F1 Winter Break
Ferrari say “no foundation” in Raikkonen link as driver market hots up
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Aug 2013   |  12:32 pm GMT  |  301 comments

Rumours that Kimi Raikkonen has signed a contract to drive for Ferrari next season have been played down by the Italian team.

With Raikkonen’s contract up for renewal at the end of the season, the Finn has been linked with a move to the Red Bull seat being vacated by Mark Webber.

Raikkonen, 33, has finished each of the 30 races he has contested since his return to the sport with Lotus in 2012, finishing in the points in all but one of them. He is second in the drivers’ championship, 38 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and one point ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has said he is “optimistic” of keeping his lead driver for a third season but the rumours about a move to Ferrari began when Alonso was linked with a move to Red Bull next season during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

And according to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, Raikkonen has agreed a deal to move back to the team, where he won his one and only world championship in 2007.

However a Ferrari spokesperson told the BBC there is “no foundation” to the rumours the Finn is set to return.

“Right now, we’re really not giving any thought to the driver-market situation,” said a Ferrari spokesman. “That is our priority,” he said. “Drivers are not a problem for us even if we were to change Felipe (Massa).”

It would be a remarkable turnaround if Raikkonen made a return to Ferrari after he was paid off when they ended his contract a year early at the end of 2009 to make way for Alonso.

The rumours will also put pressure on Felipe Massa once again. The Brazilian, who has raced for the team since 2006, was in danger of losing his drive last year after a poor run of form.

However Massa, who outscored Raikkonen during their time together as team-mates in 2008 and 2009 before his life-threatening crash in Hungary in 2009, saved his career with a strong end to last season and continued that form into this season before tailing off.

All this comes around the time of the 25th anniversary of the team’s legendary founder Enzo Ferrari’s death. It would be interesting to know what he would have thought of the Raikkonen rumours.

And what would he have thought of Alonso’s management talking to Red Bull? Would he have seen it as a mark of strength or disloyalty?

Speaking about the team’s founder, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who was hired by Enzo in 1973, said: “It’s impossible to sum up in a few words what Enzo Ferrari has meant to me.

“Next to my desk in Maranello, I have a photo of the Founder: at times when I have to take an important decision, I instinctively find myself looking at it and asking myself what he would have done. The example set by Enzo Ferrari is always kept in mind.

“Twenty five years on, he would be happy to see what Ferrari has become today, a unique industrial and racing institution, which represents Italian excellence and continues to enchant the millions and millions of fans of the marque, all over the world.”

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Ferrari denying the rumours makes me think there is more to it than if they had just kept quiet.

Before they said anything most sane people would have just thought "Kimi going back to Ferrari, that's crazy talk."

Now they have responded to the rumours they have suddenly been given a whole load of credibility they previously did not have.


did they really deny anything? if you just signed a driver, then of course you're not giving any thoughts to the drivers market.


Enjoy all the speculation over Ferrari drivers however doesn't the Scuderia have more pressing issues. For instance if they do not improve their cars soon it won't matter who is sitting in the seats. Perhaps Fernando knows this better than we, and that is why he is intent on moving to Red Bull.

Massa is irrelevant while Raikkonen is intent on taking more Italian Euros off the team.

Tornillo Amarillo

It's easier for Ferrari to retain Alonso or hire another top driver than rehire Raikkonen.

The rumor is rubbish.


Maybe it's a double head double fake to slap Alonso into line? Since he didn't exactly flat out deny the rumours he was available to red bull maybe semi denying Kimi is just Ferraris way of punishing Alonso.

There's nothing like F1 for mind games!


Yeah, I think it's something like this. Ferrari is legedary at playing mind games.

Maybe Luca thinks there is no better way of reminding Alonso what he has then by threatening to take it away.


It probably means either Ferrari tried to get him and failed or thought about it but were rebuffed before it got serious, otherwise they wouldn't bother to deny it as the continuing uncertainly helps to destabilise a competitor or perhaps two or more.

With this announcement they have killed that useful weapon.

(Massa is on the skids anyway so he is not a factor is the psych games).


Kimi is not going back to Ferrari because of the way they disrespected him last time he was there. He is not the kind of person who tolerates the kinds of politics and the clock and dagger staff that would inevitably arise and Alonso quite relishes.


Competitve car, big budget and salary paid on time is one heck of an incentive. No?


Unless...FA is trying to take Santander money to buy the 1st seat at RBR, making Seb their 2nd driver...?


Exactly what I think.


If Alonso should go to Red Bull following the report of his manager talking to RB, then there is a chance of Ferrari doing what they can to get Kimi back.


A reputed $30m, i'll take some of that!!


You took the words out of my fingers!

Rule 1: Deny.

Rule 2: Confirm at Monza.

I know Luca has a thing against Kimi. But business is business. They have to play for 2014 against a new power rising that has Nico and Lewis. Ferrari need a Kimi Alonso pairing realistically. Also, RBR have to take Daniel. I have talked myself into that one already.


I can't see Alonso allowing such a competitive driver in the second seat, unless that triggers an exit clause in his contract.


Alonso is not bigger than Ferrari.


Agreed, however Alonso s talent is bigger that the potential of the cars Ferrari provided to him.....



However, Fernando is the one who makes Ferrari look good even when it is not.


...and Groshean is making Lotus look better than Red Bull


Kimi is making Lotus look better than Alonso is making Ferrari look.


I think Ferrari should persuade Red Bull to trade Vettel for Alonso.

An Alonso / Kimi or Alonso / Button pairing in the Bulls would be good great for their brand. I'd consider drinking the stuff if they had that line-up.

Seb could then drive alongside the perpetually likeable Felipe at Ferrari, and hopefully have a tougher time of securing that 5th world title.


"I'd consider drinking the stuff if they had that line-up."

Now I know why marketing people exist! People would actually buy a product based on the identity of people who asssociate with a non-related product of the same name...



Vettel is sitting pretty why would he leave Newey? Ferrari has no one who can match Newey's track record and unless he goes there for the money he has no other incentive, so he will delay that one for the future.


Expand the variables in play, and these scenarios take on new probability.

Envision, if you will, a Vettel/Horner/Newy move to Ferrari, then a Kimi to Ferrari, dealing directly with Luca, might make more sense, and an Alonso to Red Bull scenario seems ... slightly more probable (compared to near zero probability)!?!


Depends if Alonso stated Hamilton n Vettel couldn't join otherwise he could leave. If that's the case, thinking Kimi wouldn't return to Ferrari, then he either puts up or spends a huge amount of money to get out.

LdM has played this brilliantly, he doesn't have to sack him, or big pay off and he's shown who the boss is.

All we need now is a competitive Ferrari..


4th year no WDC. Alonso's voice at this table is not heard any more.


There's a lot of wish-fulfillment going on in the comments of this thread.


Can't exactly blame Alonso though can you? You could argue that the poor qualifying is partly down to him but even Ferrari has publicly admitted that the last few Ferraris have been poor. What's he gonna do, cut a hole under his seat and start running?


That's what he does on Mini Drivers and it normally works!


I have to be fair, they kept patience with Schumacher and it was only in his 5th season with the team that they won the drivers title.

Admittedly the task for Alonso isn't quite as difficult, but it is still no mean feat as Ferrari underwent a massive change once the Schumacher/Brawn/Byrne era ended.


Finally Curro, someone recognizes that what Vettel has done is one heck on an accomplishment. And he did it 3 years in a row - first time ever that's been done for a first timer to third timer. Yours truly, Spin Master Sebee, The Third. 😉


Emanuel, what championship were you watching??

Neither the 2009 or 2010 Ferrari were Championship winning cars...


@ Curro

in the late 90s, there were 4 champions- Schumacher, Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen.


I differ. What makes Alonso's task more difficult is that the overall level is much higher than in the late 90s. Back then, it was McLaren, Ferrari, big gap, then the rest. Nothing like the grid full of world champs like we have now. The racing might be somewhat artificial today, but the level is higher no doubt. That complicates things because when you beat one guy there's still all the others.

Not defending Alonso, this applies to all of them.


Except when Schumi went to Ferrari the team hadn't won a driver title in 16 years (WCC 12 years). While in 2008 Massa missed the WDC by just one point or a corner and Alonso came into a construction championship winning car. Slightly different situation, I would think. Of course 2009 was the year of Brawn and the clever double diffuser. But after that he got beat fair and square by some energy drink company who gave a F1 car to a kid. Vettel who? haha


So when will the driver market get settled? Italy is normally a good time for Ferrari announcements...?


