Young driver test day two: Ricciardo sets the pace at Silverstone
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Jul 2013   |  7:19 pm GMT  |  104 comments

Australian Daniel Ricciardo set the pace on day two of the young driver test at Silverstone, however his fastest time came when driving his regular Toro Rosso car rather than in a Red Bull which he tested in the afternoon.

The 24-year-old, who is allowed to take part in the test because race drivers are permitted to take part so they can collect data for Pirelli, clocked a 1:32.972 which was just over six tenths quicker than Kevin Magnussen managed when he topped the timesheets on Wednesday for McLaren.

Ricciardo, who along with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen is in contention to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next season, managed 48 laps in the Toro Rosso in the morning before completing another 59 in the Red Bull in the afternoon.

The Australian was 0.215 seconds slower in the Red Bull compared to his leading time in the Toro Rosso. His afternoon got off to a bad start when he ended up in the gravel at Luffield in the Red Bull.

Ricciardo said: “It was good today but very busy, so it’s still a bit of a blur. I did quite a few laps this afternoon, so I’m happy with that. I had a small off but otherwise it was a trouble-free day. The off was my mistake, I just lost the rear on the entry.

“In terms of the inevitable speculation, I think this test is something for Red Bull to look at, but there’s still the rest of the season with Toro Rosso to do, so I’ll switch my focus back to that and won’t get too caught up in any rumours.”

Carlos Sainz Junior finished second quickest when he stepped into the Toro Rosso in the afternoon, finishing 0.044 seconds off the pace with Davide Valsecchi fourth fastest, six tenths adrift in the Lotus.

Oliver Turvey took over from Magnussen at McLaren, setting the fifth fastest time and collecting 97 laps worth of data while James Calado was sixth in the Force India on his second consecutive morning in the car.

Antonio Felix da Costa was seventh in the Red Bull ahead of Williams’ Pastor Maldonado and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg.

William’s Daniel Juncadella, Sauber’s Robin Frijns, Caterham’s Will Stevens, Force India’s Paul di Resta and Marussia’s Rodolfo Gonzalez completed the runners.

Friday will be the final day of testing at Silverstone with Susie Wolff getting her first full F1 test when she gets behind the wheel of a Williams.

Young drivers’ test – Silverstone – Day two

1. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1m32.972s, 48 laps

2. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m33.016s, 39 laps

3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m33.187s, 59 laps

4. Davide Valsecchi, Lotus, 1m33.554s, 91 laps

5. Oliver Turvey, McLaren, 1m33.864s, 97 laps

6. James Calado, Force India, 1m33.957s, 47 laps

7. Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, 1m33.958s, 19 laps

8. Davide Rigon, Ferrari, 1m34.053s, 97 laps

9. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1m34.116s, 71 laps

10. Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, 1m34.224s, 52 laps

11. Daniel Juncadella, Williams, 1m34.631s, 33 laps

12. Robin Frijns, Sauber, 1m34.731s, 17 laps

13. Will Stevens, Caterham, 1m36.082s, 98 laps

14. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1m36.356s, 41 laps

15. Rodolfo Gonzalez, Marussia, 1m37:949s, 92 laps

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@ bart,

check out F1 FANATIC, i think that was where i read it. it was a few days ago now so i can’t be too sure.


Here is a guess at what’s going on at RBR.

Mateschitz liked Weber because Weber is a stand up, no BS kind of guy. Helmut didn’t want Weber but Weber figured it was better being treated badly by a winning team than to be treated well by a losing team.

Mateschitz likes Raikkonen for the same reason as Weber but Helmut wants Ricciardo. However unlike Weber, Raikkonen refuses to be treated badly by any team regardless of who they are.

It’s Raikkonen’s decision and he is weighing up whether to risk being treated like Weber in a good car or risk being treated well in an ordinary car.

This is made more complicated by the change of rules next year.

My money is on Ricciardo though.


My sense is that Horner wants Raikkonen but Marko wants Ricciardo to stand up his spend on young driver training etc

I have no idea whom Mateschitz wants and he may well be open minded to being guided by the management.

Newey always wants a driver who will stretch his car to the limit. if Pirelli are staying for another three years he may appreciate having someone who’s good at managing the tyres, like Kimi.

They worked together at McLaren; not sure how good/bad their relationship was then


Dan the Man. Kimi is to unpredictable, he might chuck it in after 2014 and take up jet ski racing.

Dan will get the ride I think we all know that and he deserves it.


now that the comparative driver/tyre statistics are available they do make interesting reading albeit the, as still unknown, fuel levels may skew them.

as some people are making direct comparisons between ricci & vettel it with interest to see that the following occurred,

vettel RB best lap 1.3289 new medium

ricci TR ” ” 1.3297 used medium

the variance is .0008 and that is in matters of this comparison, diddly squat.

not a real bad effort, all things considered. would raikonnen have been able to do better? i don’t think so. of course these times would mean nothing to horner/marko et al when making decisions but for the followers of F1 they are somewhat interesting.


We don’t know the fuel loads, and I doubt they were at such different stages of tyre life when they set their fastest laps.


that is what i was at pains to point out….fuel levels. my reason for posting is that, i repeat, some people are using the fastest lap times for a comparison and all i did was point out that vettel set his time on new mediums and ricci was on used mediums. that alone is an interesting point but of very little overall consequence.


I agree on the fact that these times can’t be used to conclude anything, but I want to ask where it said DR was on used tyres?


That would be the Newey designed Toro Rosso with an identical chassis and arguably better engine than the Red Bull that year?

That was the last year team were allowed to share chassis design.

No Red Bull junior has had such an opportunity at STR since. I’m not sure if people are unaware of this, or wmploy selective memory with regards to the STR of 2008. Of course, his Monza win was special, taking out Webber (who had a shot at victory) in similar conditions in Japan (Fuji from memory) was equally unimpressive.


“That would be the Newey designed Toro Rosso with an identical chassis and arguably better engine than the Red Bull that year?”

You mean the Newey designed Red Bull that finished 7th in the constructor’s championship?

I find it laughable how people like you know how to repeat words like “Newey” and “Red Bull”, but with no regard for the context of that 2008 Red Bull. Maybe I should assume that every Ferrari is like an F2004?

“Taking out Webber (who had a shot at victory) in similar conditions in Japan (Fuji from memory) was equally unimpressive.”

You talk about selective memory, but choose to forget Vettel running 3rd in that race (with the race leader Lewis getting blamed for the incident in the end), or SV’s 4th in China the following week.


I hope and pray that better sense prevails at Redbull and if not kimi, they get the hulk.

This dude Riccardo is not even close to what Vettel achieved in the ToroRosso.

Get me at-least 1 podium before you even stake claim on this premium Redbull seat , which should be treated as such!!!


ravi, you might like to explain your comment re vettel’s efforts in the toro rosso as opposed to ricci’s?

on what basis do you compare the two cars given the 4/5 years in between events/cars, new circuits and especially different tyres. i am intrigued by your insight….


What suggests that DR is punching above his weight ? Vettel did that in the TR of that time.

All I am asking for is DR to show that, if you look at the points there is nothing to choose from him or his team mate.

Qualifying has lost its value to prove who is faster given how even top teams like Ferrari choose to sometimes not even attempt a decent time in Q3.

DR has done nothing so far to show he is a great racer. What is amazing is if your number one choice is Kimi , then your number two cannot be DR..that IS DISRESPECTFUl to the RB seat.

No one can say DR is as good or close to Kimi. Also remember, when Vettel went to RB, it was not what it is now as a team. So clearly now the expectations of who fills the seat have to be way higher than what those were 4 years back


@kenneth chapman – You’re rather exaggerating when you say the Ferrari was “far better” than the Renault. Engines haven’t been the major difference since around 2007. It was only Vettel actually beating the RBRs in the STR by the way- none of the other STR drivers in 2007/2008 beat RBR, when they used the same chassis.

