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Ferrari to confirm Alonso and Massa, McLaren close in on Raikkonen
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Ferrari to confirm Alonso and Massa, McLaren close in on Raikkonen
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Sep 2009   |  4:18 pm GMT  |  222 comments

It is looking as though the long running saga over Fernando Alonso’s move to Ferrari is drawing to a conclusion. Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said that things would be settled in the next two weeks.

An announcement of Massa and Alonso for 2010 would play very well if it were made in Brazil, at Massa’s home race, but they may not be able to hold on to the story for that long, so it may come sooner. Traditionally Ferrari has made its announcements by this time of year, they usually come at Monza.

When pressed Domenicali did not rule out Massa making a return to the cockpit for the final race of 2009 in Abu Dhabi.

He and Massa are in the luxurious position of not having to rush into a decision on that. Massa is back in training again and they can monitor his progress in kart testing and general fitness and make a call on it when the time is right. It may happen, it may not, although from Massa’s psychological point of view it would be an advantage to get back behind the wheel before the winter, if he was not quite 100% it could be counter-productive. F1 is an unforgiving business.

The Robertsons, David and Steve, who manage Kimi Raikkonen, were extremely busy over the weekend and the wheel has definitely turned in this story now. It looks like a deal is being done and Raikkonen is on his way and both Brawn and McLaren are interested in him.

The McLaren connection looks the most likely because it appears that Santander has been involved in the funding of the transfer, by settling Raikkonen’s final year salary at Ferrari and they will have a sponsor presence on the McLaren during the 2010 season, so they stand to get some return on their investment which they would not do if he went to Brawn.

Meanwhile Renault F1 managing director Jean Francois Caubet let slip on Sunday night that the team would be saying goodbye to Alonso at the end of the season,

“Alonso is a great champion, he clocked the fastest lap in race, he did the most of the strategy and fight until the end. I think Renault will always be his family. We will miss him but he will miss us too.”

As for Raikkonen at McLaren, Autosport has quotes from Mercedes’ Norbert Haug, to the effect that the team could handle two drivers of the calibre of Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, despite the fireworks with Alonso and Hamilton in 2007,
“Whatever you can do to get the best available drivers, that is what you have to do,” said Haug. “It’s a question of money, it’s a question of capability, a question of the amount of talent. Managing two megastars, I don’t think that honestly it was a problem. With Alonso there were some noises to the outside world, but in reality inside the team everybody did his job and in reality we should have won the world championship.

“I stress, I do not confirm that there is change. This is very important. But managing drivers ifs and whys is the name of the game and we are qualified to do so.”

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222 Comments
  1. I like Cake says:

    Its a partnership that should have had two titles already, one in 2003 and they should have walked it in 2005 but for the Mercedes Engine. I think MM almost feel like they owe it to Kimi to give a competitive and reliable car. As for the potential battle between Kimi & LH, it will be fought cleanly on the track. Unlike a certain driver,Kimi doesnt believe in his own ego and is a pure racer. Give him a car and he will drive the wheels off it.

    After a dreadful season, finally something to look forward to for next season.

    1. Vinay says:

      ” … . Unlike a certain driver,Kimi doesnt believe in his own ego and is a pure racer. Give him a car and he will drive the wheels off it … ”

      Couldn’t agree more!

    2. JL says:

      No matter who you support, remember there are always two sides to a story…

      You can underestimate FA all you want, but the fact is that he is the only guy with two DWC out there and both were won to Schumacher (remember him?) and Kimi.

      People who know about this and know a little bit about driving cars (David Coulthard for example), will tell you he is STILL the best driver on the grid.

      1. ati says:

        alonso is one of the best at the moment yes, but kimi is better.

        kimi just had the misfortune of being with mclaren when they keep blewing up. kimi could have won 2003 and 2005 easuly if it wasnt for technical issues. while alonso was fortunate not to have had that problem the 2 years he was champion.

        and alonso winning from schumi, same reason. just a better more reliable car,e specially the start of the season. simikar to button now.

      2. JL says:

        Kimi was the most fortunate man in 2007, when Mclaren’s awful management and his teammate Massa (letting him pass by in a perfect example of Team Orders towards the end of the race) gave him the Championship by 1 point.

        That said, I would not consider him an unlucky guy…

      3. Andy says:

        to JL:

        Kimi most definitely deserved to win 2007, he had most wins (even before Brazil, where you imply Massa let him pass), most fastest laps (together with Massa) and most points. To concentrate on how McLaren/Hamilton threw the championship away in the last two races conveniently forgets that Kimi was not without problems that season either: I remember at least two DNF’s due to car braking. Every race counts and no matter how you count it, Kimi will always come out as the best driver of 2007. I’d hardly call that a WDC by luck…

      4. " for sure " says:

        As he has told us, he won Singapore ’08 on merit.

      5. JL says:

        That’s for sure… That is the only race he has won in his career… Love your facts…

      6. Eddie says:

        Kimi will certainly show Lewis what a RED light means! RED means STOP! Specially if you see me STOP! :) it should be a great season! Most of all a great year to Cheer with the rest of the Tifosi bunch……

    3. Chris says:

      I agree completley.

      If Kimi turns up at Mclaren motivated and they give him the car, it will be the strongest driver paring in Formula One that I can remember foy years “and I’m talking Prost, Senna and Mansell days”

      The good thing is Kimi is not poitical. Lets face it, the only bit of Formula One he likes is holding onto a stearing wheel at 220mph and thats the way it should be.

      I just hope that the 9000 members of the Hamilton euntorage don’t get in the way of what should be a cracking team.

  2. russ parkin says:

    THAT WOULD BE GREAT TO SEE KIMI AND LEWIS AS TEAM MATES. THEY WOULD PUSH EACH OTHER HARD AND NOT THROW THERE TOYS OUT OF THE PRAM OR MORE TO THE POINT BLOCK EACH OTHER IN THE PIT LANE AND BRING DISREPUTE ON THE TEAM, I RECKON ALONSO WILL GET A SHOCK WHEN HE DOESNT GET TOTAL NUMBER 1 STATUS, PERHAPS IT WILL REALLY SHOW ALONSOS TRUE COLOURS..

    1. Eddie says:

      have you ever tried getting his (Fernando’s) autograph? Hhhmmm! you may want to as he will tell you that he is just like the next guy. Kimi, I bet he only looks to win as that is the only legal way he can have a drink in the Paddock. Now for some fun facts that you must take into consideration:

      Scuderia Ferrari is statistically the most successful F1 team in history (with a record of 15 drivers’ championships and 16 constructors’ championships won). It is also the oldest surviving team, having competed since 1948.

      Having said that, don’t you think that they are just out to WIN! Why did McLaren go out and get Alonso in the 1st place? I’m sure you can answer that. All i will say is WIN> by the way where is McLaren located, oh yes England. Wait isn’t that were Lewis is from. What a great to promote the “English” F1 team. Wow with a great German engine. Perhaps they should look into an English engine company. hey not a fat chance. they are not ignorant and want to make sure they win races not watch them from the paddock. this sport is about winning and giving your team the best chance at winning. Who is one of the biggest sponsors for Ferrari? I’m sure you know it’s the Spanish bank Santander. Having said all that don’t you think they will perhaps give some consideration to a 2 time champ vs. his new team mate? Can’t wait until next season!

  3. Paul says:

    James, any thoughts on the Glock announcement that they aren’t taking up his option for 2010?

    No Trulli confirmed, no Glock confirmed, probably dropping from Williams as an engine supplier, are they about to withdraw from F1?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think that there is a very real chance, yes

      1. Rich C says:

        Which would once again confirm the Hated Max was right that it was not in the interest of the sport that fota control it since their members could/would come and go due to outside *business considerations, not *racing reasons.
        So we have people like BMW, Toyota, Honda et al, voting in Rules then leaving. Not good.
        The big car companies are all ‘temps’ in this sport, with the possible exception of Ferarri.

      2. Paul says:

        But presumably waiting until *after* Japan to announce….?

      3. F1 Kitteh says:

        Its somewhat irresponsible of the manufacturers to leave decisions so late, while paying lip service, and the hanging not only the fans, but more importantly their grassroots employees out to dry. Maybe the Max haters will see that he had a point after all ?

      4. Dustin B says:

        James,

        Do you have any insider information to support this…is Toyota’s participation in doubt now any more than it was before?

        Toyota employs almost 1000 people, do you think that they would sell the team or simply shut everything down? Even after the great result in Singapore?

        Also…they’ve signed the new concorde. Are there any legal ramifications for signing up for F1 and then pulling out? When Prodrive won the final entry a few years back, why were they not required to front money?

        It seems as if F1 is in a free-for-all mode where teams can come and go as they please. Bernie said that he doesn’t think USF1 will be on the grid next season.

      5. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Don’t know why Bernie said that. Certainly there’s been no word from any other source I’ve seen here. It could be Bernie being Bernie, but who knows.

        It’s unpopular to say, but I have no problem at all with Toyota and the other manufacturers leaving. AT ALL. I’ll repeat something I said in an earlier post: The manufacturers came heavily into modern F1 BECAUSE OF BERNIE AND MAX. Bernie enticed them out of sports prototype racing. Max allowed — encouraged — this by leaving the sports prototypes to whither and die on the vine as far as the FIA is concerned.

        Think about it. What happened to the World Sportscar Championship? The Group C prototypes? The Mercedes and Toyota prototypes at LeMans? Go all the way back to the World Championship for Makes. All of them were AT LEAST as important as F1, in every way, including technology and marketing. Where are they now? The ACO’s LMS and ALMS series are the arbiters of that discipline. Just look at the Petit LeMans results from yesterday. Audi. Honda (via Acura). Porsche. Chevrolet. Etc.

        No. Forget this business about “disloyalty” by the manufacturers. Leaving F1 is their RIGHT. This is the other side of the deal Bernie and Max made with the devil.

      6. Hezla says:

        James and all other journalists are just guessing.

        Toyota informed for some time ago that the decision about the budget will be made in November and because that the team cannot make any new contracts.

        I think Toyota will stay in F1 but on a reduced budget.
        First when the budget is known you can put drivers on contract.

        My guess:
        Heikki and Nakajima as drivers for next year.

    2. Stevie P says:

      I have a hunch that Mr Trulli will be joining Mr Gascoyne at “Lotus”. Gascoyne has indicated he wants some experience in one car. He’s worked with Trulli before – at Jordan and Renault (me thinks) and were they together initially at Toyota?

      It’s just a hunch though; nothing more, nothing less.

      1. F1 Kitteh says:

        I was thinking same actually .. Although it’s a bit puzzling his up and down races this season

  4. Michael S says:

    at least the saga is about over….

    Alonso/Massa like understeer

    Hamilton/Kimi like oversteer…. that makes that easier for the teams

    with no refueling next year and empty tank qualy I think we will see some fair and good racing from these four next year

  5. Dean says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Kimi left Ferrari before the end of this season! Ferrari has shown no respect/support for his hard work in the 2nd half of this season. To hell with ‘em Kimi, you deserve alot better!

    1. Dex says:

      Agree. In 2009, I doubt Massa would collect more points with uncompetitive F60. Kimi won the race this year, hi took the title in 2007… what they want from him?! I think Ferrari is foolish!

      1. Hammad says:

        No they’re not. I agree that Raikkonen on form is probably the best on the grid. But you forget that his motivation was keeping his job this time round. Or maybe now it’s to spite Ferrari (for letting him go). But the point is he’s not easy to keep motivated.

        But having Alonso is probably a bad move for Ferrari. I can already see him clashing with Massa, like he did with Hamilton. Well, what’s done is done, and I just hope Ferrari don’t regret this.

      2. Francisco says:

        He did not clash with Hamilton buy Dennis

      3. Williams4ever says:

        As much as I am not sure why LucaDM is letting Kimi go and hold Massa ( given that Luca got Kimi in Ferrari , probably against wishes of Holy trinity of Schumi-Brawn-Todt), To be fair to the Brazilian, till the point of his accident, Massa was leading scorer for Ferrari.

        To an outsider Kimi gives impression of being driving for self and not for the team. Isn’t it surprising that his 2009 season only came to life after Hungary :-?
        That was more or less the case with Kimi in McLaren years as well.

        Given that Refueling is done away and qualifiers are not subject to race-fuel load strategies, McLaren will have no choice but to give Kimi equal treatment as their current favorite driver.

      4. James Allen says:

        I always thought that Raikkonen’s hiring was a Todt idea, because he had fallen out with Alonso in 2001 over a test driving deal Alonso pulled out of to go to Renault

    2. Werewolf says:

      Oh the ignominy of it, Fisichella and Badoer in the red cars at Abu Dhabi!

  6. Jonathan says:

    No surprises there. Two interesting questions for next year:

    1) Who will be faster – Alonso or Massa?
    2) who will be faster – Hamilton or Raikkonen?

    If Massa and Raikkonen are faster, we’ll infer Ferrari were foolish to swap Kimi for Alonso.

    If Alonso and Hamilton are faster, we’ll infer Ferrari were right.

    1. Sri says:

      To Jonathan:

      What if Massa and Hamilton are faster – Ferrari still made a bad move as they paid Kimi to leave them and also gave McLaren a better chance to win WCC.

      If Raikkonen and Alonso are faster – Ferrari Ferrari still made a bad move as they paid Kimi to leave them and also gave McLaren a better chance to win WCC.

      So that makes Ferrari’s chances of a bad move as 75% (3 out of 4). Simple — just kidding.

      1. " for sure " says:

        Which is a fair reflection of their decision making success this year, that’s if it’s even as good as 1 in 4!

    2. Brace says:

      that isn’t good indication in formula 1 world. A LOT depends on the way driver and car get the best out of each other.
      I mean, what about Ferrari 2007 and 2008. You can’t say who was better because first it was Kimi and next year there was Massa.

    3. Monktonnik says:

      Alonso a bit faster. Hamilton/Raikkonen equal.
      All will be equal. This will prove beyond reasonable doubt that Schumacher was better than all of them. My reasons:

      1. Scumacher much faster than Massa (and every team mate in F1, sorry to MB on that).

      2. Alonso and Hamilton evenly matched.

      3. Raikkonen and Massa evenly matched.

      3. Raikkonen and Massa evenly matched.

      1. Monktonnik says:

        Sorry about the typos. Sending from an iPhone.

      2. James D says:

        It will not prove anything about schumacher beyond reasonable doubt, because he had unequivocal number one status at the team.

      3. Mattw says:

        Plus Schumacher was beaten by Massa on a few occasions – and Massa has improved from then hugly.

    4. mingojo says:

      It’s not about who is faster. I think all of them are, however who is the most consistant? Fernando.

    5. Michael S says:

      This stuff is so hard to measure… remember Massa may never be as fast again after his wreck and people may say… “Wow Alonso is killing Massa and Kimi could not”

    6. russ parkin says:

      hamilton faster than kimi, just.
      massa faster than alonso then alonso throwing his dummy out of the pram and back to renault the following season.

    7. Thomas says:

      I’d put a fair bit of money on Massa having the raw pace to beat Alonso. A year ago I would have questioned the racecraft, but with Felipe’s continued improvement I think Alonso will find the Scuderia a tough place to be.

      Regarding Kimi vs Hamilton I would not bet against either of them. Lewis is in my book in the top 3 regarding raw speed, but with one of the others in his sister car – anything can happen. Kimi has more experience and Lewis still does the silly mistakes. I’ll give the nod to the Finn – but only just.

    8. Agent 47 says:

      Those are indeed two interesting questions, i think it’ll be too close to call to be honest.

      Massa did well against Kimi, so as an Alonso supporter i certainly won’t be taking Massa lightly.

      Same applies to Lewis & Kimi too.

      2010 will be all about Qualifying and seeing who manages an error free lap :D Then during the race who manages their tyres the most efficiently until they need to pit. All i will predict is, on paper it should provide entertaining viewing as i doubt either driver would dominate the other :D Who builds the most competitive car also helps too.

      I look forward to next year, all the champions in competitive teams :D

    9. Patrickl says:

      If Alonso is faster than Massa and Hamilton and Raikkonen are matched then we would also infer that Ferrari was foolish.

    10. Tim Lamkin says:

      Hamey will not like Kimi as a partner…stay tuned…

    11. F1 Kitteh says:

      How come Alonso and kimi faster is not one of the choices? isn’t that the most logical since u r looking for a new and faster driver to add to your team???

      1. Phil says:

        who cares who is faster! What we all want is a group of drivers who can all compete against each other to produce an exciting race weekend where we move away from knowing who is going to win the next race before it has started.

        That is one of the reasons why the last half dozen races have been so interesting as we have had so many different results. Toyota were dreadful at Monza but come 2nd in Singapore.

        Much more fun than just having the same 2 teams at the front all the time…don’t you agree.

      2. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Preach it and can I get an Amen!

        This is what we should all hope for. This business of “who’s beating their teammate” (paraphrasing the line from “The Hunt For Red October”) will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky not to sleep through the races if we focus on it.

  7. Dex says:

    McLaren – Kimi, Lewis
    Ferrari – Felipe, Nando
    Brawn – Button, Nico R.
    Williams – Rubens, Nico H.
    Heikki ???

    1. Jonathan Chan says:

      A return to GP2 for Heikki me thinks ;)

    2. Olivier says:

      Honestly, I can’t see Barrichello making a switch this late in his career.

      What about Button going back to Williams?! It would be full circle for him & Frank Williams.

  8. I think Kimi is the ideal partner to Lewis. Kimi just turns up and drives (I remember DC saying pretty much during one Grand Prix this season). I am a fan of Kimis (as a racer) he is very much the “John Smiths” of motor racing – no nonsense just gets on with it.
    If Kimi has an ego it certainly does not show through in his post race press interviews (mind you nothing does).
    This will spur Lewis along by having a hugely competitive team mate and will give MM a huge chance at both titles.

    I personally care little for Ferarri or Alonso but wish the all the best.

  9. Eric says:

    In related news, Martin Whitmarsh has the worst poker face ever. When asked on the BBC red button if Raikkonen was going to McLaren, his lack of reply and laughing was telling.

    1. Jonathan Chan says:

      I too found that suprising. Especially being a Mclaren Team Principle whos been lectured to the high heavens in the ways of Public Relationship Management, Matt Bishop would have had a heart attack. He did let the Cat out of the bag, but I’m glad because it adds openness for us fans to speculate. The amount of times I’ve heard we are ‘Content with our driver pairing and aren’t looking or talking to any other driver.’ Was frustrating on a number of levels, but its nice to see Martin being a more open Team boss to that of his Predecessor Ron Dennis.

      1. Ewan says:

        I think more likely that Martin and Mclaren desperately wants to say something, but that contractually they can’t say anything. I can imagine he’s loving every moment of the situation and wants everyone to know about it.

        Ferrari are paying $20 million (or however much) to get rid of an excellent but unmotivated driver, and another $20 million to sign a guy Mclaren found was unworkable in an equal team, then Mclaren are picking up a driver that they know extremely well and they know can deliver the results.

        Quite what Ferrari will do when Massa comes back and says “I want equality with Alonso”, I don’t know. After missing the world championship by 1 point I can’t imagine him being happy to settle back into being the rear gunner of the team.

  10. J. Hunter says:

    That is great news!!
    Kimi will finally once again get an F1 car that fits his driving style. Something Ferrari never could produce as they were still making cars the way they always made them to Schumi. Which is quite unbelieveable..

    But more important is the fact Kimi can finally get himself a decent WRC car. No more slow and fragile Punto’s!

  11. Erik Cramer says:

    Kimi faded when Massa was faster, seemed demotivated and uninterested. If he loses out to Hamilton the same can happen, quite a risk for any team.

    1. Sri says:

      Even if Kimi is demotivated, he will be still better than what Heikki is doing now. He will keep Lewis on toes also making him perform better. My thinking is Kimi has a point to prove now to both Ferrari and McLaren and I think that should motivate him enough – it is not WDC or money but just to show what he really can do.

      1. Tim Lamkin says:

        …YEA that point to prove will last two races…then fade for ten and back in for the last few…..sound like his past …hum….

        Guys he does not care about winning …only when HE wants will he drive like he is capable of….and just think how fast he could be if every time he sat in one he gave it a 100%…..WOW

      2. Alien says:

        @Tim Lamkin what do you call the last 5 races then? He’s dragged that red POS onto the podium time after time, with all these rumours flying around, no new parts and no team mate to speak of. If that’s motivation, I’m a flippin’ teapot!

        I predict that IF Kimi goes to Mclaren (it’s still just a rumour, remember) that Lewis will get the better of him in the first part of the season, cueing a torrent of abuse from the usual suspects. Then, about half wa through the season, he will wake up and blitz everybody.

        In any case, it’s far more likely that Massa will not be decalred fit and Alonso and Kimi will be team mates at Ferrari in 2010. If Santander are so keen on Alonso, then they are bound to pay his salary and Ferrari can afford to keep both drivers.

  12. Nacho says:

    Well, you never know in this world, predicting the future isn’t easy. But, if Ferrari and Mclaren make those moves (TBC), it must be because they think that

    a) Alonso is a great driver.
    b) Hamilton needs an equal in the team to perform better.

    2010 promises to be a very exciting year. Let’s bring the sport to peace and the best drivers on the best teams. Pure common sense.

    1. michael says:

      mclaren are tired of a number 2 that is waisting away opportunities to score points. heiki has not lived up to expectations. to win the world championship and not the constructors comes down to who is your number 2. at least with kimi they have a shot at both championships.

  13. Amritraj says:

    I for one would be very glad to see Kimi at McLaren. Kimi and FA are great drivers and McLaren and Ferrari are the best teams on the grid. 2007 was ideal as both had competitive cars underneath them. Though one has to say the treatment Ferrari have extended to Kimi this year has been disgraceful. Kimi conducts himself most professionally and his employers openly mock him and his attitude in media.

    Kimi and McLaren would make a super combination and a certain Mr. Hamilton would not be very pleased with this development. He clearly enjoys the no. 1 status in a team like McLaren with HK an openly recognised no. 2. Kimi is a bloody quick driver and also shares a great relationship with the McLaren team and the personnel from his earlier stint there. If McLaren tow the line of equal driver treatment and equipment, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kimi comes out on top at McLaren. Lewis is a great driver too but I think we will have a titanic battle McLaren.

    There was a misconception being formed that McLaren will do anything to please and retain Lewis (especially after the scandal in Australia) and that they are Lewis’ team. They value Lewis, undoubtedly. But they are a team which prides itself on its engineering and grand prix racing calibre more than anything else.

    With this move McLaren will send out a very strong message internally and to the world about their fiercely independent and winning attitude.

