The Australian driver confirmed on the Thursday of the British Grand Prix that he would be vacating his seat at Red Bull come the end of the season and walking away from Formula One, sparking a race between Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen to join Sebastian Vettel in Milton Keynes. Christian Horner has recently ruled out Vergne from making the jump up from Toro Rosso, but Mateschitz is refusing to make any confirmation about Webber’s replacement until after the race at the Hungaroring this weekend.
Speaking to Autosport, Mateschitz said: “There is no decision yet, and it is still under discussion within the team.
“It will be announced after Budapest.”
Mateschitz was quick to praise both Toro Rosso drivers for their efforts during the test at Silverstone last week, with Ricciardo also completing some running for Red Bull in what was thought to be his ‘audition’ for the seat.
“Ricciardo did an excellent job at Silverstone, and Vergne was very good.”
Red Bull have never been known to hang about making decisions over their driver line-ups, with Webber’s yearly extensions in 2011 and 2012 being announced during the summer, so Mateschitz’s desire to have the situation resolved in the coming days and weeks is far from surprising. This may however signal that time could be running out for Kimi Raikkonen if he still wishes to mull over a possible move to the world champions.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.