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What’s Ferrari’s next driver move?
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What’s Ferrari’s next driver move?
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Aug 2009   |  6:13 pm GMT  |  70 comments

Michael Schumacher’s comeback-that-never-was, has drawn the attention in recent days and it was clear looking at his face and his body language at the Geneva press conference how disappointed he was.

Picture 12
There was a point to him coming back; Massa, his friend, was injured, Ferrari needed him, they want to finish third in the championship to salvage some respectability from a disappointing season and Schumacher’s presence in the car would have given some much needed airtime and exposure to their sponsors and backers. So it made sense for him to do it from many angles.

Sadly the comeback was allowed to take on a life of its own before he had cleared the medical hurdle with his doctors and here I’m slightly surprised that this was allowed to happen. Clearly there was sufficient doubt all along about the neck injury he had sustained for his people to sound the note of caution they did, but Schumacher himself must have been quite gung-ho about it to allow things to escalate as they did. The ‘no’ from the doctors was clearly a cold shower for him.

The idea of him coming back in future, either later this year or maybe next year in a third Ferrari seems more fanciful. Why would he do that, what would he have to gain from it? Does he think, as Lance Armstrong appears to have done, that the current field isn’t up to much and that a victorious comeback might be possible? Hardly.

Italian sources insist that Ferrari has Fernando Alonso under contract for the future, so it already has the ‘seasoned champion’ Montezemolo was talking about. And here one starts to wonder about Ferrari’s next move.

Giving Luca Badoer a run at Valencia is clearly a holding move by the team. Will Badoer still be in the car at Abu Dhabi? Perhaps not.

Behind the scenes the team has been looking for a way to strike a deal with Kimi Raikkonen to leave a year early, presumably so that Alonso can start racing for Ferrari in 2010. This has not been successful so far. So the problem it has been wrestling with was that if it wanted to run Alonso next year, which it has an option to do, it has three drivers for two cars; Massa, Raikkonen, Alonso.

However, if it became clear that Massa’s injuries were such that he would not be able to come back and race in 2010, then they could perhaps look at brokering a deal whereby Alonso would be drafted into the Ferrari alongside Raikkonen. The pair would then form Ferrari’s 2010 line up. BMW’s withdrawal at the end of this year means that Robert Kubica, who is likely to replace Alonso, might be able to negotiate an early move to Renault and then both teams would have the remaining races of 2009 in which to bed in their 2010 drivers. We’ve seen these kinds of deals done in the past.

But Massa’s condition is the key to it and, quite rightly, Ferrari will keep the door open for Massa for as long as it seems that his racing career will continue.

Rubens Barrichello’s latest twitter post on Massa’s condition sounded quite positive, but it was more of a ” he’s not as bad as he could have been” tone than a “he’ll be in the car again by Monza.”

We wish him well and watch the unfolding situation with interest.

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70 Comments
  1. Mr X says:

    You talk about F1 contracts as if they are notes left on the bottom shelves of an office. These Contracts are legal documents where at least 4 people from each party are present at the signing, including a laywer and manager.
    The idea of Alonso and Raikkonen in place of Massa will only happen if Massa fails an FIA Health Inspection and Wellness test before 2010.
    If his superlicense is terminated that gives the green light to cancel the contract.
    Massa is set to take the first examination before the end of the season, in other words before Monza.
    Everything is pointing to Raikkonen and Massa line up in 2010, and possibly 09.
    From a personal point of view Massa has been a member of Ferrari for 10 years. Kicking him out will not be seen as professional especially as he has a high regard in Italy as much as Brasil.
    From a Professional point of view, i cannot see any reason why Ferrari would be so keen on getting Alonso and firing Massa.

    1. rdw says:

      Really? You can’t see why Ferrari would want Alonso (widely regarded as the most comlpete driver on the grid and a double WDC) over Massa?

      Mass seems like a nice guy, is well liked and I am sure that everyone, both inside F1 and out, wishes him a speedy and full recovery but c’mon, let’s be realistic here.

      Massa ain’t no Alonso, and never will be.

      As a McLaren supporter of 25 years I can fully understand why someone wouldn’t want Alonso in the team they supprt. He’s certainly prone to a whing and tantrum or two, but he sure can drive. If given an even choice between Alonso and Massa I doubt that many teams would choose Massa. Even with the baggage that Alonso brings.

      As to Schumacher, enough already. If he does come back, good on him. If he doesn’t good for him he should enjoy his retirement. He’s earned it. The story’s dead.

      1. GP says:

        It’s interesting that an avowed McLaren supporter asserts that Alonso is “prone to a whing and tantrum or two.” Correct me if I’m wrong but I have never heard any such comments from Minardi and Renault, indeed from any of his junior formulae teams. However, history is full reports about Ron Dennis and his inability to manage to top drivers.

        McLaren was also my favourite team but no more. They just can’t handle great drivers.

      2. neiltaylor says:

        What you can’t remember Alonso of accusing Renault of sabotage during his championship run?

      3. mingojo says:

        It’s questionable your opinion about Alonso brings baggage to any team. As you stated you’re a MM fan and what happened in that team when Alonso was around is a bit blurred to me. Even James answering to a question in a F1 magazine, said that Lewis received better strategies than Alonso when he was there.

      4. neiltaylor says:

        I think at the end he might have received better strategies, but at the beginning Alonso was getting the better strategies and Lewis was playing second fiddle, only by outperforming Alonso was Lewis able to change this.

      5. rdw says:

        All of which then reinforces my point questioning why any team would choose Massa over Alonso if given the choice.

        Alonso’s faster, more consistant, has 2 more WDCs and if his fans are to be believed (which I’m note sure is entirely wise) then he is also the all-around good team player (despite his reputation). Massa’a probably cheaper though, not that Ferrari are afraid of spending money on drivers.

        The bottom line is that if Ferrari have to choose between Alonso and almost anyone I’m tipping that they’d choose Alonso. I would.

    2. guy says:

      I like Mr X and his air of mystery – I wonder if he is the same chap who used to anonymously help mulder in the X Files?

    3. Neil says:

      If all parties agree, any contract can be torn up at any time.

      Getting Alonso on board whilst still having Massa as a signed driver is unlikely to be a problem.

      Getting Kubica release early by BMW would be the bigger trick. What’s in it for BMW?

      Neil.

      1. Lee says:

        Yes but why would Massa agree???

  2. George O'Donnell says:

    Firstly it was great to see the picture of Massa and Barrichello. Felipe should only return when he is ready, and since Ferrari’s car is not a race winner it’s not like he needs to rush back – he should just take his time because the only Felipe who counts is a fit and ready Felipe.

    It seems that Ferrari have problems signing drivers – they always sign too many. We had this problem in 2007 also. All these hypotheses about who will go where depend solely on Raikkonen. If he won’t leave Ferrari then Alonso won’t be moving. I don’t think Raikkonen will leave, which will mean some good drivers in uncompetitive teams which is probably good for those smaller teams.

  3. I would love to see Alonso in a Ferrari – regardless of circumstance. It’s a crying shame that the best driver in F1 can’t use his talents to the full :(

  4. Adam Tate says:

    You know, it’s a shame we can’t have a Massa, Kimi, Alonso and Schumacher line up, where they could all go head to head in the same car. It would be epic. Hamilton might loose his mind from something like that though!

    1. krad says:

      WHy not enter them all to the f2 championship? Ass kubica, button and Rosberg. Would be much more fun all in the same car.

  5. Lustigson says:

    > We’ve seen these kinds of deals done in the past.

    Indeed, we’ve seen them before. But not very recent and not with such high-profile drivers, if I recall correctly. The last time we saw such a merry-go-round was late 2004, when J.J.C. Villeneuve took over from J. Trulli at Renault, who took over from O.D. Panis at Toyota.

    Prior to that, I distinctly remember Benetton boss F. Briatore luring away J.P. Herbert from Lotus, where E. Bernard and later M.J. Salo took his place, through Briatore’s recent acquisition of Ligier, where Herbert only did a single race after which he was duly replaced by test driver F. Lagorce, to finally take J. Verstappen’s and J.J. Järvilehto’s seat at Benetton.

  6. Dominic says:

    Awesome site James!
    As a Kimi fan I hope 2009 isn’t Raikkonen’s last F1 season so if he is replaced by Alonso or Kubica at Ferrari, I hope he could rejoin Mclaren and race along side Lewis.

    And hopefully if Kimi beat Lewis, my mates wouldn’t be luaghing every time Hamilton beats Kimi :)

  7. David says:

    It certainly seems as though Ferrari and Raikkonen will be parting very soon. It always seemed strange that the team extended his contract just last Autumn to include 2010 after he seemed to struggle so much last season. Looks now like a very costly mistake.

    I notice Jacques Villeneuve is talking up an F1 return this week – Villeneuve in a Ferrari for a few races would certainly attract some attention!

    1. Snail says:

      Please no! Villeneuve has had his time. In a competition between Alonso and Villeneuve, Villeneuve would win the whinging stakes by a long margin. We really don’t need that.

      He was great when he arrived at Williams, but then had the hubris to think he could form a team from nothing AND win. You need a Jupiter-class ego for that. Followed by mind games with Button (which he lost) and sulking par excellence for the rest of his sub-par career.

      1. monktonnik says:

        All true!

  8. Matt says:

    It is an interesting situation with Kimi, do you think that he ever really settled in at Ferrari or is it purely a car issue with him? Or is it that he has fallen out of love with F1 and is going through the motions at the moment?

    As a big McLaren fan I still think back to how brilliant he was for us and hate to see him as he has been the last couple of years, though he has been stronger in 2009 than 2008.

  9. Steve E says:

    Being a big Raikkonen fan, i do want to see him race next year, in the prancing horse of course, He seems to feel the same, Maybe to give it one last shot in a hopefully competitive car. However if your sources are correct, The team dosnt seem to want him, If he continues next year, I would hope the team would be fully behind him, and not favouring Alonso, Massa, Schumacher, Kubica or whoever is in the other car. One thing is for certian though, These remaing races really are crunch time for Kimi, He is now by default, The number 1 driver, he really has to deliever now, the team really needs him, to lead them to the third place in the WCC. Unfortunally if its true that Ferrari have stoped development on the F60, This will be even more harder. At least we can hope for Kimi, to pull something special on either Spa or Suzuka, Both favorite tracks of his, or even Monza where im sure the Tifosi would take back everything bad they have said about the Iceman. We will see. Go Kimi!

  10. Knuckles says:

    James, regarding your question, “Why would he do that, what would he have to gain from it?”, I think the second of these sentences from the press conference in Geneva says it all:

    “Die Erkenntnis, dass es doch nicht geht, war einer der härtesten Momente meiner Karriere. Für einen Moment hatte ich mich wieder lebendig gefühlt.”

    Translation: “The realization that it will not work out was one of the hardest moments in my career. For a moment I had felt alive again.”

    1. Michael C says:

      Let’s hope they are his real emotions – So make a full recovery Michael and get back in there for 2010!!!! Ferrari McLaren or Brawn I don’t mind!!

    2. Michael C says:

      translation from babelfish – The realization that it does not go nevertheless, was one of the hardest moments of my career. For one moment I had felt again alive – as per your post the last bit says it all!!

  11. Paul G says:

    “Rubens Barrichello’s latest twitter post on Massa’s condition sounded quite positive, but it was more of a ” he’s not as bad as he could have been” tone than a “he’ll be in the car again by Monza.””

    Wishful thinking I fear; 2 * fracture to the skull with a drain to deuce swelling – looking at 6 months at least? In time for testing in 2010?

    Would wish it were otherwise, but better to come back at 100% than at 92%+enthusiasm….

  12. Sidewaysbob says:

    “Sadly the comeback was allowed to take on a life of its own before he had cleared the medical hurdle with his doctors and here I’m slightly surprised that this was allowed to happen”

    Oh come on, we all dreamed the dream for a week or two and imagined wheat might happen. Some of us even ran articals about the cost of helmets being redesigned.

    The though that Mickey hadn’t though about the broken collar bone and figured it was okay never entered our thoughts did it ! He was ready to step in and start racing. That’s all we heard. You heard it too and you got caught up in the hype with the rest of us.

    I respect you insight, but don’t try and be revisionist down the line.

    Come the end of 2009 we’ll all raise a glass and think what might have been.

