Webber & Raikkonen 2014 “candidates” – Mateschitz

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz says Mark Webber can stay at the team if he wishes – and Kimi Raikkonen is a candidate for the drive as well.


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

Mark Webber could keep Red Bull seat in 2014 despite Vettel feud (The Guardian)

Dietrich Mateschitz: “Whether he retires, only he will choose but Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014.”

“The championship is still on”: Defiant Jenson Button says he can still win the F1 title, despite sluggish start (The Mirror)

“The championship is still on as far as I am concerned and I am aiming for that. Definitely.”

Di Resta keeping sights high (Sky)

“I’ve a lot of respect for what McLaren do. Although they are struggling at the moment, they can develop. But we will be pushing to stay in front of them.”

Force India: V6s must not dictate form (Autosport)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley: “It mustn’t be like it was in the past when the engine differentiators were overwhelming. It would be a shame if we got there.”

Rookie diary – Sauber?s Esteban Gutierrez (F1)

“After many crazy qualifying sessions in GP2 – and believe me, you are confronted with crazy situations all the time in GP2 – it was a bit ironic that my first ever F1 qualifying session was the continuation of my GP2 experiences!”

Kimi Raikkonen Lap Behind the Scenes – Top Gear – Series 18 – BBC (Top Gear via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Adam Blocker on Ferrari retaining a veto over F1’s technical rules:

I understand that Ferrari have an immense value to the sport. I am okay with them having a minor stake in F1. However they should not be allowed a veto. They are a team competing just as the other ten teams are. They should be treated the same as everyone else when it comes to competition rules. Either everyone gets a veto or nobody gets a veto.
Adam Blocker (@Blockwall2)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to JT19!

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

Ayrton Senna made his McLaren debut 25 years ago today in his home race at Jacarepagua in Brazil.

Senna took pole position but had to abandon his car following a gearbox problem. He had to switch to the spare car and start from the pits.

Despite that he had climbed to second place by lap 20, only to be disqualified for his change of cars. Team mate Alain Prost won, beginning a season of dominance by the pair.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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  • 144 comments on “Webber & Raikkonen 2014 “candidates” – Mateschitz”

    1. Vettel and Raikkonen 2014 would be an interesting one. If they do end up together I believe Vettel as always would have the edge in qualifying. But Vettel might find it a lot harder to contain Raikkonen in racing conditions, than Webber

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        3rd April 2013, 4:20

        Raikkonen’s race craft is immense.

      2. With all due respect to Mark, sounds Mr. Mateschitz wants to scare Vettel with this one.

        No doubt Kimi poses a bigger threat to young Seb than Mark does.

        1. It would be entirely stupid to try and scare your star driver or at least hint him that he’s not ‘all that’. Just look what happened at McLaren after they put Jenson at the same level as Lewis.

          1. The team should always make a point of putting itself above (or at least on the same level as) its drivers. After all, Vettel wouldn’t be where he is without Red Bull Racing, and RBR likely wouldn’t be where they are without Vettel.

            It’s symbiotic.

          2. They caused Hamilton to raise his game after a largely disappointing 2010 and very disappointing 2011, and turn in what would have been a championship-winning performance but for team incompetence? Sounds like a good plan to me.

            1. You surely noticed that in 2007-2009 Hamilton was the team’s darling just like Vettel is right now. The minute Jenson stepped in, Withmarsh was already criticizing Ham in public, something about ‘a corporate product’ springs to mind. Great drivers have great egos, good team managers know, it’s wether you feed their ego daily or they start acting childish and then leave.

          3. I still think Lewis was fired.

            1. If you don’t believe anything that team officials say, why do you bother reading F1 news sites, which are largely based on what team officials say, whether on or off the record?

            2. jimscreechy (@)
              5th April 2013, 3:59


        2. i can just imagine the first race and Raikonnen’s first win…. the press are there waiting for a photo so in good ol’ Red Bull fashion, he’ll give a (different) finger salute

      3. The Kimi to RBR is just rubbish amped up by the media and you my friends are just joining the circus. It won’t happen

    2. I would love nothing more than to see either Raikkonen, Alonso or Hamilton in the same car as Vettel. As good a driver as Vettel is, i think either one of those three would make him buckle.

      1. @glenj – I doubt he’d “buckle”, but it would be interesting. Vetel and Raikkonen would be an astounding lineup, and would be very close, especially in race conditions, as @sankalp88 said.

        1. @david-a Or, alternatively, once Kimi sees the team is built around Vettel, he’ll just lose interest and go off the boil like he did at Ferrari in late ’08/early ’09.

          1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
            3rd April 2013, 3:47

            so you think he losyt interest because the team “built up” around Massa? When did that happen?
            And 2009 saw Raikkonen winning again in Spa. That “lost of interest” was just a rumor

            1. @omarr-pepper In a word, yes. Massa just spent more time with the team, and that worked in his favor. Also, zero wins for Kimi between Barcelona 2008 and Spa 2009 is a fact. And is very unlike Kimi too.

            2. tho i agree partially he did improve for whatever reason when massa got injured

            3. Raikkonen winning again in Spa

              Only after Felipe Massa was out due to injury

              Personally, I dont buy the whole team was built around Felipe thing. I just thought the Raikkonen and Ferrari were not a great match to begin with.

            4. Well he for one thing lost the interest for F1 in general

      2. Vettel + Lewis would be good but what I really would love to see is Vettel + Alonso, not because I think Alonso is faster than Kimi or Lewis but because his personality and perceived lack of love for Vettel would make the pair bombastic.

        1. @jcost – I’d love to see Vettel and Alonso purely so we can get an answer to this longstanding debate of who is the better driver! As for excitement though, Vettel and Hamilton for me: qualifying would be absolutely immense! :D

    3. ‘Offering an intriguing viewpoint on Raikkonen, Mateschitz said: “Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate.”‘

      Before anyone gets carried away…

      1. As far as I can see, it is only Mateschitz trying some early season destabilising.

        Everyone knows Lotus are genuine contenders this season and Red Bull are beginning the mind games earlier than usual in an attempt to bring some disharmony to Lotus.

        1. Is very weird for Mateschitz to give an interview about F1, and he has never got in to the psychological game, so if he saids Kimi is candidate, he is talking to him. It wouldn´t be that weird Red Bull sponsored Kimi on his sabatical years.

          I remember, last year there was a rumor that Kimi signing for Lotus was only for him to be ready to take Webber´s place.

          On the other hand, Red Bull don´t like to pay big salaries to his drivers, so who knows if they can afford Kimi.

          1. ^^ Raikkonen isn’t getting a “big” salary from Lotus. He’s earning no where near the 41 million a year he was earning from Ferrari.

          2. Red Bull may not pay big base salaries compared to other top teams, but they do make up for that in the performance bonuses (e.g. for wins and poles) they pay their drivers.

            1. Aaaahhhh, THAT’S why Vettel went past Webber!
              Short of cash and “easy” target ahead to get the bonus for this month rent!

      2. Silly season is starting early this year ;)

        People focus on Raikkonen here, but to me Mateschitz’s comment about Webber is much more interesting. It boils down to this: “we know that Seb broke team orders, but don’t worry, we will not fire Mark because of that”. I find it quite amazing.

      3. As you say, before anyone gets carried away @electrolite, this is what Didi says about Webber staying:

        “Whether he retires, only he will choose but Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014,”

        The part about Kimi came from a question about kimi possibly retiring again:

        Contradicting April Fool’s rumors that Raikkonen has announced his impending retirement, Mateschitz said: “Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate.”

        (that one taken from the same interview at speed TVs website) its not as if Mateschitz mentioned him as first choice.

      4. So, I guess RedBull decided to go for ‘dirty tricks’ too this season ;)

    4. Vettel + Raikkonen at Red Bull = Awesomeness

      Paul di Resta says Force India pushing to keep advantage over McLaren in Chinese GP

      Who thought that a headline like this would ever be written?

      1. Imagine reading that in 2007!

      2. To be honest, that shouldn’t actually count as news; of course they want to beat McLaren.
        Who wouldn’t?

        1. But it says keep the advantage, not trying to beat them.

    5. It will be very interesting to see what happens to the second Red Bull seat if Webber decides to retire. Will they go with one of the Toro Rosso pair? or and experienced and proven driver like kimi? I can’t help but feel that Red Bull value their young driver program very highly and would give the seat to Dan or JEV if either gave them self a chance by having strong and promising year.

      Imagine if both Vergne and Ricciardo have an impressive year, but are close in the points like 2012. Because even though Vergne beat Ricciardo last year as per the championship standings, many would argue that Ricciardo had better year and finished in the points more times and constantly out qualified his team mate. Would Red Bull pick the driver who statistically beat his teammate? or the driver who showed more ability but was beaten?

      Now that Both Vergne and Ricciardo are in their second full season at Toro Rosso, One driver must comprehensively beat the other, or they must both get a impressive haul of points with the so far underwhelming STR8 to have a chance at Red Bull for 2014.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        3rd April 2013, 3:55

        They could hire Kimi an “award” one of the rookies as well. They can push one of them into another team (Sauber? Williams? good teams with need of money) or just keep him into Toro Rosso (2014 can be a good year to boost the second team). If I were running the RB team, I would not miss the chance to get Kimi. The rookies can wait, they can be secured, lent or thrown away to make room for new “talents”. Bianchi is by now more impressive than the Rosso boys.

    6. So Vettel is off to Ferrari then.

      1. Looks like

      2. @dansus If Mateschitz intended for us to be reading between the lines about Kimi as we are, then I’m inclined to agree with you.

        A pending move to Ferrari might be another reason Vettel readily disobeyed team orders. “Who cares if they’re angry? I won’t be here next year and a win is a win.”

        1. @pandaslap

          A pending move to Ferrari might be another reason Vettel readily disobeyed team orders. “Who cares if they’re angry? I won’t be here next year and a win is a win.”

          Except that such a move would likely ruin any chance at a seat at Ferrari. Red Bull might expect that their drivers follow team orders, but Ferrari demand it. Look at Rubens Barrichello at the A1-Ring in 2002 as a perfect example – when asked about it years later, Barrichello said he originally paid the order no mind, but then the team basically got on the radio and held his contract hostage, telling him to move over or face the consequences. There is no way Ferrari would tolerate Vettel’s behaviour in Malaysia, and doing it would almost certainly prompt the team to pass on him.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys You make a very good point about Ferrari – they certainly would not tolerate a driver taking matters into his own hands as Vettel did in Malaysia. However, I do not believe that Vettel’s behavior in Malaysia would be enough to prompt Ferrari to pass on him. If the rumors are true, and Vettel and Ferrari have been in talks for some time, I do not think it is likely that Vettel’s actions would cause Ferrari to have a sudden change of heart.

        2. Monty made his point very clear about ‘two roosters in a henhouse’. There’s no way Vettel moving to Maranello next season.

          1. @klaas What, so you think Massa doesn’t count as a rooster? Whilst he has been submissive since his injury, he has had a superb reversal of form of late and is now ahead of Alonso on points and has outqualified him in the last few races. I personally think that the only reason we saw a submissive Massa in the last few seasons was so that he could keep his seat at Ferrari whilst he recovered from his injury. I think he will assert himself more this season. One of my favourite F1 videos is this one; it shows Massa’s pre-injury defiance quite well. Also demonstrates that he wasn’t always so chummy with Alonso…

            1. @kibblesworth As you know qualy doesn’t really yield any points and being in front in the championship table just after 2 races in which his team-mate retired while fighting for the lead while Massa sat quiet in 5th place. I’m pretty sure after China Alonso will be in front again. Thing is Felipe’s position as No2 is as good as nailed at Ferrari. Just look what he said in the press-conference after qualifying in front of his team-mate fot the 4th time in a row:
              “I’ve showed that many times in the past. If everything works well, we can be competitive, it’s pretty sure about that. I believe in myself and I think it can be really important for the team, for Fernando as well, for everybody. We need a stronger team, a strong position and fighting for the best position in every race so I’m happy, that’s a good direction.”
              Good chap, he doesn’t forget anymore who he works for. You can be sure that after 3 miserable years Ferrari only signed Massa if he accepts to be a clear, submissive No2. And I don’t think Alonso is worried about his team-mate’s form.

            2. jimscreechy (@)
              5th April 2013, 4:07

              Meh… a sprightly fledgling at best, definately not a rooster.

          2. Meh, Luca does say a lot of things though

        3. People forget that Webber also disobeyed team orders at Silverstone in 2011. The only difference is that he didnt succeed in passing Vettel. But it was clear he would have passed him if he could. Despite Horner on the radio telling him to “maintain the gap”.

          Vettel and Webber are very similar in this regard, only the circumstances change.

          1. “People forget…”

            That’s a difficult case to make, since “people” have been debating that point ad nauseam for the last week.

            “It was clear he would have passed him if he could…”

            It was pretty clear to quite a few observers that Webber would have passed Vettel… had he been allowed. For example:
            “The Sky UK F1 show replayed the footage and the conclusion was that Silverstone was different. We see clearly Webber pulling up alongside Vettel out of Woodcote and then he clearly backs off having proved his point well before the entrance to Beckets…”

            I’m sure this point will continue to be debated, providing great heat, but little illumination.
            The only thing clear to me is that should Webber disobey team orders, he has a realistic fear of his job being on the line – something that is evidently not the case for Vettel.

            1. @nigel1

              Webber pulling up alongside Vettel out of Woodcote and then he clearly backs off having proved his point

              I don’t know who said that but it’s garbage. If Webber backed off for any reason it was because Vettel had the racing line and would have forced him wide had Webber stayed where he was.

              At any rate Webber admitted after the race he didn’t heed the instruction so trying to put such an unrealistic spin on his driving is a waste of time.

          2. My god people still talking about Silverstone!
            The fact is they finished the race unchanged, yes Mark did have a go but ultimately held off.

            1. @howard

              The fact is they finished the race unchanged, yes Mark did have a go but ultimately held off.

              But he still failed to heed the team orders (admitting so after the race), like Vettel. Trying but failing =/= not trying.

            2. But nor does trying and failing equate to the same thing as trying and succeeding.

      3. Kimi is not going to Red Bull and Vettel is not off to Ferrari, not without Master Newey. If Newey goes to Nascar Vettel is going with him :)

    7. I’d love to have a Raikkonen and Vettel line-up, as this would answer for once and for all how good both of them (not just Seb) really are. For the past few years, Raikkonen has been paired with Grosjean, and Vettel with Webber. I want new benchmarks; as constant changes in the drivers market allow us to rate drivers better, as this is easier to do when if they’ve had multiple teammates.