    And I am very pleasantly surprised that Mercedes haven’t pushed their German driver agenda at McLaren. May be this development at McLaren lends more credibility to the rumour of Nico Rsoberg going to Brawn next year. They will have a good driver and media savvy individual in Nico Rosberg. He would fit in perfectly for their marketing initiatives back home.

    1. F1 Kitteh says:

      Good point that mclaren might not treat ham as undisputed number 1. Keep in mind they will need to keep the merc engines if the brawn rumors are true, and Ham is not enough of a ticket for them to stay, otherwise it would not be an issue. Haug favors kimi and someone German. Could ham be sacrificed for a kimi vettel lineup in 2011-12 in order to keep Merc on board?

      1. Amritraj says:

        Very valid point but I don’t think it would be Hamilton who would sacrificed to make way for a German (Vettel) at McLaren. The reasons are:

        1) Hamilton is great driver and gets results regularly.
        2) Hamilton has a massive following and reach in key markets like North-America/ Western Europe and upcoming markets such as Asia; A factor too huge for Mercedes to ignore.
        3) McLaren is a British team and I am sure they have their own ambitions within Europe and other markets which Mercedes will have to respect.
        3) McLaren are a proven, consistent grand prix winning team. They have massive and state-of-the-art facilities, great engineering calibre and sound financial backing from the Middle-East. Whereas Brawn are in their first year. They have all the necessary ingredients to be a successful team in the future, but the line that separates great, good and poor performaces in F1 is probably less than half a second.

        Santander’s example is infront of us. They wanted to severe relations with McLaren after Alonso left, but the guys in suits saw what Hamilton has done for them within UK.

        Mercedes will be very careful in assessing the situation at Mclaren before making any demands.

    2. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Just how “German” is Nico Rosberg?!

      1. James Allen says:

        Half – his mother is German.

    3. Alien says:

      @Amritraj don’t forget that Lewis is not afraid to bad mouth his team to the Press, as he did at the beginning of the year while you cannot get a more loyal employee than Kimi. He stuck with Mclaren for 5 years while the cars fell apart around him and only went to Ferrari because MS had gone and they were waving huge bags of cash at him.

      1. Amritraj says:

        Hello Alien. You have mentioned explicitly what I have implied in my post. I totally agree with you on that. And just to add to that: It was Hamilton who publicly criticised Alonso in 2007 before the Japanese GP. Not even McLaren did that but he did. Quite arrogant of him but that is life.

  14. LMW says:

    James:-

    How about holding another competition to your readers, to come up with a full team and driver list for next year? It would be interesting to see who thinks which teams as well as drivers will make it onto the grid for 2010.

      1. Francisco says:

        James another idea.
        Driver order by the end of the season, started when all the drives all set and before winter testing.

  15. Relativity says:

    I think the right move for Kimi might be to join Brawn in 2010. Mercedes have a mojority stake in that team now and my guess is that Kimi would be far happier at Brawn than McLaren.

    McLaren is Hamilton’s own team and he is numero uno there. I don’t see how Kimi (or any other driver, for that matter) would be happy there. Even Rosberg has been connected to the McLaren seat recently and I don’t see how that will further Rosberg’s career.

    2010 is already shaping up to be an exciting season!!

    1. Michael S says:

      great point… Hamilton does own that team now… He has a garage full of people at every race and through no ones fault the British press will always love the British driver on the British team…. Ed Gorman already announced today in the Times that “Hamilton should dominate Kimi”

      if anyone can let things roll off it is Kimi but the team is very much Hamilton’s now

      1. James Allen says:

        I think Kimi will feel he has nothing to lose and he will outshine Lewis from time to time, if this deal happens

  16. Richard Cassidy says:

    Kimi to McLaren would be excellent – it really feels he has unfinished business there. But Kimi to Brawn would be even better!

  17. Jasper says:

    Still curious why Ferrari have been trying to get rid of Raikkonen for so long? How long?

    I wonder what their main reasons are for getting rid of him, because his final year contract is worth $40million! Surely they didn’t need rid of him that badly? I’m a big fan of Alonso, but Raikkonen isn’t exactly rubbish by no means.

    2007 – He won the WDC for them.
    2008 – Generally poor compared to Massa.
    2009 – Started poorly hitting the wall in Oz, but has come on strong since Hungary.

    Could it partly be the fact that Kimi isn’t very PR friendly and hasn’t really shown any compassion towards Massa since his accident and offered no help to his new team mates?

    Or could it just be the fact that Montezemolo just really loves Alonso and wants him in one of those red cars, regardless of the team’s contracts? He is arguably the best driver, the most popular driver with the fans who attend the races, I’ve attended most of the races on the calender over the past few years and the majority of the fans are either wearing Ferrari or Alonso colours. That was my experience anyway. So potentially Ferrari can make a lot of money by having him in their team and he draws a lot of sponsors too.

    I doubt we’ll ever know the real reasons Ferrari wanted Raikkonen out, but I suspect the real reason(s) is somewhere in the above.

    1. DAN says:

      My guess is that Ferrari needs Santander’s money and Santander being a Spanish company wants Alonso. Also it just is Luca’s dream to have Fernando at Ferrari as it was Frank’s dream to have Ayrton at Williams. Kimi is of no interest for Santander from a Marketing point of view. If money and marketing were not allowed to play such a big part in F1 and choices were made on talent and results alone, it is possible that Ferrari would have kept Kimi who I agree performed quite well for them. Look at the situation at Brawn GP for next year. Rubens’ performed well for them too and there are no real sporting reasons to get rid of him but Mercedes who will have a controlling interest in the team, for marketing reasons wants a German driver so they’ll get rid of Rubens and will bring Niko. Is Niko better that Rubens ? Could be but he still has to prove it.

      F1 is not just a sport, it is first and foremost a marketing tool and money talks.

      1. Francisco says:

        Sporting reason: FA 2 WC, there it go

      2. Jasper says:

        Yep, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there DAN. I do think this is a good move not only for Ferrari but for F1. Because next year we should have on paper, all the best drivers in the best teams. Even though Kimi is likely to return to McLaren, it’s more or less a straight swap for him in terms of the expected competitiveness of the machinery. I expect Brawn and Red Bull will be ok next year, probably just a fraction behind McLaren & Ferrari, but overall the 2010 grid could be one of the best line-ups for years. Hopefully with the chance for many drivers to be competitive.

    2. Suraj Gidwani says:

      The answer to your question is very simple.
      q)Who is the manager of massa ?
      a)nicolas todt, son of jean todt.

      q)who IS jean todt
      a) the man running for the FIA president this year.

      q) who WAS jean todt
      a) former executive director of ferrari f1, sure he was also lucas right hand man.

      so u see, if luca pleases massa by keeping him he pleases nicolas which in turn pleases jean todt. so if jean todt becomes president of the fia , luca and ferrari will remain in the good books of fia for a long time to come.

      there is no other reason i see at all for axing kimi over massa. its dirty politics. all this stuff about kimi being demotivated is rubbish!! he is as fast as ever and deserves better respect from ferrari.

  18. CarlitosF1 says:

    These guys know how to tease indeed…

    Take a look at this hilarious bit from the final part of the post-race press conference, copypasted from f1.com:

    Q: (Don Kennedy – Hawke’s Bay Today) Fernando, given that you seem to be the key to the drivers’ market for 2010, does this podium help you make the decision as to which team you might drive for next year, including it could possibly be Ferrari?
    FA: No, this podium doesn’t change anything. I took the decision already, so soon we will know.

    Q: (Don Kennedy – Hawke’s Bay Today) Are you going to tell us?
    FA: If you pay a good amount.
    LH: I’ll give you a tenner, ten euros.
    FA: Not enough. At least twenty!

    No surprise that Montezemolo & co are now very likely to stop fooling around and announce it on Thursday or Friday…

    !!!???

  19. yos says:

    hello James
    Do you think Kimi will get back his engineers and mechanics back? I mean if they are working now with Lewis and not with Heiki?

    1. James Allen says:

      Good point, things have moved on a bit, but Lewis has a different crew

    2. Pay The Piper says:

      Kimi’s crew became Alonso’s crew. Lewis got Juan Pablo’s half of the garage.

      On his arrival Heikki inherited most of that team.
      Phil Prew who looks after Lewis, used to work with JPM/DC. Mark Slade was Kimi’s engineer, is Heikki’s, will probably return to Kimi.

      (Obviously, keep all this under your hat, it upsets a lot of people’s pet theories, sssh!)

      Personally I think there’s a lot of scope for deeper coverage of all the faces we regularly see surrounding the car on the grid, who’s who, what they do, where they came from.
      (mclaren.com lists bio and photos for all the suits, but not a mention of any of the race-engineers, chief mechanics or any of the crew that pull all-nighters before qualifying, which is a little bit off if you ask me)

      1. Monktonnik says:

        I agree. I have always wondered who that bloke is with the beard at Ferrari.

      2. Pay The Piper says:

        Gino Rosato.

        Jack of all trades, does a little bit of all sorts. Started mainly as crowd-control for Schumi, but helps out wherever needed.

        Here’s Kimi giving him the business on Finnish TV (4:00mins in, telling him to tell the just helicoptered-in Luca to hold his horses)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT6LSd2fvkk

      3. Mattij says:

        I think Kimi tried to get Mark Slade with him to Ferrari. But for some reason it did not work? Do you remember this, James?

        Anyways, with Slade he has done great races, so lets hope they can do it again!

      4. James Allen says:

        No I don’t recall that. He and Mark Slade got on well and Slade is a first class engineer

      5. Chuck says:

        Hi James,

        the spanish media has said that Alonso will arrive to Ferrari with some key ingeneers from different existing teams?

        Do you have some more information?

        TIA

  20. jeremy says:

    We can’t forget about Button and Rosberg. Brawn should continue to have a decent car with the backing they have now and the WDC will need to defend both of their titles.

    3 teams with top drivers. 2010 should stack up to be one of the best.

    It’s finally great to see we have multiple champions and multiple title contenders each of the past 3 yrs. Previous years of 1 or 2 actual contenders has been utterly boring!

  21. Shekhar says:

    Given Alonso’s well-known team spirit (frequent outbursts in 2006 with Renault) and sportsmanship (“hold Hamilton back” – 2007 season with McLaren), one can only hope that he just focuses on racing at Ferrari, which he is damn good at, and forgets the politics and egoistic tantrums, which can take Ferrari 15 years back in time and they will need to wait for another Schumacher. I have a feeling that it is going to be “game over Ferrari” one way or the other and so my hopes are on Massa for next year. Hopefully I am dead wrong on this one!

    1. Francisco says:

      Shekhar
      “hold Hamilton back”
      You have got this one wrong. FA wanted to set up his own strategy, that’s all. Dennis was having not of it. Fustration is the word.

  22. Axel Jonsson says:

    For me it was a dream come true when Kimi first moved to Ferrari, and having him win the WC made it even better. But to have witnessed the treatment he has received at the team last season and especially this year is disappointing. Mclaren is where Finns seem to belong, so hopefully Kimi will be back in their colors soon and they can provide him with a car in which he can prove that Ferrari is making a big mistake in letting him go.

  23. Antonis says:

    Oh yes, finally!

    Ferrari are getting the best, and most complete, driver of this generation, correcting their 2007 mistake :) Ready to dominate F1 again!

