Raikkonen’s massive salary requirements not an issue for Red Bull

Kimi Raikkonen surrounded by media in the Hungaroring paddock

Kimi Raikkonen surrounded by media in the Hungaroring paddock

Kimi Raikkonen’s considerable wages will not be a factor in Red Bull’s decision on who partners Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel next season, team principal Christian Horner said on Thursday.

“Of course, finances are always a factor but…the difference between first and second or second and third and fourth is a significant amount in the constructors’ world championship,” he told reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“So the financial element of it, if you don’t make the right decision, is going to impact you anyway if you are not scoring constructors’ points. So that isn’t really an element in our decision making.”

Horner told reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix that a decision on who would replace the departing Mark Webber was likely to be made after the August break with the choice between Lotus driver Raikkonen and Toro Rosso’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Christian Horner says it's not about the money

Christian Horner says it’s not about the money

“There’s been some interesting applicants over the last few weeks but fundamentally we’re still looking at the same drivers,” he said.

Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, is one of the highest paid drivers in the paddock while Ricciardo – who flew to Budapest on a budget airline – is a product of the Red Bull young driver programme and made his F1 race debut only in 2011.

Ricciardo tested for Red Bull at Silverstone last week and acquitted himself well but Red Bull are looking for a driver they can be sure will bring home solid championship points as the successor to Australian Webber.

“Daniel, what he has demonstrated so far, has been very positive,” said Horner.

“Kimi’s qualities speak for themselves,” added the principal. “He has a proven track record. You can’t question Kimi’s credentials.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel could still be teammates in the future

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel could still be teammates in the future

“We want the two fastest and strongest drivers that we can put in the car for next year. I think both Daniel and Kimi would represent extremely good options.”

Horner said triple champion Vettel had not voiced any preference either way.

Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, Ricciardo’s team mate, has effectively been ruled out of the reckoning.

“I think at this stage it’s probably too early for him, which is why we chose to look at Daniel at the test at Silverstone,” said Horner.

“I think [Vergne] deserves a seat in Formula 1 and should he not be successful with the Red Bull seat, then it would make logical sense for him to continue at Toro Rosso.” (Reuters)

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  • Cab

    “Kimi’s qualities speak for themselves,” added the principal. “He has a proven track record. You can’t question Kimi’s credentials.

    “We want the two fastest and strongest drivers that we can put in the car for next year. I think both Daniel and Kimi would represent extremely good options.”

    Its going to be Kimi.. His words indicate that.. :) :( :)

  • =El Presidente=

    Yes, if they CAN get Kimi.

    Kimi knows he will never win a WDC anymore if he moves to RB, and he will be just a slave of Vettel.

    I would love to see Kimi in equal material as Vettel, but he is never going to get that at RedBull, we all know that.. Why does weber’s car always have the crapy pitstops, are wrong moments, why is Vettel’s car always going just a bit better? cuz he has the best engineers, the best (newest) parts/updates , the best chassis etc.

    Beacuse of those benefits Vettel has over his teamate, just keeping up with Vettel is like beating him.

    I really hope he stays with Lotus. Lotus need a quality-driver like Kimi, and RedBull needs to loose some momentum.

  • Ben

    Next year is another ball-game was turbo charged engines and other rule changes may spring surprises. Lotus may be a surprise package. Red Bull may not be as dominant next year so if Kimi going to Red Bull may not be as fruitful as he may… if it takes a couple of years to RBR to be dominant then Kimi would be too old… Let the game begin.. Then there’s Honda the year after, their record in turbo charged engines is unsurpassed.

  • hillside

    Kimi in is not driven by money. the guy will drive anything with wheels and drive it like he stole it.

  • Papa Smurf

    According to the 2013 salary survey Kimi is only getting 25% of what Vettel is getting, so what’s the big salary requirements comment coming from?