Ricciardo: No news on Red Bull yet

1 Comment

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he is yet to get the call from Red Bull to confirm that he will be racing for them next season, despite all of the signs suggesting that he is set to join the defending world champions.

Ricciardo was initially shortlisted alongside Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne for the seat next season after Mark Webber confirmed that he would be retiring at the end of the year. Vergne was quickly ruled out by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, and news broke earlier this week quoting Raikkonen’s manager who confirmed that talks with the team were over. Despite appearing to be the last man standing, Ricciardo is refusing to believe that the move is a formality.

“Obviously there’s a bit of excitement around, maybe everyone gets a bit bored in the August break, I get bored don’t worry,” Ricciardo joked. “Nothing yet, nothing further to say from what I knew. Until it comes from someone over that side [Red Bull], whichever decision they make, as far as I know I’m still here for this year and don’t know anything about next year.

He also believes that teammate Jean-Eric Vergne is still an option for Red Bull, meaning that he cannot get complacent about securing the drive for 2014.

“I think I’ve learned that until something is signed, sealed, delivered, nothing is ever concrete, particularly in this environment. Whether that’s true or not, who knows, obviously there’s still my teammate Jean-Eric who as far as I am concerned isn’t out of the picture. There’s a lot of other F1 drivers on the grid with pretty good credentials, so as I said, until something is done, I’m not gonna start celebrating or getting my hopes up.”

Had Ricciardo impressed Red Bull enough, one would assume that the announcement would already have been made. Instead, he is being forced to bide his time which, all the while, is allowing other drivers to throw their hat into the ring for Webber’s seat next season.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne