It’s official, well, as official as it’s ever going to get: it’s Daniel Ricciardo v Kimi Raikkonen in the chase for Mark Webber’s seat at Red Bull Racing.
Confirmation came from Christian Horner ahead of today’s test session at Silverstone. “We’re very keen to have a look at Daniel as a prospect for next year,” Horner told Sky Sports. “Obviously there is a great deal of interest in the seat, but it’s an opportunity to have a look at Daniel and for him to do some of our tyre-testing work in our RBR car. It’s a great opportunity for him.”
When Horner was asked directly if it was a straight out fight between Daniel and Kimi, he replied: “Essentially, probably.”
Kimi Raikkonen is still the bookies’ favourite to land the gig, but Daniel’s prospects have clearly improved in recent weeks.
“You have to look at what these drivers have at their disposal and for sure both Jean-Eric and Daniel are very quick drivers, and we have an opportunity to take a closer look at Daniel which is why we have chosen to exercise that and get him in the car,” Horner added.
We know that Red Bull has an internal target of 200 points from whoever partners Sebastian Vettel next year and Kimi is clearly capable of reaching that target.
“Kimi’s track record speaks for itself and he’s a championship contender as we speak. We’re in a fortunate position in that not only are we attracting fantastic drivers like Kimi but we’ve also got the opportunity to look at the drivers we have been nurturing in the likes of Daniel,” said Horner.
“We get paid based on where we are in the Constructors’ Championship so therefore we want the fastest and best drivers we can get in the car. We’ll take our time to make sure that whoever fills Mark’s shoes—and they are big shoes to fill—is the right choice for the team.”
[Source: Sky Sports | Pic: Toro Rosso/Getty Images]