F1: Horner Weighs Up Raikkonen And Ricciardo For 2014 Seat Photo:
TMR Team | May, 15 2013 | 0 Comments

Christian Horner was on Tuesday faced with rising speculation Red Bull is weighing up a choice between two drivers for Mark Webber's 2014 seat.

Amid suggestions the team has decided to replace Australian Webber, team boss Horner admitted in Barcelona that the 36-year-old is in "the autumn of his career".

On the front row of the grid for his place, according to the rumour mill, are Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.

When asked about the Finn, Horner told Austrian Servus TV: "Kimi is doing a good job. He's very strong at the moment."

"But we're focusing on our own drivers. Kimi is a competitor that we want to beat. The right time for us to discuss the drivers is later in the summer," he added.

Nonetheless, the rumours keep coming. Sitting right alongside Horner amid Tuesday's questioning was Australian Ricciardo, the stand-out driver at Red Bull's second team Toro Rosso in 2013.

"I don't know," the 23-year-old driver said when asked about a possible opportunity at the main team. "What do you think, Christian?" he grinned.

Horner answered: "Daniel is a very, very talented driver. He has come from the Red Bull junior programme and has done a great job. We have an eye on him.

"We're also looking at what Jean-Eric Vergne is doing, and it's nice to see the progress they're making.

"Daniel has done some great races. He was very strong in China," Horner continued.

"The purpose of Toro Rosso is to develop drivers and make them candidates for Red Bull, just as Sebastian Vettel did."



Pirelli speeds up tyre changes for Canada

Pirelli is speeding up a scheduled change of tack for its 2013 tyres.

Following harsh criticism both inside and outside the paddock amid the Barcelona four-stoppers, Paul Hembery announced that changes would be made for Silverstone.

But on Tuesday, the Italian marque's motor sport director said the changes will now make their debut one race earlier, in Canada, which is the race after next weekend's Monaco grand prix.

"Some structural changes," Hembery tweeted, "combining elements (of the) 2012 and 2013 products."

Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt said the 2012 tyre construction will be revived, although the changes to the actual compounds will be minor "so as not to upset Ferrari and Lotus too much".

"The purpose of the change is that the compounds do not heat up as much, especially at the rear," Hembery is quoted as saying.

The change will have an aerodynamic impact on the cars, as the 2012 construction did not deform as much in the corners.

"This could be the salvation for teams like McLaren, Sauber and Williams. It will definitely also help Red Bull and Mercedes," Schmidt said.

Hembery explained: "It may well be that we keep the compounds as we used in Barcelona. If anything, the changes will be minor.

"We want to stay on the aggressive side, to keep the races exciting and not punish the teams who are doing a good job with these tyres."

Hembery is now stepping up the pressure on the teams to agree to some hot weather winter testing in the Middle East for early 2014, and also for an up-to-date test car.

"The Renault that we have is three years old and four seconds slower than today's cars," he said.

"Already this year we're seeing as much rear downforce as in 2011 with the blown diffusers.

"We cannot develop tyres like this," added Hembery.



First Carlos Slim sponsor arrives at McLaren

Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications billionaire, has already arrived as a sponsor at British team McLaren.

When Mexican Sergio Perez was signed for 2013 and beyond, speculation swirled that Slim's Telmex empire would replace departing McLaren title sponsor Vodafone in 2014.

The future has already arrived. On the rear wing of the MP4-28 in Barcelona last weekend were the words 'Claro Video'.

Claro, currently also a sponsor of Perez's former team, Sauber, alongside Telmex, is a Mexican mobile phone operator in the Slim stable.

And according to Mexican reports dated Monday, May 13, Slim's son Carlos Slim Domit has announced that Claro will also be a McLaren sponsor in 2014.

The German news agency DPA said Slim Jr made the announcement at last weekend's Spanish grand prix.


TMR Comments
Latest Comments