Nurburg, Germany: Formula 1 team Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner Friday said that Kimi Raikkonen (in pic), Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are the likely contenders to replace Mark Webber as world champion Sebastian Vettel's teammate in 2014.
Australian Webber announced last week that he will bring an end to his Formula 1 career at the end of this season. Ever since the announcement, rumours have begun about who would replace him next season.
"We are in the fortunate position not to be short of choice. We'll take our time to make the right decision. Red Bull Racing is a world championship winning team and wants to put the best drivers in our cars," the Briton was quoted as saying on Formula1.com.
Horner confirmed the speculations that Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso's drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, and former world champion Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus are in the race for the seat.
"If one of the drivers can be of the junior team that will purely be based on merit. Both the juniors (Ricciardo and Vergne) are contenders, and also one or two drivers that are out of contract at the end of the year. There are a lot of drivers without contract at the end of the year but the reality is that it will boil down to three drivers: the two juniors and Kimi."
Asked about their chances this weekend at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, the 39-year-old said: "This is Sebastian's home race and it would be fantastic for him to win here. Mark won his first ever Grand Prix here in 2009, so we have good memories. Sebastian has a fantastic home crowd here - that should propel him and us. In the end, this race carries the same amount of points as any other weekend and we want to win them all."
Story first published on: Saturday, 06 July 2013 17:34 IST