Ricciardo now has a 60:40 chance over Raikkonen to join Red Bull next year. The Australian is set to become only the second recruit Red Bull have picked up from Toro Rosso, after Sebastian Vettel.
Kimi Raikkonen was a hot candidate for the seat which Webber left open. However, negotiations have lost momentum, as reports by German newspaper Bild suggest that the two parties were working on a complicated contract. The deal included a partnership offer by Red Bull to sponsor Raikkonen’s Ice One Racing team as well as his motorcross and hockey affairs along with the chance to drive for the team in 2014 of course. Although a bit extreme, the contract was believed to include a 10-year commitment by Raikkonen.
Auto Motor und Sport now reports that Ricciardo is the new favorite, after Raikkonen seemingly signed a shock deal with Ferrari to rejoin the team next year. Fernando Alonso was tipped to leave Ferrari, should Raikkonen truly arrive, and consider replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull. The move is almost as unbelievable as the Raikkonen-Ferrari story, as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso in the same team is a principal’s nightmare.
Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s contract is prepared and ready to be signed by the Australian who is set to join Red Bull as the second only Toro Rosso recruit. His current team principal, Franz Tost mentioned earlier this week that his driver has the highest chance to get the seat next year.
AMuS reports that Christian Horner and Adrian Newey were pushing for Raikkonen to get the seat, but ultimately, it’s Helmut Marko’s decision and he chose Daniel Ricciardo over the Finn. Marko is on vacation in August and will return to Red Bull headquarters at the end of the month to present Ricciardo the new contract and make the announcement after the Belgian Grand prix.