Horner indicates 2014 choice is between two drivers

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Christian Horner indicates the contest for Mark Webber’s seat at Red Bull in 2014 is now between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Horner keen to test Ricciardo (Sky)

“Horner has previously identified Jean-Eric Vergne, Ricciardo and Raikkonen as the three candidates to replace the Porsche-bound Webber. But asked point-blank whether the battle for succession was now a straight fight between Raikkonen and Ricciardo, Horner acknowledged: ‘Essentially, probably.'”

Formula One Group Press Release (CVC)

“Mr Ecclestone has six weeks to provide a response to this bill of indictment, prior to a decision being made by the Court on opening proceedings. The Board will continue to monitor developments in this situation accordingly.”

Formula One’s Ecclestone charged in German bribe case (Reuters)

“‘The main topic of the response will be the changing ‘confessions’ of Mr Gribkowsky,’ Duesseldorf-based law firm Thomas Deckers Wehnert Elsner said in an emailled statement.”

Formula One Boss Bernie Ecclestone Indicted for Bribery (The Wall Street Journal)

“The indictment could also affect potential plans for listing Formula One stock. CVC Capital, which now owns a roughly 35% stake in the company, has been looking into reviving plans to list Formula One in Singapore after pulling a $2.5 billion [??1.64bn] initial public offering last year. The overhang of the investigation was one factor behind the delay, according to people familiar with the deal.”

Bernie Ecclestone – the man, the myths and the motors (BBC)

” While the wheels of German justice have been turning in recent years, some in F1 believe they have detected a dimming of Ecclestone’s powers. There was the decision to shuffle this year’s grand prix calendar to accommodate a race that turned out not to exist, for example. Then there was his failure to prevent the introduction of a new engine formula, which is going ahead next year despite Ecclestone’s four-year campaign against the idea.”

Calado: Force India talk no distraction (Autosport)

“Over the years it’s got tougher, money being a big factor. I’m a believer that talent does show and that talent can get you through. All I can focus on is doing as good a job as I can, both in a GP2 car and on days like this.”

Intrigen in der Formel 1 (Bild, German)

Bild claims Mercedes’ Toto Wolff criticised company chairman Dieter Zetsche and team principal Ross Brawn in a conversation between Wolff and a former F1 team boss which was secretly recorded.


Comment of the day

What would losing Bernie Ecclestone mean to F1? GT_Racer has a few thoughts:

Anyone who thinks the sport will be better with Bernie gone is in for a major shock when that day comes.

Regardless of what people tend to think, Bernie actually does love this sport and has put a lot back into it to help build it to where it is. Whoever CVC decide to put in his place (And it will be a CVC decision) may not care about the sport as much.

Has Bernie made a fortune off F1? Yes. However he?s also spent a fortune and lost a fortune on F1.

From the F1 Digital+ service he had so much of his own cash invested in, To the TV side in general (in-car cameras, dedicated timing systems, consistent TV graphics at every race etc…) and way back in the days where he was putting his own money forward as price money for race winners when the individual race promoters were not always willing to put anything up.

Is everything Bernie?s done necessarily positive (or perceived as positive)? No. However he?s done far more good for F1 over the years than he has bad.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Wizardofoz and Icemangrins!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alberto Ascari dominated the British Grand Prix 60 years ago today, leading all 90 laps at Silverstone and winning by a full minute.

Juan Manuel Fangio was second for Maserati followed by Ascari’s team mate Giuseppe Farina.

This was the first time the podium had been filled by world champions, something which would not be repeated for another 12 years:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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86 comments on Horner indicates 2014 choice is between two drivers

  1. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 18th July 2013, 10:41

    I would prefer Ricciardo to get the Red Bull seat because if nothing else we will get a new race winner in the sport and you’ve gotta keep things fresh.

    If Raikkonen gets the seat I suspect Lotus to go for Paul and Romain gets dropped to make way for Davide

  2. jimscreechy (@) said on 18th July 2013, 10:48

    Excellent comment of the day.

  3. Cam (@cjm76) said on 18th July 2013, 11:04

    Between Raikkonen and Ricciardo
    So it’s RvR at RBR :)

    Please give it to Daniel. I love Kimi but he’s kind of boring too.
    We need new blood and I seriously think Dan could take it to Seb. Just needs a chance to illustrate this point in a top-tier car. STR has a dog of a car and what he and JEV have done to get that in the points on occasion is impressive.

    Ricciardos qualifying is close to best in the field given the machinery he has at his disposal.

  4. MJ4 said on 18th July 2013, 11:06

    Anyone who thinks the sport will be better with Bernie gone is in for a major shock when that day comes

    We’ll never know until it actually happens.

    It’s the same nebulous argument as with Hermann Tilke: oh, you short-sighted critics, don’t you understand that no one in the whole wide world would be able to do the same thing he’s doing for F1 and, by extension, for us. Nobody nowhere is irreplaceable, only here in Formula-1, you know.

    These two monopolize very important aspects of F1, but the apologists would have us believe it’s only for our own good.

