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Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari
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Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Jul 2012   |  4:42 pm GMT  |  285 comments

Kimi Raikkonen was at the centre of attention on Sunday in Hungary; first as rumours went around that he was being considered for a return to Ferrari for 2013 and then for his stunning performance in the race, where he challenged Lewis Hamilton for victory despite ending the first lap in sixth place.

It was a great performance by Raikkonen at an opportune moment to remind Lotus and others of his value as an F1 driver. Considering that he spent two years on the sidelines and therefore had one year’s less experience of Pirelli tyres than his rivals, he has been remarkably consistent this season. So too has his Lotus team. Although they’ve only recently seemed to be able to qualify well, they have consistently raced well all season, arguably the most constant team of the year in that respect.

And though Romain Grosjean has occasionally been able to use his undoubted speed to get ahead of Raikkonen, the “Iceman” has come through stronger in results and is challenging Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, thanks to scoring an average of 10.5 points per race, including five podiums.

So where did the Raikkonen to Ferrari rumours come from? One Ferrari source was quoted by Mark Hughes in the Sunday Times saying that it would be a good move, although noting that the relationship between Raikkonen and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was strained at the time of his departure in 2009. Ferrari paid Raikkonen the best part of €20 million not to drive for them in 2010, which sits very oddly with a possible return in 2013.

The rumour has been dismissed by Ferrari, but Raikkonen seemed happy enough to address the rumour yesterday after the race, “I always said that I didn’t have bad feelings against them,” he answered, “I had a good time with the team. I won my championship there but things probably could have gone a nicer way in the end.

“Life goes on and you never know what happens in the future but I’m happy where I am now and things are going pretty nicely… I don’t come up with the rumours, so perhaps you have to ask the people who write them.”

The Ferrari seat for 2013 is a very complex situation and is being used by a number of people for gain, as it is so fluid, there are no certainties at the moment.

The main question facing all the candidates is, how long would the seat be for? It’s not clear, the rumours around the possibility of Vettel going there in 2014 are supported by well placed sources, even though it’s hard to see the sense of it.

For Raikkonen the thrill is racing and competing to win.

Raikkonen has every reason to feel good about where he is at the moment; the relationship with Lotus and the engineers has clearly bedded in now after half a season and he’s been driving the fastest car on race day for a few races now. Wet qualifyings at Silverstone and Hockenheim have clouded the picture, but he would have won yesterday if the race had been on a place with a straight you can overtake on. Only 48 points behind Alonso in the championship with a car which should go well at all the upcoming tracks, if he can qualify in the top three more often he can mount a challenge.

As for the political situation with Montezemolo, last week the Ferrari president held a rally of his Italia Futura movement, which offers a new way forward for Italy. He stopped short of announcing it would become a party in its own right, which disappointed supporters, but crucially he did promise that Italia Futura would fight the next general election in Italy, so clearly the cogs are turning. He is supported in this by former FOTA secretary general Simone Perillo, who now works as a central co-ordinator of Italia Futura in Rome.

To what extent politics could take Montezemolo away from Ferrari and when, is not clear at this time.

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1

Please can anyone help me out with this question ? Which is the last F1 race that Kimi Raikkonen has won?

2

I appreciate your content mr Allen,but would using the umlaut’s kill you?

3

Late opinion but hey, the summer break’s on.

The issue is not whether Kimi Raikkonen goes to Ferrari or not. The issue really is whether Raikkonen stays at Lotus or not. And that will be decided over the course of the next nine races. Raikkonen will stay at Lotus for 2013. Raikkonen’s Ferrari tryst is over for good. Also, Raikkonen will end his career at Mclaren.. And yes, with a Driver’s World Championship with Mclaren under his belt.

4

If there is any truth in this Kimi-to-Ferrari rumour, the outcome will surely depend on the length of the contract on offer.

If Ferrari really do have any kind of agreement with Vettel, (and Seb has denied there is one), Kimi won’t sign a contract for just one year.

If it’s longer than one year, he would insist on massive cancellation penalties being included. After last time, who could blame him for that ?

Also, I’m sure he would never accept anything less than equal No. 1 status.

This would involve a big cultural change at Ferrari which I’m not sure they are ready to make, and does their contract with Alonso even allow them to offer that ?

Any thoughts Mr Allen ?

5

Hi James, I recently came across this article and it’s a very interesting read. I don’t see Kimi moving back to Ferrari after what he experienced back there.

http://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/

6

Not a very promising URL !!

7

I do hold that website even though I did not write the article in question. The name of the website is an honest/humorous approach as no one can claim to be completely unbiased.

But I would sure love to hear what these inaccuracies are, James. The article is basically based on collected and confirmed material and quotes, that are already out there. And honestly, the dots being connected here is far from being a stretch in my opinion. But I would be pleased if you took a closer look than merely a first sight. Cheers.

8

Haha! Yeah, I know the website is “F1Bias”, but I think the events discussed in the article could somehow make you think about it, even for a tiny bit. 🙂

9

There are quite a few inaccuracies on first sight.

10

I can’t see Kimi going back to Ferrari and what more, why would he wants to considering the performance of the Lotus as it is. If I am not wrong, with the rules remaining almost the same next year, I would think Lotus will still be competitive again. 2014 will be the year when we see top teams changing their line up. I can’t see much changes next year with the possibility of Massa being replaced at Ferrari being the biggest change. We will find out soon enough. Marc

11

I’m surprised that no one has tipped Narain Karthikeyan for a move to Ferrari. Doing a brilliant job supporting Pedro De La Rosa at HRT.

….failing that, maybe De La Rosa to Ferrari?….

12

Ferrari wants, Ferrari gets, pure and simple. There is nothing to think about if Ferrari comes knocking…

13

After turning them down, I don’t think Mark Webber would agree with you on this !

Gutsy move, not bad for a Number Two driver !

14

Kimi would have to agree not to be seen having a popsicle in the garage. They had a chance to keep him and they blew it.

15

Let’s stick with the facts.

Fastest car and still 56 points behind Alonso in third or fourth fastest car on the grid. Kimi is highly overrated.

No doubt in my mind, if he switch to Ferrari Alonso will wipe the floor with him.

Cmon Kimi plz go to Ferrari, in fact go back in time and start the whole 2012 season in that Ferrari and show us how much points could you score in that dog of a car. Less or same as Massa ?

16

How did you work out Lotus is the fastest car ??? Hamilton and Button dominated both Quali and race in last two races. Red Bull dominated before that & it was an even split between RBR and Mclaren before that. Hamilton beat Fernando at Mclaren I see no reason in the world why Kimi in the same equipment couldn’t.

Comments like this seriously tell me Kimi is the most under rated driver ever. Keep doin it people he will prove everyone wrong even before his first year back is done. He’s already made so many people bite their tongue already there’s only a select group of dummies left.

17
TheGreatTeflonso

@Elie If he was that damn good he’d have kept his Ferrari seat. He’s not in the same league as Senna, Prost, Schumacher and Alonso….in that he’s never been considered the best of his generation. I think you might want to consider biting your own tongue since your points are all based on assumptions rather than facts or stats.

18

Massa kept his Ferrari seat how many times has been world champion? What happens to Kimi when he becomes WC in first year -politics, MS,LdM, start favoring Felipe and oust him..I watch how people drive not WHO they drive for – I told everyone MS would be multiple WC from first few drives. Kimi could easily be triple WC had Mclaren been reliable – that is well documented. There are also a few people here who also understand this.He is not quiet a Senna or Prost- but who is !! Though he is the closest thing to both of them I’ve seen. Alonso is better this year as all the pieces have come together for him. I rate him equal overall as a driver now but better as team player strategist. Hamilton is equal to both these guys also- but dont forget everything else has to be in place to make a driver a winner that’s the only reason MS did what he did! I said Kimi would be on the podium challenging for wins even last year, ( as well on these posts earlier in the year) so I think I know a thing or two about drivers and their ability. I used to run 10klm in 28-30m regularly for fun ,but I didn’t even know it was a world record at the time, just because a few mates only saw it don’t mean it didn’t happen or I was as not as good as anyone going around. Same thing with many exceptional athletes!. I bet that in the right team and motivation someone like Sergio Perez could be a world champion too.

