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Webber’s Red Bull drive is all but Daniel Ricciardo’s

| 21.08.2013

With Formula One set to return from its annual summer break, Red Bull look to have decided on the man to replace the departing Mark Webber.

Kimi Raikkonen was touted as a strong candidate to partner Sebastian Vettel next season, but comments from his manager suggest discussions have broken down over a move from Lotus.

With few other top drivers available, Red Bull look set to announce Daniel Ricciardo sooner rather than later.

The young Aussie has impressed in Red Bull’s junior squad Toro Rosso, frequently planting the car inside the top 10 in qualifying, and has generally had the upper hand on team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

Ricciardo’s arrival would bring an end to the battle for supremacy between drivers at Red Bull, with Webber and Vettel often at loggerheads on and off the track, but Webber’s departure would leave the German triple-champion as undisputed number one in the team.

History has shown drivers lose their way after being snapped up by a big team, notably Sergio Perez who went five races without a point last year following his McLaren signing.

Felipe Massa suffered a similarly tough run of form in 2005 after putting pen to paper on a Ferrari contract whilst at Sauber.

But like his fellow Australian Webber, Ricciardo has impressed many in the paddock with his level-headedness and with the Red Bull seat all but his, he could produce his best form yet.

The man from Perth is 7/4 for a top ten finish at Spa, a result he produced last year with ninth place.

Ironically team-mate Vergne beat him in that 2012 race, finishing eighth, and the Italian squad are 6/1 to again get both cars in the points in Spa.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.