      Look at Nico Rosberg for instance, he’s became much easier to rate ever since Lewis Hamilton joined Mercedes alongside him this year. I think that Malaysia showed that Rosberg is a damn good driver, very fast.

      The only downside to this is that Raikkonen fans are quite… touchy. I remember Massa receiving quite a bit of dislike back in 2007-08, when he was Raikkonen’s teammate. Hence why I predict that if Kimi and Sebastian team up, Vettel shall likely become even less popular.

      1. i agree but your saying that webber and grosjean is horrible, vettel and raikonnen are obviously better and more complete drivers but when webber has a good day he can easily trouble vettel and grosjean has lots of race pace and if he can smooth out his rough edges he can easily win races and get poles, but they’re not bad drivers.

    8. I do not discount this version if Alonso can’t deliver a WDC or WCC for Ferrari in 2013.

      1. It’s a reply to: dansus (@dansus) said on 3rd April 2013, 1:53

      2. Deliver or not, Ferrari need a new king.

        1. why need a new king when the current king is at the peak of his powers?

          1. @jaymenon10 If you’re referring to Alonso, if he can’t even win a title at the peak of his powers, that’s not exactly a good sign, is it?

            1. @journeyer

              Of course I am referring to Alonso. I doubt anybody can argue that if he had a car that had the out right pace, he would have been champion last year. However, if he fails this year and next year, questions on his ability may start to crop up..which would then fit very well into him handing over his mantle piece to Vettel at the end of 2016.

              I doubt Vettel of today could have any better in the Ferrari of the last 3 years.

        2. @dansus

          Ferrari need a new chief designer.
          The only King that we need is named Adrian Newey.

      3. I don’t think the statement that Alonso ‘can’t deliver’ a WDC for Ferrari is fair. Since Alonso has arrived at Ferrari he’s twice come within a hair’s breath of the championship, and both times in cars that were often (though not always) on pace well behind the Red Bulls and McLarens.

        Alonso has the talent, has the leadership and has the trackside team to do it. The rest is just circumstances and the outright performance of the car which he can’t improve by himself.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          3rd April 2013, 4:17

          @colossal-squid Kimi did it at the first shot. Kimi got nine victories in 2 years, the same number than Alonso in 3 years… In his first 2 years, Kimi got 21 podiums, and Alonso in 2 years got 20.
          In the final year, Kimi got less podiums (this stat favors Alonso, but not for much: 33 Alo vs 26 Kimi in 3 years)
          Who’s the King now? They look much the same, with the little difference of 1 WDC and 1 WCC on Kimi’s hands

          1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
            3rd April 2013, 4:19

            same victories in 3 years each

          2. You sir, should watch your back! Alonso fans would be hunting you!!!

          3. @omarr-pepper In Alonso’s defense, though, Kimi benefitted from the team structure Schumi had just left behind at Ferrari. Everyone was still there minus Ross Brawn. Kimi’s 2007 car (and even his 2008 car) was better than any of Alonso’s current cars (basing this on Massa’ performance across those years).

          4. I would say that that year it was a combination of what @journeyer mentions about Ferrari still being in a motion from the Schumi years and even more importantly maybe McLaren being taken apart by their drivers!

            1. @omarr-pepper

              Kimi did it at the first shot. Kimi got nine victories in 2 years, the same number than Alonso in 3 years… In his first 2 years, Kimi got 21 podiums, and Alonso in 2 years got 20.
              In the final year, Kimi got less podiums (this stat favors Alonso, but not for much: 33 Alo vs 26 Kimi in 3 years)
              Who’s the King now?

              The Ferrari’s of 2007 and 2008 were far beyond any of the cars Fernando has driven, and Massa’s proven it.

              If there’s anything else Massa proved in his whole career, it’s that Raikkonen is anything but a king.

            2. And guess what? Lotus 2012 was faster than double budgeted Ferrari 2012? Why Kimi always has faster car? MAYBE BECAUSE HE BUILD IT!

          5. Kimi did it at the first shot

            That great feat was still not enough to get him #1 status within the team… or keep his job either. Just shows how Ferrari value Alonso as compared to Kimi.

            1. @todfod

              As a Ferrari fan, Fernando Alonso is the best driver i ever seen.

              We should only provide a car to him like we did with Schumi and he will do the rest. He will win at least 2-3 championships with Ferrari by 2018-2020…but could be even more

          6. @omarr-pepper I guess Schumacher by your logic must be terrible compared to Kimi. It took him until his FIFTH season to win a WDC with Ferrari. Kimi is by far the superior driver to Schumacher based on the sole fact that he won the Championship first time out.

            Like many other commenters have stated, your reasoning for why Alonso needs to “deliver” a WDC to Ferrari is arbitrary, and doesn’t take into account a host of other factors. Alonso hasn’t once had the awesome car Kimi had in 2007 (and the one he wasted in 2008), the field was less competitive in 2007, and Ferrari were still coming out of their dominant Schumacher era.

    9. To be honest I think the chances of Kimi going to Red Bull are pretty much nonexistent, remember why he left F1 in 2009? he was bored with the politics of being in a big team like Ferrari, now imagine how he would feel in present day Red Bull with Marko and Co breathing on his neck all the time.

      Lotus is the perfect team for him at the moment, the technical talent is there they just need to find more money, but if they keep the momentum then 3rd place in the WCC is very possible, which wouldn’t hurt their chances of getting more and better sponsors.

      1. I’m not so sure. Kimi was sponsored by Red Bull in WRC. If Lotus slumps later this year he might jump at the chance to be at a top team again.

        1. he was bored with the politics of being in a big team like Ferrari

          Ferrari sacked him because he wasn’t even performing well enough to beat Massa.

          1. So Alonso will be sacked soon for the same reason.

          2. Kimi wasn’t fired because of his ‘bad’ performance but for the money from the Santander bank. Alonso bought his seat at Ferrari. It’s really fascinating how people still talk down Kimi’s success. In 2007 the Ferrari wasn’t as good as you say. You forget that the better results were coming from the mid-season. So he worked with the team on the car to improve. Kimi was the reason why Ferrari could fight for the title at the end of the season. Kimi is better than Alonso. Last year the Ferrari wasn’t as bad as everyone at the team wanted to make us believe.

    10. Re: Emmo – I always loved that Toleman TG183B. Rory Byrne at his pottiest – two rear wings, ground-effect bodywork under the front wing, radiators within the front wing…it makes anything on the grid in the past 20 years look positively bland.

    11. Thanks for the COTD @keith ! It’s my first one!

    12. Online “Mateschitz translation services”: We will be pleased if webber admits to continue with us as nr. 2 driver, if not, we will try Raikkonen.

      Mateschitz talking about Webber… it is a clear message sent by Helmut Marko to him.

      1. I am pretty sure it was more of an interview to end speculation for now. Didi has spoken, and his first words were that its up to Webber to give the call, just like it was last year. Sure, those Porsche rumours are getting lauder, but so were the Webber to Ferrari rumours last year.

        1. I think that after what happened at the last race, if Mark was given a Ferrari contract for 2014 he’d sign it immediately. Better serve your friend than the young nemesis.

          1. I am not too sure, he would know that it would really be more of the same with a team having a clear no. 1 driver at Ferrari

    13. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with Bob Fernley, I WANT engines to be a differentiator. I want F1 to reach a place where there are multiple variables which will determine who is fast. I don’t want it to all be down to aero, which is the position we have been in for the last decade. I want to see the teams with strong engines flying on one part of a lap only to be caught by teams with better aero on another part of the track.

      Why shouldn’t engine manufacturers, who spend millions developing F1 powertrains get some of the limelight? When I started watching F1 Renault had the strongest engine and the Williams they powered dominated. They got just as much credit as Williams and its champion drivers did. Fast forward two decades and Red Bull do the same thing with Renault power and they get barely a mention. It isn’t right.

      1. @geemac

        I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with Bob Fernley, I WANT engines to be a differentiator. I want F1 to reach a place where there are multiple variables which will determine who is fast. I don’t want it to all be down to aero, which is the position we have been in for the last decade. I want to see the teams with strong engines flying on one part of a lap only to be caught by teams with better aero on another part of the track.

        I think Fernley wants to avoid a situation where one team wins everything because they have a superior engine, in much the same way that you don’t want to see a team succeed purely because of their aero development.

        1. If they chose to use the wrong engine supplier they can’t lay the blame at their door in the same way that they can’t complain that Red Bull build a more aerodynamically efficient car than they do now. It’s all part of the sport. If there are differences between the power outputs of the engines I don’t forsee them being more than 20 or 30 bhp. And given Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari’s track record of developing F1 engines, the differences probably won’t be there for all that long. Give them 2-3 seasons and they’ll all be producing the same amount of power and using the same amount of fuel.

          My point is simply that one engine being 20 or 30 bhp down on power shouldn’t be a thing that should be remedied by the FIA (through homolgation) in the same way that being 20 or 30 points of downforce down on Red Bull isn’t.

      2. Yeah, I know what you mean there @geemac. All the time reading that piece, I was feelling like jumping up and saying “I want engines to make a difference!”.

        What is important, is that we get a bit of development too, as Straw mentions below the interview, to prevent any drivetrain packages from being significantly worse, but its important to have a noticeable difference between say maximum power, drivability etc.

        1. There is a noticeable difference between the engines;
          The Cosworth unit is appalling, the Renault one is driveable and fuel effecient, and the Ferrari/Mercedes powertrains have the most top-end power.

          1. But now that they are in their 8th season and since the development freeze and homologation process in 2008, the differences are so minor that you barely notice those differences.

    14. I can’t see Raikkonen at Red Bull.

      For one, it would only take a journalist a few questions to lead Mateschitz into saying Raikkonen was under consideration at Red Bull – and nor would it take much spin or creative editing to make the possiblity of Raikkonen moving look that much cleared.

      Secondly, Mateschitz is a smooth enough operator to know that he needs some good publicity in the wake of the Malaysia farce. He would know enough to know that Raikkonen is a popular driver, and Red Bull’s backing of him in the WRC in 2010 (which a lot of people assumed was them staking their claim for Raikkonen in 2011) has sparked enough rumours to make it sound plausible enough. He could have no intention of taking Raikkonen, and instead decide to milk it for all its worth – after all, what does “a candidate” really mean? If Red Bull have a whiteboard of possible drivers for 2014 at Milton Keynes, then I could be a candidate so long as my name went on the board, even if it was wiped off a moment later.

      Finally, Raikkonen is in the middle of a team that is knocking on the door of the top three teams. And given the way 2013 has played out so far, it’s more like the top four (McLaren having fallen out) – and Lotus is one of them. Why would he trade on all of that to try and carve out a niche at a team where he would be on the back foot to begin with? He’d be risking everything for the sake of having a little bit more when he’d have a better chance at getting it by staying where he is.

      1. As I mentioned in my post above @prisoner-monkeys, the remarks about Kimi came after the reporter told Mateschitz about a bad April Fools prank saying Kimi would retire. His reaction says more about him respecting Kimi than about who he is really considering, so I agree with you on that.

    15. Just watching the video of Senna’s charge through the field in Brazil. The speed difference between the McLaren and the rest of the field is just ridiculous. Overtaking not 1 but 2 cars on one straight. Almost like he had KERS and DRS fitted only on his car.

      1. Yeah, it’s legendary!

        1. That car could lap 3 seconds faster than the closest opponent…not as legendary as you might think…

        2. Rather sad I’d say.

        3. Well, McLaren MP4/4 was a legendary car.

          1. That’s probably the point that kimi4WDC was making..

    16. This would be a great move for Kimi! It would be a great opportunity for him to win the title again.. Many say Vettel is faster than Kimi? Then let’s see if they are in the same car. I bet Kimi would be quicker.

      1. Personally I’d much rather see him winning the title with Lotus than going to Red Bull and winning it with them.

    17. Jenson is talking about his chances for 2014, right?

      1. Don’t forget, he was running as high as fifth place when he ran into trouble in Malaysia. So for all its faults, the MP4-28 clearly isn’t as bad as first thought. With McLaren pushing hard on the car development and the other teams wrestling with their own problems for the time being, there’s no reason why Button can’t get back in the fight.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          he was running as high as fifth place when he ran into trouble in Malaysia

          Yeah, taking into consideration that the 2 FI and Alonso were out, make that 8th place. Maybe McLaren can catch up with the car development but unfortunately for them they can’t develop Jenson. Last year he had a much better car and couldn’t do anything with it. Given that 3 teams RedBull, Ferrari, Mercedes are also pushing like hell in the development race, Jenson’s chances are almost 0.
          On a less serious note: Button’s fans don’t have the right to think that their favourite driver can perform miracles.

          1. @klaas, I think @prisoner-monkeys is right, as you yourself have shown in your post, there’s a lot that can happen, and McLaren do seem to be on a road to improvement. If they can keep that up, and we see one race’s winner/podium contender struggling for points or failing to score in the next race, that means its so much easier to catch up even after a weak start of the year.

            Button himself mentions 2009 when they had a run with it until mid season, but almost lost the title. Alonso was in the mix last year right till the end even when Ferrari had a car as bad as the McLaren is at the start of the year. And mid season Vettel was hardly in the driving seat for the championship battle even last year.

            1. @bascb Button is not Alonso. While the latter is famous for his consistency, Button’s brilliant performaces have been only episodic. The main problem with Jenson is that even if he’s given a winning car he still finds a way to struggle with it. Just look at last year.
              Even if each of his rivals fail to finish a race or two, he could well have his share of DNFs too.
              Maybe he meant to say that anything is possible in F1 and he wants to lift his fans’ spirit but I don’t think he actually believes in what he’s saying. The competition is simply too strong for him to succeed even if McLaren gets the car right.
              Anyways this is all speculations and only time will show but I can bet my house, my cows and my car that I’m not going to be proved wrong.

            2. @klaas I agree, Button hasn’t shown he’s capable of achieving great results when his car doesn’t suit him and he isn’t consistent enough.

            3. @klaas, @Slr, lets wait and see. Is Alonso that great? He’s been narrowly missing out on championships more often than Kimi, Hamilton and Massa combined!

              Seriously its very hard to tell up front, after all not many people would have expected Button to even win that WDC, but he did. And then he was supposed to get killed by Hamilton, but he wasn’t. Instead he has found a way of beating his teammate where his skills made him better able to. Sure, Hamilton is a better qualifier. Alonso is no qualifying king himself either though, but he knows how to do his races in such a way as to beat the others often enough.