19

Hamilton does not re-sign at McLaren;moves over to Mercedes to partner Schumacher and be his eventual heir. Kimi returns to McLaren to fill the vacant seat. Lotus ends up with Heikki, the former Renault man. Glock moves over to Caterham. Rosberg is given a consolation deal by Mercedes to drive for Force India. Toro Rosso picks up Hulkenberg. Marussia gets Petrov. Caterham signs up Rossi the young American. Webber and Massa stay put! Let the dominos begin!

20

Rosberg’s rated higher than that surely?

21

James,

However much fans would love to see a mega driver line up at Ferrari, I doubt that will happen. Money plays an important part in these deals, and right now the Santander Bank Group in Spain is in a spot of trouble. The UK arm of the Bank is ringed fence and looking to float on the UK market soon. It is this part which supplies a bulk of the McLaren sponsorship; where as the Spanish arm supplies the Ferrari sponsorship amount s. Putting Kimi in would be just too expensive, and currently he is looking to stamp his own number 1 position at Lotus. Yes he has a fight on his hands with his team mate, but knows he can beat him in a fair fight.

Of course what we don’t know is the finances of Lotus, given the loan they have from Proton, and how they are going to repay it, but the points they have now and a possible win this season, should leave them better off than previous years. They are bringing new parts for the car each race, so as a driver that should be encouraging to see and some appear to work. Therefore why move, when as a drive, what you really want is a winning car, or that one you can fight to win in, and Lotus have that.

There are other drivers, who would be a lot cheaper, that Ferrari could look at, and of course there are number of teams on the grid right now, with very questionable finance and owners. Force India springs to mind right now. And they have two drivers who are cheaper, younger than Kimi.

It does look like Massa is on the way out, as they failed to take up the option they had on his contract. I think if there is a major sponsorship change at Ferrari, then the second driver, may have a strong link to that sponsor, as they need to go back to the days of getting value for money.

22

I wouldn’t worry about financial situation of Lotus. With all the performance and having Kimi, Unilever provide them with all money they need. Lotus are in no way handicapped in financial state of things compare to likes of Ferrari or Red Bull.

23

That’s not quite true. Unilever is a good sponsor, but Genii still has to top up the shortfall from sponsor funds and FOM prize money. Gerard Lopez told me himself recently

24

Lotus is still in the danger zone, money wise. The owners still have to top up the team, as James has mention. Yes unilever is a good sponsor, (Blue chip one) but not in the same league, money wise that a major title sponsor is for a team. There is this $30M loan, which needs to be repaid at some time, and yes given the points haul they currently have now as compared to last year, Bernie pays out on points, finishing over a few seasons, not on the last season you did.

Also the sponsorship packages pay out on where you finish at the end of the year, to both team and driver, so the higher up they finish the more funds (money) they get from the sponsors. Lotus is doing extremely well given the budget they have, in comparison to the other big teams. They are currently getting a much better value for money spend – return. If the upgrades keep coming, and he keeps getting points, then why change teams. That is unless, there is no money for next year in the pot and the sponsors are only signed up for one year, which is hard to see happening.

25

Papers are going crazy on the rumour’s of him going to Ferrari based on his current race pace.

I think he’s only achiving the results due to the laid back enviroment at Lotus. On the other hand Ferrari may think ‘get Kimi not better than Alonso at qualifying will always be behinf Alonso but score good points’ this way Ferrari secure constructers title and get important prize money.

At present if thnngs persist they may come third in constructors. Therefore, Kimi to Ferrari in my opinion is not out of the question as long as they pay a good salary.

26

James, any word on the rumour that they’re trying to coax back Luca Badoer out of retirement?

27

Hilarious man!

28

Theory number 11

Alonso is getting tired of not having the best car, and has got his eyes opened for his old team,… nowdays called Lotus.

Kimi would do that switch for an enough pay.

Kimi + Alonso in same team, is something Alonso would escape as if it would be Ron Dennis himself.

29

Kimi is signed to Lotus in 2013. If he is still happy to be racing the only team I see him going to is Mclaren 2014. I

Would like nothing more than to see him win back 2 more world championships to make up for the ones he would have won in a reliable engined Mclaren in 2003/5.

30

Next Grand Prix a month from now.

What to discuss when there’s no real F1 news?

Raikkonen -> Ferrari?

Raikkonen -> HRT pay-driver?

Equally laughable.

31

I forgot about Jamie Algeiursasi … he is also out of a seat and certainly did not embarass himself in TR …he was pretty good … but yes of all the lot Sutil is the best bet ..has loads of experience and did well against paul di resta in FI …

32

Sutil/Massa -: my 2 cents … Sutil is out of F1..he would be ready to sign under any terms … a ferrari seat after a year of wilderness would be awesome …what about his ex team mate Luizzi…he is F1 fresh …he is Italian and he has decent talent…

33

I don’t know about this. Ferrari seem pretty fickle these days. How do they ever make their decisions? Pick the petals off flowers? “We love Kimi, we love him not, we love him, we love him not…” Good grief. They way they treated Kimi I would be surprised he went back there. What I wouldn’t be surprised to see is once he gets those tires figured out in qualifying, that he’s gunning to kick Ferrari’s butt this year for some payback.

34

Oh I so love to see Kimi kick Ferrari’s butt and some more… sheer humiliation. I don’t think Lotus is as fast as both Kimi and Romain are driving it out to be… I think the drivers and the cars are complementing each other.

35

Schumacher. When he found out Todt and Monte had signed Kimi end of 2005, and wanted him out, he couldn’t accept it.

he resolved to make things as bad as he could for Kimi at Ferrari and dedicated the following years to that. That’s what the “consultant” business was about, and the support for Massa.

MSC should have been a bigger man. He should have been gracious and generous. That’s how real champs behave. I hate to say so, but look at him now, the buffoon of F1.

Please forgive me Schumacher fans, I know he is one of the greats, but he let everyone down in this affair

36

Spot on Crusty. Schumi was the most talented driver ever but as soon as he did what he did to Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, & Barichello- I have nothing but contempt for him. To ‘hear” that he had something to do with Kimis fallout with Ferrari doesnt surprise me-makes me wish him much more bad luck and to retire in embarrassement – he deserves it.. no wonder the “… I was taking a sh&!.. ” Statement from Kimi in Aust. On Schumis farewell speech – makes perfect sense now!

37

Yeah Schumi had it in for him well before Kimi came on deck. His driving on track is very indicative of that spiteful nature.I wish we can just move on from this guy he’s had his time in the sun.

38

Actually, Elie, in the interests of accuracy, the incident you refer to was before the troubles I’m talking about started. Kimi’s little remark to Brundle happened when he was still at McLaren.

My intention with this post was just to put in perspective Kimi’s problems at Ferrari… It would be good if people acknowledged all the different aspects of why Kimi had a clouded time with them

39

Got anything to support your argument or did you post this in your sleep? Schumacher who had won 7 titles was jealous of Kimi, who won zilch until he came to Ferrari?

Why would Schumi feel the need to make things bad for Kimi?

40

A horrible idea for Kimi. Go to HRT before Ferrari.

41

Guys I think the best solution to this, would be to put Michael in a Ferrari next season. Kimi stays at Lotus, Lewis stays at mclaren, Seb at Red Bull, then all the top drivers will be in a decent car, in a team environment they like and the fans will be treated to the best drivers on the grid on the absolute limit. Can someone please give me an Amen…….

42

I doubt so. But would’nt it be nice if kimi join RBR, wearing the red bull cap like in WRC days. He’ll be the best guy to endourse the RBR brand.

43
Craig in Manila

I really can’t see Ferrari moving away from their usual method of having one “primary” driver matched with one “secondary” driver and no ex-WDC (ie. Kimi) is ever gonna want that second seat under those conditions.

It’s becoming more’n’more obvious that the best way to win a WDC is to use a secondary driver purely to pinch points and reduce the performances of competitors/contenders. He is not to be allowed to beat the primary driver !

It’s my view that we’ll see more’n’more situations where No.2 drivers find themselves somehow missing Q3 due to odd strategy calls or somehow finding themselves on team-imposed strategies that leave them behind the No.1 driver after each pitstop.

Ferrari and RBR already appear to do it. And it sorta seems odd that Button is struggling so much whereas Lewis is doing okay. A conspiracy theorist would say that McLaren is “playing” JB so that LH (1) has a better chance of the WDC and (2) is more-likely to re-sign with Mclaren for another year or two. If JB was beating him, hard to imagine that LH would re-sign….

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