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Ricciardo tipped for RB seat

2013-07-26 07:44

RED BULL POTENTIAL: Red Bull team boss Dietrich Mateschitz has dropped a hint that Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo (above) is favoured for the vacant 2014 Red Bull seat. Image: AFP

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has boosted Australian Daniel Ricciardo's hopes of beating Finn Kimi Raikkonen into the 2014 season's vacant Red Bull seat alongside triple World champion German Sebastian Vettel.

Mateschitz, who privately funded the return of the Austrian GP to the 2014 F1 calendar, was impressed by (sister team to Red Bull) Toro Rosso driver Ricciardo's recent performances.

He's hoping to replace compatriot Mark Webber, who will retire from F1 at the end of the 2013 season to go sports-car racing.

ANNOUNCEMENT AFTER RACE

Mateschitz dropped a clear hint on Thursday (July 25) that Ricciardo was now in pole position for the job after his strong showing in the recent Silverstone tyre-test sessions.

"No decision has been taken," he said. "It is still under discussion within the team but it will be announced after Budapest. Ricciardo did an excellent job at Silverstone and Jean-Eric Vergne (also Toro Rosso) was good, too."

Webber is encouraging his countryman to push for the drive.

Raikkonen, driving for Lotus in 2013, has also been strongly linked with the drive but has yet to show his best form. His management team is reportedly discussing a 2014 drive with both Lotus and Red Bull but it's understood the Finn would prefer to stay with Lotus if the team can make the investments required to be title contenders.

Much may be decided during the Hungarian GP weekend; Lotus is among the favourites to dominate; Raikkonen is favoured to win.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Hungarian GP weekend.
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