Apr.2 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen is "a candidate" to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has admitted.
In the wake of the 'Multi-21' team orders affair, Red Bull denied speculation Webber's role as teammate to world champion Sebastian Vettel is now untenable.But even billionaire Mateschitz, a known strong supporter of 36-year-old Webber, agrees that the Australian could leave at the end of his 2013 contract."Whether he retires, only he will choose," Austrian Mateschitz told Speed Week."(But) Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014."He is always welcome with us. So too would be a quick junior like Vergne or Ricciardo from the Toro Rosso team," he added."Sorry, I know it's a diplomatic answer which leaves everything open, but that's how it is. Everything else is pure speculation."Fascinatingly, Mateschitz also mentioned Finn Raikkonen - a close friend of Vettel's - as also potentially in the running for a 2014 seat.Often mentioning the 2007 world champion in interviews, Mateschitz is an open admirer of Raikkonen's, having sponsored the 33-year-old's two year rallying foray in 2010 and 2011.Contradicting April Fool rumours that Raikkonen has announced his impending retirement, Mateschitz said: "Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate."Germany's Bild newspaper reported that Webber has "already been in contact" with Porsche officials, regarding a new 2014 prototype team for the famous marque at Le Mans.
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