Kimi Raikkonen in no rush to pen Red Bull deal
Thursday 27 June 2013
Kimi Raikkonen said he was in "no hurry" to sign up for Red Bull following Mark Webber's confirmation of his retirement from the sport at the end of the season.
"There are not many top, top drivers that have no contract," said Raikkonen, who admitted he is a free agent for 2014. "I am probably the only one of those and there are some contracts that will end next year. I am not in a hurry. If I was desperate for a contract I would have already tried to sign last year. I would rather do my work well and if I do well I am sure I will get the contract I want."
The Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, admitted that the Finn could fit well into an environment where the focus is more on track performance than the corporate hype that Raikkonen detests.
"There are an awful lot of people who would like to drive for Red Bull," Horner said. "Kimi would have to be an option if he were available. Red Bull is a great environment – perhaps a bit more relaxed than some of the more corporate teams. Our focus is to get the best out of them as drivers and not bog them down with other clutter."
If Raikkonen were to switch from Lotus it would signal a break with Red Bull's tradition of bringing on their own young drivers, as they did when Sebastian Vettel moved up from the Toro Rosso sister team in 2009. But if the Finn does not move, either France's Jean-Éric Vergne, on a roll with Toro Rosso, or his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, could move across.
Antonio Felix da Costa might yet figure in Red Bull's 2014 plans. The 21 year-old Portuguese made a big impression in the World Series by Renault category in 2012, and tested a Red Bull RB8 with distinction in Abu Dhabi.
Webber takes Porsche drive
Mark Webber twice backflipped a Mercedes the last time he raced sportscars, but today he outlined his reasons for retiring from For-mula One and signing for Por-sche's new sportscar racing programme for next year during which he will race at Le Mans and be handsomely paid.
Webber has raced before at Le Mans – in 1998 and 1999 for Mercedes – and neither time did he finish the race. "The timing is perfect for me," he said. "Porsche is one of the most famous automotive brands. Any sportsman comes to that time in their career when they want to call it a day."
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