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Montezemolo casts fresh doubt on Raikkonen’s Ferrari future
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Montezemolo casts fresh doubt on Raikkonen’s Ferrari future
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Sep 2009   |  6:45 pm GMT  |  134 comments

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has stirred up the Ferrari driver situation again by saying that while Felipe Massa’s position at Ferrari is assured for next year, Kimi Raikkonen’s is not.

Picture 24
“We will have a Brazilian driver, who deserves another chance, seeing as he’s well. As for the rest, we are thinking about the best choice, but we still have time. We will decide in a few weeks.”

This is a different line from the one he took at Monza two weeks ago, at the announcement of Santander’s five year sponsorship deal, where he appeared to be suggesting that the drivers currently under contract would race next year and that Fernando Alonso would have to wait his turn. The Spaniard was not implicated in the Singapore race fixing scandal and so is very much a free agent and ready for 2010.

Raikkonen has already been waiting some time for Ferrari to decide what it wants to do. Meanwhile the stance is based on a firm conviction that Felipe Massa will return to racing next season as good as he was before his accident.

Lately, there have been increasing suggestions that Raikkonen may be welcome back at McLaren. Although I find the idea of a fit with Lewis Hamilton rather hard to imagine, not to mention unnecessary, it seems that the story has some foundation.

Heikki Kovalainen surely lost his last chance of holding on to his McLaren seat at Monza, where he was the best placed car on the grid with the winning strategy and yet he faded horribly in the race.

Montezemolo also confidently predicted that Ferrari would be back as a title contender next season,
“We have been in competition since 1950, we’ve never retired, though the good times and the bad. We are the team which has won the most. We’ve taken a couple of years holiday, because the rules were not clear. Next year we will be back in force. That said, this year isn’t finished yet.”

Ironically Raikkonen is in the form of his life with 30 points in the last four races including the win at Spa. This is in spite of Ferrari halting development of the 2009 car to focus on 2010.

Incidentally the Italian media is making much of the notion that with FIA president Max Mosley having got rid of both Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore this year, he will now train his sights on Montezemolo and John Howett of Toyota, the other two main architects of the FOTA project. There has not been a response from Montezemolo to that suggestion and he also ducked questions about Briatore’s departure.

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134 Comments
  1. dave says:

    “We will have a Brazilian driver, who deserves another chance” – surely, he can’t be thinking of giving the seat to Nelson Piquet Jr.

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      very good! hahaha

    2. davidturnedge says:

      My first thought, also. Har har!

    3. Janet says:

      ha-ha That’s great!

  2. Tom says:

    The thing with Kimi is that he’ll fit pretty much anywhere. He just turns up, drives the car as fast as he can, and goes home. I doubt he would be at all fazed by having Lewis Hamilton as his team-mate. I for one would love to see him back at McLaren. In fact I think Hamilton would have even more of a struggle on his hands than he did in 2007 with Alonso, since Kimi isn’t one to throw his toys out of the pram if it’s not going his way (e.g. last year against Massa).

    1. Chris says:

      I agree with you completley. Kimi belongs at Mclaren. Fair enough he won the championship at Ferrari, but he has never looked as comfortable. Ferrari used to only go for drivers like Kimi (Villeneuve & Alesi) they existed for them. Now they just want robots. Wouldn’t mind seeing him in a competative Williams. Frank and Patrick love drivers.

      1. Howard Hughes says:

        Hm. I’d hardly call Massa and Alonso, nor Irvine, nor even Schumacher ‘robots’. Drivers like Heidfeld could arguably be labelled such, but not Ferrari’s choices.

        And Williams do almost fetishise the notion of the heroic, careworn, battling, hardbitten driver, but in reality they’re perhaps the team that treats their drivers most like commodities, to be employed, bought and sold according to requirements…

    2. Jason C says:

      I agree with your post, but also think that Hamilton may not be able to handle someone of Kimi’s calibre in the other car. See 2007.

    3. Kenny says:

      I don’t know how the “new and improved” Lewis would react to Kimi, but I am certain that Lewis, the father, the brother, and all of the associated baggage would not faze Kimi in the least.

  3. F1 Kitteh says:

    If Mclaren comes up with a championship winner for Kimi next year that would surely cost Montezemolo’s head if he’s paying 50mm or whatever to buy him out..

    1. Wingers says:

      I dunno hey, What’s 50 Million really equate to these days? Ferrari is a top performer sales wise in its segment, even through harsh times. They have a big bucks Bank onboard now. Massa I don’t think is the most expensive around.

      Alonso vs Raikkonen
      Marketable vs not so marketable
      Focused and Hungry vs Aloof and disinterested
      Millions of Spanish vs A million Finnish?
      Driven by Championships vs Driving to be paid now that he’s a champ?

      I really was impressed with Raikonen at McLaren in 05, easily the most switched on I think he has bee, but he isn’t the same Kimi anymore, I don’t wanna slag him, but Alonso just looks more keen…

      The one negative Alonso carries with him, is that he seems to somehow attract or follow controversy… But so did MS, Senna, Prost and many other great champs

      And Millions of Spaniards buying fresh new Ferrari stuff and accessories, and wannabe Ferrari owners banking with Santander. The appeal of the brand is huge, and I don’t know if they are hitting that many soft spots with Raikkonen Finnish Fans, compared to the hugh emotion Spanish fans?

      Spain seems to be the new black in Sports, be it Alonso, Nadal, Barce or Real Madrid…

      So back to the 50 million, is it such a loss for the long term marketing opportunities Raikkonen seems to care little for?

      1. Andy says:

        “So back to the 50 million, is it such a loss for the long term marketing opportunities Raikkonen seems to care little for?”

        I think the question is, will Ferrari make extra 50 million in marketing opportunities in just -a year-. Next fall they can still get Alonso, and not have to pay someone tens of millions for not driving.

      2. Mattij says:

        Very good points all of those.

        But they would get all Alonso-benefits also if he only started in 2011.

        Why pay (tens of) millions just to get him a year early?

      3. " for sure " says:

        ………..and when he turns out to be witness X. What then…?

      4. F1 kitteh says:

        Exactly guys.. If getting Alonso a yr early is going to GUARANTEE an extra 100mm revenue and he can do out of this world stuff in the car that Kimi can’t, then I’m all for it. Otherwise it’s a very bad risk reward from a business point of view

      5. Alias says:

        Marketability is not an issue with Kimi. Kimi was voted the second favourite driver (after Lewis) on the grid last year, in the FIA survey. Of all the drivers on grid Kimi has been googled the second most this year after Lewis, that pretty much confirm the survey results. Most of Kimi’s fans are from all over the world, only a small percentage are from Finland.

      6. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

        If Ferrari wanted to really capitalize on Raikkonen’s marketability, they would have brought on Finlandia as a sponsor by now…

  4. ronik says:

    How was Max Mosley involved in Ron Dennis’ departure from F1? I thought that was a voluntary decision. Did something happen behind the scenes or do I have my facts wrong?

    1. Arya says:

      Yes, it was as voluntary decision as that of Flavio’s. Both voluntarily quit and saved their respective teams from further humiliation.

      1. Jacqui says:

        Flavio may have quit voluntarily, but the lifetime ban was certainly not his choice!

      2. Arya says:

        I think I lacked sarcasm there :P.

  5. Robert Powers says:

    Kimi was 35 points down and won a title in F1. I wouldn’t let a driver like that go,especially since I predicted he would do it,on two different radio shows(I get no credit for that either)!I believe he is the best driver in the world,but if Luca wants to bail on him,so be it!I have so much respect for Mr di Montezemelo. But if they let Raikkonen go,they willbe looking at his rear wing soon,and this will not look like a brilliant managment decision.

    1. Chris says:

      Swapping Raikkonen for Alonso, who is rated as a better driver by most, is hardly a move that Ferrari would regret. Until Massa was injured this season, Raikkonen was anonymous. Massa was the one scoring more points and in general performing better. Plus he was the most recent to challenge for the title.

      Any pairing from those three would be decent, but seeing as Raikkonen goes through large periods of not looking interested, Alonso is the better choice. If he is given the car, we know he will be fighting for the championship. Ferrari gave Raikkonen the car last year and he looked like he’d rather be on a beach somewhere.

      1. Andy says:

        “Ferrari gave Raikkonen the car last year and he looked like he’d rather be on a beach somewhere.”

        This perception of his 2008 season is quite flawed. He was ahead of Massa after Hungary, the 11th GP of the year and the only disappointment up until that point was Monaco, and many would argue he had at that point lost a win (or at least a podium place) in Canada due to Hamilton’s pit lane crash, and a sure win in France (though luckily got a 2nd there). It was the next four races, in which he failed to score a point for a reason or another at the most inconvenient time, that his season was deemed a failure. Every race counts, of course, but I find overly generic statements like the one quoted above from Chris, quite unfair. If that was Kimi wanting to be on the beach somewhere, the races would be quite dull if he actually wanted to drive, don’t you think?

      2. Curro says:

        Spot on Andy

        Had he won Spa the end of the season might have been completely different

      3. The Kimster says:

        Ferrari admitted they channged to car in ’08 to suit Massa more than Kimi… half way through they changed it back for Kimi and he came to life….

        However, Alonso I am sure will get what he wants from day 1… He is demanding and that works for him.. Kimi turns up and drives and that does not buy political clought that you need in F1

      4. Mike K says:

        Massa obviously has preferiti treatment at Ferrari – it is totally viable that with him out of the picture at the moment that Ferrari have had no choice but to get behind Kimi. Maybe by knowing that he earns so much, they give him the second class treatment so he has to WORK harder for a win, rather than Massa, who pretty much has it gifted. Remember Raikkonen in 05? Storming through the pack in Suzuka from 17th if i remember correctly to win the race?The man has raw speed – its not something you just lose.He might have faded a little, but lack of motivation does that to everyone. Ferrari are obviously bringing Alonso in, I just think its a shame to waste all that Money and Talent. Fair play to kimi – I hope he finds a champ winning car again.

      5. Hagis says:

        What a joke, Massa never had prefered treatment, he was simply faster. Accept it.

    2. Kedar says:

      Though Kimi deserved a WDC I think it was the Fighting McLaren boys who lost it rather than Ferrari winning it. Fernando was acting like a little baby who had just dropped his lollypop and Ron and the others were busy promoting their blue eyed Rookie and made a complete mess of things. Raikonnen was just there or thereabouts and ended up winning the championship. So If I was a team boss I would rather hire Kimi for his performances in 2003 (sticking it up to MS) or for 2005 where he was only beaten by Fernando and his (then) unreliable Merc engines.

      1. Robert Powers says:

        ‘Cept I picked Kimi to win it around Silverstone time! Because I know how he IS! And look at the result. Sure, it will go down as a McLaren fold, but those of us who have watched Kimi onboard knew who the CHAMP was going to be, all due respect to Mr Hamilton.

  6. Buck says:

    I like Raikkonen. He’s one of the purely fastest drivers ever. But he’s also a true character. Not in the gregarious media savvy manner that most people expect from a major sports star, but in a seeming indifferent attitude towards everything outside the cockpit way. He just doesn’t seem to give a crap about all the other…crap.

    Unfortunately, while his driving may have been a match for Ferrari, his personality is not. It would seem introverted Finns and extroverted Italians are polar opposites, and so he may have always had a handicap when it comes to making the brass at Ferrari and their loyal tifosi happy.

    Whatever happens, I hope he does well because he should have won several championships by now.

    If he goes to WRC that may be a better fit; more Finns there, and the emphasis is on driving cars, not creating headlines with bubbly talking heads.

  7. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

    They would be nuts to let Raikkonen go for Alonso. Yes, he has his moments when he doesn’t seem to be very focused, but when he is, Raikkonen is bar none the quickest guy in F1. Alonso’s a very good driver, but there are quicker guys out there, and he comes with such a risk of a blowup like he had at McLaren.

    A Hamilton-Raikkonen pairing would instantly be the best in F1. They both like oversteer from the car, which makes the work of the design office easy, and they’re both personalities more concerned with the work on their own cars than with what happens to the other guy. All the while, they’ll be pushing the best out of each other.

  8. jose arellano says:

    i would love to see raikkonen and alonso battling each other at ferrari..

    1. Tigerdad says:

      Agree with you Jose, that would be fantastic to witness! Matter of fact it doesn’t matter to me if it’s Kimi or Felipe but my greatest apprehension is Alonso’s poor ability to cope with a teammate who’s capable of beating him on any given Sunday. With that in mind I’d much rather see Kimi see out his contract and maybe by 2011 I’d change my view on Alonso if I could only see an improvement in his attitude towards himself (his ‘me first’ attitude) and towards exceptional drivers in his team. Cheers!

  9. richard hughes says:

    Ok, lets face facts, Kimi is on is way out and FA in replacing him.

    i cant wait till next year, where hopefully we will have kimi and lewis in the silver cars racing Fernado in a red one.

  10. Patrickl says:

    They brought Raikkonen in as the next champion and instead of giving him all support, they waste it on their no2 driver Massa.

    Raikkonen and the whole of Ferrari is flying now they are rid of Massa’s influence.

    Look how they messed up Raikkonen’s car in the middle of last season while Raikkonen was basically in the lead for the WDC. They completely ruined his season with their dumb development error.

    Then Montezemolo brings in Badoer …

    Montezemolo even wants Schumacher back.

    The dude just doesn’t know what to do. he sounds like a woman in a shoe store.

    The guy is not a leader, he’s in some sort of a popularity contest where he feels that short term goals are the only thing to go by.

    I really hope Raikkonen goes back to McLaren and kicks Ferrari’s ass.

    People make such a fuss about Hamilton and how he is the preferred driver. He wasn’t when Alonso was there. They were sharing that spot. Only Alonso wanted to be the preferred driver and that simply wasn’t going to happen.

    Both Hamilton and Raikkonen would be fine with the arrangment that Alonso and Hamilton were supposed to have. Their driving styles would match better than Massa and Raikkonen.

    Maybe Alonso can turn Ferrari around, because they really seem to be down the slope into their old Italian ways again.

    Wityh some luck Brawn will be good again next year with Button and Rosberg driving there.

    We could have a great 3 way championship battle between the WDC’s like it’s supposed to be.

    1. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

      Umm… You’re forgetting Vettel and Red Bull, who are here to stay as a top team. They’ll be more likely to compete for a championship than Brawn, IMO.

    2. Thomas says:

      That’s what you get for putting the two fastest guys in F1 in the same team. Lewis can keep up with them, but there’s not another driver in the field who can.

      I really agree with the Montezemolo part. In 2006 he basicly pushed Schumi out of the team for Kimi, now he wants Schumi back and Kimi gone. Oh, and he wants Alonso too. Especially since Kimi had a bad year last year because of the car characteristics. The F2008 fitted Massa better, and with these guys behind the wheel that translates into a serious advantage.

    3. Janet says:

      “The dude just doesn’t know what to do. he sounds like a woman in a shoe store.”

      Hey now! :)

      But I do agree with your comments. I guess the Finn doesn’t match the spaghetti culture.

      Ahh well….

      1. Lola says:

        That is a pretty offensive remark.

        We also like “penne”.

      2. Janet says:

        Sorry Lola. Didn’t mean to offend, although your coment was pretty hilarious:)

    4. Jacqui says:

      I for one think Ferrari have treated Kimi appalingly. They have given him a mediocre car and zero support with it. Now they can’t ever reassure him of a drive. This has left me with no respect for The Scuderia whatsoever.

      I hope Kimi makes the move to either Brawn / McLaren and wipes the floor with Ferrrari – with them paying him the $49 million to do so!

  11. Lasap says:

    Why is it ‘unnecessary’ to have Raikkonen alongside Hamilton???

    Whats unnecessary is Ferrari hogging all the best drivers in F1. They won 3 out of 4 championships with Massa and Raikkonen, which should have really been 4 had it not been for Ferrari’s mistakes.

    Everyone knows that you never split a winning team.
    Signing Alonso is whats unnecessary.

    1. Eric says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

      What more could you ask of a driver pairing of world-class drivers where if one isn’t performing amazingly well, the other is?

      Ferrari considering signing Alonso to partner Massa for next year is idiotic in my view. Have they no memory? Pairing a driver who wants undisputed #1 status with a driver who is well known and loved in a team, not to mention damn fast. Sound familiar?

      1. Stevie P says:

        I imagine that Alonso has his eyes wide open (now!) as to the possible scenarios within Ferrari. The base-line (for me) is, Alonso is a double world champion and in the last two seasons he’s not had a car to challenge for the title in. He’s likely to get that at Ferrari! I don’t think he’ll be fussed who he’s driving alongside… he just wants a competitive car; it’s all any of them want.

    2. murray says:

      Is Felipe going to be the same driver? It would be tragic if his injury damages his ability, but Ferrari are sure to be considering that scenario along with the others. It has seemed to me that Felipe is fastest when he’s got a fast car and a clear track, Kimi when he’s got a fast car and visible on-track competition.

    3. The Kimster says:

      I agree 100%…. Hamilton is clearly James’ favorite driver and there is nothing wrong with that….

      However, McLaren want the best and if they can have two of the best then why not… Heikki is not helping with the WCC each year at all

      1. James Allen says:

        Not at all. Too much was made of that in the 2007/8 seasons. However I like the video.

      2. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

        Guys, I think it’s pretty clear who James’ favorite driver is…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wif3Kr0y5js

        GET IN THERE, JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

  12. James says:

    Obviously Luca has a great understanding of brain injuries to be that confident of Massa’s return.

    I cant believe how foolish Luca is being. Brain injuries and knocks to the head can cause a lot of damage, particuarly on the scale that Massa suffered. Although Felipe maybe feeling better, there is still a risk of conditions such as epilipsy being present/developing as a result of the accident. I really hope that this doesnt happen to Felipe, but it is a possibility.

    Had the accident not happened, I dont think Felipe would have had as many strong drives as Raikkonen has had in the past 4 races. An easy comment to make I suppose, and a theory that cant be tested, but Raikkonen has upped his game lately. I also believe he is getting the hang of the car as well or the car is coming to him after Ferrari stopped developing it.

    It’s a silly situation, but if Kimi goes to Brawn next seaosn, or indeed Mclaren, and demolishes the field, Luca will look very silly indeed.

    1. Hagis says:

      “Had the accident not happened, I dont think Felipe would have had as many strong drives as Raikkonen has had in the past 4 races”

      Yeah your comment really makes sense and has evidence, as Massa had nearly twice as many points as Raikkonen despite having more mechanical faliures in his car upto Hungary.

      1. James says:

        It’s only my opinion, I’m not stating it as fact. Kimi has put in some top drives in a car that strictly speaking shouldnt be capable of winning races or getting on the podium steps.

    2. Roberto says:

      It is truth that Raikkonen has been in excellent form in the last races, but what happen before, when Massa was around?, does somebody has asked himself with the improvements how Massa would have gone?.

      I think it`s simple, Kimi is a great great driver, maybe one of the fastest ever, but he is not a Ferrari driver by definition, he miss the passion and comitment, thus his inconsistency during the last 3 years. Also is worth to mention that he did great winning the champiomship on Brazil 07, but it was Mclaren who lost it, remember that.

      1. James says:

        It’s to my belief that the best driver won the title in 2007. He kept his head down and scored the most points, just like the other world champs.

      2. Roberto says:

        Yes, he is a worthy champiom and made the best of the situation, but the problem is his attitude, his car on Mclaren was developed by Wurz and De la Rosa, His Ferrari, although some people can laugh, was developed by Luca Badoer, but in reality he is not the best in developing a car.

        Scuamacher, Alonso, Prost, Senna those pilots were deep involved in their tests and in the factories working hand in hand to get the most out of the car always

        That is why Ferrari is balancinng what to do with Kimi.

        Massa has shown Kimi how to get the most out of a Ferrari since 2008. Kimi is fastest F1 driver on sheer speed, but only when the car is completely to his liking, Massa can handle better some defects.

  13. Silverstoned says:

    Whitmarsh’s body lang of late indicated something brewing for the Iceman at Woking [maybe a huge keg of tipple?] I think Kimi should not stay where he is obviously not wanted.

    Still James’s report is astounding. LdeM shoved out Schumacher to get KR in, he was that keen. Now he’s putting his faith in Massa and I’ll never understand that. I don’t want to slag off the genial Brazillian, but he’s never really achieved much to justify the hopes and dreams of a team like Ferrari.

    My guess is The Kimster will finish this season on a high then take a year out rallying or fishing or just Switzerlanding, and then see which team he fancies for a drive in 2011.

    1. Ian Blackwell says:

      I do not think the powers that be at Ferrari are putting all their faith in Massa. As has been screamed from every rooftop in f1, they will have Alonso. I seriously doubt Santander are sponsoring Ferrari because Marc Gene is their fifth (or is it sixth) driver!

      Totally agree with the Kimi to McLaren bit though I think there is an outside chance Mercedes might prefer Rosberg in one of their silver arrows!

      1. Silverstoned says:

        Ian, not “all”, but putting his faith in Massa. I mean that instead of KR and Alonso, which they could have, he is opting for someone who has just had open head surgery and may never be the same driver again.
        You can understand this if your other driver was Bourdais, or Piquet jr, or H H Frentzen.
        But THE ICEMAN???

