Daniel Ricciardo has been left surprised by comments said by Mark Webber over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. The Aussie let slip to Australia’s Channel 10 Network that his countryman had already signed a contract with Red Bull for 2014, saying “the decision is made.”
The rumour built up speed during the race weekend at Spa despite Red Bull’s continuing insistence that they are still weighing up their options. Reports prior to the race even hinted that Ricciardo would be confirmed as Webber’s successor during the weekend. However, like senior figures within Red Bull, Ricciardo has downplayed claims that it is a done deal.
In an interview with Russia’s F1news.ru after the Belgian Grand Prix – where he finished 10th – Ricciardo reacted to Webber’s comments, saying: “He really said that? We all know Mark…. he likes to make predictions, sometimes they are right, sometimes they’re not.
It’s nice that he supports me, so I take his words as a compliment but, I’m sure that, if I had a contract, I would know about it. I don’t think we’re going to have to wait long for the team [to announce something], but I still haven’t heard anything.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing’s team principal, has been keeping his cards extremely close to his chest. After hearing Webber’s comments he said: “I have never known a driver sign another driver. At the end of the day, we’ve got plenty to take into consideration and, when the time’s right, we’ll let you know what [the decision] is. We’ve been surprised at the interest and we’re not in any rush. We’ve got time on our side, to make the right decision.”
Kimi Raikkonen is still in the running for the seat despite reports that talks between Red Bull and the Finn broke down. Lotus is even more optimistic than ever that they will retain the ‘Iceman’ for 2014 and Alonso isn’t out of the question just yet, however the balance looks to be tipping in Ricciardo’s favour.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic