Christian Horner revealed Red Bull plans for a shocking Vettel-Raikkonen lineup in 2014.
In 2014, Red Bull was at the summit of F1, having won multiple world titles. They were looking to build on those foundations, and that meant introducing changes to their lineups. Even though 2014 saw Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo as teammates, things could have gone very different. Horner revealed the original Red Bull plans for 2014, which was a shocking Vettel-Raikkonen lineup.
“We had a few talks with Kimi when it came to who should replace Mark Webber,” Horner said, as reported by Motorsporttotal.com. “Kimi had a relationship with Red Bull during his time as a rally driver.”
When Webber left Red Bull, the Milton-Keynes outfit had to bring in a replacement with his calibre, if they wanted to compete for all the honours. One of the drivers who matched the profile of the requirements was Raikkonen, and it would have been a major coup. However, the team failed to sign the Iceman despite conducting numerous talks with him.
Raikkonen has had a long and storied career in F1, and has driven for many teams. He has raced for Sauber, Lotus, McLaren, Ferrari and now Alfa Romeo, where he will retire at the end of this season. Horner’s comments about signing Raikkonen to partner Vettel is one of F1’s what ifs.
Raikkonen could have signed the deal, but opted to sign for rivals Ferrari. Red Bull then went for Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Currently, Raikkonen is racing the last season of his career, having announced his retirement a few days ago on his Instagram. The 41-year-old legend has been one of the best drivers to ever grace the sport, and the culmination of his career is the end of an era. No matter where he has raced, he has raced hard and raced fair. That is the hallmark and legacy of the former world champion.