. The real big downside to this chain of thought is that Williams for many years have not produced any real decent chassis, so what makes one think they could now? The answer might be in the hiring of Pat Symonds.
    A big gamble, one that I would not bet the house on right now, but worth a look. Williams do have, to their credit one of the best engineering – wind tunnel manufacturing plants within F1, maybe only second to McLaren, so they can quickly go from there current zero position to hero very quickly, and they need to also. Kimi could in theory get them the points on which to build upon, but he does want to win and race, can Williams give him a car to do, not so sure.

    1. Fireman says:

      No, Kimi wont go to Williams. Frank doesn’t like to pay his drivers much these days.

  83. Brett says:

    RIC to RBR makes perfect sense if you consider the primary goals for RBR
    1) Create a marketing vehicle for their energy drinks
    2) Win championships

    Daniel is a good with the media and comes across well. No point having a #2 driver who will take points off the #1. Dan will quali well and be at the front to keep other drivers off Seb’s back without himself being a major threat.

  84. Nas says:

    I cant believe how many people are dissing Daniel Riccardio’s ability.

    He has gotten there on ability and results.

    I sincerely hope Ricciardo ignores the “no2″ clause in his contract and races vettel.

    That way he can show how good he is, and when vettel orders the team to sack him, Riccardio ends up in a Ferrari or a Mclaren where he can be number 1!

    Would be even better if he just beats vettel!

    Nas

    1. Random 79 says:

      My gut agrees, but realistically if he challenges Vettel and botches it he’s gone.

      Dan might be smarter to bide his time, maybe pressure Vettel a little if he can get away with it just so they know he’s performing well and is ready to pick up the ball when Vettel bails.

  85. Roger W says:

    IMHO there is only one reason all the teams are in F1, and that is to win. Kimi back to Ferrari makes perfect sense. Its no big deal.

  86. Nil says:

    It is highly unlikely that Ferrari will have Kimi. Looks like Lotus will end up being the last top level team where Kimi spends the remaining part of his F1 career.

    1. Alex says:

      Dont be so sure…several sources have said that Kimi-Ferrari deal is already done, that Kimi signed 3 years contract just before Hungary… That would also explain why Alonso suddenly seems very unhappy and his managment seeing talking with Red Bull…..and just today Eric Boullier said that they would like to keep Kimi, but if their financial situation doesnt allow it to happen, then they’ll look for some-one else….Lotus STILL is missing that one major sponsor, one that could help them keep Kimi.

      Just saying where there is smoke there has many times also been fire….if it had been just single source spreading these Kimi-Ferrari rumors, then I might be more skeptical, but now I might actually believe they are true…..though I have to admit I would have never imagined Kimi to go back to Ferrari after they bought him off to get Alonso and Santander’s sponsor money, let alone that he might be driving alongside Alonso in the same team

      1. Nil says:

        I agree with what you say. Suddenly we’re seeing a number of stories linking Ferrari and Kimi.

        My initial thought was that the Robertsons had the Ferrari story out to leverage the RBR deal or force better terms with Lotus. Even if RBR had decided to take Ricciardo, they would’ve played along knowing that it would drive Dan’s stock up and make the choice seem reasonable.

        Look at what Peter Windsor is saying: https://twitter.com/PeterDWindsor/status/369405646552039424

  87. Messrine says:

    Two points to make.

    1. Vettel clearly bottled it.
    2. Let’s hope that Ricciardo beats him on a consistent basis.

    1. Me says:

      You’re clearly wrong.

      1. Messrine says:

        No Vettel generally (notice the caveat) only wins when racing from pole and has clean air. It’s the RBR strategy. Put him with someone like Kimi, Alonso or Hamilton and he will soon be bleating in the radio and throwing his toys out of the pram! He has yet to prove he can drive an inferior car like Alonso did last season – no that is a truly great driver!

  88. JohnBt says:

    It’s quite obvious I thought for DR to be in RBR, cos Kimi would’ve showed Marko 2 fingers and told him to *** off.

    Now for Ferrari, fill up the postings fellas.

  89. KevinL says:

    It seems like Riccardo was their second choice. Had he been their first, they would of likely announced him shortly after Weber decided to leave. Maybe Kimi demanded equal status within the team??

    I wonder if James has any insight on the working relationship of Kimi and James Allison. Would someone like Allison be able to steer Ferrari into hiring Kimi? He seems to go well in Allison’s cars and Allison has spoken highly of him.

    1. James Allen says:

      They had a good relationship, albeit only for a year at Lotus.

      As Kimi is a known quantity at Ferrari already, I don’t think anything James might say would change things. They can see that he’s motivated, consistent and delivers time after time. They can also see he has maybe lost a tenth in raw quali pace since his early years, but he makes up for that in consistency and savvy (born from experience) in the race.

  90. Lockster says:

    Here’s a hypothetical for you James, how do you think RBR would handle things if this turned out to be a similar situation to McLaren in ’07 where Hamilton came straight into the team as the “junior” team mate and immediately started performing at the same or higher level as his multiple WDC team mate?

    If Ricciardo starts putting his car on pole (he seems to be an excellent qualifier) and winning from lights to flag early on, do you think they would give their support to a Ricciardo title challenge if he gets a slightly stronger start to the season than Vettel?

    1. James Allen says:

      As I said to another poster, don’t underestimate Vettel. He’s right up there – and still improving – as Ricciardo will find.

      I like Daniel, he’s a lovely guy and very quick. But Vettel is exceptional, that’s why he’s where he is in the sport.

      Watching him up close, speaking to engineers who race against him, he has the ability to get close to 100% out of the car in quali and the race on a more consistent basis than anyone else with very few exceptions over the last four years. I also see him still improving, this year he has been on a higher level than last and he hasn’t left too many unclaimed points on the table (leaving aside Malasysia!!)

      1. Random 79 says:

        No, I’m pretty sure he got those points too :(

      2. Me says:

        My god!

        You can’t say this… they won’t believe you.

      3. Sid says:

        thanks James, very insightful straight from someone who is very much into the sport

      4. RogerD says:

        Yep. [mod] is the real deal.

        Vettel will eventually move on from RBR and prove the doubters wrong. That won’t make him any more “likeable”, of course.

        The kid has the great misfortune (!) of being very young and extremely good. He also has doting, super rich parents (RBR) and the best toys in the playground. He wins almost everything he enters without seeming to raise too much of a sweat. What a jammy git! Cue the haters…

        I almost feel sorry for the guy sometimes (genuinely).

        For mine, I’m truly stoked for Ricciardo. How cool would it be to in his shoes right now? Awesome!

        I’m hoping that mid to late next season he perhaps surprises everyone (including himself) and “does a Vettel” – going ballistic once he finds the groove. I’d love to see RBR’s comfy (and totally rational) #1 / #2 driver plan tipped on its head by Dan matching Seb before too long.

        P.S. What do you get when you cross a Honey Badger with a Red Bull?

      5. SteveS says:

        “He also has doting, super rich parents (RBR) and the best toys in the playground.”

        A lot like Hamilton and McLaren then? But for some reason Hammy’s privileged position does not raise any hackles.

      6. Random 79 says:

        A squashed Honey Badger?

      7. Kirk says:

        I totally agree, when Vettel was just beginning in F1 in STR and then in RBR, I heard many people saying that he would soon win a WDC, as what it was said about Kimi or Hamilton, they had it, I haven’t heard anyone saying those kind of things about Daniel, he is good but he doesn’t look like a champion.

  91. Will Wu says:

    The focus of RBR is probably Vettel and what’s new in 2014. The replacement for Mark Webber is probably just a racing seat that needs to be filled up. DR is probably the safe choice from team’s vision (Toro Rosso as the junior team), financially, and most important of all, Vettel focusing on opponents outside the team. If DR performs and delivers, RBR wins. If DR doesn’t perform, Vettel is the focus anyway. Yes, they might not retain their constructor’s title if DR failed to be consistent. But losing the constructor’s title might be the better choice over potentially losing driver’s along with it.

    1. Marpabel says:

      Thanks!

    2. Fireman says:

      Oh, Domenicali. Coolest team principal ever.

  92. Denise says:

    Not at all surprised by this. What’s the point in having a junior team if you’re not going to promote from within when the opportunity arises?
    Would have been nice to see Vettel up against someone stronger than Webber though.

    1. Bryce says:

      There are only a few that are stronger than Webber. The fact that he is one of the high earning drivers atests to that.

  93. Hutch says:

    There seem to be two assumptions made here that I don’t think are necessarily true: That Ricciardo will be no challenge to Vettel, and that Red Bull will have a front-running car next year.

    Can’t wait for 2014!

    1. Random 79 says:

      The second point is a big one: ’08-’09 wasn’t so long ago…

  94. heinzman says:

    James, do you get the feeling it was KR or RBR that made it not happen?

    1. James Allen says:

      You’d have to say that given Red Bull’s resources and funding, if they had really wanted to make it happen, they surely would have done.

      So the feeling is that the conditions maybe were not 100% right for KR, but maybe RBR wanted Ricciardo all along, they needed it to be a process and looking beyond Raikkonen makes Ricciardo look good.

      They’ve not had to make many high-stakes decisions on drivers; decisions in mid 2000s were when the team was P6/7 in constructors since then it’s been Vettel/Webber for years.

      1. Oho says:

        Assuming they wanted Ricciardo all along why did it, providing it did, take so long? It seems counter intuitive as I would assume Ricciardo would pounce on pretty much any reasonable terms.

      2. SteveS says:

        You’d have to say that if KR really wanted to go to Red Bull, he’d have made whatever compromises were necessary to make it happen. But in fact he never seemed very interested in moving to RB. A few weeks ago he remarked that his decision would seem “stupid” to many, which shows you which way he was leaning all along.

        RB are the champions, and as such are entitled to expect drivers to WANT to drive for them. Kimi never seemed to want the RB seat badly, or at all.

    2. All revved-up says:

      I read the situation as Kimi laying down the line clearly as to which terms are not negotiable and that he is prepared to walk away; and has indeed walked away.

      If RB can get their decision making house in order – pick up the phone and call. If not, life moves on in the Kimi world.

  95. John Palmer says:

    So if Daniel is appointed to RBR – will we have the TV pundits correctly pronouncing his name the Italian way – Rich ee ardo?
    His Dad changed the pronunciation when going to Australia to assimilate easier……

    1. Random 79 says:

      Rik-kar-do is the way Dan prefers it to be pronounced.

      It’s his name, his call.

  96. Mark says:

    Lots of people on here seem to think Red Bull know absolutely nothing about RIC. He’s been in the Red Bull system for 5 years. They have every mile he has ever raced on computer with a billion stats ready to be analysed – his cornering speed, how he handles tyres, gear changes… They have every race report of his at their disposal. If a team that has won 3 world championships, and soon 4, are terrible at analyzing data and have picked the wrong driver – then all the other teams must still be using pencil and paper. Red Bull made the best decision for them. Good on them.

    1. Bryce says:

      Agreed.

      Similar to [mod - Vettel's] driving ability critics incorrectly claiming that Webber is not a quick driver as it suits their agenda to claim he is not e good reference.

      How on earth those deluded people think that the current top team would be paying good money to a driver that does not get on with his teamate, or is not among the best available is beyond me, especially when most drivers would be begging to get a drive there.

  97. Thomas in Adelaide says:

    Button to Ferrari, Kimi to McLaren, Massa to Lotus?

  98. Chris Chong says:

    Although incredibly unlikely, I would love to see Kimi in the Mercedes alongside Hamilton. Surely they could buy Rosberg out of his contract?

    1. James Allen says:

      Why should they? Rosberg is perfect for them alongside Hamilton – wins races, qualifies well, scores points

      1. Fireman says:

        …drives under german flag, speaks billion languages, handsome.

      2. James Allen says:

        …exactly!

        Pushes Hamilton, but ultimately probably isn’t quite on the same level.

      3. Sudha S says:

        Through all these changes that are happening at RBR and are likely to happen at Ferrari and Lotus, Mercedes is sitting pretty. Silver Arrows has a top driver pairing, a car on the up and 2014 reg changes likely to favor them. Merc is in pole position for 2014 I think..

      4. SteveS says:

        Moves over (or stays behind) when told to …

      5. dean cassady says:

        It is a tricky psychological conundrum.
        Will Mercedes go the rote of the number 2? If they do, they will undoubtedly keep Rosberg, who is in the process of morphing into that role.
        Or do they want to go with an all out overpower the competition, get Kimi and have the strongest team since Senna/Prost?
        What would Lauda want?
        What would Toto do?
        Probably opposite.

  99. Peldo says:

    Kimi said that the decision will surprise many and I think it will be McLaren. It might mean uncompetitive car for a while because of engine partner change. Button will leave the team.

    1. Fireman says:

      Hold your horses. Kimi confirmed to finnish paper Turun Sanomat that his comment didn’t give any hints.

    2. Jake says:

      Whilst the new power plant changes favour the engine manufacturers, there is no reason why McLaren can’t build a competitive car for next year. They won’t be wasting any more time on development of the 2013 car and so can put everything into the 2014 design. The change to Honda engines will be a problem for 2015.

  100. Joseph F says:

    I for one am happy about this. Everyone wants to see another top driver get the Redbull seat. But how does one become a top driver. One needs a top car!!! a new young driver in the sport is great at a top team! who knows maybe Ricciardo will be like Hamilton when he first joined Mclaren. Wait and see people I think Dan will suprise next yr if RB is competitive!

    1. dimitris says:

      Well, when Fernando and Kimi appeared on the scene in 2001 we all knew they were on their way to be top drivers. Lewis and Seb, the same. Top-to-be drivers have a knock for standing apart, even in a backmarker. See Bottas. I do not believe Riciardo has given that impression. He will become a good, solid driver, delivering points and helping the top driver, and may win a championship if the circumstances are right.

      1. SteveS says:

        Actually Alonso is the exception there. He did nothing in junior classes of racing, then did nothing in 2001 with Minardi. Yes, it was Minardi, but he was outperformed by his teammate there. He did not stand apart, he come from nowhere to to be champion.

        “(Ricciardo) will become a good, solid driver, delivering points and helping the top driver, and may win a championship if the circumstances are right.”

        He’ll be better than Massa, Grosjean, or Rosberg then.

  101. Brandon Lee says:

    Ferrari say “no foundation” in Raikkonen link,.
    yeah right.

    Ferrari official site, latest news, “Big names behind Ferrari wins in Belgium”,.and guess who´s there, oh yeah, Mr Iceman.

    formula1.ferrari.com

    1. Mac says:

      I think this “news” confirms Raikkonen is going to Ferrari, but which of the current drivers is going to make room for him? And is Vettel joining Ferrari 2015? Alonso to Lotus or RB?

    2. DK says:

      Ya, me too find that story very strange portraying Kimi and Ferrari’s success at Spa … coincidence?

  102. John says:

    I believe the two main reasons for picking Ricciardo are:

    1) The RB is a car that has to be qualified on the front row to make the best of the car. It doesn’t work well in traffic. Kimi himself has admitted that his qualifying performance has been a let down this year.
    2) It’s possible that Vettel may leave RB by the end of 2015. They would have wanted Kimi to commit long term to avoid having 2 new drivers in 2016.

    That said, I would like to hear red bull’s reasons for picking Ricciardo. I was hoping for a Kimi – Vettel show-down… :(

    1. SteveS says:

      You’re assuming it was Red Bull’s decision not to pick Kimi, when all indications are that it was Kimi’s decision not to join Red Bull.

  103. Racyboy says:

    James,
    You were all over the Alonso to Ferrari story years(it seemed) in advance.

    Does the Kimi/Ferrari story have any legs?

    …and there still seems to be a shady Alonso/RBR rumour out there.

    1. James Allen says:

      There has been contact

      I’lll find out more in Spa

      1. dimitris says:

        Latest reports suggest that Dr. Marko reversed his earlier statement, there will not be an announcement for the 2014 driver line-up by Red Bull at SPA, after all. Does that mean that Red Bull does not want a Kimi-Fernando Ferrari line up and are making a play for Alonso?

  104. Edd Boland says:

    In an ideal world, Kimi goes to Ferrari and a certain Polish rally driver regains the arm movement needed to slip back into his Lotus. Can but dream…

  105. Charlie says:

    I skipped a few comments here, so I’m sure someone else has already said this, but why do so many people think that Red Bull made this choice?

    If I know anything about Raikkonen-Robertson it’s that they tend to be fairly demanding and specific in their contractual requests, and are perfectly prepared to walk away if something isn’t 100% to their liking. I think that this is what happened in the Kimi-to-Mclaren negotiations in 2010.

    In this case I can’t help but feel that this deal has probably fallen apart over driver equality. Kimi will have requested that the car is developed to his liking and his driving style (something he gets at Lotus, and clearly didn’t get as the season progressed in 2008 at Ferrari). The way that Webber talks about his team indicates that they have a complicated driver-preferencing structure (with non-disclosure clauses that Webber clearly struggles to abide by), and I imagine that Kimi ultimately wasn’t up for that at all.

  106. Pravda says:

    “About Ricciardo, I think he is a brilliantly fast driver…” = LOL. Hahhahhaahhaaah. LOL!!!

  107. Jon Wilde says:

    Many people have commented on Santander Money influencing the driver decisions at Ferrari, is there a more significant commercial discussion taking place.

    Philip Morris own the rights to any branding on a Ferrari (for which the pay in the region of $150M per season). As such the Santander deal was with them, Santander have recently re-confirmed they have a deal in place until 2017. However Philip Morris recently cancelled it’s Wrooom event, which suggests all may not be well between Ferrari and Philip Morris.

    It may not be directly related to the driver market, but I would speculate that the Ferrari F1 team funding model may change between now and 2014.

    I would love to see Kimi back behind the wheel of a Ferrari next year, I’m just not convinced it will happen. Mclaren on the other hand, I believe Honda may be pushing for a number 1 driver who can deliver a championship. They may not see Jenson or Sergio to be that man. Sergio bring Telmex to the team. Jenson does not.

  108. Gareth says:

    well Riccardo will be a very good number 2 and his career will be destroyed. Just like Dumfries in 86, Verstappen in 94 and Letho in 94.

    1. James Allen says:

      Mmmm. He might score a lot of podiums and even some wins along the car

    2. Jake says:

      You think he should turn down the Red Bull drive if they offer it to him and stick with Toro Rosso? I do not see that there would be any stigma attached to being beaten by a three times drivers championship winner, (potentially four times winner when/if Dan joins). I expect Dan will, as Mark did, beat Seb on occasions, perhaps even more frequently. And when Seb leaves Red Bull to prove himself with another team, Dan’s the man who can.

      1. Gareth says:

        Sorry James but so did Barrichello in 2002 and 2004 and he had to be a good old number 2. I dont see Ricardo as a threat at all

    3. Rockie says:

      The problem you have is you are just looking for someone to halt Vettel really, hence your judgement is clouded.
      Insteads you need to look at the individual ability of Vettel how people come up with others doing better in the bull beggars belief!

      1. Gareth says:

        No Rockie, my judgement is not clouded. Riccardo has done NOTHING that shows hes a future star. Red Bull is a business at the end of the day, you need a team mate who will push the other. Do you honestly believe Riccardo will push Vettel? Did Letho and Verstappen push Schumacher,No. Did Dumfries push Senna, No.
        Read between the lines and you will see that Red Bull is becoming just like Ferrari when Schumacher signed for them with a good number 2.

      2. Rockie says:

        Isn’t it funny you mention its a business, and then go on to say Vettel should be pushed? Has he come out to say he’s lacking motivation to push the car?
        Irrespective of who ends up being his teamate he gets the Max out of the car, so what’s the point of being pushed did Senna’s or Schumacher’s form drop because they weren’t pushed.
        The scary thing about Vettel is he keeps improving every year and has added relentless consistency to his driving.

      3. Gareth says:

        Rosberg pushed Schumacher pretty well. Senna was pushed very hard by Prost, Senna responded with that magical 1988 Monaco Lap. If you have a team mate who pushes you, you get the best out of the car, Look at 88 and 89 when Mclaren were untouchable.
        Vettel is number one at Red Bull, Riccardo will be number 2, that is how it will work out. Do you really think Riccardo will push Vettel better than Raikkionen would have or Alonso?

  109. Heinz says:

    James, do you think there was a master plan for world domination hatched between Kimi and James Allison earlier this year, with one going on ahead to lay the groundwork?

    All happened under the radar?

  110. _Nick_ says:

    James what do you make of McLaren’s drivers this season? I think Button is a fantastic driver but this is the first time in a long time I’ve seen them without a driver that has the raw pace of a Hakkinen/Raikkonen/Hamilton. Button can bring home the points but I don’t think he can put in a Hamilton ’09 type performance and drag the car to a victory it prob didn’t deserve.

    Will they be on the lookout soon or are they genuinely happy with Perez/Button? To me it’s nowhere near as strong a line up as other top teams.

    And as an Aussie it’s mixed feelings seeing Ricciardo at Red Bull. Great to see him in a top team but watching Webber over the past few seasons there has been tough. FYI James, I enjoy your interviews on Ten with the Aussie drivers. The guys seem a little more candid when they know it’s just for an Aussie audience (Just don’t ask them about the cricket!).

    1. Random 79 says:

      Also out of curiosity James, being with Ten have you heard any whispers about possible Sportscar coverage now that Webber is heading there?

      1. James Allen says:

        No I haven’t, now you mention it

  111. TimW says:

    So F1′s own panto villain, Marko (booo!) and Vettel get their way and Horner’s position is weakened further. It was very clear that Christian wanted Kimi, I was surprised to hear him come out and say it over the Hungary weekend. It’s not often a team boss names a perspective driver like that, but it seems the decision went over his head. I wonder if this means there has been some sort of long term comitment from Seb, as surely noone thinks that Daniel will score as many points as Kimi.
    Well one piece of the driver market falls into place, I hope this isn’t the end of the merry go round, maybe Kimi really will go back to Ferrari. It will be a bit dull if kimi stays at Lotus and Ferrari stick with Alonso/Massa.

    1. Random 79 says:

      ‘Panto Villain’

      Somehow not nearly as intimidating as Sith Lord, but I’m sure Marko can make it if he tries – after all, he already has his own little Padawan ;)

    2. dean cassady says:

      Nothing in Formula One is that clear.

  112. Cedgy says:

    So Kimi is off to Ferrari then. With James Allison working over there already this makes perfect sense to me!
    Montezemolo needs to get over what happened with Kimi in the past, that is if he’s interested to win championships. After all hiring Kimi is hiring the current most consistent driver to finish races in the points.

  113. All revved-up says:

    Intriguing.

    I’ve faced this many times myself. Told the other party I can’t accept their price, walked away thinking to myself the deal was over and I had to look at other potential deals. Lo and behold, I get a call the following week.

    There are all sorts of characters at a negotiating table.

    Kimi at Lotus will be good too – if Lotus prove to be strong next year. Big IF but the Enstone boys have delivered against all expectations so far.

    Kimi at Ferrari – exciting for fans. Fireworks will fly. “Err, Kimi, Alonso says he’s faster – do you understand.” “yes yes – he comes too fast – tell him to stay off the blue pill”

    1. Random 79 says:

      Lost for words lol

  114. Sid says:

    James, any chance of Alonso landing RBR seat. And what’s up with Kimi-Ferrari rumours, I think they’re for real…

  115. Paige says:

    These two great articles seem to be making things clearer.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109342

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109341

    1) Lotus seems resigned to the fact that losing Raikkonen is very real. We can gather from Boullier’s comments that Raikkonen’s salary demands or current market price is a little too rich for their blood. He even refers to Kimi being a “pain in the arse” in the event that he would stay for a big salary. Boullier’s comments read every bit like someone trying to lay the groundwork for some disappointing news to be revealed about this situation. Translation from this article: Kimi’s not happy with the financial conditions (be it the security of the team, his salary, etc.) and is in deep negotiations with someone else who can pay him more.

    2) It looks like the path is a lot smoother for Kimi to go back to Ferrari than most people would think. Looks like Ferrari knows they need him back as another driver who can get the job done, and there is even a line about LdM accepting it if Kimi is the best driver available.

    I’m placing my bet on Kimi to Ferrari.

  116. adriana says:

    Too bad that RBR dind’t put their eyes in Nico Hulkenberg IMO it’s a lot better than Ricciardo

  117. Monza71 says:

    If Kimi’s concern is budget and Ferrari aren’t genuinely interested, could McLaren possibly come into play ?

    After all, they have the budget. Could there be an advantage in them farming out Perez for a year or two to develop at Lotus with McLaren paying both salaries ?

    If Lotus is cash strapped, it would certainly help them and Perez could come back to the team after either Jenson or Kimi hangs up his helmet.

    Just a thought………

  118. DJ Illusive says:

    Vettel must be jumping for joy its not Kimi as his teammate. I think those two would have create alot of dissention trying to maintain their ego’s, especially Seb.
    Ricciardo is a risk, but I think RBR was smart about making this decision with their priority in keeping their prized 3x champ happy as their numero uno driver. Hopefully he can perform up to Webber’s level to keep them just ahead of the competition. I like Daniel and am pulling for him to make a name for himself next season with a car capable of winning races and poles.

  119. Old Dry Joint says:

    Could’ve easily been a Webber and Ricciardo 2nd and 3rd in the British GP if he’d pitted when Webber did… same for Kimi.. No doubt Ricciardo has the pace..

  120. Dave Mingay says:

    Red Bull holds all the cards, Dan, so keep your back to the wall and don’t sign a long term contract in their favour.

    Prove your speed and if it doesn’t look like a good deal go elsewhere for better money.

  121. At this time it sounds like BlogEngine is the top bpogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that wnat you aree using on your blog?

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