Webber reveals identity of the driver who will replace him at Red Bull
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Aug 2013   |  12:47 pm GMT  |  197 comments

Mark Webber has revealed that the decision has already been taken to replace him at Red Bull Racing with Daniel Ricciardo.

Speaking to James Allen in the build up to Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix on Australian Network 10, 10 Webber said,

“The decision is made. We all know who it is. I’m happy with that decision. It’s good for him and it’s good for Australia.”

Ricciardo for his part appears not to be aware of progress and is waiting for Red Bull to tell him whether he has the seat and present him with a contract. He is already contracted to Red Bull as a Toro Rosso driver, so the contractual process would not be lengthy.

Ricciardo insists that he has not yet signed a contract and is not allowing himself to dream about his next step as a Red Bull Racing driver,

“Honestly mate, not yet. Until it’s a done deal and I’ve been given the nod and it’s all settled I’m not going to get excited,” he said on Saturday evening. “Who knows? Kimi could well still be in contention along with a few other guys. If it gets done then I’ll get excited for a little bit but then I’ll have a pretty big task ahead for the following season.”

After the race Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said, “There’s plenty of speculation about, but nothing has been signed yet. Mark obviously isn’t privy to all the discussions with drivers. When there’s something to announce, we’ll announce it.

“Both Toro Rosso drivers are on Red Bull Racing contracts,” he added. “They are on loan to Toro Rosso. So at any point they are available for us to call upon.”

The weekend has seen lots of behind the scenes discussions between drivers, agents and teams and the situation appears to be clarifying a little; with Ricciardo set for the Red Bull drive, it appears that Antonio Felix da Costa is in pole position to replace him at Toro Rosso.

Kimi Raikkonen is said to be “close” to finalising his plans, pending resolution of financial discussions with Lotus. Team boss Eric Boullier told this site on Saturday that he’s putting finishing touches to next year; the new engine deal with Renault, the investment package from Infinity and the Raikkonen contract. It’s still possible that something could happen with Ferrari, but it is starting to look as though they may again stick with Felipe Massa.

This leaves Nico Hulkenberg again waiting on the sidelines, hoping something might fall into place.

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1

196 Comments… (What do you think?)

…. I think this story has been played to death and can now be removed from JA, placed in the Recycle bin, deleted permanately and perhaps format your drive?

Let’s put the ‘New’ back in ‘News’

3

Not 100% on this exact topic but I could see Jenson Button leaving McLaren after this year. When you look at who is willing and good enough to sit alongside Vettel at RBR or Fernando at Ferrari then next to Kimi, Button is the obvious choice to bring home the bacon.

James do you think Button might leave McLaren?

4

Webber has a very close relationship with Mateschitz if I recall correctly.

Maybe he is doing Mateschitz’s bidding here (with Mateschitz’s blessing).

5

For all the hype and speculation, if it indeed turns out to be as you suggest (Ricciardo to RB, da Costa to TR, Kimi stays, Massa stays) it will all be quite anti-climatic and a bit of a let down.

6

MW, the usual attention seeker, how many times has he been out of line with the bosses. At the end of it all you are just a mere number two driver who will be forgotten not only be Redbull but by DM as well. So pimp yourself while you can

7

Massa staying at Ferarri is beyond a joke.

8

Or give it to Fisi for a laugh.

9

Massa in a ferrari again please keep him then no chance of them becoming constructers champions he should have been booted 3 years ago but Ferrari never fail to surprise me with there stupid decisions 🙂 ive been a fan of F1 for 40 years now and Ferrari ALWAYS make stupid decisions plus lots of drama, so PLEASE keep him LMAO

10

It ain’t over til the fat lady sings. So the question is – why hasn’t the fat lady sung yet? Answer, cos it ain’t over!

And why should it be over? If they don’t plan on announcing anything for a while, why close off any possibilities at this point? Far better to keep the option of Kimi and put Webber up to making this ‘oopsy’ to put a bit of extra pressure on him to sign for less money than he’s asking.

Nice scoop for you either way though!

11
Tornillo Amarillo

Now Horner is denying this and contradicting Webber, that RICCIARDO is not confirmed for 2014.

He’s said they have more options now… and that Kimi is not for a longer future, maybe because he is not a young driver.

I insist RICCIARDO is not doing well enough for Red Bull, and that HULKENBERG is a better option.

Go HULK !

12

What’s Hulkenberg done lately?

13
Tornillo Amarillo

Fight for points in a really bad car.

14
Tornillo Amarillo

But HULK did a very good 2012 season.

15

Sounds like the same thing Ricciardo is doing.

16

Intermittent KERS, dodgy data logging at starts, a Team built around the Golden Child – Red Bull holds all the cards too at contract time.

