Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne remain contenders for the soon to be vacated race seat with world champions Red Bull, as the team’s billionaire owner revealed that the identity of Webber’s successor will be announced after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
AFP quotes Mateschitz saying, “No decision has been taken yet. It is still under discussion within the team but it will be announced after Budapest. Ricciardo did an excellent job at Silverstone and Jean-Eric Vergne (also of Toro Rosso) was good too.”
Kimi Raikkonen remains a candidate, but it is appearing increasingly likely that the Finn will stay on with Lotus who have received an injection of funding which will help them in their future title ambitions.
Insiders say Raikkonen’s preference would be to stay with Lotus, but he needs assurance that they are solid financially in the wake of late payment of his retainer earlier this year and also to battle the big teams next year when the new turbo era begins.
Currently, in the race for the highly coveted seat at Red Bull, Ricciardo appears to have edged ahead of Vergne although the latter is ahead in the championship standings – the Hungarian GP weekend could be decisive.