1. Kimi Raikkonen
Nationality - Finland
Age - 33
Current team - Lotus-Renault
Race wins - 20

Ever since Webber's announcement of leaving Formula 1, all eyes have turned to the 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.

The 33-year-old has been heavily linked with Red Bull. Since Raikkonen's comeback to Formula 1 in 2012 after being away from the sport for 3 years taking part in rallying and NASCAR, he has shown that he’s still got it.

Raikkonen is in his second season with the Lotus team and the man from Finland has so far sealed two race wins in last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and in this year's opening Grand Prix in Australia. 

The Fin impressed a lot of people last season by finishing third place in the world championships table with 207 points below Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. In the current season, Raikkonen is in the same position in the world championship standings currently.

If Raikkonen were to join Vettel at Red Bull it would be interesting to see what the situation could be like between the two world champions. Vettel has told the media his feelings for Raikkonen by saying that they are good friends when off the track.

But, would the German still be Red Bull's number 1?

2. Daniel Ricciardo
Nationality - Australia
Age - 24
Current team - Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Daniel Ricciardo from Australia could possibly replace his fellow Australian next season. 

Ricciardo made his debut in Formula 1 in 2011 by driving for HRT (Hispania Racing Team). The 24-year-old joined Toro Rosso at the start of the 2012 season and has been their driver ever since.

Toro Rosso are the sister team with Red Bull and has been mentioned as the "Red Bull academy team". Triple world champion, Sebastian Vettel, won his first ever Grand Prix in 2008 with Toro Rosso and has subsequently gone on to be one of the most successful drivers in history.

Could Ricciardo be following the footsteps of Vettel?

Well, so far into the current season the Australian has been very impressive and has shown to the people of Red Bull why he should be Webber's replacement.

Ricciardo's highest finish in a Grand Prix so far this season is 7th place and has so far achieved 21 points, which is an impressive performance when driving for a mid-table team. 

3. Jean-Eric Vergne
Nationality - France
Age - 23
Current team - Toro Rosso-Ferrari

With Jean-Eric Vergne being another candidate for Webber's replacement it indicates that both drivers from Toro Rosso are going for the driving seat of their dreams.

Vergne joined Toro Rosso on the same week as Ricciardo did back in December 2011, and the pair have been team-mates ever since.

The Frenchman is a year younger than Ricciardo, which can suggest less racing experience but not by a big difference.

The 23-year-old does have more career points than Ricciardo with 29, 6 points ahead of the Australian. 

There is hardly any difference between the two drivers, which would give Red Bull a very long and difficult decision if the team would have to pick between Vergne and Ricciardo.

4. Nico Hulkenburg
Nationality - Germany
Age - 25
Current team - Sauber-Ferrari

Nico Hulkenburg can be seen as one of the most underrated drivers in Formula 1.

The German started his F1 career at Williams back in 2010 and secured his first ever pole position in his race weekend debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Unfortunately, Hulkenburg's performance in Brazil was not enough to impress Frank Williams and he was not offered an extended contract.

Hulkenburg joined Force India at the start of the 2011 season to become the team's reserve driver and got a full time seat in the 2012 season after Adrian Sutil was banned from the sport.

The 25-year-old out-qualified his team mate, Paul Di Resta, 12 times throughout the 2012 season and was impressive once again in Brazil as the German led the race until a collision with Lewis Hamilton.

Hulkenburg has led a couple of races during the current season in the Sauber, but some critics have put it down to luck.

 

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Topics:
Formula 1