Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of agreeing a switch from Lotus to Red Bull for 2014.
That is the claim of Spanish sports newspaper Marca’s correspondent Marco Canseco, who reports from the Nurburgring that although the Finn has not actually signed on the dotted line, “only missing now is the last details of the agreement”.
Canseco added that Red Bull and the 2007 world champion could announce the identity of Sebastian Vettel’s next teammate “at Spa, after the summer break”.
Raikkonen told F1’s official website: “At Red Bull they want me, but I have other choices — so time will tell.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has repeated in Germany this weekend that the only other candidates to replace Mark Webber next year are the two current Toro Rosso drivers.
Out of that duo, Daniel Ricciardo appears to be the favourite, having qualified ten places ahead of Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne at the Nurburgring.
Australian Ricciardo agrees that the situation – the prize of a Red Bull seat – is spurring him on.
“That is actually the case,” the 23-year-old is quoted by Russian website f1news.ru.
“I’m using it (the situation) to my advantage, and it seems to be working.”
The similarly-aged Vergne, meanwhile, insisted that if Red Bull chooses someone else to replace Webber, he could spend another season at Toro Rosso.
“He (team boss Franz Tost) would like to keep me should it not work with the Red Bull cockpit — and I would like to stay, as Toro Rosso is a team that is improving massively,” he said.
© RIF | GMM