Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner is already said to be considering his options as Mark Webber’s future at the team looks all but over post-2013.
The Australian who has been at the team since it began in 2005 has been involved in a number of altercations with his world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel, most recently the ‘Multi-21’ affair at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Horner himself also cast some doubt on Webber’s future saying in Barcelona the 36-year-old was “in the autumn of his career” and now the question on most reporter lips is who is the most likely candidate to replace Webber in 2014.
The two names most mentioned have been Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen who is out of contract after this season, and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo after the young Aussie’s recent good showings in China and Spain.
When asked about Raikkonen in Barcelona, Horner’s response was telling: "Kimi is doing a good job. He's very strong at the moment,” he said. "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.
Ricciardo himself was unsure about what the future holds telling reporters: “I don’t know” when asked about a future switch to the main Red Bull team, Horner too was trying to keep his options open when asked about Ricciardo’s chances.
"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."
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