Formula 1

Jean-Eric Vergne backs Ricciardo for Red Bull seat

Ricciardo is favourite alongside Raikkonen. (©GettyImages)
Ricciardo is favourite alongside Raikkonen. (©GettyImages).

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne claims Red Bull should choose team-mate Daniel Ricciardo over Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen as the Milton Keynes based team looks to replace the retiring Mark Webber.

In recent days the race for the second Red Bull seems to have become a two-horse race between Raikkonen and Ricciardo, indeed Ricciardo was given a half day testing with the main Red Bull team at last week's young driver test at Silverstone.

Speaking to Austria's Kronen Zeitung Vergne said: "I think it's my teammate Daniel Ricciardo who should get the job, not Kimi Raikkonen.


"We are both doing a good job at Toro Rosso, and the team is getting better with every race."

Vergne also acknowledged that Ricciardo had done the better job at Toro Rosso this year and had earned the right to be considered for the soon-to-be vacant seat at Red Bull. 

Though Vergne does believe that if Ricciardo is chosen and performs well then it should also boost his credentials in the F1 paddock.

"If Daniel, who at the moment is doing better than me, is running alongside Sebastian Vettel, it will show the quality of the young (development) drivers of Red Bull.
"If it is said that I am not consistent, then I have to point out that after my sixth in Canada, I had two retirements due to mechanical problems," Vergne added.

The debate has split some in the F1 paddock, former team owner Eddie Jordan believes Red Bull should choose the young Australian over Raikkonen.

"At first I was pretty sure that Raikkonen will replace Mark Webber," Jordan told Russia's f1news.ru.


"But now I'm ready to change my mind," he admitted. "Sebastian Vettel is staying until 2015 and so it's probably not the best time to become his teammate.


"I think Red Bull will opt for Daniel Ricciardo.
"I don't think Raikkonen wants to get into an extensive programme at Red Bull, with all the marketing, the work with the sponsors, the photo shoots and so on.


"That's the sort of work that every driver for that team has to do."

While one of his former drivers Ralf Schumacher believes Raikkonen should be the next man to enter the blue and purple machines.

"In his situation," he said, "I would go to Red Bull without hesitation -- not for a second.
"It's true that we don't know every detail, like what kind of agreement Sebastian Vettel has," the German is quoted by Finland MTV3 broadcaster.


"But if the team gives both drivers the same equipment, it would be a great opportunity for Kimi, because he's a great driver."

Despite all the claims ItaliaRacing believes ultimately Raikkonen will end up at Red Bull next year but also believes Ricciardo could be the man to replace the Finn at Lotus.


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