Nico Rosberg
2016 Formula 1 World Champion
Ricciardo in pole position for Red Bull seat as Raikkonen talks end
Red Bull Racing
XPB.cc
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

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1

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

2

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.

3

+1

4

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.

6
Tornillo Amarillo

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

'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 😉

13

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!

14

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.

15

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.

16

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

18

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.

19

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

20

Poor Fernando.

21

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.

22

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?

23

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

24

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

25

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.....

26

+ 1.

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

27

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.

28

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.

29

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.

30

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!

31

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.

32

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

33

Agreed, the riders in Moto GP earn every last penny of their salary 🙂

34

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

😉

35

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?

36

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

37

Phil Liggett

38

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.

39

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.

40

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.

41

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

42

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

43

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.

44

Apologies that's " look at how the Lotus has progressed"

45

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.

46

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. 🙂

47

Bild got it spot on since summer break started.

48

So Kimi to the red team then!

49

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

50

So Kimi to the red team then!

51

So, Kimi to Ferrari!!!

52

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

53

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.

54

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

55

@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.

56

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

57

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

58

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

59

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

60

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?

61

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

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

62

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

63

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

64

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

65

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.

66

Looks like Christmas might have come early this year 🙂

67

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).

68

Unless he's a Kovalainen or Patrese...

69

'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.

70

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.

72

Thanks. That's the idea!

73

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

74

Seebee going on a comment diet?

I'll believe when I see it 😉

75

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.

76

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.

77

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.

78

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?

79

What a decision by Redbull....

80

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.

81

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.

82

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.

83

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.

84

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! 🙂

85

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!

86

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.

87

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

88

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.

89

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

90

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

Ridiculous

91

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.

92

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.

93

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.

94

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.

95

Perfect!!!

96

+1

Spot on.

97

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.

98

Wrong move from Red Bull...

99

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!

100

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.

101

@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.

102

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?

103
Matthew Cheshire

+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.

104
Matthew Cheshire

Oops. Meant driver's not constructors..

105

^

In a nutshell 😉

106
Mike from Colombia

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.

107

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.

108

So....Kimi...

Ferrari - against Luca, Alonso, Santander wishes

Lotus - looks like patience may pay off.

109

Lotus have trouble paying anything at the moment

110

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.

111

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

112

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

113

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.

114

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

115

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.

117

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.

118

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

119

+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...

120

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.

121

"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.

122

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

123
Spinodontosaurus

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.

124

"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!

125

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.

126

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

127

He's a very lucky man....

128

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.

129

... means that RB DON'T have the fastest car next year, eh?

130

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?

131

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 ?

132

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

133

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

Only time will tell.

134

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

135

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

136

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.

137

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.

138

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

139

@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.

140

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.

141

@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.

142

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.

143

@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.

144

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.

145

@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.

146

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.

147

@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.

148

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.

149

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.

150

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.

151

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.

152

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

153

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?

154

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.

155

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.

156

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.

157

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.

158

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

159

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!

160

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

161

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.

162

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.??

163

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.

164

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.

165

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?

167

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

168

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.

169

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?

170

Ricciardo was the only realistic option IMO

171

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.

172

Montoya, number 2 to Alonso? No kidding!

The man is far too temperamental to play number 2.

173

Lol, good call.

174

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?

175

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.

176

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

177

Would he fit in an F1 car? 😉

178

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 😉

179

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

180
Matthew Cheshire

+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.

181

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!

182

Brilliant points.

183

Is that because Kimi has signed for ferrari?

184

That´s what the BBC and Eddie Jordan are saying

186

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.

187

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.

188

I guess it now depends what Enzo would've done 😀

189

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 ...

190

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.

191

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.

192

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............

193

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.

194

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?

195

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.

196

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?

197

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

198

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

So Kimi is going to stay at Lotus then?

199

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.

200

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.

201

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?

202

Massa out Button in.

Kimi to McLaren.

Hulk to Lotus.

203

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.

204

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

205

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.

206

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

207

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

208

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?

209

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.

210

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

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

211

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.

212

Boring.

Wheres Bernie when you need him.

213

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.

214

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

215

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

216

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.

217

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.

218

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!

219

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

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

220

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.

221

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.

222

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.

223

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

225

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

227

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).

228

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.

229

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

230

Mate best post of the day

231
Tornillo Amarillo

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

232

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

233

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).

234

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?

235

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.

236

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

237

Ice cream.

238

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

239

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

240

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

241

Clearly this is Vett and Marko getting what each want.

242

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

243

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

244

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!

245

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.

246

What's been Ricciardo's best race?

I thought he'd only really qualified well.

247

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.

248

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

249

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.

250

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.

251

That's a possibility, but time will tell.

253

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 ....

254

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.

255

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

256

They got Damon Hill instead 🙂

257

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

258

Throughout the late 1980s into early 1990s

259
Tornillo Amarillo

Russians are offering KIMI a Sauber?

260
Harrison Vrbanjac

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

261

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.

262

Good for Vettel. Bad for F1.

263

agree with you

264

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

265

Vettel will be delighted, a willing patsy No2 driver

266

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.

267

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

268

Worth noting, great point James..!!

269

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

270

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

271

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.

273

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

274

very harsh on Nico, blunt, but ... maybe...

275

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.

276

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

277

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

278

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.

279

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.

280

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

281

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

282
Thread the Needle

Glad Daniel has got the drive, hope he does well

283
Tornillo Amarillo

Maybe only Australians are happy now.

284

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!

285

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

286

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.

287

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.

288

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.

289

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

290

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

291

Well, since we are all in a speculative mood...

Robert Kubica!

292
Alexander Supertramp

called it *

293

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.

294

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.

295

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.

296

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.

297

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?)

298

Totally disagree... the bloke has nothing to prove.

299

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!

300

Let's hope he bites the hand that feeds...

301

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

302

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.

303

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.

304

I don't see the comparison.

Mick Doohan was retired for three years before he cracked a smile 🙂

305

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.

306

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).

307

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???

308

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

309

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

310

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.

311

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.

312

Dan and Honda in F1 together...now there's a thought! Has anyone called Repsol? 🙂

313

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

314

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!

315

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.

316

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.

317

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