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Red Bull moots Raikkonen as replacement for Webber

Apr 3, 2013, 5:39 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen could join Red Bull in 2014 if Mark Webber decides not to continue with the team.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Germany’s Speedweek “whether he retires, only he will choose but Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014”.

He said both Toro Rosso drivers were contenders for a seat in an RB10 alongside Sebastian Vettel. But Mateschitz added Lotus’s lead driver is also under consideration: “Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate.”

Raikkonen drove for Red Bull’s rally team during his two-year sabbatical from Formula One. He has won two grands prix since his comeback with Lotus last year but his current contract expires at the end of this season.

A Raikkonen-Vettel partnership would be the first time either driver has been paired with another world champion.

Webber indicated he is considering his future after the acrimonious conclusion to the Malaysian Grand Prix, in which Vettel overtook him in the final stages despite being ordered not to.

The strained relationship between the pair began before Vettel joined Red Bull. During his sixth grand prix start at Fuji in 2007 Vettel crashed his Toro Rosso into Webber’s second-placed Red Bull behind the Safety Car, putting both out of the race.

Since donning the same overalls the pair have continued to cross swords. Vettel has usually come out on top, winning the last three world championships.

They collided at Istanbul in 2010 while disputing the lead. Webber’s reluctance to hold position behind Vettel at Silverstone in 2011 and to help his team mate’s title bid at Interlagos the following year deepened the wedge between the two.

  1. wallio - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Kimi was always linked to RBR, even before he went rallyeing. He loves the less serious mentality of the team, and the less media/sponsor commitments that goes with it. And Kimi was sponsored by Red Bull in the WRC. Either way just get rid of Webber for someone who can actually launch a car.

  2. gbar22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Webber is coming off as kind of a big baby through all this.

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Right, because Vettel crashing into Webber on two different occasions makes Vettel the obviously more mature one here.

      • wallio - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        No, But Webber disobeying team orders in Silverstone and Brasil then crying when the shoe’s on the other foot does.

      • apexassassin - Apr 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        At the very least there is a huge age difference so that moots your point. Also we’ve all heard Webber whinge and whine just as much as the other top drivers. Just saying.

  3. indycarseries500 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Kimi takes a #2 on the thought of him being a #2.

  4. apexassassin - Apr 4, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    I think it would be a great move for the sport as a whole. Kimi is too cool for Lotus and he really likes money….

    Though as stated previously, hiring a pure #2 driver and locking Vettel to a long contract would be my strategy if it were my call.

  5. techmeister1 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    It’s a damn shame that Webber can’t get a seat with a good team instead of Red Bull. The only reason he puts up with all of the abuse at Full of Bull racing is because Adrian Newey current develops the best chassis. As a result Webber has the best chance of winning by staying at Full of Bull. It is telling that Webber is faster than Vettel on numerous occassions with the same equipment. That is an eye opener for Full of Bull racing who worship vettel. They don’t want Webber going to another team when he can win and score points for Full of Bull racing in spite of Vettels egocentric behavior.

  6. chaparral2f - Apr 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    I would love to see Kimi go to Red Bull. I think he and Seb would get along well, certainly better than Webber has. Webber will never be a world champion. He does not have what it takes to be one. The only reason that Webber is still with the team is because of Dieter Mateschitz. After Webber’s traitorous actions last year, I wish he had been given the boot. He has shown that he is a bigger complainer than a good race driver. The Vettel pundits continue to trot out this big lie that Vettel has better equipment, but back in 2010, Webber had a chance to show what he had and he failed miserably. Time to ship Webber back to the land down under with the kangaroos, wallabys and crocs.

  7. worknman24hours - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Kimi would probably tell Red Bull -NOTHANKS-anyway.

    It’s not like anyone would get the team position Vettel has and will have for the rest of the time he’s there.

    Kimi’s good where he is and might just win a World Championship anyway.

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