Dan just needs to show his speed, not sign any long term contract and then trust market forces.

17

JA – great scoop. I was watching the 10 broadcast and your interview as it played out. I think MW knows, and like you mentioned earlier – decision made and deal done are very different things. All this talk of Dietrich being away on holidays and being unavailable to sign before Spa also makes sense now.

I do wonder if the big announcement will entail DR getting the seat early now – after reading what Horner said about Junior drivers being available whenever they want. Thoughts?

18

There were some questions on that.

However RBR need to score lots of points to win constructors’ championship, which is where the money is in F1. So it would be a risk.

But on the other hand it would give Ricciardo a chance to bed in. He has done a small test (Silverstone) to get a sense of the car. But it would still be a risk

Also I don’t think Mateschitz would sanction Webber checking out before a send off at the end of the season. They are quite close and DM is big on loyalty

19

so Mark may have some inside knowledge & influence? if not hope his outburst does not damage DR. chances at RBR

20
Darren Robinson

James,

I think there is a good chance of Daniel jumping in the RBR car with 2 or 3 races to go.

It would be a small risk, Ricciardo would only need to finish in the top 5 most of the remaining races to tie up the constructors title.

As well as that Porsche have asked for webber early in November for testing.

Mabe Webber would be happy to go, as hes not in contention for the title.

21

DM maybe big on loyalty , but it is Webber to the team ?

22

…or the team to him?

23

James on the Ferrari situation you say it is. likely that Massa will be retained . What reasons can you give for the fact they may not go for Hulkenberg?

24

All feels a bit unsatisfying primarily due to Red Bull’s ownership of Torro Rosso as a junior team, after all who of the other top teams would hire Ricciardo as a replacement? Not saying he isn’t talented but is he ahead of Hulk, DiR or Sutil never mind Raikonen.

The sooner Torro Rosso changes ownership the better INMHO,

Nigel

25

I think some observers are being a little too quick to dismiss Daniel as not up to par. His performance at Spa should shut them up, if they check his stats for the race. I believe he will vindicate the faith that R B obviously has in him. As for Mark Webber, how can any reasonable person regard him as just a journeyman driver?

26

I could argue that Jules Bianchi is the fastest driver in F1 and there’d be pretty much equal evidence as all the claims against Mark or for Kimi. Newey will know how Kimi drives from the data and what Dan does. I understand he has a pretty significant input into the process.

27

Saw the interview… MW’s body language was, “oops, but who cares”… he’s become a bit pragmatic in his last year.. a bit like Allan Jones when he first retired because of the F1 BS..

Go Dan.. Least you won’t be partying at a Robbie Williams concert when there’s work to do..

28

If Dan was at a concert, I’d have to say that his taste in music is much better!

29

Any chance we could see Hulk’g move to Ferrari or any other decent car?

30

. i know I csnt believe LDM is thinking of keeping Masea. I believe keeping Massa would be farcical but it appears LDM does not see things the same as most fans see which is that Felipe past his sell by date.

31

If I had to choose between two drivers that are relatively anonymous all year, but seem to do a good job at the Brazil GP, I’d probably stick with the devil I know…

32

Red bull just picked Riccardo over the fastest driver in f1- and I don’t mean Hamilton. Joke.

33

Kimi isn’t as fast as Vet or Ham IMO, but is the fairest and best wheel to wheel. Shame they didn’t go for him.

34

IMO, Webber from now, you can do more damage to RBR and Vettel aspirations to fourth straight WCC WDC help; RBR you must render the rest of the season and let Buemi to finish, reveal confidential information is only the beginning of the problems, he is becoming a loose cannon

35

I find it amazing how many people think Ricciardo is a mistake. I guess those same people thought Vettel was a mistake at the time. I think Daniel will give Vettel a good run once he has settled in. His one lap pace is undoubted and he has been the best example this year of anybody putting a car further up the grid than it belongs.

36

Vettel had won a race in a Toro Rosso and been very strong all the second half of that season.

Plus he had looked very good in a BMW Sauber on debut, don’t forget

37

Vettel even was doing better times than Kubicsa in practice times

38

Some care is needed with comparing the third drivers as they were using unrestricted engines while the lead drivers had an engine quota to look after. Different priorities in terms of testing parts and race set up too. Vettel was impressive, but practice times don’t pay points or grid positions.

39

James I find it incredible that you keep trotting this stuff out given your experience in F1, as if it’s a reflection on Ricciardo not being of the right stuff. The STR of Vettel’s year was a much more competitive package than the STRs that have come to light since, given the change in regulations subsequently.

You off all people know that without the equipment it is simply impossible to repeat Vettel’s feat. And no STR since has looked capable.

40

@BenM – The STR3 Vettel drove was based on (and only raced well after/behind) the RB4 of 2008, which was a lower midfeld car, that was 7th in the WCC.

It was the best STR, but considering what Vettel did with it, it is clear that he has been the best driver STR have had to date.

@BigHaydo – In 10 races that Bourdais and Vettel finished, Vettel beat him in all 10, scoring 35 points to 4, beating Bourdais’ best race r esult 7 times, and outqualified him 14-4. Bourdais went on to match Buemi on race pace, but get sacked anyway. SB was just destroyed by 21 year old Vettel, hands down.

41

He was also out qualified and out raced by Bourdais on occasion, and the Frenchman barely lasted another 12mths in the sport!

42

Yes. I agree

You have got me wrong

Ricciardo is worth a try and as you say Vettel’s Toro Rosso was much more competitive my point was that Vettel had done a bit before RBR took him

43

+1

44

Its hard to compare when Vettel was driving an Adrian Newey designed Torro Rosso in 08. No Doubt it was a better car comparatively than the current one.

If you see the times between Vettel and Ricciardo from the Silverstone test than there is no doubt in my mind that he will be very competitive if competing in the same car.

45

@BigHaydo – Engines haven’t been the dominant factor in F1 since the freeze in 2006. Simply, Vettel outdrove the two RBR drivers, and a lot of others on the 2008 grid, further proven by the fact that he beat Webber in 2009, and has only improved since.

46

The 2008 STR also benefitted from an engine upgrade from Ferrari, a trick that Renault missed and had to be given dispensation to upgrade in the off-season. Another reason why STR beat RBR that year, although Webber’s quali pace sometimes put him higher on the grid

47

Even with a Newey designed car, didn’t Vettel score more points than both RBR drivers in 2008? Pretty easy decision in that case!

48

James, in your opinion, does Mark Webber *think* that this is the case, or do you think he *knows*?

49

He says it like it is, everybody should know that by now.

50

So where do you think Nico will end up? Nowhere.

51

As a proud Aussie watching F1 I would be absolutely delighted to see Ricciardo in the Red Bull next year. Seems a lot of people don’t rate him however I certainly am not one of those and it appears that a lot of influential and knowledgeable people in F1 think he is OK as well. Given equal machinery to Vettel I think he might surprise a lot of people, remember his pace from years ago when he first did the young driver test and absolutely blitzed it and then again this year right at the top. Would he be allowed to race Seb on equal footing? Only time will tell but if so I consider he would push him to the limit. Vettel is a master driver so it would be no disgrace to run second to him most times with the odd time ahead. A year or so getting to know the new people, machinery and system and then watch him go. Best of all it gives me a reason to stay up late on a Sunday night to watch F1. Stopped watching MotoGP simply because Stoner quit, don’t wish to lose my F1 fix as well.

52

Great drive from Daniel in Belgium, and third fastest lap of the race.

Obviously, his race was affected by his starting position, but once he cleared Maldanado, he was flying. In his final stint, not only was he catching and passing the cars ahead of him, he was taking time off Massa, Grosjean and both Mercedes.

JEV also invented a new euphemism for being outdriven by your teammate. It’s called a “slow puncture”.

53

he lit up purple a few times on a few sections.

54

Perhaps the hissing sound JEV heard was a deflating ego in his immediate vicinity?

55

In fact, the puncture was that slow, the tyre lasted the entire final stint. JEV didn’t even have to pit to replace it. I guess that shows just how great a driver he is. What was it… around 15 laps on a flat tyre. Magnificent piece of driving. He’s blown Ricciardo away again.

56

If it really is a done deal, don’t see the point in delaying the announcement, so maybe there are still some other possibilities.

Don’t get the Massa situation. I thought Ferrari could have been more supportive back in 2010 when he was trying to regain confidence after the head injury, but keeping him in a Ferrari seat for 2014 looks like a ridiculous and unaffordable luxury. He doesn’t look up to the job (certainly not consistently so), and really it doesn’t matter whether it’s because he’s lost his edge or because the car/tyre development is in a direction that doesn’t suit him – at this stage it’s unlikely to change, and Ferrari need someone in that seat who can score points, push Alonso, and help motivate/push the engineering team.

57

Important to differentiate between a decision made and a done deal ie a contract signed

Red Bull keep the young guys waiting

58

IMO I think RBR is trying to put pressure on Ricciardo to see how he cope with it >

59

Fair point. I’m unclear though on whether a new contract is needed? Horner seemed to be suggesting not in his interview with EJ on the BBC coverage.

60

even if the decision has been made, I can’t imagine why they would tell MW if they haven’t even told Ricciardo.

Seems like just s***-stirring by MW.

61

History shows he does not lie.

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