    Though Alonso racing against Kimi …. now that makes the goose bumps rise doesn’t it :)

    1. Werewolf says:

      “Oh come on, we all dreamed the dream for a week or two and imagined wheat might happen. Some of us even ran articals about the cost of helmets being redesigned.
      I respect you insight, but don’t try and be revisionist down the line.”
      My recollection of James’ articles (and I admit I haven’t been back to re-read them) is that somewhere or other the health proviso has always been mentioned. In response to your comments,I would ask the question: would we, as ‘subscribers’ have been content if James had simply said “it’ll never happen” and ignored the potentional; and make the personal observation that any observer who records the comings and goings in F1 without any sense of passion (and anticipation) is not someone I would want to read! Modern F1 is hugely commercial and corporate – and as much is it differs from my first love affair in the very late 60s and early 70s (I was there when Siffert was killed) – it has brought benefits, but let’s not forget the passion that is the sport’s heritage and its future.

      1. guy says:

        Most importantly did schumacher keep the receipt for his helmet??

      2. Michael C says:

        I think he can afford it and if he can’t I expect someone would pay a lot of money on ebay for it

  13. Sam98 says:

    James, clearly there are innumerate variables at play, but if Massa was out until next year and the musical chairs didn’t happen AND Michael’s injuries improved – do you think there’s any chance of seeing Schumacher on the grid before the end of the year under those circumstances or is it really “the end”?

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t know, he never gives anything away. But I think the need is now in 2009, rather than in the future

  14. Jeff Pappone says:

    Maybe Ferrari could pay Renault a big chunk of change and get Alonso in the car for a one-off race in the European GP. Although idea moot if Renault wins its appeal. A marketing dream: Just imagine the spectacle we’d see in Valencia if Fernando were in the scarlet car. Michael who?

  15. pbyrne says:

    Frankly, I’d be more excited to see Alonso in the Ferrari than Schumacher. Michael is a legend and signed off his career in briliant style but talk of a 40+ year-old in a 2 or 3 car team next year (as has been mooted in some quarters)is nothing short of a gimmick. F1 needs to get bums-on-seats after all the bad press but they need to be looking forwards to the next chapter, not back to the past…

    Kimi is either the most over-rated driver ever or unbelievably bone-idle lazy, irresponsible and selfish. He has done nothing to justify his huge salary and Ferrari need to get a hungrysuperstar into the car ASAP…

    1. jackhammer says:

      or maybe ferrari needs to make a car that can actually win races instead of acting like lil girls making silly decisions and girly comments?

      my local bar is better organized than ferrari at the moment.

      its easy to attack the driver only, especially a driver you obviously dont like. but look at alonso for the last 2 years….”Alonso is either the most over-rated driver ever or unbelievably bone-idle lazy, irresponsible and selfish. He has done nothing to justify his huge salary and Renault need to get a hungrysuperstar into the car ASAP”…

      Get it?

    2. Werewolf says:

      “Kimi is either the most over-rated driver ever or unbelievably bone-idle lazy, irresponsible and selfish.”
      People change. I see no reason why a once brilliant driver – and Kimi undoubtedly was – should not fall out of love for whatever reason or have a bad patch. Let’s not forget F1 drivers are both human and very young. They are not automatons (despite the best efforts of certain teams) but possessed of emotions and human failings. Neither does a bad year necessarily write off an entire career. Would we deny the achievements of, say, Fittipaldi because his last years in F1 were unsuccessful? Or Graham Hill? Or Ronnie Peterson on account of his years at March and Tyrrell?
      I do not doubt Kimi can deliver but I must confess I wish I could see more signs of desire but then again he was never the easiest man to read.

    3. Kevin Rodgers says:

      Or maybe the Ferrari just isn’t that great this year (Clearly true). Raikkonen hasn’t exactly been blown away by Massa this year. He was brilliant at McLaren. Perhaps Ferrari are a team that favours one driver over another – history would certainly suggest this is true.

    4. rfs says:

      I don’t think Kimi’s done as badly as you’ve described, but I do feel he’ll leave Ferrari sooner rather than later and Alonso will take his place. I really wonder how Massa would fare as his teammate though.

      1. Eric says:

        Why does everyone not rate Massa? Sure, when Michael was around he was consistently 3/10ths slower. But when Kimi turned up they were pretty evenly matched right from the start. Conventional wisdom said that Kimi would blow Massa away… If Alonso is paired with Massa, I can see him having some more fits of rage when beaten by Massa! Personally, I think Alonso is overrated.

      2. tEQUILLA sLAMMER says:

        you dont read enough insiders opinions of Alonsos ability. After all, this guy beat Schumi to 2 world titles in succession after Ferrari had completely dominated for 5 years!!!!

      3. Lee says:

        I agree with you Eric. Massa is so under rated. When he was close to Schumacher and beating him reporters where saying its because Schumacher was getting old.
        When he destroyed Raikkonen everyone said it was the car and Raikkonen was still faster.
        Well upto Hungary Massa had Raikkonen well inside his pocket, almost twice as many points and should have had podiums in China and Spain.
        I expect him to finish Alonso off.

      4. monktonnik says:

        I think the point is that in the last 2 seasons of Schumacher’s career there were many pundits who said that Raikkonen and Alonso were better than Schumacher. The fact that Kimi hasn’t really comprehensively beaten Massa to the same extent means he is over-rated.

    5. monktonnik says:

      Well judging by the comments of Mclaren, he is lazy.

      I think that fact that he hasn’t really managed to dominate Massa in the same way Schumacher did probably points out that he is a bit over-rated as well. Although I think it is his motivation that lets him down rather than raw talent. Just think back to 2008; In races when they were both classified Massa beat Kimi on 10 occasions and won 6, Raikkonen beat Massa 5 times and won 2. In 2009 Massa is 4 points ahead despite 3 retirements against Raikkonen’s 1. He is clearly quick, as his record of fastest laps shows, but I have always doubted his overall quality as a driver. Ferrari’s original assertion, that all he wants to do is get in the car and go fast, is being shown to be untrue. He clearly loses interest at stages through the year.

      As far as drivers go, I think that Ferrari should get Alonso in 2010, even if it means paying off Raikkonen and putting another driver in the seat. If Luca Di Montezemolo doesn’t want a grid of also ran teams he had better look to his own stable first!

    6. Red Kimi says:

      ” He has done nothing to justify his huge salary and Ferrari need to get a hungrysuperstar into the car ASAP…”

      did he not win a title his first year at ferrari?

      1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER says:

        He won the title in 07 because McLaren [mod] manage to shoot themselves in the foot with the “equal parity” nonsense for a double world champion and a rookie!!! Had McIdiots told Hamilton to ride shotgun for Alonso in 07, then McLosers would have easily won both titles!!! #:)

  16. Werewolf says:

    Where next indeed! What puzzles me the most, assuming availability is not the issue, is why Luca Badoer now. Yes, on face value, the reward-for-years-of-service argument is laudable but from a commercial AND reward perspective, surely Marc Gene at Valencia and Badoer at Monza is more sensible. The only logical conclusion can be that someone else, other than Michael Schumacher, tops the shopping list … or, speculatively perhaps, anyone else!

  17. A.Zeb says:

    This is an exciting time for F1. The possibility of a MS return, Alonso or even Kubica in a Ferrari… even the possible return of JV in a new team! Who writes this stuff?

    I hope Massa retains his seat however, he has earned it and has performed very well for the team.

    I’m personally looking forward to a MS FM team in 2010. I bet if MS had stayed he would have won both 2007 and 2008 WDC’s. He would have owned Kimi and I have no doubt about that.

    Kimi? Well I think he is better off in a rally car, he can ice creams between stages. ;-)

    1. travis says:

      dude that icecream case has been blown off a bit.. u clearly know that kimi had retired at that time. his race was over

      you probably shouldnt make such remarks about his commitment.
      kimi gets criticised for being paid huge amount of money well thats not his fault. and the car is bad this year… if you think massa did better in 09 just look at how kimi has outquallified him.
      kimi won 07, had one bad half season in 08 n clearly this year the car isnt really much to speak off
      just look at how many points alonso has this season and nobody seems to suggest that he has lost motivation or anything.

  18. Peter says:

    Kimi is still a brilliant driver, but sportsmen have peak period of times and he has passed his one. He should have been a 3 times WC. I think Massa in his best form can match Kimi in his worst, but do not go for understand why Ferrari should keep Massa a Kimi – Fernando line up. Maybe that would re-energise their garage. Also, Ferrari are not competitive at the moment so no wonder Kimi is not highly-motiveted. These guys are sportsmen. Still remember Alonso being all over the place and crashing out when he was at McLaren, people have short memories in this sport.

    1. Peter says:

      Sorry, miss typed: “I think Massa in his best form can match Kimi in his worst, but do not understand why Ferrari should keep Massa and not go for a Kimi – Fernando line up. Maybe that would re-energise their garage.”

      1. Lee says:

        Thats so funny. Raikkonen has nothing on Massa. You just find it hard to believe because you are used to seing Raikkonen wining races at Mclaren and Massa in a Sauber.
        Since joining Ferrari Raikkonen had nothing on Massa. Its Raikkonen who strugles to Beat Massa. Up untill Hungary who had more points??
        Who had more mechanical faliures. Who’s missed out on podiums because of team mistakes.
        Massa has been the better driver for the past 2 years.

    2. monktonnik says:

      “Also, Ferrari are not competitive at the moment so no wonder Kimi is not highly-motiveted. These guys are sportsmen. Still remember Alonso being all over the place and crashing out when he was at McLaren, people have short memories in this sport.”

      But they were competitive, Alonso still got beaten by a rookie.

    3. mingojo says:

      I guess we watched a different championship that year. Alonso was not all over the place when he was in MM. At the beginning of the season he had to adapt his driving style to new tyres like Kimi. When they did they outscored Lewis.

  19. C.M. says:

    I remember Kimi being very unhappy with Ferraris team orders and Schumacher, like making fool of others and parking his car in the middle of the track in Monaco. I wonder if this has anything to do with his lack of pace? Maybe he felt that he was going to work for the enemy (Ferrari), when McLaren wasn’t up for the challenge these days. I still think Kimi does his best, but still missing that extra something.
    About current Ferrari drivers situation, I really didn’t see they would put Badoer into the car. He will be 1.5-2 seconds slower per lap than Räikkönen. I think they need to get some good driver into 2nd car, if they wanna keep the 3rd place in team standings. With Badoer, it’s in some races that McLaren will get past and Toyota and Williams are also not far behind. Maybe Alonso? and if Massa comes back next year, then give Räikkönen many Fiat rallycars to drive for free? :) or Kubica?

  20. Red Kimi says:

    I think Kimi gets slammed way too much…. Massa is by no means brilliant and was rumored to be canned ealry in ’08 when Kimi came out on fire. The problem is that Kimi took over for a 7 time Champ and that shadow is large. I hope Kimi stays one more year and gets a good car for his final year in F1. To take a big check to go away is not Kimi’s style, he has all the money in the world anyway.

    As for the press… My gosh, let it rest!!!! the guy just took secodn two weeks ago in a car that should not be close to 2nd place, and if not fo the reurn of Macca to form Kimi would have gotten a lot of credit for that….

  21. Steve Wright says:

    All this return of a “Champ” is wrong…..After shu was not allowed testing he has playd on a neck injury. The only reason that Shu is not driving at the next race is that he cant face the prospect of finishing outside the top 10. Was he a great driver, or was Ross an even greater tactician???????

    1. Red Kimi says:

      don’t foget he had the fastest car and team orders alway son his side… as we have disscused before… the car does 90% of the work.. at least 4 or 5 drivers on the grid in that car with team orders could have done as well as Schumi… I think this is why rarely is Schumi thought of as #1… Senna almost always beats him in poles

  22. Spike says:

    Remind me to laugh in your face James when Kimi races next year as planned.
    “Behind the scenes the team has been looking for a way to strike a deal with Kimi Raikkonen to leave a year early”.
    Where do you get this stuff from? You must take Ferrari for mindless fools. Why would they extend Kimis contract only last year just so they could go through the trouble and spend millions on buying him out of it a few months later?? That is just dumb. He has done a cracking job this year so far.
    This “Kimi out of Ferrari” story just wont die. I guess its something journos love to write about.