    And Fernando will have a top team that respects him and his talent (and not expect him to play second fiddle to their favored son)

    1. Richard Mee says:

      …Do you really mean ‘second fiddle’ or do you mean ‘have equal status to’?

      Evidently my recollection differs from your own.

      1. Antonis says:

        I mean what i wrote.

        In the end of the day, one driver gets the better strategy!

        After LH “threw his toys out of the pram” in Monaco, and cried to Daddy and Ron, something changed. Do you also recall that?

    2. " for sure " says:

      He’s so complete he has yet to work out why he won Singapore ’08 !

      1. Antonis says:

        well, it’s people like James Allen and Martin Brundle (read his interview at “F1 Racing”) that say Alonso is the most complete driver right now…

  24. Chris says:

    I think it’s appalling how Ferrari have treated Kimi. Just because he isnt willing to conform to the whole ‘Italien family’ image, he’s being elbowed aside. Stuff Ferrari, and welcome home iceman!

  25. Madhu says:

    Looks like Montezemolo’s comments before tghe Italian GP that its sponsors don’t decide the drivers but ferrari does is not true!

  26. bonnie b says:

    Anthony Hamilton must remember this,Mclaren
    funded your son career,So if you have a problem
    with Kimi Raikkonen coming back to Mclaren to bad so sad, Lewis knew this from day one Mclaren always during their history, do not mind putting two champions together. So Lewis if your the man beat Kimi, and the same goes for Raikkonen, beat Lewis,One thing that bothers me with Lewis is he needs to be huged and a pat on the head,Kimi does not,so this will work out fine it has to,Because Alonso and Massa will put up points, Mclaren have got to match it.

    1. " for sure " says:

      Lewis needs to move on and get a pro manager.

    2. DANiel Keller says:

      I completely agree with this. Pushy dad number one must be absolutely p***d off right now which I find very enjoyable.
      Anthony Hamilton played a huge part in the removal of Ron Dennis from F1. I am not a huge fan of Ron but the way the Hamilton family betrayed him is the single most despicable thing I have witnessed in 40 years of following F1. He made them and they betrayed him big time.

      MW is right to bring back Kimi. I never really liked Kimi until he went to Ferrari and was able to be himself instead of a corporate automaton as he was under Ron. I hope he’ll be able to race Lewis and will get equal treatment by the team. No doubt that the Hamilton duo will do their best again to try to destabilise the other teams’s driver as they did with Fernando from day one. It is unlikely to happen as Kimi is unflappable and Martin W is not Ron D.
      Martin does not see Lewis as his favorite son as Ron did with Lewis. Martin also knows that if an accident were to happen to Lewis next year as happened to Felipe this year he would need a strong driver in the other car to score point for the team. Kimi can bring that to the team as he is proving at Ferrari right now. I like Heikki very much as a person but sadly he was disappointing. I feel that despite all his and McLaren claims he was more comfortable at McLaren than at Renault he actually performed better at Renault were he had a lot less pressure and was not treated as driver number two (if not number three) as so blatantly is the case at McLaren. No wonder Lewis and Anthony want to keep him in the other seat as they so completely managed to make the team Lewis’ own. Next year with Kimi will be a different story. Let’s see who win the internal battle, Lewis or Kimi. My money is on Kimi. Martin is also very aware that Lewis and his dad a were
      very keen to jump ship and leave Mclaren in the aftermath
      of Lie-gate… so his trust in Lewis is non longer as high as it once was hence the need for another tried and tested top driver. Finally Martin is not Ron, he is less obsessed with corporate image of perfection, so he will let Kimi be Kimi be himself much more that was possible under Ron’s watch which should allow Kimi to feel at home probably much to the Hamilton’s duo dismay.

      At the end of the day it will be fascinating to watch which combo, Massa-Alonso or Hamilton-Raikkonen performs best next year. For the show and us fans this can only be good.
      With Button-Rosberg and Webber-Vettel in other strong teams 2010 promises to be seriously good fun.

      I hope Heikki can find a driver somewhere where he’ll feel more at ease. His career so far reminds me so much of Frentzen. First promising, then disappointing in a top team (totally under Lewis’ spell) and brilliant later on in a up and coming team with less pressure. I hope the same will happen to Heikki.
      Renault could do worse that pairing him with Kubica next year.

      1. Marcello says:

        Where do you get your unsubstantiated information from? How on earth do you know Mr Hamilton was the reason why Mr Dennis stepped down? Listen you over opinionated under educated please refrain yourself in making such baseless arguments unless your have some facts to back them up. Have you heard Heiki complaining even once this year? and why is that?

        You people will like to re-write the rules of the sport when it suits you, instead of accepting the facts. So here are the facts once more, in 2007 Alonso was beaten by a rookie fair and square, only conspiracy theorists will think otherwise, that beating was there for the whole world to see. Those are facts not my imagination.

        Alonso came to McLaren with huge ego, and that is the same attitude that will let him down at Ferrari. Once Felipe start beating Alonso on a regular basis then what? and I really hope he knows what he got himself into, Massa is not going to be a walk over like Picquet was, in fact I’ll put my money on Massa. Ferrari is not an easy team to grow in, he’s not going to have that number one status he so much crave for since he has done nothing for Ferrari thus far, and I don’t think Rob Smedley’s going to allow that to happen to his protege Felipe. This could easily end up in tears for Alonso, but I wish him well.

        Over to McLaren, this is perhaps one of the best line up in formula one for years, who will come on top? I don’t know, but I’ll say advantage Lewis for the moment, he knows the team really well, and I am sure he would like to prove to the world beating Alonso wasn’t a fluke, and he knows if he beats Kimi, he will undoubtedly cement his name as one of the best driver of his generation, and perhaps the best best since schumacher left. Roll on 2010 can’t wait.

      2. Adam Kelly says:

        I find it quite amusing that you berate someone else over the quality of their post while yours contains personal attacks on said poster and members of the F1 community.
        Maybe you ought to tidy your own house before commenting on the tidyness of other’s.
        Just some friendly advice.

      3. Antoine says:

        Marcello

        If Alonso and Hamilton finished the season on level points, HOW was Alonso beaten by a rookie fair and square.

      4. DAN says:

        HI Marcello, my comments on Anthony Hamilton’s part on Ron Denis’ demise were entirely based on numerous articles published (in print or on the internet) by the British F1 and National press after lie-gate took place.

        Here are some of them and also some forums commenting on these articles or quoting them. I am sure you could google many similar ones.

        Read these and make you own opinion. If you desagree with them blame them not me! Luckily you and I (and numerous journalists with better sources than me) are entitled to our “conflicting” opinions.

        http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/090405091054.shtml

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-1170828/Friend-foe-drive-Dennis-beloved-McLaren-Formula-One.html

        http://mccabism.blogspot.com/2009/04/did-lewis-hamilton-make-plea-bargain.html

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/mclaren/5160542/Ron-Dennis-to-cut-ties-with-McLaren-F1.html

        The guy who wrote the following piece (journalist or just blogger ????) goes much further than me in assessing Anthony Hamilton’s actions.
        Even I do not go that far :-)

        http://www.autonews.co.il/article/?id=2cc1a2271464d31e12a6c36ff658ef96

        After lie-gate Hamilton Senior called Max Mosley, a fact confirmed by Martin Withmarsh himself.
        Soon after that Max Mosley gave immunity to Lewis who, everybody knows, had lied to the stewarts (fact), and
        soon after that Ron Dennis resigned. Draw your own conclusion.
        Anthony Hamilton’s call to his bitter ennemy Mosley could hardly have helped Ron to stay at the helm of his team…
        Without that phone call would have Ron resigned? Maybe not as the two persons who caused lie-gate were Lewis Hamilton
        and Dave Ryan. Ron walked the plank as he was their boss.

        By calling Max to complain about McLaren’s treatment of his son, Anthony was hardly acting in Ron’s or McLaren’s interest.
        He was also conveniently forgetting the part Ron and McLaren has played in the rise of “Brand Hamilton”.

      5. DAN says:

        Hi Marcello I knew we would meet again some sunny day :-)

        Regarding what I said about Heikki, I said it was “my feeling” (and nothing more) that at the end of the day he was more comfortable at Renault that at Mclaren. Time will tell if I got that right or not. You are right to say he never complained.
        Do you think that in his position, not performing too well and hoping to have his contract renewed it would have been wise of him to rock the boat and tell his true felling if deep down he was not happy? Of course not, he just couldn’t and still can’t!

        He is not stupid enough to call journalists in the middle the season and tell them he gets unfair treatment. He is a nice guy and a genuine team player too. Remember when David Coulthard was at McLaren? He was the perfect team player too and never complained once of unfair treatment when he was partnering Mika. It is only when he had left the team to go to Red Bull and even more since he retired from F1 that he expressed his own opinion on his treatment by his old team as opposed to the “politically correct” statement he gave to the press in the past.

        He was not happy to have to follow team orders favoring Mika but did it to keep his job and only let the world know
        years later when he was no longer part of the team and was free to talk. It will be interesting a few years from now to hear Heikki’s point of view regarding his time at McLaren.

        You must realise that the Teams PR ladies with dictaphones following drivers to every interview they give are here for a
        reason: to make sure they never ever cross the line and always sing from the same hymn sheet that the team. If Heikki was daring to express some negative feeling about his treatment he would just lose his job. He is not stupid so I can’t picture him telling the press that Martin Withmarsh is his executioner :-) If he loses his drive at Mclaren he’ll just move on and get a deal with another team which he deserves.

        Alain Prost once crossed the line by calling his Ferrari a truck. He got fired before the end of the season… so drivers are not free to tell things as the really are nowadays.

      6. Marcello says:

        Hello Dan

        We all know how nice Heiki is, however I still believe if there were preferential treatments toward Lewis you would have heard of some sort of complaints coming from camp Heiki, these guys have their own PR people to do their dirty work for them. Dan, Alonso got rattled by Lewis speed, and got seriously worry about his reputation that is why he was asking for the number one status, in fact Alonso was asking for preferential treatment, and that went against everything McLaren stood for, you must know this, I take it you’ve been following F1 for years right? Heiki has no one to blame, Lewis is too quick for him, and it is there for every one to see.

        Going back to Lewis Dad and the various links you have provided, and by the way thanks for them, I still believe this is gossiping not facts come on Dan you know better than that.I find it hard to believe that in two years, Lewis and his Dad have become so powerful to the point where they’ve managed to depose Ron Dennis, literally by asking the man to walk away from everything he has managed to build over decades of shear hard work, is it what your are saying Dan?
        Please note that in certain quarters in F1 some believe Max was behind it all.

        Look Dan I am not going come here and pretend to know any thing that went on leading to Ron leaving McLaren, that is why I’ll say let us wait for his memoirs.

  27. David S says:

    I do not believe this would happen unless this Santander cash is VERY lucrative…

    If you are McLaren you would;
    a) Give Lewis the BEST possible chance of achieving a Drivers championship…

    b) FOCUS around your No. 1 asset…that’s Lewis by the way!

    c) P** OFF Ferrari by not allowing it to dump one of its cast-offs on you..oh..and…probably cost them 20 million to retain him on the pay roll or drive one of your Punto’s….

    d)PREVENT the inevitable increase in Lewis’s workload as with KR recruited Lewis would have to 1) Do all the testing; 2) Do all the media stuff; 3) Do all the setup stuff…

    Kimi’s good for taste testing the cornetto’s though…

    Was Kimi World Champ in ’07 by the way…the world would never have known…

    He’s a lazy b%$$ar*

    LETTER TO MARTIN W….
    HE WILL NOT ‘FIT’ IN…

    Get It..!!

