Jean-Eric Vergne

Toro Rosso

  • NationalityFRA
  • Standing 13th
  • Points 22

Season info

Last race

12th

  • United Arab Emirates 23/11/2014
  • Abu Dhabi

Best finish

6th

( x2 )

Twitter

""

Jean-Eric Vergne Links

Christian Horner hints at a two-way fight to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2014

Red Bull drop Webber from Young Driver Test schedule

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 17/07/13 4:12pm

  • Share:
Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes interviews Christian Horner at the Young Driver Test

Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes interviews Christian Horner at the Young Driver Test

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Christian Horner has hinted the battle to replace Mark Webber in 2014 is now a straight fight between Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen ahead of the youngster's audition on Thursday.

Although Raikkonen has been installed as the odds-on favourite to partner Sebastian Vettel next season, Ricciardo has been presented with a golden opportunity to stake his claim on Day Two of the Young Driver Test when he'll drive the RB9 for the first time.

Red Bull are so keen to take a close look at the youngster that they have dropped Webber from their previously-announced schedule after determining that it would have been "impossible" to run the veteran as well as Vettel and Ricciardo at Silverstone.

"We're very keen to have a look at Daniel as a prospect for next year," Horner confirmed to Sky Sports News. "Obviously there is a great deal of interest in the seat, but it's an opportunity to have a look at Daniel and for him to do some of our tyre-testing work in our RBR car. It's a great opportunity for him."

Horner has previously identified Jean-Eric Vergne, Ricciardo and Raikkonen as the three candidates to replace the Porsche-bound Webber. But asked point-blank whether the battle for succession was now a straight fight between Raikkonen and Ricciardo, Horner acknowledged: "Essentially, probably."

Along with his current Toro Rosso team-mate Vergne, Ricciardo has struggled for points over the last two seasons. Yet Horner suggested that the talent of both drivers had been disguised by the shortcomings of their Toro Rosso machinery.

"You have to look at what these drivers have at their disposal and for sure both Jean-Eric and Daniel are very quick drivers, and we have an opportunity to take a closer look at Daniel which is why we have chosen to exercise that and get him in the car tomorrow," he remarked.

Although the prospect of Ricciardo replacing countryman Webber in a Red Bull next season has gathered pace in recent weeks, former title winner Raikkonen still remains the favourite to join the team at the end of the year when his contract with Lotus expires.

"Kimi's track record speaks for itself and he's a championship contender as we speak. We're in a fortunate position in that not only are we attracting fantastic drivers like Kimi but we've also got the opportunity to look at the drivers we have been nurturing in the likes of Daniel," added Horner.

"We get paid based on where we are in the Constructors' Championship so therefore we want the fastest and best drivers we can get in the car. We'll take our time to make sure that whoever fills Mark's shoes - and they are big shoes to fill - is the right choice for the team."

While all eyes will be on Ricciardo when he runs in the Red Bull on Thursday afternoon, Lotus have announced that Raikkonen has been dropped from their schedule after deciding that they would gain more from a non-race driver evaluating new parts on the E21 than using the Finn to test the new tyres Pirelli intend to introduce in Hungary.

Red Bull's updated Young Driver Test schedule:
Wednesday 17 July
- Antonio Felix Da Costa.
Thursday 18 July - Morning: Antonio Felix Da Costa; Afternoon: Daniel Ricciardo
Friday 19 July - Morning: Carlos Sainz Jr; Afternoon: Sebastian Vettel

  • Share:

Related

Young Driver Test 2013

Susie Wolff makes her point

After a positive full debut test with Williams, we assess Susie Wolff's performance and what her future might hold.

Susie Wolff: All smiles at the Young Driver Test

Susie Wolff Q&A

Susie Wolff gives her thoughts on her first proper test in a current F1 car after completing 89 laps at Silverstone.

Sebastian Vettel: Set the fastest time at the test

YDT collated timesheet

The fastest times by each driver at Silverstone

Most Popular

Features

2014 driver review

2014 driver review

From Lewis Hamilton to Andre Lotterer, every driver's year reviewed and rated from the 2014 season.

Exclusive Vergne Q&A

Exclusive Vergne Q&A

Jean-Eric on Red Bull's Young Driver Programme, his F1 future, Ricciardo's promotion and more.

Team-mate battles

Team-mate battles

Jenson v Kevin? Fernando v Kimi? Which drivers seized the initiative during the opening 14 races.