Ricciardo’s Red Bull audition starts with a visit to the gravel trap
18 July, 2013
Biggest news item ahead of the three day Young Drivers Test at Silverstone, was that Daniel Ricciardo was given the opportunity to ‘audition’ for the soon to be vacant Red Bull race seat with a stint with the world champions.
Ricciardo had earlier topped the timing screens at the wheel of his familiar Toro Rosso and, as part of the programme, he jumped into the Red Bull after lunch and his first lap in the world championship leading car he set the second fastest lap of the day.
But, with seven laps on his chart, he lost the RB9 through Luffield and beached it in the gravel trap, forcing a red flag stoppage to proceedings as the car was retrieved.
There was no damage to the car, but the Australian was clearly coy as he emerged from the hospitality shuttle which brought him back to the pits.
Afterwards Ricciardo admitted, “Just my mistake. Probably pushing a bit too hard…”
The mechanics set about cleaning the car before Ricciardo was sent out again to resume his testing stint and the inevitable appraisal by Red Bull management who are in the throes of deciding who will succeed departing Mark Webber.
Kimi Raikkonen and Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso teammate Jean Eric Vergne are also candidates for the most desirable race seat, but of late it has been the young Australian who appears to be favourite for his fellow countryman’s soon to be vacated cockpit.
Notably Vergne was not invited to to test for Red Bull at Silverstone, while Red Bull team principal Chrsitian Horner confirmed ahead of the test, “We are very keen to have a look at Daniel as a prospect for next year.”
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