      2. Marc says:

        Correct. They are not putting all their fate in Massa. It is quite clear that they want someone to replace Kimi. The superstar driver. Massa isn’t marketable and not big enough a name to carry the Ferrari team. I think this does speak volumes for Massas role within Ferrari. Not the go to guy.

        LDM has got worried with all the negative publicity they have received through the apparently not too bothered Kimi. Rubbish. They miss managed their driver set up and things just didn’t turn out right. Schumis success was based on a car finely developed for him and the second driver had to then adjust it back to their liking.

        The Ferrari car as a core hasn’t suited Kimi very well and with no testing it’s been hard for him to turn it around to his liking. Hence he is driving quick now as he has had a few races to work on it. Simple really. Ferrari should have done what they do well, focus on one driver and this should have been Kimi no doubt. Don’t even get me started on Domenicali, aka Mickey Mouse. Bad management, bad business!

  14. Paul says:

    For me it casts doubt on Alonsos move to Ferrari, which I taught was certain. Maybe Ferrari are re thinking the move after Kimis recent form and weather Alonso is worth what it will cost to get him. If Kimi goes to McLaren they would have one of the strongest partnerships and would be in a good position for the constructor championship where the teams make their money.

  15. The Kimster says:

    I am stunned how Ferrari have handeled this…. I also don’t understand why James thinks it is not a good move for McLaren… It perhaps is not good for Hamilton but great for McLaren. They are one of the few teams in F1 that don’t fear two top drivers

    seems fans love Kimi, seems media and press do not

    1. Fausto Cunha says:

      I have the same opinion.

      Kimi has many fans and he doesn´t have more because his not Spanish or English.But even so when you look at the stands in a race day, the chants at Monza this year and comments at forums you realize that he has a lot of fans.

      The press doesn´t like him because he doesn´t really care about them, his not a showman and he doesn´t give them much.

      We´ve seen Lewis taking Nikki Lauda for a drive, Jenson with the guy from BBC, Jordan visiting Barrichelo, so many things…. but never with Kimi… not possible.

      James, Do you ever had an uninformal converstion with Kimi? How is he?

      1. James Allen says:

        Yes, sure. He’s okay, very laid back

      2. Lunchbox says:

        Spot on Fausto and The Kimster! I personally like Kimi a lot and it’s a shame that most of the press and even some die-hard tifosi inadvertently tend to knock him for his laid back personality as it just doesn’t make good copy.[how do you guys start a new paragraph? :)] ….Seeing as he’s recently come to grips with the F60 he’s been nothing short of AWESOME!! ….Don’t care much ’bout Alonso, just not my cup of tea i guess. On-track Kimi’s the REAL DEAL and that’s more than good enough for me.

  16. Jonathan says:

    “Ironically Raikkonen is in the form of his life with 30 points in the last four races including the win at Spa.”

    Ironically? Or is it the threat of losing his job that’s woken him up?

    Or is it that he just looks an awful lot better when Massa isn’t around to outshine him?

    1. Hammad says:

      Yeah that’s pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking. Raikkonen probably is the best in the field, but only when he has the motivation.

      I still question Alonso coming to Ferrari though. Alonso whines when he doesn’t get priority, and Massa won’t accept being number 2 unless Alonso clearly outshines him, which I doubt will happen. We’re probably heading for a repeat of 2007 with Mclaren.

    2. Alias says:

      Or perhaps Ferrari are just finally giving Kimi a bit of proper support.

    3. Desdi says:

      Thats baloney and you know it. Everyone knows that the Ferraris understeery nature has been an uphill battle for Raikkonen. And he even got a championship with it. They kinda got the car sorted halfway thru 07 and the same in 08 when they decided to take a different approach to Kimis car from Spa and onwards.

      Before Massas accident – Kimi had outqualified Massa and looked very set to do it in Hungary as well. Since from Hungary and on – they finally got the balance in the car right to suit Kimi. And then he is able to push the car. When he cant do that – he may seem unmotivated or whatever. But fact remains that Massa is way out of his league when both are given cars they are able to push with.

      1. Jonathan says:

        Massa outperformed Raikkonen in 2008 and in the first half of 2009. It’s as simple as that – the numbers say everything.

        If you were paying Kimi £25m a year to be your #1 driver, would you settle for excuses, or would you expect performance to match the salary?

        I like the guy but I think he’s on his way out.

      2. Alias says:

        But Kimi hasn’t been the no.1 driver, the whole year now Kimi has been fuel heavier then Felipe when both has made it into Q3. That is exactly the same thing Mclaren have done with Lewis and Heikki, and most people see that as preferential treatment, so why is it different in the case of Felipe and Kimi?

      3. Desdi says:

        The numbers do not say anything when it comes to speed. The heating problems prevented him from doing well in qualifying. But once they heated up he was usually the fastest guy on track.
        I dont mean to sound like a fanboy, but tire heating counts for a lot these days. Just look at the Brawn cars.

  17. Baz says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kimi leave Ferrari. Regardless of his achievements at the team he’s look a different driver than the one at McLaren. Whilst at Ferrari he’s been blowing hot and cold; at McLaren he was always on the case. I think Kimi would like to return to McLaren and I would like to see him return there as well. It’s whether McLaren would be happy to have him back.

    We shall see.

    1. Jonathan Chan says:

      Agreed. I can’t remember from which source this quote was from but prior to his move to Ferrari in 2007 Kimi said he’d only drive for two teams and that was Mclaren and Ferrari.

      heres another interesting quote.

      the 29-year-old Finn said no matter what happens, he is staying in formula one.

      “If for some reason I am not at Ferrari next season I know I’ll have a seat at another team in the paddock,” he is quoted as saying by Britain’s Daily Telegraph. “It’s not a problem. Other teams want me.”

  18. John says:

    I’m perplexed by Ferrari’s attitude toward Kimi. They went out of their way to get him, he won a WDC, now they seem keen to show him the door.

    The current Ferrari team seems hell-bent on returning to the ways of the Ferrari team pre-Schumacher. Their decisions on just about everything these days seem really confused. This is not the kind of stuff you would have seen during the Schumacher-Todt-Brawn glory days.

    1. " for sure " says:

      But none of Schumacher Todt or Brawn were Italian. Those messing up today are. Simples.

    2. " for sure " says:

      ……….but of course none of Schumacher Todt or Brawn were Italian. Those scewing up today are. Simples!

    3. Jonathan says:

      Well, I have a strong suspicion that it was Ferrari signing Raikkonen that caused Schumacher to quit in the first place. If so, that was Ferrari’s first crazy decision…

  19. Lee Gilbert says:

    These comments by Luca only add weight to the Alonso to Ferrari story for 2010.

    It looks like he was distancing himself during the Monza weekend from any thought of Alonso due to the unanswered “crash-gate” case – clever political management on his part.

    But now Paris has given its verdict, Luca is free to accelerate what I am sure he would have liked to have done at Monza – that is pave the way for Alonso in place of Kimi.

    It’s my view that the reason for Ferrari wanting Alonso at the expense of Kimi is that they are looking to create another dynasty. Kimi was never going to play the role in a 10-season strong Schmacher style dynasty. Luca has realised that the key to their recent success has been stability built around the best driver in F1.

