I remember having almost choked on fake Webber’s
[yes, those aren’t Mark’s words, in fact I think even he choked on those words] words on ‘Camaraderie’. Anyways, jumping back to why I named this article ‘who’.
In the last 15 laps, Webber ran a lot of things in his head, and nearly made that decision to quit F1 and move to a whole different motor sport ; Le Mans with Porsche. Back in those 15 laps, they just seemed unconfirmed decisions, but after the grand prix he made it pretty clear why he wanted to go ahead and confirm it. A few days later, F1 websites validated his move to Le Mans in 2014, but just to be denied by Mark himself who said he had ‘a long way to go, and still had that hunger’. But yet if Webber does decide to leave this year end because of Red Bull racing’s unrequited love, then who is to fill in for him?
That’s why they have Toro Rosso. Their drivers Jean- Eric Vergne (JEV) and Daniel Ricciardo are the possible contenders for the 2014 seat in the senior red bull team. In between those two, Daniel is favored more according to Helmut Marko. The last time a Toro Rosso driver got ‘promoted’ to the big team was Sebastian Vettel, after having won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. But ever since Toro Rosso haven’t made it anywhere near the top 4. Yet, judging on various criteria, such as management of tires, speed and many more, RedBull have taken the focus to Ricciardo.
Toro Rosso driver’s weren’t the only option according to the media. They expected to see the 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen partnering with his best buddy, Seb at Red Bull in 2014. The whole world knows of the great friendship between the two driver, but what did Kimi have to say about these rumors floating around?
“The interest from Red Bull is flattering” said Kimi. And when he was questioned about Seb being his teammate, the Finn said “We trust each other in a duel to not do anything stupid. We’re both open and honest. If we were to crash, we would probably complain about each other, but that’s just normal”.
Sebastian Vettel too spoke glowingly of the Iceman. “If Kimi was my teammate: fine! We have no problem with each other and we’re mature enough to deal with it even in a difficult situation.I get along well with him, He’s just very honest. There’s no bullshit with him.”
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The partnership between Raikkonen and Vettel seems to be more legitimate over the partnership of Daniel Ricciardo. Kimi Raikkoenen gets a good championship winning car, and Sebastian Vettel gets a good fight too. After 5 years of a roller coaster ride between their existing drivers, in 2014 Red Bull will not just see one number 1 driver, but equally both will level same. Besides, which team doesn’t want 2 great world champions with good history and comradeship driving for them?
A move for Daniel Ricciardo into a bigger team doesn’t just sound flawed for him, but also for the team. If Dan were to shift into Red Bull for 2014, we ought to see another ‘Perez in McLaren’ situation. Checo was clearly not ready for a champion team. And he’s currently put under so much pressure to perform, which is just not happening for him. Likewise, if Dan jumps to RBR, his sheer lack of experience will show him underperforming, and if not every time, most of the time RBR will have just one driver scoring them points. He’s a good driver who deserves to be in a bigger team, with a better car. But just that there are a few more drivers on the grid who deserve it wee more than him. Anyhow, if anything between drivers doesn’t work out for Red Bull then, it always going to be Ricciardo, he is after all, a Red Bull boy.