Raikkonen on Red Bull radar as Webber's future hangs in balance after Vettel row
15:11 GMT, 2 April 2013
15:14 GMT, 2 April 2013
Kimi Raikkonen is on Red Bull's shortlist to replace Mark Webber should the veteran Australian decide to retire at the end of the current Formula One campaign.
Webber could not hide his fury at losing out on victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix after team-mate Sebastian Vettel chose to ignore team orders to hold station in second place.
Vettel subsequently escaped sanction for his insubordination, a situation which appears to have backed up Webber's post-race claim that the triple world champion enjoys 'protection' at Red Bull.
In demand: Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen could race at Red Bull next season if Mark Webber leaves
And should Webber decide he has had enough of playing second fiddle, then Red Bull's billionaire owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, admitted Raikkonen would be a strong candidate to partner Vettel next season
'Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate,' said Mateschitz of the 2007 world champion who drives for Lotus and enjoys a close relationship with Vettel.
Civil war: Mark Webber's relationship with Sebastian Vettel is in tatters following the fall-out from Sepang
The same certainly cannot be said for Webber, but discussing the 36-year-old's future, Mateschitz appeared to suggest he would have the final say on whether he continued to drive for Red Bull.
'Whether he retires, only he will choose,' Mateschitz told Speed Week. 'Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014.'