Daniel Riccardo could be announced as Mark Webber's Red Bull replacement as early as this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix

Ricciardo looks set to be named as Sebastian Vettel's new team-mate for next season after Kimi Raikkonen is ruled out of the running

Daniel Ricciardo looks set to be named as Mark Webber’s replacement at Red Bull, having impressed throughout the first half of the season with their sister team Toro Rosso.

Webber announced at the end of June that he would be leaving the Formula One Constructor’s Champions after seven seasons with the team, but reports in Germany are claiming that his fellow Australian Ricciardo will take his seat alongside three-times world champion Sebastian Vettel.

German newspaper Bild claims that Ricciardo has done enough to secure the drive, and the announcement could be made as early as this weekend, when the F1 circus kicks back into gear following the summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Ricciardo has put in a series of impressive qualifying performances this season, transforming the Toro Rosso car from a back of the back languisher to a top 10 contender.

He secured his best career finish earlier this year in China when he crossed the line in seventh, and backed the result up with an eighth-place finish at Silverstone last month – just after Webber had announced he would be joining Porsche’s GT programme next season as they make their long awaited return to the Prototype class at Le Mans.

Lotus driver and 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen had been rumoured to be in contention for the seat, and Vettel had spoken before of his happiness should the Flying Finn join him in the Red Bull garage – he would likely be more comfortable partnering Raikkonen than either of his other main rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso – but Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson confirmed earlier today that talks regarding a move had broken down earlier in the season.

"It's true," said Robertson. "Kimi will not be driving for Red Bull in 2014. We held some talks, but a deal will not be happening."

The confirmation appears to suggest Raikkonen will remain with Lotus next season, although the financial state of the team has come under question recently, with the driver being paid late on occasion that led to rumours he might boycott the last Grand Prix – which took place in Hungary – if he wasn’t paid in time.

 



"We are pretty confident that Kimi will be in F1 next year," Robertson explained. "There are options - and that is plural - out there and I will continue to talk to teams. I am hopeful we will sort something out in the not too distant future."

Should the confirmation come of Ricciardo taking Webber’s place, he will become just the second graduate of the Red Bull young driver’s programme, following in Vettel’s very famous footsteps.

All of Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Scott Speed and Sebastien Bourdais have failed to make the step-up to Red Bull, with Vettel the last to do so when he replaced the retiring David Coulthard back in 2009.

Jean-Eric Vergne is currently in his second season with the team, but it quickly emerged that Ricciardo was the favourite to replace Webber when he tested the RB09 at the additional young driver’s test at Silverstone.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Midsummer swimwear season is well and truly upon us – but diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice