Team boss Christian Horner says that Red Bull has to put together the best possible package when it finally decides on a replacement for Mark Webber.
While he admires Daniel Ricciardo, Horner is clearly keen to have an established top name, while others in the camp are supportive of the Toro Rosso driver.
Horner says that the team is not under pressure to promote a Red Bull protégé, despite Toro Rosso’s obvious role as a training ground.
“I think Daniel considering the equipment at his disposal has done a very good job,” said Horner. “Which is why we were keen to have a look at him at Silverstone, and he acquitted himself very well there – he couldn’t have done any more to be honest.
“I think the situation that we’re in is that we want to run the strongest team. We’re a team that’s won the World Championship the last three years, and we want to make sure that we are in a position to compete and fight for the World Championship in future years.
“There has never been any pressure that we must take a junior driver. It’s a matter of fielding the best team at the end of the day. Of course the junior drivers are under consideration, but there’s not a prerequisite that it has to be a junior driver for next year.
“You always want to put the strongest drivers in the cars that you possibly can. Mark leaves some big shoes to be filled.”Christian Horner, Daniel Ricciardo, F1, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Kimi Raikkonen, Red Bull Racing, Sebastian Vettel