Red Bull should go for Daniel Ricciardo
It’s the middle of the season with the champions and current leaders Red Bull looking set for a double championship. The outfit, however, still has a big problem to solve; the problem being the decision regarding the best driver to partner Sebastian Vettel next season. Mark Webber‘s decision to leave the team will leave a huge vacancy at Red Bull and the team is looking for the perfect replacement. Red Bull reportedly are eager to sign Kimi Raikkonen although Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne of their sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso are also said to be under consideration for the spot.
Logically, Raikkonen seems to be the best option for the champions. In comparison to the other two names, Raikkonen is well ahead in terms of experience and talent. Moreover, his current form is impressive to say the least. Team Principal Christian Horner understands this and is apparently hoping that they can reach an agreement with the Finn. However, it’s not going to be easy for Red Bull to convince Raikkonen. Lotus, Raikkonen’s current team, has already let known their intention to renew their contract with the former world champion. The team, no doubt, will try everything to retain their star driver, thereby making it difficult for Red Bull.
Having Raikkonen alongside Vettel may lead to an uncomfortable situation for Red Bull. For starters, Red Bull cannot afford to treat Raikkonen, the way they treat Mark Webber. Webber may not be a total outcast in the team, but it is quite evident that Sebastian Vettel enjoys more preference. Raikkonen, on the other hand, enjoys a ‘superstar’ status in Lotus and he will not accept anything less. There are also concerns that the two drivers, if put in the same team may develop a conflict within the team; a concern which has gain more weight-age after Vettel’s recent radio outburst against Raikkonen in last weekend’s race in Hungaroring. Also, the fact that Lotus has grown leaps and bounds in such a short time may keep the Finn interested in the team.
Considering all these possible issues among others, many have suggested that either of the two Toro Rosso drivers would be a ‘safer’ option for Red Bull, if not better. Out of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, the Red Bull think-tank decided to rope in Ricciardo for the test in Silverstone, fuelling suspicions that the Australian may be the replacement for the other outgoing Australian. Ricciardo did pretty well in the RB9 in Silverstone, despite having a bad start when he went off the track. With Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz admitting that Ricciardo managed to impressed with his pace in Silverstone, the Australian seems set for a drive alongside Vettel.
Having Ricciardo as the other driver may be more fruitful for Red Bull as the Australian does not pose a conflict-threat with the world champion. Ricciardo is a young and talented driver who can compete at the top level, something Red Bull requires from their new driver. Also, he may be more than happy to grab the driver’s spot and play second fiddle to Vettel.