Date: 30th July 2013 at 12:23pm
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One of the fall-out’s of Mark Webber’s decision to retire from Red Bull and Formula One has been the fight to replace him.

With Red Bull the reigning three-time Formula One constructors champions, it seems everyone would love a chance to sit alongside F1 triple World Champion Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season.

Both Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen have been linked with the seat, while Red Bull development drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne who have been gaining Formula One experience at Toro Rosso have also been linked.

It would seem likely that despite some of the Red Bull bosses being desperate to see someone follow in the footsteps of Vettel and progress through their young driver programme, Red Bull are likely to name the best driver they can for the seat.

That has already seen Jean-Eric Vergne ruled out of the process. He missed out on the chance of performing in a Red Bull during the recent young drivers test at Silverstone and Red Bull have stated that he lacks the experience to make the step-up.

With that window now closing, Vergne’s options seem limited. It’s unlikely that a seat at Red Bull will come up again any time soon, with both Vettel and whoever his new team-mate will be likely to sign long-term deals so what does Vergne do next?

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost hopes he will stay with the team for 2014, while some have speculated that he could make a move to Lotus, to either replace Raikkonen or Grosjean.

‘I am confident that Jean-Eric Vergne will drive next year for Toro Rosso,’ Tost announced to Sky Sports.

‘We must not forget that Jean-Eric came in late to Formula 1 and the reason why Red Bull Racing are thinking about driving with Daniel Ricciardo next year is simply because he is more experienced.

‘He showed a very good performance in the first-half of the season but Jean-Eric is quite close to him and it’s not that Jean-Eric is out of the team. He is, as far as I am thinking, next year with Toro Rosso.’


However it will not be Tost’s decision ultimately, that will come from Toro Rosso and Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz and he might want to see further promotion from his Red Bull development programme.

Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz junior both impressed during the recent young driver test and both could make the step-up to Formula One next season with Toro Rosso.