              I am certainly not saying that I see Button as a sure bet to win the title, but its far to early to count him out. He has shown that he can up his game, and McLaren are known to be good at in season development. Just look back at people saying kimi was clear favourite for the title only one race back, and look at the picture now.

            4. @bascb

              He’s been narrowly missing out on championships more often than Kimi, Hamilton and Massa combined!

              Maybe because he was more often in the title fight than the ones mentioned above and it’s not like those guys succeded more than him – the 3 combined have exactly the same number of titles as Alonso do.

              He has shown that he can up his game

              Yes, in 2-3 races per season (too bad the championship is longer) while his rivals deliver big points almost every race. As I said, he is able to perform very good but not on a consistent basis.

              McLaren are known to be good at in season development

              Sure, but paradoxally, they ended up 3rd in the WCC last year after starting in Australia with the fastest car. The same slump in the development race we witnessed also in 2010.
              I repeat, anything could happen this season and mathematically he can become champion, but if I was Alonso or Vettel I wouldn’t worry about Button being a contender.

            5. but if I was Alonso or Vettel I wouldn’t worry about Button being a contender.

              I guess that is why its Alonso and Vettel being the WDCs and not you @klaas, they will certainly keep an eye on him/the team, if only because they know he could take points away both from them and from their rivals.

            6. @bascb It really irrelevant to the topic discussed but if you brought it up:
              Kimi missed out the WDC in 2003 – 1 time
              Hamilton in 2007, 2010 (he was still in contention in the last race) – 2 times
              Massa in 2008 – 1 time
              Summed up – 4 times
              Alonso missed out in 2007, 2010, 2012 – 3 times. Since 4 is more than 3 your statement is mathematically incorect.
              Sorry if I sound like Sheldon Cooper :)

            7. @bascb
              Keeping an eye on a rival stealing a few points in 2-3 races and considering him the one who can actually grab the title is 2 different things.
              P.S You don’t need to get personal when stating your views over the matter.

            8. Ah, thanks for the research then @klaas, I stand corrected, but I see you clearly did understand my point.

            9. Alonso was in the mix last year right till the end even when Ferrari had a car as bad as the McLaren is at the start of the year.

              This years Mclaren is much, much worse than the Ferrari was at this point last year. At both Australia and Malaysia Buttons best qualifying time was more than three seconds off the leader. Contrast that with Alonso last year in the same GP’s. And of course there is also the respective finishing positions ….

            10. Michael Brown (@)
              3rd April 2013, 20:21

              @Bascb Michael Schumacher also narrowly missed out on championships as well. Many of the all time greats were known for fighting for the championship many times, like Prost.

            11. @lite992 I know, I don’t have any problems with missing out on a championship several times. I was trying to show that maybe Alonso is not the half-god he was made out to be there, but just a very good and clever driver in his prime.

    18. Raikkonen willl beat Vettel day and night. Wet or Dry. Marko or nicht Marko.

    19. I hope Webber decides to call it quits, simply a ruthless driver like Raikkonen can show Vettel his place in F1. Mark Webber is no softy but I’ve always felt he is one to toe the line, while Kimi is well – Kimi.

      Also why is Dietrich being referred to as the owner of Red Bull, I believe his Thai partners also have a good share in the company as well as the team. Ever wonder why we keeping seeing oriental faces at the Red Bull garage ?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        3rd April 2013, 8:38

        It’s not gonna happen, but well said.

    20. If Webber feels marginalized at RBR, then he should leave. Is he marginalized? Yes. Will he leave? No.

      As much as we all love Webber and his twitter hash tag, he isnt in the same league as Vettel when it comes to consistency over the course of the season. Yes he is quick, on in flashes. Somebody in a Red Bull should not have anonymous weekend, apart from the few offs on may have. The fact is, he finds himself in one of the coveted seats in F1, in a car that qualifies on the front row 9/10 times and normally has the legs to win most of them. Even if he isnt first choice in the team, he knows that staying at RBR is his best chance to win races and finish on the podium. How many drivers pushing 37 can say that?

      If he does leave RBR, will he get a drive in another top team?

    21. Not sure if Kimi at Red Bull would work. From Eric’s interviews it feels like Lotus has to adjust a lot to Kimi and he is quite a different personality than other drivers.

      Not sure if Christian or Red Bull will be that accommodating of Kimi. As the recent Malaysian GP has shown, Red Bull firmly thinks that drivers are nothing but employees who are to obey their bosses all the time.

      But on the plus side, it will silence Vettel haters if Vettel does get an upper hand and maintains it throughout the season.

    22. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      3rd April 2013, 8:31

      Although Raikkonen and Vettel would be perhaps the most exciting driver line-up since 1988, its not going to happen. Here’s why…
      1. Raikkonen won’t be interested. He’s comfortable and has probably signed for the final team of his career. Red Bull is currently globally accepted as the pinnacle of the pinnacle of motorsport, and the means a lot of PR. There’s no way Raikkonen would even allow himself to be tricked into going into the same room as a Red Bull contract.
      2. Vettel will be plugging his resources to make sure that this doesn’t happen. As he’s just shown, he doesn’t like being beaten by his teammate, and if Raikkonen was his teammate, I would wager there is a greater than 60% chance of that happening.
      3. Marko is clearly posturing by suggesting that the Red Bull can tempt one of the grid’s finest drivers from a team that make the most of him and from an environment where he is comfortable. In reality, its about as likely as Alonso going to Red Bull in 2014; it ain’t gonna happen. Ricciardo has shown he has real talent, he will replace Webber at the end of the season, of that I am sure.

    23. No way Kimi ‘ll go to RB as a N° 2 driver. I see him driving fo RB only if Vettel leaves for Ferrari.

    24. Reply to Fernley’s opinion on F1 engines: I think what he implies is that he wants equal chances for all teams – engine shouldn’t be deciding factor. In much the same way, the FIA are narrowing down the design freedom for aerodynamicists with each passing season, making it harder for the teams to really come up with a dominant design. The teams themselves are also partly responsible for that: the number of staff members Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes have is ridiculous… no wonder all their cars ‘look the same’.

      Paired with this is a massive improvement in the quality of racing: cars are more equal, which results in close racing. But just take a step back – is that what we really want? I for one love to just look at the cars and appreciate the team’s and designers’ hard work, as well as looking at how different teams solve the same problems differently. I feel like this is gradually becoming more a thing of the past, as people just want to see cars side-by-side really fast and that’s it. I know that the majority of F1 fans just doesn’t care, but if the cars becoming pretty much identical I do not find it as entertaining to watch, which is one of the reasons I don’t really enjoy Indycar.

      Right grumpy cat, what do you want? The problem with the engine suppliers and teams is that they have way to many employees. Therefore the engine designs and car designs have all gone through many testing phases, like wind tunnel tests or simulators. And if they notice a problem, they can solve it quickly. One of the nicest things about F1 in say 1960-1980 is that all teams just did something and they would see if it worked or not when the car goes out on track for the first time. It’s something that today is revived in student racing series, where they just think really hard, try to solve problems creatively and see where they end up – and it’s just glorious to watch and admire their designs. I hope this aspect will get a boost in F1 in the near future (budget caps!!).

      1. whoops, I wrote an essay again.. :/

      2. I personally want larger budgets for practically all F1 teams; that way they can afford more staff, and it gives me more of a chance of getting a job as an aerodynamicist.

        1. You can’t be an aerodynamicist, I want to be one and the sport just isn’t big enough for the both of us.

          1. I say we have a kart race to decide

            1. Although, it could potentially be better to be involved in the WEC with a DeltaWing type project…

          2. @xjr15jaaag

            You can’t be an aerodynamicist, I want to be one and the sport just isn’t big enough for the both of us.

            Are you kidding? Mercedes will hire the pair of you…

            1. There are rumours they are still looking for some spare technical directors ;)

      3. “engine shouldn’t be deciding factor”

        Why not? We are talking about cars after all…
        Should aerodynamic be the deciding factor (like these days) according to you?
        If you ask me, I’d prefer a mechanical edge rather than an aero one any day.

        1. I would like to see an F1 where the engine, aerodynamics, mechanics and driver are equally decisive.

    25. Looks like Mr DiResta fancies himself a carrier as a stand-up comic.

    26. The way i see it is Red Bull telling Mark to decide if your staying with us next year sooner than later.

    27. Normally I don’t find planetf1 all that reliable and great for news, but here the writer of this piece has given himself a solid base for a bit of perspective on “poor Webber”

    28. Michael Brown (@)
      3rd April 2013, 16:49

      I think it will end up with them taking points off each other, which the team wouldn’t want for Vettel.

    29. I wouldn’t be hugely surprised if Mark Webber retires at the end of this season, he has little chance of beating Vettel and I can imagine that’s very frustrating.

      I can’t see him moving to another team seeing as no one else currently looks like they may retire.

      Raikkonen is a more accomplished racing driver in my opinion, he could be a real match for Vettel.

      Hopefully this gossip turns out to be true.

    30. I read the “veto article” If Ferrari has a veto since 2005 why haven’t we seen decisions being made all in favour of Ferrari, regardless of the written rules we have accessed, I don’t believe that Ferrari has taken anything from other teams in terms of race results, even if they have a better stake money wise.

    31. Granted the article is quoting The Guardian, but surely it reads to most of us more like what was being said was “Of course any team would love to have Kimi” and not specifically that Kimi is in Red Bull’s sights for hiring.

      Since they don’t quote the question they asked which elicited this response, I struggle to take this seriously.

    32. I’m glad Ferrari have ownership interest in F1, and a sporting veto! I only wish that they would, no – could – use it more often. It’s simply fantastic and such a great thing.

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