Webber hints Red Bull have chosen Ricciardo for 2014

2014 F1 season

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Mark Webber gave a strong hint about who his successor at Red Bull will be in 2014.

Webber told media at the Belgian Grand Prix the identity of his successor was “great for Australia”, indicating it will be Daniel Ricciardo, the only other Australian currently racing in F1.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner refused to confirm the rumour, saying: “I’ve never known a driver sign another driver yet.”

“At the end of the day we’ve got plenty to take into consideration. When the time’s right we’ll let you know what that is. We’ve been surprised at the interest and we’re not in any rush. We’ve got time on our side to make the right decision.”

Reports earlier this week claimed Kimi Raikkonen, who was also in contention for the seat, was no longer in talks with Red Bull management.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “Webber hints Red Bull have chosen Ricciardo for 2014”

  1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    25th August 2013, 15:09

    Good move by Webber if you ask me.

    Cut through all the smoke and mirrors, and BS that media and his team create.
    Tell em straight.

    1. Is not his place, and he is not taking the decision, and is not involve in the decision taking either. And all the teams are the same, thatps the reason all the years we have a silly season.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        25th August 2013, 15:16

        Why should he care? He is free to say what he wants.

        And if it’s not in the team’s interests, then it doesn’t matter to him, because he’s leaving in a few more months.

        1. Yeahhh Macho Man doesn’t care anymore, he says it as it is, he can say whatever he wants… and he whines about his clutch and the race and and and those sighs, endless sighs; get over it man, you’re not as good. Straight talking my bum, he’s the bitterer than grapefruit that’s what he is.

          1. Randy Savage = Mark Webber?
            Does that mean John Cena = Sebastian Vettel, then?

          2. wooooooooo!

        2. If he decided to take it upon himself to make the announcement, it could upset the team enough that they released him from his contract with immediate effect.

        3. @tophercheese21, Actually I think the comment was exactly what the team would have wanted, promoting the idea that Dan R is their choice……..unless of course a world champion offered his services on similar terms.

          1. Hm, I hadn’t thought of that one yet, but you are right @hohum, that would make perfect sense for them.

      2. What are they going to do? Fire him?

  2. Mark Webber— being a big mouth since forever!

    And good come back by Horner there

    1. Meh. It’s a pretty badly kept secret anyway.

    2. Horner has not heared of Brabham?

  3. Must be his jaw, he just can’t close his mouth or mind

  4. JA: Christian Horner has told us we will know by the end of the European season who is gonna be sitting in your car next season. Who would you like to replace you?

    MW: I think the decision is made, so ah, I think ah, yeah, I think we all know who it is, ah, and I’m happy with that decision, so ah, yeah it’s good for him ah and good for Australia.


  5. Don’t understand the secrecy nonsense. They know who they will sign, why not just say it?

    On the other had, who cares anyway? Whoever their no 2 driver is going to be, he is just going to be another sidekick to Vettel.

    1. Another sidekick? Are you really suggesting Webber was a sidekick to Vettel? In the history of sidekicks that must make Webber the worst sidekick ever then.

      Massa is a sidekick to Alonso, he’ll happily take any penalty or sacrifice his own race so that Alonso can get a few points more.
      A true sidekick.

      Webber is the exact opposite. He’s all about Vettel getting as little points as possible. The only problem with that is Vettel is constantly quicker.

      1. Personally I hope it is not just a lap dog for SV that they are signing, but anyway….I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer to the question ‘why not just say it’ is that they are enjoying the attention that is being brought to the team pending the official announcement.

        As to FM, I don’t think he ‘happily’ takes a penalty or sacrifices his race, but I think he has had to resign himself to that being his role.

        And if MW is all about SV getting as few points as possible perhaps that is because according to Horner there is true racing between his drivers and even when SV was given a team order to hold station behind MW he didn’t, so the gloves have been off since the start of the year and MW just simply hasn’t been able to do anything about SV. So since we have been enjoying theoretical true racing between the two RBR drivers I hope that continues next year but I doubt it will be the case if it is anyone other than KR in MW’s seat.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          27th August 2013, 10:27

          Webber would quit if he was forced to give up parts, take penalties etc to help Vettel. He just wouldn’t do it. On the other hand, if the Ferrari 2nd driver (Massa, Barichello, whoever is next) refused, they’d get the sack.

          Massa realises, I guess, that no other teams would take him on now so he’s stuck where he is if he want’s to carry on in F1. Otherwise, his options are fairly limited and I’d expect to see him racing stock cars in Brazil fairly soon!