    1. James Allen says:

      The option for 2010 was on Kimi’s side. He triggered it last year, not Ferrari..

      1. Vince says:

        It is widely reported that Kimi triggered the option last year. Even Mark Hughes from Autosport.com said so. But I find it strange that a powerful and successful team like Ferrari, who are paying tens of millions to Kimi, would be so foolish as to allow the driver to have an option over them. Shouldn’t they the ones be calling the shot? That Robertson must be a heck of a manager, even shrewder than Weber!

  23. ZENOBIA says:

    People might be criticizing Kimi a lot, but perhaps they should look a bit closer. Kimi has actually performed better then Alonso have so far this season. Kimi has done well at Bahrain, Monaco and he did a exceptional drive in Hungary. What exceptional races have Alonso actually had so far this year? The Ferrari and Renault have about the same pace, and Alonso haven’t been able to finish higher then 5th place. Alonso has also made more mistakes then Kimi has made so far this season.

    1. rdw says:

      “The Ferrari and Renault have about the same pace….”

      I don’t think so….not even close.

    2. Tim Lamkin says:

      ….and Kimi has had a better car….Ferrari need to can him or hold him to a standard that is worthy of the money they pay him. Alonso will drive the wheels of a lousy car, Kimi simply shows up hung over and does not care….put him in a perfect car (which anyone would be fast) and then he is good….Massa gives you 110% ALL the time…

      Kimi was motivated before McLaren burnt him out with mechanical issues constantly..

      1. ZENOBIA says:

        Well even Piquet have been able to match the racing pace of the Ferrari’s quite often during the season, so the Renault isn’t that slow.

  24. SH says:

    Kimi ought to ring Sir Frank about a Williams drive. I think he’d fit in there perfectly, and the car has shown good pace this year.

    1. sliderule says:

      The Williams mechanics would just plug Raikkonen into the car as if it was just another part and download his yes and no’s feedback in the debrief after the sessions.

      Nice site James!

  25. Amritraj says:

    Kimi and Alonso are the 2 best drivers on the grid, followed by Kubica, Hamilton and Vettel. I would rather Massa is dropped in favour of Alonso.

    Kimi has blistering pace and talent which is unmatched. Alonso though very fast, is not an iota slower than Kimi, but then is much better at giving direction to the team and at helping develop the car.

  26. Mark A. Stephens says:

    In my opinion the next driver move will be announced on 9/11 at Monza.. Santander will be announced as a next year sponsor, Nando will be announced as a driver lining up next to Felipe and Kimi will be bought out of his contract by Santander money and will head off to WRC.. Santander needs Ferrari support as they do a take over on Unicredito Italiano and this is part of their PR campaign and long term strategy, again my opinion.

    In my opinion the only other move would be Vettel in for Felipe, but that’s on the fringe if at all at this point in time. But do look for Vettel in the red car in the next 5 years for sure, he’s already been chosen by the Grand Master (Michael) and the team already have plans for him.

    Schuey will be around to help with building the cars and strategy along with building the GT cars until he’s using a walker. He’s part of the Ferrari family. The new 458 Italia, the California, the 430 Scud all have Michaels finger prints all over them and thus one of the reasons for their success…

    1. ZENOBIA says:

      Santander isn’t going to dictate term to Ferrari for 25 million euros a year. If Ferrari decides to get Alonso it will be their own choice.

    2. Mark A. Stephens says:

      I never said Santander would dictate terms to Ferrari for 25 million a year. I said Santander would offer up the money to pay off Kimi’s contract early and send him on his way.

      Santander wouldn’t go with Ferrari if Nando weren’t coming along. You notice as soon as Nando went to McLaren, Santander followed. Santander will announce on 9/11 and so will Nando. Ferrari want it this way. As Luca M keeps saying, “Will the real Kimi show up?”

  27. Mark A. Stephens says:

    In the immediate time frame look for Luca Badoer, Marc Gene or Andrea Bertolini to run the #3 car until either Schuey’s neck heals or Felipe is ready to go. Skull fractures normally take 4 to 6 weeks to heal on health people so Felipe probably only needs a couple weeks yet before he is ready to go again…

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