F1: Ricciardo Red Bull Promotion 'Makes Sense' - Vettel Photo:
TMR Team | Aug, 28 2013 | 0 Comments

Sebastian Vettel has admitted it would "make sense" if Daniel Ricciardo becomes his new teammate at Red Bull.

Earlier admitting his disappointment that Kimi Raikkonen seems out of the frame, Vettel was asked about Mark Webber's claim on Sunday that fellow Australian Ricciardo had been selected by Red Bull to succeed him in 2014.

Red Bull bosses denied Webber's claim.

But Vettel said the appointment of Toro Rosso driver Ricciardo would "make sense".

"The last few weeks have been very tumultuous in this sense," the German is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace, "but it (Ricciardo's signing) would make sense.

"He has been with us for a long time.

"Some people may doubt Daniel is ready, but you could also ask if I was ready when I arrived at Red Bull. How can you know beforehand?" he said rhetorically.

"It's not my decision, but I get along with him well," Vettel added.

He also denied that Ricciardo's appointment would leave him - probably a quadruple world champion at the beginning of 2014 - with clear number 1 status at Red Bull.

"It's a shame," Vettel started, "that some people on the outside sometimes have the wrong idea about certain drivers and certain teams.

"In the end, we will give everything to have a good performance, and someone will always prevail.

"Mark had the strength to beat me and I do the same to him. That's life," he insisted.

Meanwhile, McLaren's Jenson Button has finally counted himself out of the running for the Red Bull seat.

He told the Telegraph: "I am very happy here. I will be here.

"I am definitely not going to Red Bull.

"I feel that Ricciardo will go to Red Bull, Kimi Raikkonen will stay at Lotus and Massa will stay at Ferrari for another year," the Briton added.



Alonso hopes bad luck strikes Vettel

Fernando Alonso has admitted his championship hopes would get a boost if Sebastian Vettel crashes at the start of a grand prix.

Many see Vettel's dominance in Belgium as a sure sign the Red Bull driver will now canter to his fourth consecutive drivers' title.

"Vettel has the world title in the bag," said Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport after the race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Corriere dello Sport agreed: "Vettel remains out of reach; invincible in his Red Bull with which no one can find fault.

"He is on track to break all of Michael Schumacher's records."

Ferrari, however, showed at Spa signs of recovery after a miserable July, but Spaniard Alonso acknowledged that he needs Vettel to run into trouble.

"I left Monza last year with 41 points more than Vettel," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace. "It shows how quickly things can change.

"But for this, we need to win three or four races in a row and have someone run over him at the start, as happened to me, or technical problems."

Alonso is undoubtedly referring to his Belgian grand prix of a year ago, when Romain Grosjean's flying Lotus ended his race in a shower of carbon fibre.

"It happened to me last year and it could happen again," added Alonso.

But with just eight races left in 2013, some of Vettel's rivals are beginning to be written off.

Kimi Raikkonen, for example, lost his runner-up place in the drivers' standings at Spa, where he retired with brake failure.

"You would probably have to say that the three (Vettel, Alonso, Lewis Hamilton) who finished on the podium in Belgium are likely to be the major rivals to the end of the year," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Marc Surer, a former driver turned pundit, sees another problem for Raikkonen's Lotus.

"If you lack the money to try everything you can think of," he told Der Spiegel, "you have no chance."

Questions about Mercedes are also being asked.

"Do they still have reserves in their development to catch Red Bull in this season?" former driver Patrick Tambay told France's RMC Sport.

"In Belgium they were clearly beaten."

So perhaps the final question is to wonder if anyone can beat Vettel now. "Probably, only himself," acknowledged Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn.



Whitmarsh not ruling out McLaren return for Raikkonen

Martin Whitmarsh on Tuesday threw a new spanner in the 'silly season' works, refusing to rule out a return to McLaren for Kimi Raikkonen.

Off the back of the Finn's rumoured moves to Red Bull or Ferrari, it actually now seemed more likely the 2007 world champion will simply stay at Lotus.

But McLaren boss Whitmarsh on Tuesday admitted he has considered making a move to bring Raikkonen, who drove for the British team between 2002 and 2006, back to McLaren.

"Yes, we have (considered it)," he told F1's official website.

"Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of him. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment, so let's see what happens."

Whitmarsh's comments on Tuesday are a surprise, as the latest reports suggest Jenson Button will certainly stay in 2014, while the McLaren boss said at Spa at the weekend that Mexican Sergio Perez deserves another chance in a better car.

"I probably shouldn't be, but I'm completely open," Whitmarsh said.

"Last year we had talks with him (Raikkonen), but for various reasons it didn't happen. This year we've had no talks -- yet."

Asked if an approach may be made to Raikkonen, or vice versa, he admitted: "Yes, could be.

"Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let's see how he gets on there."

Whitmarsh hinted that if there is a place for Raikkonen in 2014, it would be alongside Button. He was asked if an all-champion lineup would give McLaren positive media mileage in the season before the switch to Honda power.

"Yes, it might do," he said. "We'll see. We are not talking to Kimi at the moment, so let's see what happens in the drivers market."



Michelin also open to 2014 tyre war

Michelin is not ruling out taking on Pirelli in a formula one tyre war next year.

With the sport's existing sole supplier Pirelli having already inked 2014 contracts with Bernie Ecclestone and the bulk of the teams, the fact Michelin has now entered the race is fascinating.

Michelin competition boss Pascal Couasnon said on Monday that the French marque has dropped its earlier condition that it will only return to F1 if it can go in competition with a rival.

"We have changed one of our conditions," he told Le Figaro newspaper. "Now, we don't mind becoming the exclusive supplier.

"We are ready for it, as there is quite an interesting technical challenge."

But Couasnon said Michelin is also still open to a tyre war.

"We have always said that we are interested in competition," he added.

He said talks with the governing FIA, led by Frenchman Jean Todt, have already begun.

"We have sent them the same information as we have to the general public, so our position is known to all," said Couasnon.

He denied, however, that talks with F1 chief executive Ecclestone are already underway.

"I was surprised by these reports, but I'm starting to get used to it," Couasnon smiled.

"Two weeks ago, I read that Michelin planned to hold a press conference, but nothing happened. In formula one, there are always a lot of rumours.

"I can confirm that I have not scheduled any meetings with Bernie Ecclestone. If negotiations were to begin, we would hold them with the FIA, Bernie Ecclestone and the teams."


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