    F1 will inevitably go to the dogs financially, organizationally etc. without Mr Ecclestone; while races will be held on irresponsibly designed dangerous tracks once Mr Tilke quits the scene.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 18th July 2013, 12:10

      I agree with you. As someone said, the graveyard is full of irreplaceable people. Perhaps that’s a very cynical way to put it but I believe that no one is irreplaceable.

      I appreciate the good things that Bernie has done for F1 and it certainly was possible to do it much worse. After all, umpteen other motorsport series have collapsed, while F1 is still alive, which itself is an achievement.

      But it doesn’t mean that there are no other people, who would be able to do Bernie’s job, do it even better and ensure that the sport is more sustainable than it seems to be at the moment. What is more, I think that a really good manager makes sure that the system doesn’t depend on the ability of a single person, not even himself. So if F1 is collapses shortly after Bernie’s retirement, it won’t tell us anything good about Mr Ecclestone’s qualities.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 18th July 2013, 12:21

      Nobody is saying the sport will never recover; only that it’ll be a shock to see the void he will leave.

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 18th July 2013, 11:53

    I hope that Red Bull hires Raikkonen, not Ricciardo. This is a great opportunity to ensure that two of the very best drivers are in the richest and the most successful team of the recent years. That should make for an awesome internal battle.

    Ricciardo’s results have not been stable enough to convince me that he is another Vettel, who just needs a bit more nurturing to flourish. More importantly, I cannot remember a single case where a promising midfield driver joins a top team that already has its own star driver and is able to perform on the same level. That didn’t happen with Barrichello, Fisichella, Frentzen and Kovalainen and I don’t think it’ll happen with Ricciardo. There are many reasons for this. I don’t think that RBR doesn’t want other drivers than Vettel to win championships but any new driver, who will join the team will be the new kid on the block versus the leader of the gang that Vettel is, with all the natural disadvantages. It’ll take a lot of talent, experience and self-confidence to master the challenge.

    If Ricciardo joins RBR and proves me wrong, I’ll be a very happy fan. But currently I believe that he’d be another Webber in the best case scenario and another Massa in the worst case scenario.

    • jimscreechy (@) said on 18th July 2013, 13:19

      hmm I appreciate your point but perhaps your being overly specific. Vettle himself joined RB and unseated Webber rather convincingly from the top step. Hamilton joined Mclaren as rookie and rather set the grid alight while performing more or less on par with Alonso. I suppose what I mean is where the driver comes from in terms of team status or even race classification is of considerably less importance tha his/(her) abilities. you only have to look at the F1 top performers to see this.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 18th July 2013, 20:10

        @jimscreechy You are right and I thought about Hamilton and Vettel from that point of view, too. However, their starting points were a bit different. When Hamilton joined McLaren, Alonso was new to the team, too. Hamilton himself actually knew the team better as he had belonged to their Young Driver Support Programme for many years.

        As for Webber, neither Red Bull, nor Webber himself had won a race before 2009, let alone championships. Vettel will be either a triple or a quadruple world champion at the end of this season and the same goes for RBR.

        For sure, I don’t think we’re talking about some kind of formula (no pun intended) here and there are exceptions to every rule anyway. I just doubt if Ricciardo is the right man for the challenge, let’s wait and see what RBR decides…

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 18th July 2013, 21:32

      While an “awesome internal battle” might please many fans, from a RBR perspective it’s more a reason to not hire KR.

      Another Kimi negative is that he’s notoriously disinterested in working on car development. With the all new regulations for next year, drivers who can work closely and constructively with their engineers will be worth bonus points.

      There’s pro’s and con’s for each driver, but I can see why RBR would be taking a long hard look at Ricciardo.

  6. James (@jaymz) said on 18th July 2013, 19:11

    Stupid comment of the day.

    It’s amazing that someone feels the need to write a post sticking up for such a person. And to remind us of all he has done which is practically nothing. Both poster and Bernie are equal in their genius.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th July 2013, 20:06

      Funnily enough your comment proves why it was needed @jaymz!

      I certainly don’t think that Bernie has had only a positive influence on the sport, and the viewpoint of making money, money, money over a sustainable sport for the ones who actually put effort in making the sport happen is a way into a dead alley for me. But you can hardly make the argument stick that Bernie did nothing for F1.

      Just think about it, why would people like Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, Luca Di Montezemelo, Dieter Mateschitz, Peter Sauber, Eddie Jordan, Jean Todt, Niki Lauda or an Adam Parr etc. all highly respect Bernie (even when they themselves are at times in opposing positions to him), if he did not do anything to earn that respect?

  7. Despite the preferences flooding this site for the vacant Red Bull seat, you just have appreciate the difficulty of the situation Kimi Räikkonen and Red Bull are both facing.

    Red Bull most likely cannot attract Räikkonen just by means of salary alone. They will have to allow him less PR duties as well as other freedoms while ensuring that he will not end as number 2 to their well integrated, current 3.5 time champion. Now that is a bit of a pickle already.

