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Ricciardo in pole position for Red Bull seat as Raikkonen talks end
Red Bull Racing
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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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?


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.


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..


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.


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………


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


These two great articles seem to be making things clearer.

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.


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



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”


Lost for words lol


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.


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.


Nothing in Formula One is that clear.


‘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 😉


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!).


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


No I haven’t, now you mention it


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?


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.


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!


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.


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?


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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…



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.


There has been contact

I’lll find out more in Spa


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?


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… 🙁


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.


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.


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


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?


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


Moves over (or stays behind) when told to …


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


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..



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

Thomas in Adelaide

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

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