|© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
Kimi Raikkonen’s hopes of joining Red Bull could be nipped at the bud should Sebastian Vettel decide to block the Finn’s intent to replace Mark Webber next year.
Raikkonen and Vettel are friends off the track but the arrival of the 2007 world champion at Red Bull could unsettle the German, who has consistently beaten Webber since 2009. The triple champion, however, may have some say in who his teammate would be next year.
"I do not expect to be asked. But it would be nice," Vettel was quoted saying by the Bild.
The German driver, however, made it clear that he doesn’t want to get too involved preferring to leave the decision to his team.
“In the end it is not so important who your teammate is: you want to beat them, everyone - including your teammate,” the recently turned 26-year-old was quoted saying by the official Formula 1 website.
But Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko suggested that the defending champion will be consulted to ensure that the team remains in harmony to avoid the kind of unrest that has emerged with Webber over the years.
"The best decision is the one that is made in agreement on all sides. This includes Sebastian," Marko told the Bild.
Vettel also accepted that it makes sense to look at the junior team for possible candidates although he added that it wasn’t mandatory.
Along with Raikkonen, Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne too are in the running for the Red Bull seat. Ricciardo, an Australian, is currently the favourite from the Italian team
"I think first you should see the individual rather than the country where he comes from but surely I haven’t got a problem with Australia," Vettel said suggesting that he would be comfortable should Ricciardo get the Red Bull drive.