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Horner narrows choice to Raikkonen and Ricciardo

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said that the choice for drivers for 2014 is now between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo, and that the money is not a factor in the decision.
Red Bull Racing are expecting to announce their plans for their second driver in 2014 alongside Sebastian Vettel after the August summer break, with team principal Christian Horner confirming that the choice is now essentially between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.

"We want the two fastest and strongest drivers that we can put in the car for next year. I think both Daniel and Kimi would represent extremely good options," Horner said in Hungary on Thursday. "There's been some interesting applicants over the last few weeks but fundamentally we're still looking at the same drivers."

Ricciardo worked with Red Bull during last week's Young Driver Test at Silverstone and clearly impressed the team: "Daniel, what he has demonstrated so far, has been very positive," agreed Horner, while adding that he felt it was too soon to consider Ricciardo's current Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

"I think he [Vergne] deserves a seat in F1 and should he not be successful with the Red Bull seat then it would make logical sense for him to continue at Toro Rosso," said Horner. "I think at this stage it's probably too early for him, which is why we chose to look at Daniel."

But if anything, it's Raikkonen who seems to be the front-runner to replace Mark Webber in the world championship winning team next season. "Kimi's qualities speak for themselves," agreed Horner. "He has a proven track record. You can't question Kimi's credentials."

The one potential stumbling point in hiring Raikkonen might be the expected salary demands from the 2007 world champion, reputed to be one of the highest-paid drivers on the grid since he returned to F1 with Lotus after a two-year hiatus from the sport in 2010 and 2011.

But Horner said that money was not an option and that for him securing "the two fastest and strongest drivers that we can put in the car for next year" was the most important element in making the decision over Webber's replacement.

"Of course, finances are always a factor," said Horner in Hungary, before going on to explain that the money the team could make by ensuring they finish as high up in the constructor championship more than justified the expense of paying a higher driver salary.

"The difference between first and second or second and third and fourth is a significant amount in the constructors' world championship," he pointed out. "So the financial element of it, if you don't make the right decision, is going to impact you anyway if you are not scoring constructors' points. So that isn't really an element in our decision making."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.07.2013- thursday Press Conference,  Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing Test Driver with the media.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 Test Driver.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 Test Driver.
23.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Daniel Ricciardo checks out the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Daniel Ricciardo checks out the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Daniel Ricciardo checks out the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Daniel Ricciardo checks out the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen
Mercedes, Red Bull
daniel ricciardo (aus), red bull, F1 Austria test [Credit: XPB]
Marco Wittmann (GER), Toro Rosso, F1 Austria test [Credit: XPB]
Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso-Renault
Rain dominates day one of the Red Bull Ring F1 test
Wet start to F1 test at Red Bull Ring
Jean Alesi
Christian Danner

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Yes Yes Yes Leave Me Alone

July 26, 2013 11:30 AM

Raikkonen is one of the most popular drivers on the grid, his personality is fantastic! Do sky F1 do a 'Ricciardo quote of the week'...? No. Personally, I think if Lotus can pay enough to keep Kimi happy, he will stay, and I think that will be the right decision for him.


July 26, 2013 10:50 AM

I cant help but feel that unless Kimi's demands are way too high, then Daniel has little chance of getting this drive. Kimi's credentials are way too good to ignore, as Horner said, the constructors championship money would already pay his salary. We already know Kimi is consistant and can finish races

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