    1. Michael S says:

      Wow… You sound very nervous about Kimi’s arrival….

      I just hope for a fair battle.. Lewis is not entitled to anything, just like anyone else in F1…

      1. David S says:

        I’m certainly nervous as I believe he will dilute Mclarens focus and the net results wilL be negative. Its not about Lewis being entitled its about being deserving of team leader role. I see no reason, weighing up the pro’s and cons, why the team need this. If Kimi applied himself he would have probably netted 3 titles already. All this ‘its just Kimi’ is an excuse, simple. As you age your natural talent diminishes and you rely on hard work and guile to maintain your competiveness. Kimi’s talent peaked some time ago and he plainly aint in the mood for hard graft, if ever he was!!

        Lewis is HUNGRY and talented…you focus in that area and Kimi is just a RISK to diluting that focus.

        I still don’t see it happening for these reasons unless that money is the factor.

        If it does I see no reason why Lewis won’t beat him but that’s not my point or concern. The team would move further forward with a talented grafter on board…Rosberg is the better fit, for the TEAM.

      2. Brace says:

        Dilute the team?
        Are you serious? If anything, he would interact with team as least as possible.

      3. Alias says:

        And of course you know better then Mclaren themselves who have actually worked with Kimi? They would certainly know better then anyone else how talented he is and about his work ethics. And so far they have seemed extremely pleased about the idea to have Kimi back. Both Haug and Whithmarsh have been speaking very positively about Kimi these past few months, it almost seems like the return of the long lost son.

    2. KNF says:

      Hmm, for sure Whitmarsh would know whether if a driver would fit in or not, especially if he has driven for them for FIVE years previously…

  28. Vignesh says:

    James,

    Whats the really hurry in this move (Alonso- Ferrari by 2010 instead of 2011)???? Is it due to Santendar pressure or Ferrari wants alonso urgently???

  29. Hagis says:

    any one wants proof???

    look at Fisichellas flag.
    They did’nt have one spare!!!!

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/08J8c6oebDcjL?q=Felipe+Massa

    1. Jakub says:

      Marc Gene is also Spanish. It doesn’t prove anything.

  30. Retro says:

    I really hope Ferrari fall starts from this spanish-clownshow. Alonso isn’t that good and when he got Massa doing same as Hamilton we might see Ferrari in deep trouble. Okay Alonso is great but last few season in renault haven’t really shown any “special” talent. That with crashgate and spygate he is driver that have walked away from a lot of bad things without even scar. He is always innocent when it’s needed. But atleast he is always the one who gain something from it.

    Kimi is a lot easier for Hamilton than Alonso IF McLaren gives then equality. But will this happen? Only time will tell.

    1. Fausta says:

      Alonso has done a terrific job the past couple years dragging the bad Renault farther up the grid than it deserved. He fights until the end.
      I have seen a lot of “special talent” from him in the past two years. I also ignore the one-sided opinions from much of the media about the various incidents. A lot more goes on than you read, think about it!

  31. Pranav Haldea says:

    Well I strongly do feel that Mclaren would be making a mistake by getting Kimi back in…For all that he had done over the last 4-5 races, lets not forget that he has never had the capability of turning around races on his own driver merit…something we saw in MS, and continue to see in the Alonso and Hamilton…As a mclaren fan, I would love to see Vettel or Rosberg in that second seat…For long Mclaren have made terrible decisions with their second driver..DC being a prime example of it. Let it not happen again!!

    1. KNF says:

      Watch Suzuka 2005, in case you have forgotten…

    2. Dex says:

      Suzuka 2005, my m8

    3. Curro says:

      Suzuka 2005
      Spa 2004
      Spa 2009
      Silverstone 2007

      mind you the type of tracks, too

  32. PaulL says:

    They’re not going to re-sign Slowvalainen?

  33. Dermot Keelan says:

    Seriously disappointed with Ferrari’s handling of Raikkonen. Letting Kimi go so they can take a chance on Massa coming back to F1 and being as good as he was before the accident is the kind of ridiculous sentimentality for which there is no place in F1.

    I’ve gradually lost faith in Ferrari over the course of the year as a result of numerous suspect calls from the pit wall and the disastrous driver calls since Massa’s accident.

    Really looking forward to seeing Kimi back at McLaren.

  34. chris says:

    It will be interesting if Raikkonen goes to Mclaren, Hamilton has top billing there now, what happens if a driver of Raikkonen’s calibre enters the team….will Hamilton still be the No1 driver? How will Hamilton handle it if his team mate starts to beat him, could be very interesting and fun to watch it unfold!

  35. Peter says:

    A few years ago Autosport had an articel about Kimi. Refering to Mclaren sources it was saying that Kimi has been the fastest driver they have ever had incl. Senna. They must know something if they go for Kimi again which is a quite unusual move in this sport, I think. Kimi is not going to be political just drive fast and he has also passed his peak in his career, so its Lewis’ to lose. Hope he will get the same equipment, strategy etc. as Lewis. I do not think Mr Hamilton is too happy about that however and for that reason I still can’t take it for granted. Remember Schumacher coming back?…

  36. Vinay says:

    I really hope Kimi gets a car that does some justice to his talent.

    Also, one can’t help notice that Alonso has been the common factor in all of the scandals that have hit F1 recently. Wonder what’s in store for Ferrari when Alonso gets there.

    1. I like Cake says:

      You must mean they will be a match made in heaven.I dont disagree.

  37. Silverstoned says:

    BACK WHERE THE HEART LIES!

    RAI (McLaren): WDC 2010. Sounds good. Martin Whitmarsh is doing a great job for the team and I trust him to be absolutely fair and honest with Kimi. Nice change from Ferrari about whom everything was second rate: design, strategy, team management.
    Arriverderci rossi!

  38. Silas Denyer says:

    The problem we have in reading Haug’s comments is that his scope extends well beyond McLaren, as far as I know. Any Mercedes-engined team would be a good place to park Kimi according to Haug’s quoted comments.

    That said, and given the competing interests of the various stakeholders, Kimi to McLaren and Rosberg to Brawn seems like a reasonable set of compromises for all concerned.

    On the topic of Santander’s involvement in all of this, I do hope this doesn’t backfire on them; after all, paying $49m to Kimi (as rumoured) to leave is barely any different (or less out-of-touch with the lives of their customers) than paying large bonuses to their executives…

  39. dstaisey says:

    Ferrari will shoot them self in the foot with Kimi.. They had star and they want to through it away… As ever things come around, I wouldn’t be surprised that at some point they regret decision.. decision that is still not signed.. Luca can still turn things around. If anyone understands Kimi at Ferrari, he does and he was always supportive.

  40. Antoine says:

    It’s on, we’re back to 2007, one of the best year in F1,… Ferrari’s numero uno’s now McLarren number 2 and vice versa :-)

  41. Paul Kirk says:

    I agree with Dean, Farrari definately have not treated Kimi with respect even with him getting great results from a car that nobody else can drive! I admire Kimi for the way he is not affected mentally by all the b**sh*t, and just gets on with the job and keeps his mouth shut! It’s incredable to think that Farrari have’nt had the decencey to discuss things man-to-man with Kimi! I wish him “all the best” for the future.
    P.K.

    1. Tim Lamkin says:

      Where do you get “not treated with respect” give details where are your sources….please do explain how you have so much inside info…

      …and doesn’t getting the job done mean you give it 100% EVERY TIME you sit in the car?

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        And regards your comment about driving 100%, don’t you think the competitors further down the field are driving 100%? Of course they are, but if they don’t feel comfortable with the responses and feeling of the car, not to mention the engine performance, then they can’t get to the front, e.g. Luka and Giancarlo. Hence my comment.
        Regards,
        Paul Kirk’

      2. Paul Kirk says:

        Tim, seems like the first part of my reply re respect has dissapeared, sorry , but I gotta go.
        P.K.

    2. DAN says:

      As they will have to buy him out of his contract Kimi is likely to leave Ferrari with a lot of money. If this is lack of respect for the guy I personally would like a slice of it!
      In the real world not many of us get redundancy packets of the size of the one Kimi will get.

  42. Hugo says:

    Will Haug be ready to build a “tank” for Kimi??
    I think Kimi wil do rally next year.

  43. Yasir says:

    Pretty silly for Ferrari to drop a World Champion and keep Massa. This will no doubt fire Kimi up even more and Im sure he will be happy to return to Mclaren. The Ferrari Alonso/Massa honeymoon will not last for long, especially with a fired up Raikonnen who is definately the favorite in my eyes for the 2010 title with Mclaren. Watch out Ferrari.

  44. Paul Kirk says:

    Giday again,
    Two things, bring on ARI for president, and BAN kers, yeah!

  45. Steve says:

    I think that’s it’s fair to say that massa and raikonnen have been about equal in their concurrent time at Ferrari. While raikonnen took the 1st championship, massa was in a supporting role for a significant part of the season, much like how raikonnen was in the second half of last season. Prior to the massas injury, both divers had shown similar speed throughout the year and had very similar points. While raikonnen has demonstrated that he often wakes up in the second half of the season (his 2005, 2007 and 2009 challenges), massa has shown he can win when needed to. As a purely economical decision, it is a good idea to release raikonnen (bases on the salary differential between the drivers). Having saiD that, I will very much
    miss raikonnens sometimes freakish speed (monza and spa spring to mind) even in the face of a inferior car. If I was Ferrari I would be worried about his presence at mclaren.
    Alonso though is a world class driver and has the skill and consistancy to fill limos shoes. Plus I feel he will better fit Ferraris culture.

    1. I like Cake says:

      it is not an economical decision at all if you think through it. Why would Ferrari pay off Raikkonen’s 20M pound contract AND pay Alonso another 20M if they were worried about driver salaries? I think the sponsorship deal is key + Ferrari expect Kimi to be more than a racer, sugarcoat interviews like Massa and praise the team and fans in press conferences. I dont think Kimi likes this bit of F1 and credit to him.

    2. Rudy Pyatt says:

      I agree with your assessment of R&M at Ferrari. I still think they should keep both of them. Getting Fernando’s all well and good, but they need to think ahead a bit.: Given Felipe’s condition, they should do more than rely on Fisi or Schumi to call on if his health keeps him from coming back fighting fit.

      Now that I think of it, that’s where Heikki should wind up, as a Ferrari tester and reserve. He’d be HIGHLY motivated to contribute, and the Scuderia will have a young driver they can develop going forward, something they haven’t done in the last decade other than with Felipe — to their cost, as we’ve recently seen.

  46. Tobias Stuyts says:

    James,

    I need not stress the fact that Kimi’s move from Ferrari to McLaren brings a lot of talk with it. Do you think Ferrari have played things in a fair manner by openly doubting Kimi Raikkonen recently while he is the one keeping Ferrari’s honours high this season?

    I find a lot of it inappropriate. Let’s not forget he is the only Ferrari World Champion today and contributed to the constructors title in 2008. First and third in the championship will not do for Ferrari?

  47. Fran says:

    This is the real deal.
    Hamilton on McLaren and Alonso on Ferrari.
    – It does get much better this–

    This is want all the fans, at least the Spanish mob, want to see for a long time. In my opinion Massa and Kimi are a bit below this pair, they might bring some winnings but H/A will bring the championships. Although Massa deserved to win last year, Kimi did not deserved it on 2007, it should’ve gone to Hamilton.

