Red Bull moots Raikkonen as replacement for Webber

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Kimi Raikkonen could join Red Bull in 2014 if Mark Webber decides not to continue with the team.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Germany’s Speedweek “whether he retires, only he will choose but Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014”.

He said both Toro Rosso drivers were contenders for a seat in an RB10 alongside Sebastian Vettel. But Mateschitz added Lotus’s lead driver is also under consideration: “Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate.”

Raikkonen drove for Red Bull’s rally team during his two-year sabbatical from Formula One. He has won two grands prix since his comeback with Lotus last year but his current contract expires at the end of this season.

A Raikkonen-Vettel partnership would be the first time either driver has been paired with another world champion.

Webber indicated he is considering his future after the acrimonious conclusion to the Malaysian Grand Prix, in which Vettel overtook him in the final stages despite being ordered not to.

The strained relationship between the pair began before Vettel joined Red Bull. During his sixth grand prix start at Fuji in 2007 Vettel crashed his Toro Rosso into Webber’s second-placed Red Bull behind the Safety Car, putting both out of the race.

Since donning the same overalls the pair have continued to cross swords. Vettel has usually come out on top, winning the last three world championships.

They collided at Istanbul in 2010 while disputing the lead. Webber’s reluctance to hold position behind Vettel at Silverstone in 2011 and to help his team mate’s title bid at Interlagos the following year deepened the wedge between the two.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”