    I see a lot of arguments as to why either Ricciardo or Räikkonen fits the best, but I think everyone is missing Red Bull’s main motivation: to promote their awful drink in as many countries globally as possible. No matter how much better Ricciardo may fit as a driver he has a long way to go to reach a mere 10% of Räikkonen’s popularity. Even Vettel is not as popular and especially not outside of Germany. Surely Hamilton or Button are very popular in Britain, while Alonso can currently cover both Spain and Italy, but Kimi always gets the biggest roar regardless of the country except for “home race” podium takers. On top of that Red Bull could not possibly chose a better promoter of their brand as he matches the “RB life style” perfectly. To Sebastian it may matter if Kimi is paid double his salary but to Red Bull the ladder will simply be his weight worth in gold.

    From Kimi’s own perspective the decision is equally difficult. As much as he likes to make a good profit his true motivation is to win races and even championships. At the same time he has to be comfortable with his duties and the people around him which is where Lotus truly excels. They completely respect him for who he is and what he needs while at the same time offering him very exclusive number 1 status. He may step closer to another title by joining Red Bull but he will have to give up a lot of freedom in the process. He has been part of a big marketing machine before and basically hated it enough to leave the sport. What makes his decision even more difficult is that it will make no difference to make that step closer if it is always one step behind his team mate. From that perspective it may make more sense to at least maintain the hopes of Lotus producing something spectacular for 2014.

    • Calvinette said on 19th July 2013, 8:57

      It’s a gamble for both parties. If Kimi doesn’t take the seat, I will be disappointed, as I expect many people will be. I’m sure RB aren’t stupid and if Kimi says yes, they will take him over Ricciardo. Compared to Ricciardo, Kimi is in a different class both in terms of performance and popularity. Kimi is a brand unto himself, unlike any other driver at the moment.

  8. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 19th July 2013, 1:28

    I think everyone is missing Red Bull’s main motivation: to promote their awful drink in as many countries globally as possible.


  9. Garns (@) said on 19th July 2013, 16:30

    @Poul Winther
    “I think everyone is missing Red Bull’s main motivation: to promote their awful drink in as many countries globally as possible”

    Poul- I see this comment as disrespectful and a bit of a joke to be honest. Vodafone are in F1 as they like pretty colours on cars and Petronis back Mercedes just for fun- neither have any interest of finacial gain at all do they!!?? But Red Bull to try to sell their terrible drink (which I do like) is no good?

    I read your post and, in general, its very good and I agree on the most part, but your premise (above comment) is misguided. NO team has sponsors than want to loose money- aka- they promote.

    You seem to have made the assumption that Red Bull and Red Bull Racing are the same- and they are not.
    Do you think Christian Horner (with his foot tapping) Adrian Newey, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel gives a **** on the units of Red Bull moved as the lights go out????? No.

    Your Kimi V Dan comments are spot on though. Kimi is the most wealthy driver on the grid (by far). He needs no money. Dan got paid little this year- he needs money. But for NEITHER of these guys money is a factor, they want to race fast cars! Kimi is loaded and if Dan gets the job cash will follow. People need to realise that these guys DONT race for money!!

    They will go with Daniel, not because they think Kimi may be faster against Seb (and he could) but he is the real deal. Only 12 months ago quite a few F1F fans wrote off Dan & JEV saying they were Torro Rosso wont be’s. Both are “will be’s” guys and those who know better than us see that.

    I am Aussie so Dan is my fav, but Jean Eric is FAST as well and I see him in the Lotus next year!! Both of these guys will be real good in F1!!!!!!!

    • I apologize for the offense – it is merely my opinion on the drink and off topic, really.

      However, I do disagree with you that my premise is a joke. Though it is true that all the non-manufacturer teams depend on pleasing their sponsors, it is also true that not all sponsors are created equally and hence do not look for the same thing to promote their product. My point about Red Bull is simply that even if Ricciardo was to perform slightly better than Räikkonen the ladder would still be much more valuable for the brand.

      You can argue that Red Bull racing is a separate entity from the drink but like all major corporations there will very likely be pressure from above when something as brandable as Kimi is available. Trust me; when money is this big there is no such thing as total separation and there is absolutely no way around the fact that Kimi as an entity will appeal one heck of a lot more to “energy” drink buyers than he would to Ferrari or Mercedes buyers.

      No, I am not trying to take anything away from Red Bull Racing as they are obviously not just the real deal but even the best in the field for the fourth year straight.

      Personally I am not convinced that Daniel has shown enough race craft to deserve the seat but on the other hand I am not convinced that it would be the right seat for Kimi. I still believe that it is not Red Bull’s decision we are waiting for but rather that of Kimi. He is obviously torn between the prospect of the fastest car and the best environment while he has got to be Red Bull’s preference for several reasons.

      I should perhaps have refrained from calling Red Bull an awful drink but it was not out of spite towards the race team. I just find the stuff so grossly unhealthy and chemically tasting that it ponders me why people fall for the false “energy” label while in fact the only source of energy it contains is sugar which at any means for multiple reasons should be reduced in the diet!

      ….but that is entirely irrelevant and off topic :-)

  10. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 23rd July 2013, 1:35

    almost 4 days late.. Thanks @keithcollantine for the b’day shout

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