Ricciardo edges towards Red Bull seat with test chance

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Red Bull will give Daniel Ricciardo a chance to drive their car in testing at Silverstone this week as the junior driver edges closer to a race seat with the team.

Ricciardo is one of three drivers under consideration for the drive including his Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who will not be driving the RB9. Kimi Raikkonen, whose contract with Lotus expires at the end of this year, is also in contention for a seat alongside Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo has impressed with two third-row starting positions in the last two races. He finished eighth at Silverstone having lost out during the final Safety Car period.

The Toro Rosso driver will get behind the wheel of the RB9 on Wednesday afternoon after Antonio Felix da Costa’s run in the morning. Da Costa will be back in the car on Thursday morning before handing over to Mark Webber – the driver whose impending departure has left Red Bull with a vacancy for 2014.

Carlos Sainz Jnr will take over the car on Friday morning and Sebastian Vettel will drive it in the afternoon.

Ricciardo and Vergne will also drive for Toro Rosso during the three days of running. Race drivers are allowed to participate in the Young Drivers’ Test in order to try the new tires Pirelli are bringing to the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”