Daniel Ricciardo leading race to replace Webber

2013 World © Octane Photographic Ltd.Daniel Ricciardo is currently leading the race to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull Racing next season after a good start to the season.

The Australian driver has scored all but one of Scuderia Toro Rosso’s points so far in 2013, recording a best-ever finish of 7th at the Chinese Grand Prix, which was then followed up by a good run to P10 at last weekend’s race in Spain. Following the multi 21 debacle in Malaysia, Webber appears to be on his way out of Red Bull, and Ricciardo has made no secret of his desire to replace his compatriot.

“Ideally for me I’d love to get the Red Bull Racing seat one day, and to sort of really complete their programme,” Ricciardo told SEN Radio. “I’m always trying to make sure I’m turning a few heads. Red Bull for me has created a massive opportunity.”

Ricciardo has been a big part of the Red Bull family since 2008, racing for Toro Rosso since the beginning of 2012, and the team is known for looking at its junior drivers when considering new seats. In 2009, Sebastian Vettel was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull following retirement of David Coulthard, and he has gone on to win three world championships since then.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has admitted that Ricciardo was currently leading the race for Webber’s seat.

“Right now he has the upper hand, which we have seen in Barcelona,” Tost told the official Formula One website. However, he believes that Ricciardo’s teammate, Jean-Eric Vergne, could also get the seat.

“That is a snapshot right now. Generally I would say that both would fit into the Red Bull concept.”

Red Bull are also thought to be considering Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg for the seat.

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.

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