    Kimi is an old-school romantic type Ferrari driver from an era of erratic form and poor management. Alonso is like Schumacher in the sense that you can seriously imagine him staying at Ferrari for several seasons. With Massa as his Eddie Irvine and then another driver coming in as his Rubens in 2 to 3 years.

    I seriously believe that Martin Whitmarsh is keen on Kimi so my money is on a Lewis and Kimi driver line up for McClaren next year

    1. Trixie says:

      True, I feel Ferrari wants their next Michael S and perhaps they’ll find that in Alonso where he’ll most definitely demand #1 status. Where does that leave Massa ? As much as Massa said he’s attempted and initiated to be Kimi’s mate without any success, I think he’ll regret Kimi’s departure because at least you know with Kimi, he doesn’t muscle-flex his status. He gets on with his job without much ado. His attidude is “If you can do better, good. If I can do better, Great!” That’s how I see Kimi.
      So, all the better that Kimi goes where he’s wanted. I’m not fazed by the fact that Ferrari is replacing him with Alonso..it’s just going to be interesting how the Massa-Alonso pairing will fair. Kimi should take his talent where it’s wanted and be allowed to shine. I also can’t foresee any bust-up b/w Kimi & Lewis if they end up being team mates – remember Canada’08 ? Kimi was very calm despite Lewis ramming his rear.
      Finally, just want to say a quick note that I’ve only just discovered your website, James, and I don’t know if there’s a time limit in submitting comments. Perhaps this posting is already out of date…but at least I tried. I have to say the comments you get here are highly intelligent and quite respectable compared to what I’ve seen in other websites like Yahoo Sports. Thank you.

  20. Lady Snowcat says:

    Hmmm…

    Luca just loves playing to the audience…

    (Let’s pray he wasn’t wearing that awful red jacket he wore for the Santander PR stunt…)

    These guys expect their drivers to show undying gratitude for getting to drive the Ferrari…. and it was obvious that Kimi would never be in that mould…

    I really hope Ferrari get Massa and Alonso.. and I wish them luck…. because they’ll need it…

    In the meantime I hope Kimi finds a team that wants him for what he is and not what he isn’t….

    Macca should apply….

  21. C.M. says:

    I was a Kimi fan before he moved to Ferrari, then I turned my eyes on Alonso and now he goes to Ferrari, well I hope Kimi goes back to McLaren so I can support the driver I like most, I can’t do it while he’s driving a red car.

    There’s going to be lots of drivers changing teams next season, will be fun.

    1. KNF says:

      Same here, except that I couldn’t bring myself to support Ferrari before Kimi went over… Guess I’ll have to change back to the silver/rocket red combo next year…

      There’s one guy who also caught out in this, Heikki, where does he end up, ‘cos I can’t imagine him returning to Renault IF Robert Kubica goes there in 2010…

  22. Mattij says:

    Massa makes more noise.

    Which, strangely, seems to work at Ferrari.

    But then again, Schumi did the same. He was more German at first, but later started to mention his ‘love for the guys’ all the time.

    I always thought that it was genuine, but Massa-Raikkonen situation makes me wonder if it was actually a strategy.

    Being a Finn myself – and having Italian friends – I can confirm that Italian people DO have problems understanding us. And unfortunately, it somehow seems like they are not really trying to.

    And really, I would say this only about Italian friends. Not Spanish, not French, Not South American.

    (I’m sorry to say that as I of course love my Italian friends!)

    1. The Kimster says:

      I am Italian and I agree… we are extremely emotional people…. With that said Kimi is and has been my favorite driver… I will now be a McLaren fan again and say goodbye to Ferrari if Kimi goes back to Woking

    2. Trixie says:

      I don’t know why it seems so difficult to understand Kimi. To me, what you see is what you get with him. I know he’s not the complete sports package, but who is these days ? Besides, that’s why his fans adore him. If he was more media savvy, he might not come across as the true Iceman racer that he is.
      I visited Finland in 2007, and I can quite understand why the Finns are what they are. The society seems very egalitarian, and as a visitor travelling on my own, I don’t find Finnish people to be curious, so that’s why Kimi comes across as indifferent.

  23. Penfold says:

    James, there’s no way Max will get anywhere near Montezemolo, Ferrari are too big, too powerful. And i wouldn’t be surprised if we see Dennis return once Max finishes, especially if the Mercedes Brawn team is realised.

  24. Carl M says:

    Excellent piece James. I’ve just logged on before I go to bed to see if you wrote a piece on Kimi and you have, nice one. We will have to wait and see what happens, I’ve wrote many times now what I want to happen. The commentary has not been the same this season, you and Martin did a great job on ITV.

  25. Chris says:

    I think having two fluent Italian speakers driving for an Italian team is perfect for everything possible aspect of Ferrari: interviews, press releases, etc..

  26. john says:

    The great thing about this blog is that while we read posts and make comments with James,the news usually follow the exact storyline predicted by the blog itself.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for that. It’s great to have everyone’s input.

  27. Rudy Pyatt says:

    I have to agree that while I’ll be happy (and hoping!) for Massa to come back all fit, it’s dangerous to assume that he will. By way of example, Steve Park was a rising star in NASCAR, driving for Rousch team as I recall. He crashed and suffered head and brain injuries. He tried to come back, ran at least a few races in the lower divisions, but disappeared from the scene. Poor guy had slurred speech and what at least appeared to be some facial paralysis. Daytona 500 winner Earnie Irvin also had his career cut short by head injuries; he also tried to come back but was unable to operate at the level he needed.

    There’s no sign that FM is that bad off, but still, the precedent is there. Ferrari should keep Kimi. I think they SHOULD run three cars, but in the way Frank Williams and Patrick Head have suggested, get a young guy in rather than try to run a superteam.

    Then again, I REALLY enjoyed all those 1-2-3 finishes the Penske team got here in the mid-’90s with Unser, Fitipaldi and Tracy… but that’s my favorite race team, so I would. I’d love to see the Captain & Company back in F1, too, but I don’t think it will happen without a US round in the Championship. Meanwhile, GO USF1.

    1. Robert Powers says:

      Steve Park first crashed in 1998, his main injury being his pelvis.He was driving for Dale Earnhardt. He recovered to actually win a race for that team in the Cup series. But he was released by D.E.I.His head injuries came in a freak accident driving for Ted Marsh.Although he still races today,this accident did indeed cause him to fade from the scene.Felipe Massa cannot have another accident,and in Formula One this is not possible. That is why they make so much money. It takes time to heal,it could kill him.I do not want to tune in and see that.I hope I am wrong,Felipe brings a lot,but I don’t hold out much hope for his return.Prove me wrong, Mr. Massa,I don’t mind,but I don’t expect to see him on the grid for his own safety.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Thanks for the correction. I agree. I really don’t want to see a tragedy.

  28. Leslie says:

    My guess is that LdM is trying to negotiate a situation where Kimi takes next year off and doesn’t go straight to a competitive team.

    Echoing an earlier comment, I would like to see Kimi at Williams; I think they’ll come good next year and they won’t be fazed by ice cream.

    Also, Rosberg somewhere else to see just how good he actually is.

  29. PaulL says:

    I think Hamilton and Kimi could work fine. Kimi’s typical nonchalance regarding teammates seems to make for a stable environment.

