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Red Bull hot-seat spec heats up

2013-07-26 08:25

KIMI TO DECIDE ON F1 FTURE: Kimi Raikkonen has yet to make up his mind whether he will stay with Lotus or switch to Red Bull in 2013. Image: AP


BUDAPEST, Hungary - As speculation increases about who will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2014 Kimi Raikkonen remains unsure if he will stay at Lotus.

Webber announced in June 2013 that he was quitting Formula 1 at the end of the 2013 season to race sports cars for Porsche. Since that announcement there has been a guessing game over which driver Red Bull will pick to race alongside Sebastian Vettel.

Raikkonen is one of favorites - and he has yet to commit his future to Lotus.


Raikkonen said: "There's not really one (factor). It's going to be the overall package and whatever feels right for me. Whatever the decision it will feel stupid for somebody else but it might just feel right for me. I have no idea what will happen - we'll have to wait and see."

Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are reportedly among the contenders.

Raikkonen's decision may hinge on how competitive he thinks the team is going to be in 2014 as engine changes will affect the sport.

Raikkonen said: "It's a combination of things: everything just has to feel right. There is no guarantee the choice will be the good one in the long run. You live with the choices."


The 2014 regulations will set the sport's engineers the challenge of completing a 300km race distance on a fuel load of just 100kg. To do so, teams will switch from normally aspirated 2.4 V8 engines to 1.6 V6 turbocharged hybrid power units.

Raikkonen said: "Obviously you can't have any guarantee what will happen next year with any teams and any cars. One engine manufacturer gets it right. (So) it might be a long season for some teams and an easy one for others."

Raikkonen is one of the most reclusive drivers in F1.

Asked how he would cope with the extra media demands should he join Red Bull, he responded: "I've been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes."

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton commented on Raikkonen’s future: "He's a fantastic driver, he's got great experience and he's constantly proven his abilities. Whatever car you put him in he's going to be a fighting force in the field."


Ricciardo's hopes were boosted after team owner Dietrich Mateschitz praised him after he was given a recent trial run in the ultra-fast RB9 that Vettel races. Mateschitz said: "There is no decision - it still under discussion within the team. It will be announced after Budapest. Ricciardo did an excellent job at Silverstone and Vergne was very good."

Ricciardo and Vergne have three top-10 finishes in 2013 with the former achieving seventh place at the 2013 Chinese GP and the latter sixth at the Canadian GP.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Hungarian GP weekend!

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