    As James pointed out on ealier post Alonso’s CV is very similar to Michael. If Ferrari manages to provide him with a competitive car he will bring additional champhionships for Ferrari.

    This is it, there is no more excuses. I can not wait for 2010.

    By the way, a big thanks to Botin (Santander’s Chairman) that made it happens.

    1. Sri says:

      Kimi does not deserve? Care to explain? As far as I know Kimi had 1 point more than Hamilton. Since when are we awarding WDCs to people who come second? Oh Massa must have been WDC winner last year as Lewis does not deserve it either!
      It does not matter when you score points in the season – if Lewis scored heavily in the first half of 2007 he was poor in second-half while Kimi’s performance was other way round. By the way you forgot that Alonso was also deserving WDC in 2007 by your logic.

      1. Francisco says:

        Sri,
        In my humble opinion the 2007 WDC was not win by Kimi, it was lost by Hamilton and his errors during the last 2 races.
        Unless another fan correct me on this, nobody has managed to lost a championship with the advantage that Hamilton did have with 2 races to go (China and Brasil).
        Alonso 2007 did made a couple of big erros that season, Canada very poor race by him, and Hungary very stupid to retain H on qual.
        (I so wish that James could manage to get the audio during that qual).

        2008 was lost by Ferrari team, Massa did a better job that Hamilton overall (Hungary/Singapour). Hamilton was very very very lucky indead.

        This is a sport, of course Kimi in 2007 and Hamilton 2008 were there, but the winner do not always deserve it.

    2. Peter Hermann says:

      The spanish mob? Excuse me?

      It seems quite a lot of people are very scared of what Fernando might achieve with Ferrari. He is already working on it..there were new infos from Cadena Ser last night. He will bring in some engineers he wants to work with, too.

      He has already started building the team he will work with. Thats what i would call dedication- can’t wait to see how it will work out. 2010 will be exciting indeed!

  48. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    James, how “in love” are McLaren with Hamilton at the moment? How “in love” were they with Raikkonen on his departure?

    1. James Allen says:

      He is getting them the results and he’s part of the furniture

    2. Mari says:

      Can’t you see that McLaren are “head over heels” “deeply in Love” with Lewis, they will never let him go. But that “love” will only remain, if he keeps on delivering.

  49. Arya says:

    James, if Toyota decides to pull out then it might be end of John Howett as well. Ron is gone, so is Briatore. Without these 3 major architects of FOTA where do you see the team alliance heading?

    1. James Allen says:

      Forwards, but with a different style

      1. Arya says:

        Will that style be little more friendly with FIA?

  50. C Lin says:

    Kimi back to McLaren will be excellent!!!
    I hope its true.

    I’m appalled such disrespect from Ferrari going by what the media has been reporting.

    It would be nice to see him reunited with Mark Slade.

    Go Kimi, do your best with Lewis & bring back WCC to Macca.

  51. DK says:

    Just wonder, besides Massa + Alonso in the equation, let’s not forget Shumi’s factor in Ferrari 2010. It will be interesting to see how Alonso work with Shumi the advisor next year. After all, Alonso is the only guy on the grid who has beaten him.

    1. Alien says:

      I think that the continuing presence of MS at Ferrari has been one of the biggest factors in Kimi’s performance there.

      It’s obvious that MS wants Massa to do well and no doubt he’s got the influence in the team to be able to ‘arrange things’ so that the car gets developed to suit Massa, rather than the guy who decided to go to Mclaren after Sauber rather than be his team mate.

      It’s not like MS has any qualms about parking cars or punting opponents off the track, does he?

      It’s even possible that Kimi’s recent form could be due to the absence of Massa and so the inability of MS to pull strings. Pure speculation based on absolutely no proof, of course :)

  52. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Kimi and Hamilton seem to be OK with eachother. Look at how forgiving Kimi was for Canada 2008.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c5298snENA&feature=PlayList&p=936220BBEF18E0BE&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=31

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      at 1.37

      1. Curro says:

        That video is missing something. Just before the pat in the back, Kimi walks towards LH, helmet still on, and using his fingers he first makes a mouth gesture (“you talk too much”), then an eyes gesture (“you should pay attention to that light”), then the pat (“over there…”). That was classy. LH had spent the whole Canada weekend saying how much stronger than anybody else he felt, only to ruin his and Kimi’s and Rosberg’s race, a plain stupid mistake.

        Later in 2008, LH said Kimi had “no balls” after their last lap dice in Spa, when LH overtook Kimi thanks to the Mclaren car loosing less tyre heat under the rain. In typical fashion, Kimi refused to enter a war of words and just got on with the season.

        Having said that, something changed this year as they’ve been shaking hands more often. I always found the pre-podium images very revealing of the current state of egos between drivers.

        (sorry if this has been posted twice, i got some error when pasting)

    2. Curro says:

      That video is missing something. Just before the pat in the back, Kimi walks towards LH, helmet still on, and using his fingers he first makes a mouth gesture (“you talk too much”), then an eyes gesture (“you should pay attention to that light”), then the pat (“over there…”). That was classy. LH had spent the whole Canada weekend saying how much stronger than anybody else he felt, only to ruin his and Kimi’s and Rosberg’s race, a plain stupid mistake.

      Later in 2008, LH said Kimi had “no balls” after their last lap dice in Spa, when LH overtook Kimi thanks to the Mclaren car loosing less tyre heat under the rain. In typical fashion, Kimi refused to enter a war of words and just got on with the season.

      Having said that, something changed this year as they’ve been shaking hands more often. I always found the pre-podium images very revealing of the current state of egos between drivers.

  53. Peter Jones says:

    James,
    Off topic here, but Bernie says USF1 is in doubt. What do you know about this?

    Thanks,

    Peter Jones

    1. James Allen says:

      A lot of people in F1 are saying that. They seem to be a long way off being ready and haven’t hired staff as you would expect from a team which will be testing in Jan/Feb and racing in March. Also it’s not clear what engine they will use, because they haven’t had a lot to do with Cosworth so far.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        As Charlie Brown says in the Peanuts comics,

        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I still think (hope) that they’ll be fine and up and at it. That group has been pretty stealthy overall. For all we know, and especially since they’ve made so many references to the subcontractor model, they may have Pratt & Miller, AAR or some such already done on the chassis. We know they have all the aero/CFD stuff they need.

        I suspect ALL this is knock on from all that’s buzzed around about USF1 playing footsie with Toyota on the engine supply. With Toyota’s budget and participation (as team, as engine supplier, what have you) uncertain, things would certainly be somewhat in flux for the team. More, flirting with Toyota surely would surely have left Cosworth ticked off — possibly, if not likely, enough to pull the plug on any deal they had with USF1. Or at least enough to play hardball on the terms of any agreement.

        If this is the case, and I think it likely, then Bernie’s comments reflect the fact that the team is scrambling to secure an engine supply fairly late in the game, as Brawn was last year, with all the design revisions and delays this brings on the chassis side. Brawn, of course, has also shown that this problem can be overcome. Hopefully, the Home Team will, too.

        If not…. see my first word/sentence.

      2. James Allen says:

        They have been working on this project for four years and have secured an impressive amount of seed capital. The car is being done by a team led by Ken Anderson’s son, apparently. But they could just be lining up to sell the slot on the grid to the BMW Sauber team..

  54. Peter says:

    Poor Felipe. He will play second fiddle once again to another world champion. Can’t the guy ever get a break?

  55. CptZorg says:

    IF the predicted moves go through, we should see some good racing as we were meant to with Kimi at Ferrari and Fernando at McLaren. While Fernando will no doubt realise his potential at the Scuderia, Kimi was always going to be cool, so I can’t imagine what Ferrari were expecting when they hired him in the first place. Fernando & Felipe in red will be good entertainment, not just because of the likelyhood of a bust up between them. I’m really looking forward to a 5-way WDC battle next year (KR/FA/LH/FM & somebody else).

    I would also expect to see McLaren enforce some limit on driver retinues, currently it seems Lewis has the whole band with him. Kimi is sure to accuse Lewis’s entourage of stealing his hubcaps if they don’t give him space to eat his popsicles in peace & quiet.

  56. S2K says:

    McLaren cannot manage Hamilton and Raikkonen. Every single time when the drivers of the same calibre are joining McLaren the story of Senna and Prost is told again and again. But then it was different because back then F1 was pure racing.

    McLaren failed with Raikkonen and Montoya and also failed with Hamilton and Alonso. There is every reason for them to fail again. Raikkonen could drive for Macca in 2010 but will surely not do it in 2011.

  57. Harveyeight says:

    The one thing history teaches us is that we never learn from it.

    Ferrari’s big problem pre-Todt/Brawn/Schuey (T/B/S) days was that they could not, seemingly, manage drivers in a manner that got the best from them. Or even an adequate performance. And given Kimi’s history with them it would seem like they’ve dropped back to their old ways.

    If, as seems a popular theory on here, Alonso was defeated by McLaren politics then he’s got a shock coming at Ferrari. The phrase ‘most complete driver’ is bandied about but being able to manage a team and get them on your side is an essential skill.

    The Italian press differs to that of every other country when it comes to reporting F1. They alone seem to be pleased with T/B/S moving on as the series of successful races and seasons gave them little to criticise – not that they stopped doing so of course. Now that the car is underperforming they are back to their rampant ways.

    Ferrari used to take a great deal of notice of the media coverage pre-T/B/S and I can’t help believing that this concern will return. Alonso has shown himself adept in the past in dealing with the press but his display of arrogance at Singapore should, perhaps, be his one and only slip up. Threatening to talk in a language foreign to the interviewers won’t go down well in Rome.

    He’ll start with them on his side I should assume, although Massa’s recovery might well give them lots more column inches for a while. A victory or two will provide a buffer but Ferrari are not that well known for being able to come up with a car that’s fast out of the box. If other teams, as some were this season, are much faster out of the box then FA might well come under pressure.

    FerrariF1 has the aura of a supremely confident and competent company but recent history has shown otherwise. They did well in 2008 but took a dramatic leap backwards this season. They need a strong team leader, a role Kimi was never going to perform. Alonso would appear to have that authority, at least when driving for Renault under Briatore.

    As a previous poster said, not there can be no more excuses. He’s moving to the richest team. Much is expected of him. The Italian media needs managing and sympathy is not its strong suit. These will be testing times for FA.

    The key, I think, will be Massa’s performance.

    I can’t help thinking that Ferrari will revert to its old ways and do something really silly. If Todt gets in then the current management might well be seen as a bit of a liability given the antagonism that exists between them. Will they consider putting someone in charge who is more acceptable to the new president of the FIA? A bit of positive discrimination by promoting a member of a minority?

    They behaved in such a way before, choosing politics before ability.

    Kimi, on moving to McLaren, will have no such pressure apart from the competition from a strong team mate. I’ve been impressed by the way Whitmarsh has run the team since RD’s departure. He’s overseen the loss of a major sponsor, or a major part of it, but that had been on the cards for some time.

    I’m really looking forward to next season. If Rosberg goes to Brawn we have the promise of six drivers capable of winning the championship and three pairs of drivers going head to head.

    For some drivers the off season might well be usefully dedicated to making up excuses.

    Shame thee will be a Singapore GP next year that will, in all probability, be devoid of thrills.