    I guess though James, you might be concerned about Kimi occasionally taking points off Hamilton in the title race? I could understand that because it’s cost the best team a drivers title in many years before (86, 07 to name two). Is that the main issue?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m not concerned, may the best man win

  30. Steve JR says:

    As much as I find Mosely bizarre, I do admire his tenacity and ability to remove old egotistical school ties from F1 – and those old ties strangely remind me of Mosely himself in that very respect.

    The language and demeanor of the Briatore’s of this world make it a better place once they are dethroned because they have become too delusional with power and truly believe themselves to be above the law – very much like Margaret Thatcher towards the end of her tenure in Government.

    It strikes me that Montezemolo is also a man who is clearly delusional with power – so if Max could remove him from office before the final race then I think we could honestly say it will have been Max’s most productive year in F1 as he closes the door on himself as well so as to put the icing on the cake.

    The only thing worrying me is that if all these colourful characters are removed from F1 then we’ll be left with nothing but racing to talk about. Maybe Max will have the sense to realise this and consider dating Katie Price once the F1 dream is over.

  31. Alias says:

    Good news! Now hopefully Kimi can return home to Mclaren. He and Lewis will make a killer pair. It would be quite amusing it Ferrari are paying Kimi’s salary next year, so that he can drive for Mclaren, and it will be even more amusing if Kimi and Lewis manage to win both titles.

  32. The Kimster says:

    James,

    Can Ferrari try to block Kimi from returning to McLaren to make sure they don’t have to face embarassment next year in case he is in top form? After all they do owe him a lot of $$$$ and might write that in….

  33. Colin says:

    This is very frustrating. Ferrari is being very rude to both drivers. In particular Raikkonen who helped secure one wdc and 2 wcc. They need to let them know. This is very frustrating. If you dont want Raikkonen, pay him and let him go back to McLaren where he should be.

  34. C Lin says:

    Kimi being Kimi will never get good press from journalists for sure except for a couple of decent ones.

    I just hope Monty announce Massa & Alonso asap.

    Kimi to be liberated soon! Go Kimi!!!

  35. Lola says:

    Maybe Luca is just trying to lower Kimi salary for 2011 if he eventually will stay at Ferrari.

  36. Harveyeight says:

    Are Ferrari frightened of allowing some other team to sign Alonso?

    After the fraught time he had at McLaren when not being allowed number 1 status, one has to wonder if the delay has anything to do with contract negotiations.

    Whilst we’ve all assumed that the accusations against the Renault team have delayed Ferrari’s decision, could it be that Alonso wanted to go to the table in a position of power.

    He’s never been purer: he’s had a full valet, ear and nose hairs trimmed, eyebrows plucked and, whilst Rubens has gone for a seat fitting, Alonso has been measured for a halo.

    I know nothing of the circumstances of his position in the Renault cheating but I have to say, given he is the main beneficiary of the conspiracy, to come away from the hearing without even his cologne being criticised is remarkable indeed. He is rampant. I’d guess he’s added a nought or two to his fee. And, more importantly for him, a paragraph or two to his contract.

    It is probable that Santander has funded this move. They will want a degree of return commensurate with their investment. Where does this leave Massa? A contender last season, losing by just the one pitstop, he has the danger of being Irvined.

    I like Massa. In fact my appreciation of the impressive way he took his defeat last season has, I believe, tainted my view of his ability. But even if intense dislike was my main emotion, I wouldn’t wish number 2 status on him.

    Kimi to McLaren? It would suit him more than the team I think and it would suit McLaren quite a bit. But I wonder if he wants to compete against a top level driver. Mind you, his recent good form might boost his confidence.

    But what of Hamilton’s contract? Has he got a say on who teams with him? It would appear to be the norm nowadays.

    From a fan’s point of view, I’d love to see Kimi and Lewis head to head. No excuses, no teddies, no prams.

    Now, what about Mosley going for Luca? That deserves some thought.

  37. Rory H says:

    Having long been a Raikkonen fan, I would not be disappointed to see him make way for Alonso next year, and for him to head back to McLaren, who are much more reliable now.

    We all know McLaren love Lewis, but I doubt Kimi would be too fussed about that as long as he gets the same car…

    That would set up a tremendous battle next year seeing Alonso/Massa vs Hamilton/Raikkonen vs Button/Rosberg(?) vs Vettel/Webber!

    Let’s just let the inevitable happen and enjoy the fierce rivalries which would be built by these driver moves!

  38. DK says:

    The logical choice is to bring in Alonso in 2011. I think Luca maybe shooting his own foot again by declaring Massa’s position at this point of time. While most people are hopeful of Massa’s full recovery, there is still an element of risk. They offerred Kimi 2 years contract at Monza (a move which surprised many at that time) only to buy him out halfway?! Funny.

    It is clear that Kimi is not the guy who wants to build the team around him. If this is Ferrari is looking for (another Shumi), Alonso is the right choice. Just one problem, Massa already think he is the new Shumi in the Ferrari family. No way he will play Rubens’ role, so we can expect problem in the Alonso/Massa pairing.

    I think Ferrari is holding back a long train of drivers waiting to switch team. They should make up their mind fast and I hope Kimi will go back to McLaren if they drop him.

    James, I read elsewhere that Kimi has signed an outlined agreement with McLaren to drive for them if he is released by Ferrari. Do you have any confirmation on that story? Another question, is Alonso still contracted to Renault in 2010?
    If yes, then Ferrari will have to buy out Alonso’s contract too.

    This is simply the best F1 blog, nice work. Thanks.

    1. James Allen says:

      No confirmation of that, no, but it seems to be the current thinking. Alonso is not contracted to Renault, as far as I know

    2. Hassu says:

      The contract extension which was published in 2008 Monza was only about 2010, not about 2009. The 2009 contract was announced in 2006.

  39. adrian says:

    Raikonnen to McLaren and Alonso to Ferrari would be a line up which I would be quite happy with. I’m sure Raikonnen would be well capable of knocking a few spots off Hamilton and his personality is such that he’s pretty immune to the whole team gamesmanship stuff. It will only become disruptive for McLaren when Hamilton starts throwing his toys out of the basket.

    Massa’s also shown himself to have the sort of personality that won’t be eclipsed by a self-styled superdriver (viz. Alonso) in that he’s partnered the very best (Schumacher, Raikonnen) and acquitted himself reasonably well.

    While it might be nice for some of the more abrasive personalities (Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher…) to have a team and teammate which operates to their beck and call, teams have to bite the bullet and realise that for their own sake they need both drivers to be capable of scoring serious points, particularly when the field is so close: McLaren now may be a much more harmonious unit than it was with Lewis+Fernando, but it has not hauled in 200 points.

  40. Spyros says:

    I must say, I really like the idea of Hamilton and Raikkonen using the same equipment… assuming we have a competitive McLaren next year (and even with a ‘restricted’ Mercedes, I think we will), the pairing has a certain appeal, especially if they can beat Alonso… remember, no refuelling’s allowed next year, and the Ferrari is far from fuel efficient…

  41. pbyrne says:

    I don’t get the whole Ferrari/Kimi thing. Great driver, great team but the whole thing hasn’t gelled. Some woefully mediocre performances throughout his Ferrari career.

    Yes, I know he won the ’07 WDC but that was more because McLaren self-combusted (contentious, I know, but that’s how I see it).