Vettel’s win and pole was excellent- from pole, and dominating the race. The only reason he couldn’t win more than once was because his car didn’t belong there. Vettel was consistently near the front. Like with 4th in China and Brazil, 5th in Singapore, Monaco and Belgium. Maldonado by contrast had a car capable of far more than what he achieved in 2012.

cee – I would argue that they can be compared. Red Bull, who were 7th in the WCC in 2008 weren’t actually much better than STR are now. Vettel finished 8th in the WDC, and as Ravi said, SV clearly punched above his weight to a greater extent than Ricciardo has. DR is good, just not as impressive as a Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton in their early days.


I apologize he didn’t bring home points in Germany but I meant he brings points home in dry conditions.


The fact that Ricciardo got the car into q3 in germany proves he punching above his weight. The STR is not a top midfield team and yet he brought points home. How is that considered not punching above his weight

The STR that Vettel drove had the same chassis that RBR had with the better Ferrari engine. You can’t compare the two.

If you look at the results in races you’d see Ricciardo finished in the points more ofthen than Vergne. No denying Vergne is great in mixed conditions where most of his points come from but when he’s not on it he’s absolutely nowhere. Both STR drivers would have more points if they weren’t constantly compromised by strategy.

Ferrari chose not to set fast laps in q3 to get a tyre advantage. But they still had to get into q3 to stick close to their competition. If qualifying meant nothing why not start from pit lane and change to a pure race set up.

No one can say otherwise that Ricciardo isnt as good or better than Kimi since he hasn’t got a top seat. Only then will anybody know.

Kimi is obviously first choice no doubt but obviously Ricciardo has done something for RBR to consider him for the top seat and you can’t deny that so clearly the expectations have been met.

I don’t see why your trying to argue that point when RBR are considering him.


Vergne is out of the frame because he’s noticeably weaker in qualifying and in modern F1 that is a problem. Look at Kobayashi and where he is now.

If a driver like Ricciardo has an RBR at his disposal he will be close to the front and it’s more straightforward to race through to regular podiums with a car like that.

A driver like Raikkonen is going to put more sustained pressure on Vettel, probably, in championship terms, which could give the team a headache in closing stages of the season, like in 2010, But Mateschitz seemed to quite enjoy that and he’s a total maverick so who knows?


If you have the driver telemetry, the driver feedback, the engineering feedback, the team mate telemetry, the fuel weights and the race strategy from Vettel’s time at TR and compare the same to Ricciardo’s then you might have a point.

I will go out on a limb and say you probably don’t.

Only a handful of people would have all that – and they are the ones who say Ricciardo is the goods.


vettel’s single GP win was a one off at the time. did he go on to repeat that win in that year? a bit like maldonado’s win. right place, right time, right set up. you also seem to forget that the TR had a far more powerful engine [ferrari] than the renault.

if you have been closely watching the events to date you would also have noticed that on two occasions DR has been set for points but he was robbed due to mechanical problems so the current points tally it quite misleading.

what is all this ‘disrespectful’ business? yes, the seat is coveted by lots of drivers but other marques have also won races to date.

of course DR is not even close to raikonnen when it comes to experience but in identical cars i think you underestimate where DR would be. besides, you also seem to forget that DR has far more longevity than the finn and that has to weigh heavily in his favour.

i do find all these ‘kimi is great’ comments to be overstepping the mark.he has won one title and by a margin of one point. not what i would call a sign of greatness. no one doubts his abilities but he has been around for quite a long time. DR would be, IMO, better suited for the RB drive in quite a few areas and i don’t see raikonnen making his way to a WDC through a team that is solely built, run and managed for vettel.


Did you totally MISS the fact that when Vettel drove the Toro Rosso, it was still Newey-designed and engineered? The FIA made them stop that a few years ago, and develop the two teams independently. In short, when Vettel won in a TR, it was the prior year’s Andrian Newey-desinged RB, where as now that TR are struggling, it is because it is NOT an Adrian Newey designed rocket ship. That means nothing about Ricaardio, and everything about the car.


@Robert – Why talk such nonsense? Look at where Red Bull Racing were in 2007/2008, then come back and call it a “rocketship”. Ricciardo just hasn’t performed anywhere near as well as Vettel. Period.


What a lame excuse! The 2007 RB chassis was about as far from being a “rocketship” as it’s possible to get. This historical revisionism is getting way out of hand – I expect to hear next that the karts Vettel drove as a youngster were “the best karts on the grid”.


Also at that time the Ferrari V8 engine was arguably stronger than the Renault.

The Renault improved in the next year

It was definitely right place right time, but he also drove incredibly well that Monza weekend, which was very wet


omg james we seriously have some people in here looking at the times and going wow sainz this ricciardo didnt do well. people the kidsdo not have restrictions like the gp grid drivers do… think people!! only red bull know how well he went 🙂 by reports he done very well… p.s vergne does not cut it.. sorry guys


A driver who has never driven an F1 car before, coming so close to a supposed “star” in DR – then as “reported by many” – is very impressive.

No need to get defensive with DR – its evident that he does not deserve the Redbull seat if Redbull’s 1st choice is Kimi, then to even mention DR in teh same breath is disrespectful to the Redbull seat. It is THE MOST COVETED seat and has to be treated with respect. Just because soem dude sits in a sister team’s car and qualifies in the top 10 is no reason to grant him a seat.

Why can’t DR get a result out of the TR that is clearly way higher than where the car is. I’m not saying show me a win like vettel, but show me a podium and the seat is yours


ravi do u know what fuel loads were being run? did u know they cant change set up at all compared to the young drivers who can do as they please? im just stating the facts mate. he may not deserve the seat quite yet but. lets wait to see what happens for rest of the yr 🙂


A bit funny that you can tell someone not to get defensive but clearly attack a driver through Testing times.

Also its pretty much been stated that regular f1 driver’s are limited in set up and run to a program dictated by pirelli ie fuel loads and tyres that are run whereas young drivers are not bound to the constraints. So its a pretty clear case that Ricciardo has impressed RBR for which he is in contention along with Kimi.

Also Hulk will not get drive for RBR as he’s been no where this season and by your logic he hasn’t got the results from the Sauber that is clearly higher than where the car is. Perez and Kobayashi both got podiums so he’s very unimpressive.

Its hilarious how you think its disrespectful for RBR to choose between Kimi and Ricciardo when it’s their choice to make.

Good work lad.


Uncle cee – please read my response in post 23 to understand where I am coming from.


The fact that they asked the world what they think, I am entitled to what I think the same way as you have shown to be.

The Hulk has proven in various different cars what he can do – DR has NOT ! Period and simple.

Roger Blackwell

Perhaps James can clarify, but I thought the Young Driver part was “open season” insofar as setup / tyres was concerned, whereas for race drivers there was fixed setup and only one of either the new-spec medium or hard tyres. I thought I read somewhere that the race drivers weren’t even supposed to know what compound tyres they were testing??

Regardless, the traces will tell the real story for the teams, not the lap times.

Only RBR will know how quick RIC really was and will no doubt be closely comparing his feedback with what VET has to say about the same car. I think VET will also be very interested in what RIC has to say – whether he’s on the money as a team-mate or not.


It makes total sense to give Webber’s seat to Ricciardo. He wont make ridiculous salary demands, is quick and consistent enough to keep Vettel on his toes and wont upset the apple cart. The perfect number two.


I believe the Vettel/Webber pairing has worked well due to the fact that both drivers like the car setup in the same way (plus an intense rivalry). The last thing that Vettel needs is a pairing with a driver who prefers a different setup.

The quickest out of Kimi, Dan and JEV is definately Kimi who is most likely to score the most points but that may come at a price for Vettel with diverging development between the two.

Both Dan and JEV are starting to get some good pace out of the STR, with JEV ahead on points even though he has had twice as many retirements as Dan. JEV tends not to qualify so well.

If I was Vettel I would want JEV alongside in 2014 for a good points hauler, to be a row or two back on the grid and will follow Vettels development style.

I would leave Dan at STR where he can continue to build on his knowledge of development whilst competing well with either Carlos Sainz Jr or Da Costa. I would hate to see STR chop both drivers to be replaced by two rookies similar to what happened last time.

This is all predicated on beleiving what Red Bull are saying with regards to next years open slot. If I was filling the slot I would also be keeping an eye on drivers with more experience than Dan and JEV but less than Kimi.


“The last thing that Vettel needs is a pairing with a driver who prefers a different setup.”

Which is exactly why DR is the logical choice over JEV. Both are good drivers but they have different styles, and DR’s style best matches what RB are looking for.

The cornerstone of RB’s success the last few years has been good qualifying. Both Vettel and Webber are excellent in this respect and the RB cars and the RB race strategy are set up on the assumption that they will be starting at or very near the front of the grid. (When they don’t start there, they suffer due to their lack of top speed) DR is much better in qualifying than JEV, which makes him the better choice for Red Bull. For a different team with different needs, such as Ferrari, JEV would be better.


I agree with this. I would add that JEV and DR lap times in qualifying whenever they can have a fair fight are quite close. I guess Marko was right when he was saying Vergne was too reckless in qualifying. But risk management is something which comes with experience, and the extra 6 months of F1 life DR had were most likely very useful.

I do believe JEV to be the better racer, but RB might be a brand that attaches more importance to the man’s docility and teeth brightness…

And i also agree that the best choice between KR and DR could very well be Hulk or Di Resta 😉


craig… really vergne??? how come he didnt get a chance in red bull?? dont look too much into the times considering the restrictions for full time drivers 🙂


James, I guess you´re checking the tyres as well as drivers. Paul Hembery was happy to have the heat wave. According to him track temperature were 47ºcelsius. How do you, teams and divers feel about tyres?


I went yesterday.Young Sainz looked impressive.

Ricciardo was the only driver who wasn’t downshifting at Copse corner in the afternoon.


I suspect Daniel’s failure to get enough performance out of the Red Bull after 49 laps will be enough to ensure Kimi gets the drive.

Pity really but Kimi’s image is so much in tune with Red Bull – it would be the best match in the paddock.

With Daniel in reserve just in case, I can’t see the team stopping Kimi racing Red Bull-sponsored snowmobiles or jet skis off season. Ice racing or rallying could also be on the agenda if he wants as well.


For some reason yesterday the Toro Rossos were the car to beat, the could have been for lots of reasons e.g. fuel level, different tyres etc.

What is fact is that Ricciardo beat everyone including his team mate in the Toro Rosso and then beat all the non-Torro Rosso cars in the Red Bull. Together that suggests that he was the best driver on the day.

It was only a shame that we can’t compare him to other top drivers as they weren’t running on the same day.


Vergne must feel like the whole world’s collapsed on him.


Sainz was as fast as Ricardo today… that is not a very good sign for Ricardo as he tries to nail down the Red Bull seat.

Let’s face it… If Kimi wants it it is his. If not Ricardo gets it. They are acting like it is a competition in case Kimi walks, but if they can have Kimi they take Kimi. His marketability would be huge for Red Bull.

Adrian Newey Jnr

People are reading waaaay too much into the testing times. Why would a team like Ferrari or Lotus announce to the world via a very quick time that they’ve found extra speed through a new technical development? They are sandbagging like they do in the pre-season.

To me Sainz is the standout. Dan has had nearly two seasons full time in F1 and a rookie (Sainz) with comparatively only a handful of laps is only a tenth or two off his time??? On that form, if I were Dr Helmut, I’d be putting Sainz straight into Webber’s seat!


So Sainz and Dan were running identical setup, tyres, fuel load etc? Thats the only way a direct comparison could be made between the two. Assuming of course that TR gave both permission to go balls-out and set the fastest time they could. Theres nothing to see here mate.