    1. Swayze says:

      “I’m really looking forward to next season. If Rosberg goes to Brawn we have the promise of six drivers capable of winning the championship and three pairs of drivers going head to head.”

      I presume you are discounting Red Bull next year as any threat then

      I too am looking forward to next year but think Red Bull will also be in the mix

      Not sure about Williams.

      1. Harveyeight says:

        I’m not discounting Vettel so much as Red Bull. I think, but have little evidence to support it, that Ferrari and McLaren will be at the front next season with Brawn in close attendance. Then there will be a narrowish gap.

        I can’t see two seasons going by without MM & F being the class of the field.

        Mind you, I’ve been wrong often enough in the past. I had a bet on for Rosberg to come in second at Singapore. Still, gave all my friends a laugh. Still does.

  58. Retro says:

    ” This is want all the fans, at least the Spanish mob, want to see for a long time. In my opinion Massa and Kimi are a bit below this pair, they might bring some winnings but H/A will bring the championships. Although Massa deserved to win last year, Kimi did not deserved it on 2007, it should’ve gone to Hamilton..”

    How didn’t Kimi deserver it in 2007. Most wins? Did gain most points and only thing was that Hamilton drop the ball too many times.

    Massa and Kimi have bring more wins and championships than Alonso and Lewis together. 1 WDC, 2 teams title.

    But ofc Ferrari will trust that Alonso is the Schumi and can make miracles but really the car for 2010 is already coming so how much impact will Alonso make? Car is quite much made for Massa and Alonso might be in trouble. Ferrari couldn’t change the car to Kimi so how can they do that for Alonso. And when Alonso Wants that number one status he might be again in situation where number 2 takes most points and gains more than him. Then Ferrari looks like clowns that have made 50 million mistake.

    1. Francisco says:

      As I said earlier, in my humble opinion the 2007 WDC was not win by Kimi, it was lost by Hamilton and his errors during the last 2 races. The best driver did not win.

      The best FA quality and I quote de la Rosa (McLaren test driver), it is not the fact that is the most consistent driver, it is the fact that FA adapts to new circuit/conditions/car faster than any other driver. FA is not the quickest, that honour has to be for Hamilton or/and Kimi on my view.

  59. Paul Mc says:

    I think Kimis recent show of form was too little too late. He was in dreamland before Massa’s accident and he only really kicked into gear after Hungary. He has been amazing since then but i feel its time for some new blood in the team and i feel Alonso will deliver consistently throughout the season.

    McLaren will be looking good next year and a strong driver lineup. Heres to a more competitive 2010.

  60. Robert says:

    How would the Alonso/Schumacher relationship work at Ferrari? It was obvious that there was no relationship between Kimi and Michael. Michael will stay at Ferrari in an advisory position, will Alonso allow Michael to advise him?

    When Kimi was confirmed to go to Ferrari, one of the Mercedes guys commented that he hope for Kimi’s sake that Ferrari can build engines that will last, because he is so hard on the cars. Have anything change dramatically in Kimi’s driving style or are the Mercedes engines a lot better?

    If Kimi are really going to McLaren, it will definitely be interesting to see who will finish 3rd in the constructors championship?

    Time will tell, be I do agree that it will be an exciting season next year.

    1. " for sure " says:

      Sorry, can’t find the link, but there are stories that Alonso is insisting that Schumacher departs.

  61. CptZorg says:

    It seems NP sr has picked up from where left off and made comments about Alonso running things at Renault, which could possibly jeopardize his move to SF (although I doubt anything will stop it now).

    So just in case this whole Kimi/Fernando/Ferrari thing blows up for some reason, I’d like to use this opportunity to coin the terms Transfergate and Kimigate. That’s Transfergate or Kimigate. Everyone’s obviously free to come up with other gates but remember you read these here first. If the predicted soon to be scandal concerns Fernando directly, I think naturally we could use Fernandogate or Alonsogate.

    1. Richard Mee says:

      No. Just, no.

      You see ‘The Watergate’ is a hotel where some dodgy US government papers were stolen leading to all kinds of trouble for President Nixon in 1970′s America.

      It’s gone, it’s past… attaching the suffix ‘gate’ to any sodding word you like represented maybe a snippet of journalistic wit the first time it was done out of context way back in the 70′s (probably). Now i’m sure it exists purely to irritate me… (and also to enable Ed Gorman to meet his word count every other day).

      Believe me when I say the world does not require any more ‘gates’ unless they are intended to stop cows escaping from fields.

      1. CptZorg says:

        Glad to see my charming bit of wit didn’t go unnoticed, although the inherent sarcasm and disregard of etymology seems to have eluded young master Richard.

        Believe me Sir as long as there are tabloids and those tabloids aren’t being bought for their intellectual content or beautiful prose, every major scandal will be dubbed something-gate.

        The fantastic thing is we can make them up in advance so the journo’s can’t claim credit, such as the above or in anticipation of coming scandals how about Todtgate, USF1-gate, Brawngate (alternatively the smaller Buttongates and Rubensgates), Nicogate could come in handy and of course Toyotagate.

        Help me out Richard and find a suitable ending for a smaller scandal that doesn’t quite make it to the gate-level?

      2. Richard Mee says:

        OK touché… in fairness I suspected sarcasm but I chose not to give you the benefit of the doubt. So my bad.

        Regarding your question; how about ‘stile’?… yes, I very much look forward to a refreshing read all about Button’stile’ in the near future.

  62. John says:

    If it is true that Alonso has persuaded Ferrari to bring in a number of the current Renault F1 staff from his side of that garage then it strongly suggests that Alonso is “team-buildnig” at Ferrari in a manner he didn’t when he was at McLaren. And he very nearly won the title for the latter in an apparently alien environment, so the potential is surely for Alonso-Ferrari to be extremely strong indeed.

  63. Francisco says:

    Alonso’s contract.

    25M euros per season (less than Kimi 30M euros)
    6 years= 3+2+1
    3 fixed
    2 both parties could walk again with certain conditions
    1 any party could walk again without conditions

    Ferrari negotiating to obtain staff from Renault and Red Bull for 2010.
    Alonso already “working” on the Ferrari next season.

    Joan Viladelprat (ex-Ferrari and ex-Benetton) claims that Michael “stole” (politically correct term “employ”) 22 people from Benetton when moving to Ferrari.

    1. Francisco says:

      sorry… I meant “walk away”

    2. Alias says:

      “Ferrari negotiating to obtain staff from Renault and Red Bull for 2010.
      Alonso already “working” on the Ferrari next season.”

      lol

      I was waiting for something like that pop-up. What is Alonso doing? Is he working in the Ferrari windtunnel? If Alonso is already “hard at work” on next year’s Ferrari then he better hope that it isn’t another R29. ;-)

      The Spanish press were talking about Geoff Wills and Jorg Zander, but it has actually been rumoured now for a while that they would join Ferrari, it has got noting to do with Alonso.

  64. jose says:

    hamilton-kimi
    alonso-massa
    It will be nice to see how they compare.
    Hamilton should beat kimi in qualy and during the races. The ferrari duo, is not that clear to me. If he comes back 100% after the accident, he is probably faster in a qualyfing lap. During the race i think is the other way around.
    it will be exciting to see. And very close.

    1. Francisco says:

      Do not forget races with water. FA LH is the pair to beat. Massa has enough to not spin the car, silverstone 08 anyone? I think he established the record of 6 spins on a race,

      1. Lee says:

        Hamilton china 5 spins!!!!!

        Massa not 6, it was 5 and he was on the wrong tyre.

    2. Retro says:

      2010 is a lot different year. Qualifications with empty tanks, no refuel and no kers. I think Hamilton might face a little problem with his overaggressive driving style and he might have to take one more tyre change in GP than any1 else if he keeps driving like that.

      Kimi, Alonso and Massa have ability and driving style that can adjust quite easily to this. Hamilton might get more support from his team but Kimi is quite near to that McLaren to be perfect fit. Alonso example was perfect for Hamilton but now he don’t get any emotional feedback from Kimi like he did get from Alonso.

      Kimi will drive as fast as he can go with that McLaren. Hamilton just need to be faster if he can. That is the main risk. Hamilton might risk too much while he wants to beat Kimi All the time. Kimi isn’t Heikki so he will get a better contract that have equality in there.

      Massa isn’t coming back faster than he was. He might beat Alonso but all because that Ferrari is really hard to adjust. But we will see how huge impact Alonso have in that team. If he controls everything then Massa can’t do nothing but that would be weird when in Renault Alonso didn’t even know the crashgate happening. So why would he be doing more in Ferrari?

  65. Martin P says:

    Slightly off-topic here James, but do you think Williams are heading for expulsion from FOTA again?

    They want to keep KERS next year and we now know courtesy of Eddie Jordan that they’re blocking an increase in brake thickness too.

    I love the way Williams goes about racing – any chance of an article about why they always seem to be treading a slightly different path and what the future might hold for them?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I have looked at them earlier this season but am overdue a revisit. Thanks

      1. DAN says:

        Hi James, one thing puzzle me about Williams’ stance on KERS. Maybe you’ll be able to clarify this for us. Of all teams who developed a KERS system they are the last one standing pushing for it but they have not used it at all all year! Why is that so?
        Is their own system – different technically from all others – so complex they could not fine tune it on time for 2009 or are they other reasons?

      2. murray says:

        As I understand it, Williams bought into a company developing flywheel/mechanical KERS, leveraging their own, never-raced, continuously-variable transmission to match flywheel speed with drivetrain speed for energy input/output. I hope they get it on the grid next year. It’s Luddism to pull back from these technologies, the Mercedes and Ferrari systems already successful, the others having already developed it, too. Why waste that investment, even if it calls for a little more? Its actually immediately relevant beyond F1!

    2. Pay The Piper says:

      I don’t know.
      I know it’s tough, and they still punch well above their weight … but it seems lately they’re in danger of heading-off into Stoddart territory.

      Yeah, it’s all fair-enough to try and maximise your hand, play whatver limited selection cards you have, and use your veto to contrive a quid-pro-quo deal elsewhere, but it does tend to aggravate the others afterawhile.

      You can certainly keep that up for a good while, but you are all the time bulding up a lot of debt on the goodwill front.

      One day something unexpected will happen, it’s inevitable, and you’ll need a quick favour from all those teams you’ve spent the last coupla years winding-up.
      And that’s when the F1 chickens come home to roost and the wheels fall off. Hope not, but kinda sorta seems to be headed that way.

      1. Martin P says:

        Sir Frank and Patrick have run their race team in the same way for thirty years, so I suspect they won’t lose sleep about chickens coming home to roost – especially when they own the most successful team on the grid after Ferrari and McLaren.

        But you’re right in that they seem to be the constant “thorn in the side” (and the tone of voice from EJ when he accidentally named them on mic on Sunday said a lot too).

        So far this year they’ve;

        1. Gone against FOTA and signed the Concorde Agreement
        2. Blocked Schumacher getting a test day
        3. Opted to use KERS next year in defiance of FOTA
        4. Apparently blocked an increase in brake pad thickness

        No doubt James knows of other disagreements too!

        It’s easy to say they’re the odd one out. But part of me also wonders if they’re the actual true racers, sticking to the rules and contracts of the day while the others are possibly thinking more as accountants and managers?

        Every decision made above makes perfect sense to me apart from the brake pads (as a potential safety issue). But then again, if they’re confident they can make brakes last the distance with no changes then why shouldn’t everyone else? That’s part of the game isn’t it?