    Kimi is the highest paid guy in F1 by a huge margin and has provided spectacularly poor value for money. Ferrari need someone who can lead and has no questions hanging over their motivation. Alonso is that man.

    Kimi in a McLaren makes sense now Ron’s gone. However is the Hamilton/McLaren relationship not very similar to the Massa/Ferrari one? I don’t buy that Kimi is as detatched as everyone says, environment effects him. Perhaps he doesn’t have the personality to fight his corner politically against a strong teammate?

  42. Femi says:

    Whatever one thinks of Mosley, you have to sometimes secretly admire his ability to consistently oust opponents.

    F

  43. Ed says:

    James,

    I know this is off-topic again, but I can’t seem to find much anywhere on JB’s contract negoiations!

    Can you shed any more light on this since I last asked? Or maybe do an article after doing some digging around in Singapore?

    I don’t want to see another Damon Hill moment coming along!

  44. Alastair says:

    I am soooo sick of this speculation. I hope that Kimi leaves Ferrari with a wallet full of their cash and then blows them into the weeds next year in an exciting battle with Lewis for the WDC while Alonso and Massa compete for #1 status (remember their spat before the podium in 2007?). Mclaren would take him back in a heartbeat and will give him equal treatment to Lewis, given that Ron is out of the picture.

  45. Sri says:

    James,

    I asked for your response on your comment “Kimi in McLaren does not make sense when Hamilton is already there.” in your previous blog on this same subject. Even in this blog you again come out with the same idea saying it is “unncessary when Hamilton is fit” without giving any reasons. I request you again to explain why do you think Heikki-Lewis pairing has more chances of winning WDC/WCC for McLaren than Kimi-Lewis?

    For most of the fans (perhaps experts) it is obvious Kimi-Lewis pairing has better chances for McLaren to win WCC and/or WDC consideirng the relative performances of Lewis, Heikki and Kimi. For some strange reason you seem to hold to the minority view that Heikki-Lewis has a better chance for WDC and WCC than Kimi-Lewis pairing (without even giving any logical explanation). As some of us have already noticed, you mostly downplay Kimi’s talent (for whatever reason) — does your present view fit into that perception?

    I hope you’ll give a reply with the reason behind your view. Thanks.

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Maybe because:

      a) wage bill for Hamilton and Kimi would be unnecessarily high
      b) McLaren have learnt that they cannot control two strong drivers who expect equal status….e.g., Kimi-Montoya, Alonso-Hamilton
      c) Hamilton is regarded as good enough to get the job done if given a competitive car

    2. James Allen says:

      I don’t think HK/LH would win the title where KR/LH wouldn’t. Where did I say that? My point is that the pairing of LH and KR seems a bit odd, it’s very expensive and I would have thought they’d put a really strong number two up with Hamilton. But if it’s Kimi then great, it will keep him at the sharp end of F1

      1. Ray says:

        I’m in utter agreement James – it’s a very odd line up in terms of expense as Hamilton could rightly expect a significant payrise as well (consider the situation where an agreement was reached where Ferrari paid 1/2 his salary and McLaren the other half – from what I recall of the speculated salaries that would *still* mean McLaren alone paying Kimi more than Lewis currently!).

        However, in terms of all the inane commments in the style of Hamilton getting his ass handed to him by Kimi or getting frustrated by competition, I somehow doubt that. They are both *superb* drivers. It’s all conjecture, but I reckon Kimi is faster over a lap, but Lewis is extremely close and is probably fractionally more consistent over a race distance.

        I expect they’d work together fine, and would both relish it – the only reason the strong pairing of Alonso and Hamilton didn’t work last time was the suprise element for all parties about how close Hamilton’s performance was in his first season to Alonso, which I believe caused all the friction as it was a situation the management/Fernando (and possibly Lewis) didn’t really expect and were not expecting to have to handle.

        So, in summary(!) I’d love to see Kimi/Lewis at McLaren next year and think it would work, but I would be very, very suprised, purely on the cost issue.

      2. The Kimster says:

        One thing no one brings up is that Kimi and Hamilton both like Oversteer in a car and Massa and Alonso the opposite… that can make life much easier on a team setting up the car the same way

      3. Sri says:

        James,

        Yes, you did not say about HK/LH pairing at all. But I was presenting the argumetn from WDC/WCC point of view. Perhaps as WDC Hamilton is enough, but for WDC you definitely need a good second driver. As you ahve said, you expected someone very good but not of WDC material as the second driver. Mayeb that is a good way to go and that is why you said that pairing will be odd. And the other issue is cost. Well thanks for clearing it up.

        As you have mentioned, KR will spur LH to do better and McLaren can then have more chances to win both WDC and WCC, which they haven’t done since I started watching F1 (about 8 years or so).

  46. Jason S says:

    I can’t fathom why Ferrari would want a primadonna like Alonso to drive for them. What happens if Massa is well and turns out to be competitive, can Ferrari live with a season like the one McLaren had in 2007?

    Alonso has had a sheltered career under Flavio’s protection. Everybody remembers how Trulli was treated just to make Alonso look good. Then Alonso goes to McLaren, doesn’t get defacto number 1 and the whole team supporting just him and what happens? He throws his toys out of the pram, goes vidictive, and utterly messes the team up.

    I think I will echo Niki Lauda’s comments “now Todt is gone and the Italians have taken over again Ferrari will be circus”

    1. Stevie P says:

      Jason, I respect your opinion, but I’m not sure Alonso is a primadonna; I feel that as he went to McLaren as a double world champion that perhaps he felt he’d get the majority of the focus and support.

      It wasn’t clear who’d be in the second car, when he signed up… and then as Hamilton was a rookie, you wouldn’t expect such a strong start or entire season (everyone in the media seemed to be stunned by Hamilton’s pace and ability to maintain a championship challenge).

      If I recall correctly Hamilton was upset in Monaco as the team asked him not to race Alonso; Lewis was upset by this… and the rest is history… mirky water over who said what and when etc. [Btw, I'm not blaming Lewis at all!]

      My point is this: if Hamilton had raced as Heikki has (or if De La Rosa was in the car), then there would have been no issue between him and Alonso. I think McLaren and Alonso intially under-estimated Lewis’s ability in that car. [Note - I'm neither a fan of Lewis or Fernando; I'm a fan of F1 :-)]

      As for Flavio’s protection… Renault did favour Alonso, that’s their way (or rather was ;-)).

    2. Stevie P says:

      Further to this, there were reports that Alonso’s setup was taken by Lewis on numerous occasions at the start of that season (can anyone shed any light on this?)… as a two-time WDC, how would you feel if a rookie was taking your setup and then giving you one helluva race? I’d be like, “hold on, let him find his own setup”. I don’t call that arrogance or being a primadonna, I call that being sensible in the cut-throat world of F1.

      It’s why I think the relationship between Rubens and Jenson may not be as sweet as it seems… didn’t Jenson take Rubens’ setups when JB was strugling in Friday sessions and then he promptly blew everyone away in the race? Ruben’s sat there thinking (in essence), “I’ve set his car up and he keeps winning”.

      It’s always difficult trying to balance the individual nature of the drivers, with the ethics of the team. It’s why designating a No 1 and a No 2 can be easier, but so much more boring.