Unlikely. RBR could use Da Costa and Sainz time in the car to test development parts and new set ups.

With Ricciardo and Vettel in the car they would be restricted to tyre testing only, no development parts allowed


Only red bull know how good he was lapping. We don’t know fuel loads or what set up he had at his disposal. Mind you my understanding is that for current drivers, teams the car is effectively in parc firme conditions so no real major changes can be made. Different story for the young drivers. Red bull know how quick ricciardo is over one lap so I suspect they just wanted to gauge his long run pace over the journey.

You cant really compare lap times between ricciardo and sainz in the context of the test.

At the end of the day, anything other than what Red Bull know as fact is pure speculation!!


Can someone explain why TWO drivers in Toro Rossos beat a Red Bull? Was the RB run with all the current race parts. or older parts from earlier races? Makes you wonder.

Either way, DR has the speed to replace Mark methinks.


Thanks for all the replies, and they both help and confuse. For example, if we talk fuel loads and Pirelli-directed set-ups, then DR should have had MORE fuel in his Toro Rosso and limited to Pirelli-directed set-ups, as he is a main driver for that car, and he should be tyre testing in it, not setting a fast time. Whereas when he was in the Red Bull, he was a “Young Gun” driver and should have had much more ability to run low fuel and tune the car anyway he wanted.

I do get that stepping even from one Adiran Newey-based design to another (and please don’t tell me that AN didn’t really help design the TRs) to another is a big switch, especially with the different engines. That makes a lot of sense in explaining it. But then…compare Sainz’s time. He was running the Toro Rosso as a “Young Gun”, and nearly matched DR’s time as a tyre test driver in that car.

With all of these inconsistencies and the impossible nature of the compatisons – why have DR test the RB at all then?

Except – perhaps as leverage in a negotiation with Kimi? (NB – I would prefer DR in the RB next year personally)


According to, a “young driver” is one who has driven less than 2 gps and has an intentional class A license (

So no, Riccardo did not have any set up control in either of the cars because, regardless of which, he is not a young driver and was therefore on stuck on tyre testing duty.

And i’d assume the reason they’d have him run in the car is so they could first hand evaluate his skills (driving, feedback, and social fit) with their current car and, more importantly, their current crew. No matter how detailed second hand information is, it will never be as accurate and applicable as first hand info.


No mate. Dan wasnt a YD in the RB. He was a regular F1 driver in both cars. He ran to the Pirelli program in both cars, whatever that was. Some are saying that meant high fuel loads, that sounds about right to me. According to reports, Dan done good.


Also – given that Pirelli were looking to simulate the loads experienced in the GP to evaluate the new tyre construction, my guess is that the race drivers had much heavier cars with full(er) fuel loads than the young guns were using.

Craig in Manila

Probably similar reasons to the ones that resulted in Di Resta being 3 seconds slower than Calado.

I think it’s borderline-impossible to look at these times and come to any meaningful or valid conclusions.


On top of Ryan’s point, Pirelli will also be specifying fuel levels to aid its comparisons.


Perhaps the Toro Rosso is stable and straightforward to drive, but the Red Bull has ultimate performance for experienced drivers who can master its quirks?

Personally, I’d like to know how much preparatory simulator time these ‘Young Drivers’ get before stepping into the GP cars. Presumably their public test day is just the culmination of a technical and practical build-up program at the team’s factory?


DR is very familiar with the Torro Rosso, obviously, while coming to grips with the Red Bull takes some time. We’re half way through the season and still hearing that Hamilton has not mastered the Mercedes. I’m impressed Daniel was able to get within two tenths of his STR time while in the RB.

Sainz is not a valid comparison to Ricciardo as he was running different parts and settings. Still an impressive time though compared to the rest of the field.


My understanding is that the “young driver” program is a free and open test.

The regular pilots are under Perrelli direction. That is, they cannot set the car up in any way and must run a program dictated by the tyre company, not the team!


If that is the case, would that not make RIC’s time even more impressive in the Red Bull. To jump into an entirely different F1 car with a different engine and set up and come within 2 tenths of the days fastest time is impressive!


You followed “free and open test” with “dictated program”. Confused?


What’s the point of Riccardo running? Thought the race drivers have very strict limits on what they can do. So makes senses that this test is mostly to gauge Riccardo? But thought rb would know him very well by now!

Is it a waste?


Hardly a waste if it provides Toro Rosso with the opportunity to get direct feedback from their driver on the Red Bull car’s handling and performance, which they can possibly use to modify their own vehicles. The Toro Rosso cars have suffered from very inconsistent performance this season, so fresh ideas to fix their perplexing issues would no doubt be most welcome.


ricci was on the pace quickly and from all accounts he has provided the team with great feedback…always a good sign.

his ‘off’ means absolutely nothing apart from a bit of embarrassment on his part but i put that down to exuberance as i am sure the will do also.

i am always impressed with ricci’s maturity and with that, his racecraft which he has exhibited on very many occasions. it would be the cream on my cake to see this lad get the drive. kimi is good, no doubt about that, but then again so are many others at this level. RB should look to the future now and give ricci the drive. are you reading this DM?


U Ricci’s manager? 🙂


haha sid. no i am not ricci’s manager but i would like to be. always good to be able to sell a product that meets very high standards.

i believe that ricci is an above average, quality product that will, over time, deliver the goods. to cap it all off his demeanour is both candid and refreshing. no manufactured artifice. what you see is what you get and that has tremendous value in a market dominated by fake attempts to produce an unnatural persona derived from focus group spin.

the reason that webber enjoys almost universal appeal is his public image. a personal friend based in belgium who was a legend in the F1 jounalistic world once said that when webber calls a press conference at any of the F1 venues it is always well nigh impossible to get in to, they are so popular. he said he knows of no other driver that has that appeal. ricci strikes me as a lad with this same appeal. he always has a smile even if his day has gone to ‘merde’. kimi, well, he always looks like a real miserable sod even at the best of times. ‘the iceman’is a media bubble. i’ve never met a cheery garulous finn in my life, especially in finland!!!


Well, a big BOOOOOO to you. I’ve met loads of cheery garrulous Finns, but the thing with them is that they pick the people they let near them.

And I like Ricciardo as well, he seems a fairly talented man with a nice attitude and could, over time, become a PR asset. When it comes to marketing edge and global brand building, Kimi is superior, but to be fair he’s been in the business for so much longer with so much more success and publicity that it’s not really fair to compare them.


Are you saying you have more insight into what is best for Red Bull than DM? How do you know DR has given great feedback? He does seem like a great talent, no doubt about that, but I’m pretty sure Red Bull have quite a bit more data at their hands to make their decisions with than we the fans do. Should they deem DR to be a possible/likely future world champion, they most likely will give him the drive. If not, they may be just as ruthless with him as they were with Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi.


antti, really. TIC…do you know what that means? if not then i will spell it out for you, TONGUE IN CHEEK. a joke tinged with a bit of light hearted frivolity. as to the comment re ‘feedback’. i suggest that you read the test summary written by the test teams main race engineer.

that was precisely what he said.


Does anyone seriously think Kimi would be a number 2 driver? I can’t understand why anyone takes it seriously.

Similarly, does anyone think Red Bull would want a driver that would not just act rebelliously toward the Vettel centric harmony within the team, but actually make good on it in a way Mark Webber couldn’t? Helmut Marko would have kittens.

Even if you consider the Vettel at Ferrari in 2015 angle, so that Red Bull have a succession plan in the form of Kimi after Vettel’s departure, Vettel would be going to Alonso’s team. Vettel would need to be sure that Alonso would be retiring at the end of his Ferrari 2015 contract so he could take on the mantle of team leader after being Alonso’s number 2 for a year while he found his feet at Ferrari. I just do not see Red Bull or Vettel having that certainty about Ferrari or Alonso, not now or even during the 2014 silly season.

Daniel is the logical choice. Kimi will stay at Lotus. Vettel will stay at Red Bull after 2014.


I would also say that DR is the logical choice if the conversations between RBR and KR were just rumours, but the case here is that RBR actually is offering Kimi the seat and both parts have made this public, so why bother to make him an offer and contract DR? That doesn’t make sense to me, I think RBR wants Kimi and the DR option is the plan B. What I think is that all this thing is Kimi’s decision.


I agree, he is the logical choice. As much as I would love to see Kimi in the RB, I think getting Danny in now, to learn from Vettel and then replace him in 2015, is the most logical choice for RB.


I disagree, that Ricciardo is the best choice,yes he s fast,but he did not clearly made a step from his team mate,i would say that actually the Frenchman is as good as him but a different type of driver with a more aggressive style. However i doubt Vergne will get the drive as there is much more in F1 that result…including marketing for Red Bull, Australia is a big market.I cannot believe that Red Bull would take any step to lower the position of Vettel for Raikkonen or any other driver….but yes Ricciardo will get probably the seat.


“after being Alonso’s number 2 for a year while he found his feet at Ferrari.”



Vettel recently extended his contract to the end of 2015 anyway.


Vettel number 2 to Alonso? Thats well funny…


Vettel has already signed with Red Bull for a contract extension covering 2015, so he’ll have two more years with the old firm.

Adrian Newey Jnr

RB are a very risk adverse team – contrary to their brand image. You rightly point out that Vettel leaving in 2015 is the bigger risk than Webber leaving at the end of this year. Assuming they choose Dan, RB would leave themselves with only a young driver and not one of the top 3-4 current drivers (Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Kimi). When the team is spending >$200m a year to win, why wouldn’t they give themselves the best chance by ensuring they have one (or two) of the best drivers around.

Dan is not in Webber’s league yet. Webber was chosen for being able to win if something happened to Vettel’s car and to consistently bank points. No doubt Dan has a future in the sport, but is he at that level yet? Its a massive risk. On par with McLaren picking Perez. Its a contrast to Mercedes strategy of picking the best possible engineers and drivers regardless of cost. RB have to beat Mercedes at this game. Fortunately my namesake has put them a nose in front, but the game is getting closer and closer. Therefore taking a risk on Dan doesn’t make sense when there are tens of millions at stake in prize money.

I know people will say “but what about the driver academy?”. To me, the academy is as much about brand image (ie marketing to the world a path into F1 – real or not) as it is about keeping good F1 hopefuls out of the clutches of other teams, even if it ruins their careers. Its not like RB/TR have helped out Jamie since he was dumped. No one mentions Buemi as a candidate for the RB drive, even though he is their test driver (usually the next in line!).


Are you so sure Kimi will still be around in 2015? He may stay a few more seasons, of course, but what if 2014 was his last? Then, why not go to RB and have one last, memorable season that would make James Hunt proud, including making Vettel age 10 years…;)


Conversely, can you imagine Kimi leaving a team where he is currently assured of undisputed No 1 status, all the best parts for his car ahead of his teammate, team orders in his favor etc to move to a team where he would have to compete on a more even footing? On top of that, the new team would expect him to spend more time on PR duties, and also on working with the engineers.

And Kimi is horrible when viewed as a Vettel successor. In 2016, the earliest year Seb might leave RB, Kimi will be 37 years old. That’s definitely past it in terms of F1 drivers.


Was this really Sainz Jr first outing in an F1 car? And already on the pace with Ricciardo???

That is impressive!


Ricciardo ran a full fuel load with RB for testing


Following all the conjecture and rumors swirling around Ricciardo I’m frankly more impressed with Carlos Sainz Jr.


Absolutely agree, James we need more analysis on this piece please. There should be more to this I’m sure!


James, any information on how ferrari will continue this season, i mean will they develop this car or they will switch to 2014 model? THX in advance:)!!!

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