        But of all the team bosses, I suspect Sir Frank is the one least likely to play games. Everything seems to be played with a “straight bat” – even his letter to the FIA in support of Renault seemed heartfelt and genuinely in the interest of the sport he clearly loves.

        Finally – one point they made themselves earlier this year; they’re a racing team. Nothing else. Are there any other teams on the grid today that can say the same?

        I hope to see Sir Frank and Patrick on the podium collecting trophies again in the next couple of years. They’ll be richly deserved.

      2. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Ken Tyrrell, not Paul Stoddart, comes to mind for me. He too fought the majority, including at the time Frank Williams, and the team punched above its weight for years before running out of steam. I fear Sir Frank and Duke Patrick are going the same way.

  66. Peter says:

    I think Kimi is much stronger in mind than Lewis and that will be decicive.

  67. Carl M says:

    Well I now realise that it will happen, Alonso joining Ferrari. If Kimi goes to Mclaren, for the 2nd time, I hope to see some of them 2005 performances. Be great to see if Mclaren can win him his 2nd championship after letting him down in his first stint at Mclaren.

  68. Finn says:

    I read on one motorsport website (can’t remember which one – maybe Autosport) that Lewis isn’t keen to have Kimi return to Macca and would prefer Kovi to stay.

    Would have thought it would be good to have a stronger team mate: someone with more experience and who can bring in good points for the team.

    Lewis needs strong support around him – which he will get from Macca. Kimi doesn’t and will survive well enough on his own. Perfect match in many ways …. so long as Kimi isn’t a clear number 2 to Lewis.

    Should be good for racing and good for Lewis to be pushed again.

    1. James Allen says:

      I was there when he was asked if he would like Heikki to stay and he said yes. Kimi wasn’t mentioned then

      1. Finn says:

        I expect some spin has been put on the report I read…. though I haven’t been able to find the article again.

        Cheers

    2. Hezla says:

      “Lewis needs strong support around him – which he will get from Macca. Kimi doesn’t…”

      And that is how Ferrari have done and people is saying that Kimi have lost it.

      Of course Kimi needs some support and now when Massa is out and Ferrari turned their support to Kimi, you have seen a changed Kimi, a Kimi back in form.

      I see trouble, if he goes to McLaren because Kimi does need support and I am afraid Lewis can’t handle to share the team unless it a clear nr. 2 driver like Heikki.

  69. Matt W says:

    Looking at the alleged details of Alonso’s contract, Massa is going to be anything but equal next year. I can’t see Alonso having signed for the team without something to ensure he will get the full focus.

    1. CptZorg says:

      Matt, I would’t think Alonso would feel that much pressure racing against a semi-invalid team mate next year, and after that they’ll probably just get rid of Massa for the remainder of Alonso’s contract if he presents a threat and wheel in someone who’ll be happy to be a designated number 2.

      1. Matt W says:

        I don’t know, I mean nobody expected Hamilton to get anywhere near him in his first season.

        Massa is one of those drivers that just seems to chip away and I can see it causing trouble if he keeps with Alonso.

  70. Nick4 says:

    Based on what the people who are in the best position to make a considered opinion on the current F1 drivers, (Martin Brundle, to name one), Alonso is the most complete driver! Martin added a little while back, when Button was on song, that he was up there with Alonso. It seems as though that the further away an interested observer is, the stronger the opinion, to the extent that it is inconsistent with astute observers of the sport who are very well placed and employed to give good considered assessment!!
    All F1 drivers past and present have their flaws, includng Schumie and Kimi. Alonso is a latin and behaves differently to the teutonic Schumie and morose Finn. That doesn’t mean to say that he should be so villified for the failures of Mclaren, when Hamilton joined the team. Mclaren and especially Dennis, failed as a team to manage that driver combination better and naturally a driver of Alonso’s standing expected, and should have been better treated. His frustration could have been better handled, but he’s a latin. He still delivered post Hungary ’07 in a very hostile environment; a team that had already become Hamilton’s.
    I look forward very much to 2010; at last we will have 4 WC’s racing each other from 3 teams.

  71. Trixie says:

    I personally feel that Jenson would fit better as Kimi’s team mate than Lewis, but I can’t see why Kimi will end up in a Brawn instead of an established outfit like his old team McLaren. Unless of course Mercedes takes over Brawn completely, which is not likely to happen for a few more years yet going by what’s been reported.
    It will be a home coming for some unfinished business b/w Kimi & McLaren. Perhaps McLaren has promised to provide Kimi the equipment and support to rewrite the record books straight… that is, Kimi wins a/two/etc championship(s) with McLaren ?!
    Besides, I think Kimi looks better in white racing suit than a red one.
    As with the payoff/salary, Kimi doesn’t flaunt his wealth. From photos at each race, he turns up wearing the same ol’ camo/pyjama looking shorts, wears the corporate polos/shirts, and I’m sure he invests his earnings wisely and puts much back into the sport thru his double R Racing team. It’s assuring to read that Matti & Paula Raikkonen actually watched the Spa race from the spectator mound on Eau Rouge according to Peter Windsor’s recent Spa review. Let Kimi’s racing do the talking because he has been stoic, while maintaining his dignity and composure during the Alonso/Ferrari speculation, not to mention the appearance of being “dumped” by Ferrari.
    So, GO KIMI GO !!
    Perhaps the Massa-Alonso-Ferrari marriage will turn into an F1 sideshow soap opera. Should be entertaining especially at one of those many new boring circuits….!

  72. I like Cake says:

    The other unanswered question is What happens to Renault now? I heard Alonso not content with developing the team’s f1 car single-handedly without engineer support, has also been developing Renault’s road cars in his free time.Rumour has it that a certain Nelson Piquet is the lead crash tester.

  73. Janet says:

    Ok, Alonso to Ferrari. We figured that would happen at some point as Kimi clearly isn’t Tifosi material. I totally understand that, but why couldn’t Ferrari handle this with a bit more class? Disgraceful in my opinion.
    James, I’m also wondering. Are we not in a global recession? How is it that Santander, a bank, can just shell out 40+ million to pay off Kimi, another 25+ to pay Alonso and possibly fund Mclaren for Kimi’s ride. Do they have that kind of disposable cash on their balance sheet? And if so, are they that desperate for a spanish driver that the bank’s board would actually approve that kind of expenditure. Just curious, as banks have been especially hard hit in these times.

    1. Martin P says:

      Santander were one of the clever/lucky ones who avoided lending to certain risky markets.

      In short, they lent to people who can and are paying it back while many of the other banks lent to people who can’t and aren’t.

      Because they don’t have the same levels of bad debt, they’re also in a great position to capitalise on the downfall of competitors as people look for safe havens for their cash. But when times are hard, people like names they’ve heard of to give them some crumb of confidence. What better way of becoming a household name than being a sponsor in Formula 1?

      It’s a well run bank and make no mistake, this is a clever investment not an expensive whim.

      1. Wrench Doozer says:

        Actually, it was more luck than skill. The Spanish regulators made it difficult/unpalatable for their banks to engage in structured finance vehicles compared to other jurisdictions.

  74. JohnBt says:

    Just thinking aloud: LEWIS & MASSA, ALONSO & KIMI. Nevermind.

  75. manodemono says:

    While we all have our favorites, let’s attempt at being practical, let’s analyze what’s happened :

    Lewis & FA battle all out, it ends in a draw both scoring the same (I repeat, the same points). The result a happy Ferrari & a happy Kimi who ends up WDC

    At Mac everybody’s unhappy. Ron & Haug are worn from the ” intramurals ” with Lewis & FA preferring to split ways.

    As FA goes to Renault, Ron & Haug breath easy. FA’s not going to provide them a new worry.. at least he’s not at Ferrari

    Peace reigns at Mac & Lewis is free to win. Devoting his efforts to keeping Massa at bay, he finally succeeds. The result, Mac & Lewis are happy while Ferrari is sad & feeling Kimi might have done a little more.

    Ferrari figure they should have had FA in the first place but remember it was Todt who put Kimi in. So how do they work around this until Kimi’s contract runs out so they don’t have to pay him for his early exit ?

    Business is business.

    Santander then foots Kimi’s 2010 paycheck having him drive at Mac. Staying on as a sponsor for 2010

    Mac is happy because they get Kimi who’s way better than Kova. Lewis & dad weren’t counting on such a strong competitor but since they’re not the owners….

    FA brings with him, the best crew he’s had at Renault & MAC in addition to the support from a crew that will develop the Ferrari race after race with his inputs…. down to the last race each year.

    While Massa, what has he to lose ? All he’s got to do is show he’s learned.. from all those he’s been with & maybe he may make WDC

    While Mac isn’t happy FA’s at Ferrari as they understand they face a formidable competitor that can win multiple WDCs in the next few years they now have Kimi who together with Lewis might make this task more difficult.

    Interesting times gentlemen !

    1. JL says:

      Great analysis manodemono. Completely agree on the story and very much look forward already to 2010.

      Lets hope the cars this time around are designed as expected from Mclaren and Ferrari.

    2. CptZorg says:

      Add to this the prospect of Lewis starting to have tantrums mid-season and father Anthony putting out feelers to teams to find out where he could be No 1. Expect to see another father & son spectacle next season with plenty of muck, should make for good tv and keep James’s visitor numbers growing

  76. Michael says:

    I like Kimi, he won the World Championship for Ferrari in 2007. Kimi is as fast as they come. However, he is so intraverted that it does not fit with the marketing arm of Ferrari. They Trifosi are passionate about their teams and they expect the drivers to be the same. Remember Schumi leaping on the podium… he won the hearts of the Ferrari fans. In 2008, Kimi had a disastrous year and instead of showing that he cared and wanted to improve he gave the impression that it is what it is. It just did not bode well with Ferrari and that I think was his downfall. Schumi was the best driver F1 has ever witnessed and yet he also had the most controversy surrounding him. Alonso will do well in Ferrari. He speaks Italian and he is technically the best driver out there right now. It is a perfect fit and I bet Ferrari won’t have the problems McLaren had when Alonso was there.

  77. El Shish says:

    That sentimentality Ferrari feel towards Massa is going to come back and bite them in the arse, I suspect.

    I cannot wait to say it, so many subplots its untrue… Kimi and Alonso out to show their old teams they were wrong to slight them, Mclaren v Ferrari back fighting at the top with the best four drivers between them, no embarassing Heike to make excuses for, the cool-headed steely Northern Europeans v the passionate Latinos. I must say, when push comes to shove, I fancy the steely resolve and no-nonsense approach to win through.

    Let’s face it, for all the anymosity directed at Hamilton and Kimi for being over-pampered, they tend to do their talking on the track. Massa and Alonso are just a little too prone to throwing their toys out of the pram for my liking and I don’t think anybody in their right mind really believes Massa is in the same league as the other three.

  78. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    I expect Kimi to do two years max in F1, or possibly only one.

    If Hamilton starts to politicize things, surely Kimi will just get up and go rallying in 2011?

  79. hasfa says:

    I always imagine how Kimi can back to MM after alonso take his place at ferrari. Alonso maybe on of the best champion like Hamilton in this new era. forget the Scumaker. Focus on Kimi. Yes most of them say he is the fastest driver. But he is not consistent driver. far away than Scumaker. Always blame the car is anything bad happen same like alonso. The pure driver is Schumaker and the Hamilton is next. The champion
    on his way without blame anibody.

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