Seb excited by possible Kimi challenge

Date published: July 8 2013 - Editor

The Sebastian Vettel-Kimi Raikkonen partnership could become a reality with the German saying he would welcome the Finn at Red Bull…

Those who are hoping to see a mouth-watering Sebastian Vettel-Kimi Raikkonen line-up at Red Bull next year could get their wish with the German saying he would welcome the Finn at the team.

With Mark Webber confirming he will leave Formula One at the end of the season, Red Bull have one seat vacant for 2014 and the team’s powers that be have already revealed that Raikkonen as well as Toro Rosso duo Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are on the shortlist.

Raikkonen’s current contract with Lotus expires at the end of this season and the 2007 World Champion has admitted he has “no idea” if he will stay with the Enstone squad or move to Red Bull.

There have been suggestions that Vettel wouldn’t like a strong team-mate next year, but the three-time World Champion has dismissed those rumours as he would love the challenge from Raikkonen.

“I think the team has no pressure to decide on anything, at least, that’s what they communicated with me,” he said.

“I think I get along fairly well with Kimi; we never had a problem on track, even if one day we might crash into each other, which can happen, then I think we deal with it as grown-ups and talk about it and sort it out amongst ourselves, at least, I think that’s the relationship I have with him. I respect him a lot on and off track.”

Asked if he would be excited by the challenge, he replied: “Yeah, definitely. I think it’s strange in a way because I was looking up to Kimi when he was with McLaren for many years and trying to give Michael [Schumacher] a very hard time but his McLaren broke down many times and now, since he’s come back.

“I’ve raced him again and I think there’s no doubt that when it comes to qualifying, to race, he does his job very well and gets the maximum out of the car, and that’s what – at the end of the day – is our job. He’s quite good at what he does.”

Raikkonen, though, once again stated that he still hasn’t made up his mind.

“I don’t know what will happen in the future,” he said. “Things will be decided at some point but until that happens there’s nothing to talk about. I would definitely tell if I know something just so that all these follow-up rumours and nonsense stops straight away.

“But right now, there’s absolutely nothing for next year and we will see.”