  6. If MW wanted to be a big mouth, then there’s PLENTY he could get off his chest.

    I’d say he’s quite the opposite by having played the game for IRBR on most occasions (except the odd boilover) and when he finally decides to unload, then we’ll finally find out the ** that goes on behind the sycophantic scenes in that team -and also the shocking scale of Markos bias and manipulation.

    And I’m not a tinfoil brigade member, so I’m not suggesting they sabotage MWs car. Think politics and shifty personalities moving in the shadows.

    1. oh here we go, conspiracy alert.
      mark webber has no chance in the team because of helmut marko? i think it’s because of mark webber… or, even more so, sebastian vettel.

    2. Maybe he’s saving it for his Autobiography which may be out in a few years?

  7. Well deserved position today. There seems to be popular opinion that Vergne has better race pace, but the reality is Ricciardo is faster in both quali and race. That was a very fast, mature drive by Dan today and it will be interesting to see just how fast he is in the RB10.

  8. I don’t believe for a second that Red Bull would tell Webber who they have chosen – if indeed they even have picked anyone yet. Great drive today by Daniel though.

    1. If Ricciardo signed i’m fairly sure he would have told Webber.

      1. +1
        and his interviews over the weekend indicate it, too.
        Helmut Marko also said they were looking for the middle term, not short term, which sounds a lot like Dan (SKY Deutschland Interview)

    2. in the energy station the info must be easy to get. Outside if they don’t make it official, the press has to keep asking. And the aussi is sure tired of it.

  9. On Ricciardo’s prospects, this race only helped him. Ricciardo has ironically been hurt in the past by starting ahead of Vergne by just a few spots due to the extra tyres he has used in the progress. In this case though that didn’t happen – both started far down and who came out on top? The one who isn’t a good racer, Ricciardo.

    So even though I doubt Webber conveniently knew about the driver choice before the announcement I think this race is making his hypothesis all the more likely.

    1. Ricciardo was on much younger tyres at the end if I remember correctly since Vernge was ahead most of the race.

      1. @bosley they were on different strategies though, hence why Vergne was ahead initially.

      2. Its who is ahead at the end that matters. They both stopped twice.

    2. Vergne had a slow puncture on his last stint …

      1. I didn’t hear anything of this puncture – any links?

        1. http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/299365/slow-puncture-costs-vergne-final-point/

          Vergne would have finished ahead if not for the puncture. Vergne is clearly the faster driver. Red Bull are only signing Ricciardo because they don’t want to lose the Australian market.

          1. @marciare-o-marcire What absolute rubbish. Look at the lap charts and tell me Vergne was quicker. Even in the first 10 laps when Ricciardo was on the harder tyre and they both had full fuel Vergne couldn’t pull away.
            And after Daniel made his last pit stop he was at least 1-2 seconds a lap quicker than Vergne, Hulkenberg and Perez.
            Ricciardo beat Vergne with strategy and pace and made up 9 positions, not a performance you’d see from a “slower driver.”

          2. @marciare-o-marcire In addition to what @nackavich has already pointed out, do you honestly think the Australian market has anything to do with it? France alone has almost three times Australia’s population, and F1 isn’t massively popular down under. I’m sorry but for those who actually pay attention to the finer details, Ricciardo has clearly proven that he is currently a more complete driver than Vergne.

    3. An impressive race by Ricciardo to get into the points from way down, I agree. There shouldn’t be too many concerns about his race pace anyway. When he is announced and starts driving for Red Bull, I’m sure he’ll improve his race pace as the races go on. He still has a lot of time to improve.

      1. @deej92 absolutely: the main pint I’d that it’s not all doom and gloom and Ricciardo isn’t as deficient as many like to proclaim in the races. I’m also confident Vettel would drag him forward with him – he’s not a bad person to learn from is Vettel (and learning from another driver has worked well in the past with Cevert and Stewart).

  10. Maybe he meant to say Austria?

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      25th August 2013, 16:08

      After being turned down by Michael Schumacher, Red Bull have turned their attention to Niki Lauda

      1. *Helmut Marko

    2. Palpatine Marko: “Yesssssss, sign the young Austrian and our Aryan race team will be com-plete…”

  11. Ricciardo is probably the most likely choice for Red Bull. Even if Red Bull has not told Webber directly who their choice is, maybe Ricciardo tipped his hand to Webber, intentionally or not. After all, he would likely know if he has a contract, even if RBR told him to keep quiet about it.

    I’m sure Red Bull doesn’t mind all this free publicity. There are news stories about them every day. It’s all positive, who wouldn’t want to drive for Red Bull? That’s why they’re in no hurry. And the silly season goes round and round…

    1. Yeap, one has to concede Red Bull GmbH are masters of publicity. Their name is always in the news, whether from space jumps or F1 driver transfers.

  12. I am still waiting for a race like Alguersuari did in 2011… From pitlane to 8th (Canada) and from 18th to 8th while NOBODY retired (Valencia)… Ricciardo hasn t showed nothing better yet, but off course he was “the wonderboy” right from the beginning living just from an undeserved hype…

    1. RIC is Helmut Marko’s blue eyes boy..thats obvious. Does he warrant the second seat bsed on his performances this year? Probably not, but neither does Vergne. I didnt like the way they brushed JEV aside as “not ready”, while RIC is?

      RIC may have the potential to do great things, but based on how things stand, I dont see him as having done more than the likes of Algesuari and Buemi. So once again, with RBR, its not all black and white.

      But then again, its their money, they could do whatever they want.

      1. Exactly. Jaime and Buemi had more 7th and 8th places in race and both were also able to qualify 6th. Strange that currently Mr. Marko isn t expecting extraordinarity (wins, podiums, regular point scorings)

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      26th August 2013, 2:49

      It’s only because Webber is retiring so now the STR program becomes important.

  13. I’m baffled that nobody listened to Newey’s interview after the race.
    I think he spilled some interesting bits.

    He said they are waiting for Dietrich Matezitch to get out of vacation to talk to him about the final decision.

    He gave me the impression that it is indeed decided but they are just waiting for the big boss now.

    1. Eddie Jordan on BBC has been saying the same thing.

      1. And I think prolonging the announcement stretches out the attention the team is getting too.

        1. Indeed, I think they have it settled and are taking in the free talk they have.

  14. JEV performed much better than DR this entire weekend.

    1. He didn’t in the race…

      1. JEV was always boasting how much better in race pace he is than Ric so it serves him right. Mature drive and deserves a shot in Red Bull. Ric is very marketable and they’ll sell more Res Bull with him than JEV.

        1. I think that when Ricciardo qualifies in the top 10 while Vergne can’t, it hampers DR somewhat by using more tyres. Ricciardo showed today that when they are in the same position, he can have the stronger race pace. He would be most people’s pick between the two of them.

          1. The question is, why should he be promoted to Red Bull with one 7th and one 8th place in race, when other STR drivers with even better race results were labelled as not good enough even for staying in Formula One? And I hope this time my comment will be also posted!

      2. JEV got worse tactics in the end and eventually had a slow puncture on the last stint – though Ricciardo went well in the race as well. Vergne was very unlucky in Q1 with his team’s decision to send him out a bit too early with inters and eventually failing to get into Q2 (just as RIC), because he was very fast in practice both on one lap – 5th in FP2 and 4th in FP3 – and on a longer stint (RIC wasn’t).

        1. So from two practise sessions we can clearly see that Vergne had the better weekend then Ricciardo… its almost like Red bulls sister team are in the same scenario as them. One driver continuously suffering punctures or race incidents etc. and the other constantly outperforming his teammate.

  15. As was mentioned on the BBC, they are just waiting to make a bigger thing of it. When they announce him as the new Red Bull driver, they will also announce da Costa as the new Toro Rosso driver. They’ll probably confirm Vergne is staying with STR next year as well.

    1. As a Portuguese, I hope you’re right mate… My country doesn’t give a **** about anything else other than soccer…. So let’s hope F1 can grow here…

  16. I have a feeling RIC has a contract with Red Bull signed for next year but it doesn’t specify which team. Its 99% likely to be him in the RBR seat but I think Horner may be considering the possibility of ALO and BUT (a WDC who is not perceived as a threat to VET)

  17. I think it’s become pretty obvious that Ricciardo is driving for RBR in 2014 and Horner just pretends that the final decision hasn’t been taken yet. I’m not sure if the whole Raikkonen story was just a red herring or not. Anyway, it looks like RBR have decided to have a decent number two driver instead of the best driver pairing available.

  18. I am still waiting from Ricciardo a 8th place finish from 18th place on grid, while NOBODY retired. Or an 8th place finish while starting 24th from the pitlane.

  19. “I’ve never known a driver sign another driver yet.”

    Somebody isn’t keeping up with their reading of the history of the sport.

  20. Webber just running his mouth is what I think. he acting like a child tryna get back at RBR; its not their fault he not even close to Vettel’s talent… I am quite sure that RBR glad for him to go to get some1 who is a better driver, doesn’t act like a retard(cuz his own poor talent) and is able to work better for the team…

    1. To call someone a retard with a post like that is a bit rich, don’t you think?

  21. From the start Mark Webber has been one of my favourite drivers. He’s funny (see example below), down to earth, speaks his mind, Australian, etc. He has pretty much been right up there as one of the sports genuine articles in my estimation and will be missed next year. He has just gone up another notch in my estimation as he like me is also a helicopter pilot which I did not know!

    See Below –
    From the Mark Webber newsletter I received today:-

    In a Formula One career spanning 12 seasons, Mark has been in his fair share of media scrums, press conferences and post-race interviews. In doing so, he’s answered almost every racing question imaginable. You name it, he’s discussed it!

    In the second part of the ‘Getting to know Aussie Grit’ series, Mark tackles questions that he’s not so used to answering and lets us in on everything from his funniest F1 moments to his future plans.

    What is the strangest press question you have ever been asked?
    MW: “It was the year when Fernando, Sebastian and I were going for the championship. There were about three races left and we were all quite tight. Then in a press conference one of the German journalists asked us what gift we would give each other. That has to be up there with one of the most ridiculous questions I’ve ever heard. I don’t think I answered. We just looked at each other in disbelief.”

    What is your funniest F1 moment?
    MW: “There have been so many but one stands out. I was in a hotel in Shanghai and after a quick gym session, I planned on chilling out in my room. I was sweating like hell but my door key card wouldn’t work. Therefore I used the floor phone to ring reception to get someone to come and let me in which they did. I was still pretty hot and so decided to cool down. Therefore I sat in the room with nothing on.

    “After a while I went to the bathroom and unexpectedly everything had been cleaned. Then I couldn’t see my wash bag, so went to the wardrobe to see where some of my clothes were, and there was nothing there either. I honestly thought our room had been broken into.

    “Suddenly the penny dropped that I was actually in the wrong room stark naked. I quickly got dressed, rang reception and explained the situation. I remember getting into the lift with the television control in my hand. Don’t ask me why! In the end, it was a real close shave. Some poor person didn’t have a TV remote but it could have been even worse…”

    Who are some of your best friends you’ve met through sport?
    MW: “I’m lucky to have made some really good acquaintances in sport. James Tomkins, the multiple gold medal-winning Australian rower is multi-talented and someone who I have a lot of time for. Triple Speedway world champ Jason Crump is a top bloke. The adventure racer, Richard Ussher, is a really down-to-earth guy and I also get on well with Mick Doohan and Layne Beachley. I don’t get to see any of them often but it’s nice to just chill out and catch up when I have the chance.”

    When you’re back at home, what are your favourite television programmes?
    MW: “I like things like Have I Got News for You, A League Of Their Own and The Graham Norton Show. I like a bit of fun but also really good interviews. I used to watch a lot of Parky and that kind of stuff. I am also quite keen on documentaries.”

    You are also a bit of a Tweeter. Who are the best people to follow on Twitter?
    MW: “Valentino Rossi is pretty cool. I also like Jeremy Clarkson because he shoots from the hip and he’s not totally PC which is refreshing. It goes without saying that I like to follow people and things I’m interested in – that’s one of the strengths of Twitter. Some of the weekend warriors out there with no agenda are really good value. I do think you have to be careful though, some people flog their own profile a lot.”

    You must work up quite an appetite from all your training in between races. Is Aussie Grit handy in the kitchen?
    MW: “I’m pretty useless in the kitchen to say the least. However I’m good on the barbecue, I’ve got plenty of experience in that department. In the kitchen I stick to things like pasta with pesto and toppings like cheese. It’s very straightforward but if you cook some chicken with it, it’s nice. I also make a pretty mean omelette.”

    You often listen to music while you are training. Do you have hidden vocal talent?
    MW: “I’m not much of a singer. Saying that though, the other week when my niece was in the UK for a bit of a break, I did break into atrocious lyrical format. I was singing about her being here and how it was great to have her here. Being a teenager, she was super embarrassed but it was all good fun. In terms of my music taste I’m not into stuff like jazz, hip hop or heavy metal. I can’t understand most of it. I like Feeder, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Imagine Dragons, so you might see me listening to them but not singing along.”

    It was your birthday earlier this week. What are some of the worst presents you have ever received?
    MW: “Definitely clothes. I’ve been given some horrendous items like brightly coloured ties and belts made from stuff like snake skin. You’re just not going to see me wearing that!”

    What’s on Aussie Grit’s agenda for the future?
    MW: “I really want to discover New Zealand’s South Island. I also want to go to sporting events that I haven’t managed to get to while I’ve been racing such as the State of Origin in Australia, the Chili Bowl in America and the Indy 500. The Australian Open tennis is another I’d like to see. I always get invited but can’t go. Add to that lots of helicopter flying. Currently I get out a couple of times a fortnight but I’d like to do it more often.”

    Like what you’ve read? Keep checking markwebber.com for the third instalment in the ‘Getting to know Aussie Grit’ series.
    By Jonathan Campkin

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