      1. " for sure " says:

        Someone needs to remember we are talking about a team here. A paticular setup doesn’t belong to a particular driver, it is a team asset for the teams benefit. Alonso was a big kid who couldn’t cope with being whipped (sorry Max, not your turn) by a rookie. His subsequent tantrums were truly pathetic. Without Alonso whining and losing the plot, McLaren could have had one of their most successful seasons ever.

      2. Stevie P says:

        “Someone”? ;-) Sure a team may have a baseline for the car; but each driver is different and may want different characteristics from a car… that may mean taking a different path away from the baseline, does it not?

        I feel it’s why this season has been so unpredictable… in that, the baselines from previous “evolutionary” season(s) are no longer relevant to this years car, plus no testing, thus baselines are more difficult to find; next year, this seasons baselines will become relevant again, as there is less change in the regs for 2010.

        I believe sharing data occurs and should do… however I’m not confident in saying it happens all the time. I would be upset if I felt I was doing all the setup work, only for my team-mate to beat me, with my setup… wouldn’t you?

        P.S. If you believe Alonso was “whipped” that’s your opinion ;-) But I agree about Alonso’s tantrums though.

      3. Harveyeight says:

        Historically teams have ensured that data is shared between drivers. I remember reading that Johnny Herbert outqualified Schumacher when they were team mates and from that day on he was refused access to Schuey’s data but the same consideration was not reciprocated.

        Also Mansell and Piquet (the other one) shared data in the Williams team, Mansell on occasion copying his WDC team mate although we don’t know if Piquet (the other one) ever followed his. However, one time Piquet (you know which one) did a bit of sandbagging – I think it was on active suspension – and Mansell was furious. He felt, it seems, that team mates should be just that.

        Piquet (both of them) had his own morals it seems.

        Sharing seems reasonable to me. After all, they both go testing, or used to, and that data was, of course, shared. I can undsrstand all bets being off once the flag drops but before then there has to be cooperation. If one team member has been brought in for his ability to set up a car then keeping it to himself seems a bit selfish.

        Wasn’t Senna, in his early days, reluctant to have Warwick as his team mate? He felt that by sharing data with someone on par with him he’d have someone else to race. I never reckoned Warwick as a driver. Nice bloke and so very smooth, but lacked the killer instinct. Not something you can accuse Senna of.

        To give Alonso his due, he never suggested that the equipment he was given, nor the information, was inferior of that given to Hamilton. All he ever said was that he wasn’t given proper number one status.

      4. Rudy Pyatt says:

        All of this No. 1/No. 2 business has always existed in F1. Tony Brooks to Stirling Moss to pick an old and obvious example. More obvious (than Schumi even), Lotus during the Clark/Chapman years. Everyone knows that Lotus couldn’t wouldn’t or didn’t support their second driver.

        I’ve always felt this to be an artificial problem, another example of F1 refusing to honor simplicity. Someone PLEASE explain why F1 won’t take the two or more cars = two or more teams approach that EVERY race series in the U.S. has?

        Yes, the Penske team is the Penske team, but each driver has separate pit crews etc. The guys on Castroneves team are trying their damnedest to beat the guys on Briscoe’s team. NASCAR same thing. The Hendrick team has five teams under that umbrella. Jeff Gordon is NOT going to defer to Jimmy Johnson. NHRA: John Force Racing isn’t a one car team: each car has its own crew, own driver, own garage, own pit stall, own set-ups.

        Do they help each other overall? Sure. But each driver is Number One within their own particular team — subteam if you want to look at it that way. You get the same thing in endurance and sportscar racing. You get the same thing in motorcycle racing — even in MotoGP, F1′s two-wheel equivalent.

        Do it that way and there’s no more of this ridiculous nonsense of “Number 1 status,” favoritism and “team orders.” The only order Roger Penske gives is, “don’t crash each other.” Each team within his team is racing the other flat out, from driver to tire changer.

        Just having a different race engineer doesn’t cut it. So please explain why F1 can’t/won’t do this. I can’t fathom the argument that there’s not enough room in the pits, garages, etc. With the money Bernie has forced tracks to spend on pit facilities, the enormous garage spaces in the Tilkedromes; that argument makes no sense to me.

        And none of this, “it’s faster and safer the way we do pit work in F1″ business either. No limit to the number of crew used on a pitstop? Why? It’s no less prone to error, and, given the crowding, more dangerous than the IRL/USAC/CART/NASCAR seven man limit. And it doesn’t have to be faster: Pneumatic jacks have been built into racecars at least since AJ Watson introduced them to Indy in the 1950s. You mean all that superfine engineering talent can’t make a lightweight system for F1 (I assume that they’re all paranoid about extra weight, but come on!) especially since the cars are already full of pneumatic and hydraulic systems? The same pit box for each car, raising the issue of “queing” for stops — why? Why is this necessary?

        Sorry to rant so far afield, but all this “Number 1″ status stuff could be stuffed once and for all if F1 took up the “teams within a team” approach. “But in F1, you have to beat your teammate!” No kidding. It’s the same in every other form of racing. Those other drivers/riders are just given a truly equal chance to do so.

  47. Silverstoned says:

    James, could it be L di Mo has been pulling all our legs and knows it’s going to be Kimi and Alonso because Massa will simply need longer to get fit??

  48. The Kimster says:

    I read that Luca said to the news paper MARCA in Spain today that next year will be Kimi/Massa….. and joked Alonso to Brawn

  49. BrendanN says:

    Interesting article, personally I don’t think Ferrari and Kimi has gelled quite like everyone expected them too.

    The Italians thrive on the raw emotion of F1, Ferrari is all about passion, yet Kimi gets about excited as a stone even when he dominates and wins! The team spirit of Forza Ferrari doesn’t suit Kimi’s “get it done and move on” attitude!

    Anyway don’t know if anyone here has posted this but this is a quote from Martin Whitmarsh after the Valencia GP:

    “Kimi is an exciting driver for each team. He is perhaps the greatest talent ever, if he is willing to concentrate one hundred percent on the job.” – its from an interview with AMUS – http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/formel-1-fahrer-karussell-2010-kimi-raeikkoenen-zu-mclaren-mercedes-1413359.html

    Strange that Whitmarsh would make such a comment but yeah this tells me that Macca want him back if they can have him! It also tells of how highly Kimi is still rated at Macca. In addition Macca seem to love having two big names in the car and the LH/KR pairing would be really interesting and explosive in terms of pure racing! The Prodigal Son vs the Golden child, in my opinion if Kimi is on it, he would edge Hamilton and we would see Macca WDC and WCC in 2010!!

  50. Hagis says:

    I just don’t understand whats wrong with the Massa Raikkonen line up.

    Its been very succesful.
    3/4 WC

  51. Hassu says:

    It’s because James Allen is *afraid* of Kimi! He does not want Kimi to McLaren because he sees Kimi as a great danger to Lewis.

    Which he is, of course.

    It’s not a surprise that a Lewis fanboy such as James Allen will be writing in fear when he hears the stories of Kimi back to McLaren.

    1. James Allen says:

      Not at all, I’d love it if they went at each other and I don’t care who wins. Don’t propagate this nonsense that I’m a Hamilton fan

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