Amid reports Mark Webber is nearing a new deal for 2014, Red Bull has admitted it still regards Kimi Raikkonen as “an option” to become Sebastian Vettel’s next teammate.
Although earlier it was believed 2007 world champion Raikkonen as well as Toro Rosso’s current drivers were in the running, it is reported this week that 36-year-old Webber in fact has team owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s backing for an eighth consecutive season at Red Bull.
But team boss Horner told British reporters on Wednesday: “Kimi would have to be an option, if he were to be available.”
33-year-old Finn Raikkonen, currently at Lotus, has said he is yet to consider his future beyond 2013.
Horner added: “We’re in the fortunate position that there are an awful lot of people who would like to drive a Red Bull Racing car.”
He said it is possible Webber will decide to leave formula one at the end of his 2013 deal.
“We’ve agreed year-on-year deals with him as we did with David Coulthard at a similar stage in his career,” said Horner.
“Before making any decision it’s important to understand what his (Webber’s) intentions are.
“The pairing we have has been tremendously successful. From our perspective we will only change for something better than we currently have,” added Horner.
Horner said Jenson Button, who is just tenth in the drivers’ championship this year at the wheel of McLaren’s uncompetitive car, is not an option.
“Jenson’s a class act, as a team player, a human being, a driver,” he said.
“He’s not on our radar because he’s not available. He’s married to the team that he’s driving for.”
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