I wonder who is holding up the market - why is there no announcement yet? Is it RedBull or Raikkonen or Alonso or Ferrari? I guess these are the only people who are making decisions now.


I'm sure Eddie Jordan will have some news for us at Spa, unless his sources do not trust him anymore and keep schtum whenever he is around because of his zeal in announcing the Lewis deal.


His source is Bernie. When he wants something in the news, he'll deploy his strangely shirted minion.



When will Red Bull announce the second 2014 driver?


Well, rumor mill says RBR talks over, RBR set to confirm Daniel.

As a fan of RBR I agree with this move big time.

1. Daniel is on a high now, getting RBR seat, picked over Kimi, announced first. Well played RBR. Daniel can't have any ego bruising here, and better bring some serious focus for 2014.

2. Kimi was always going to be an expense. Kimi has no big sponsor money behind him, and benefit to Lotus is his point haul toward WCC to pay his way. RBR already stands #1 and paying $15M over Daniel to defend that WCC standing in the end probably equals #2 WCC pay out anyway. Meanwhile, 15M invested in car development is HUGE, in a year when testing is back on the menu too.

Well done RBR. Now Kimi, Lotus or Ferrari? 🙂


I think RB has made Kimi an offer. Kimi's management have asked RB to sweeten the offer eg add a Finnish vodka to the Red Bull drinks stable; and while you are at it - give my management a couple of million €.

It's the usual negotiating game being played out to the last minute - so that both sides think they have extracted the best deal from each other.

I wish I was party to the negotiations - it will be fun to listen in. Kimi really doesn't need the money. Other than just to be paid something that fairly recognizes his status and skills. RB are not short of money. Must be the usual corporate politics and vested interests getting in the way of a sensible decision..


Precisely why sadly they will most likely go for Daniel. You have to deal with this, on the other side you have Dan eager to get in and will take a coupke of mill and any pr stunts the team want him to do. I think if Kimi was going there they would have announced it by now, but if he is not then it's in Red Bulls interest to delay the announcement and keep the rest of the paddock distracted with this. I think the team know what they will do but are just playing games with the other teams. They are keeping Lotus guessing and so distracted.


Then Kimi can announce the deal if he made one. IF RedBull have already decided on Dan and are just talking to Kimi to keep him and Lotus distracted, this ploy can work only up to certain time. Kimi will think "enough is enough" and stop the "negotations" and decide to go with Lotus or Ferrari (if there is an offer).


Since I'm talking about feelings and psychology, imagine how Lotus feels?! If Kimi leaves is that the end of their golden trim era? Or are they already secretly talking to Kubica as Plan B.


Kubica will not be back in F1.

Judging by his progress in WRC even with his limited hand, he seems fully focused on getting a factory Citroen drive next year and so has most likely waved his F1 chances goodbye. In fact there are rumours around that he is poised to enter the main game next season. Can't have success in WRC if you have an eye on F1, you must be commited and Kubica is getting the results so as they say results speak for themselves.


Grojean is a good driver and has the potential, he just needs the car to be built around his driving style and he will deliver.


The revised tyre compounds appear to suit his driving style more than they do Kimi. I think Romain will have a more podium finishes in the second half of the season.


Kubica's hand is in no condition to drive F1. Sadly so.


BW, Nico? German on a German Team with more wins than Lewis as this point including Monaco win? Yeah...his seat is safe.


Would Kubica be able to drive next season, then all top teams would be in talks with him.

Still not sure about second Mercedes seat:)


This is a very interesting question.

There is psychology at play. Daniel must feel quite good that it's him and Kimi. If RBR hold the cards in this decision, then RBR better announce Daniel before Kimi announces something. After all, Daniel wants to feel like he is the team choice - not second choice. Being chosen over Kimi would be a booster for Daniel. And being announced after Kimi is announced elsewhere has to be a bit of a downer.

I know, he'll still be happy to have the seat. But if RBR are going to give it to him, they should pull the trigger on that decision and announcement first - not second. It's the right way to welcome him to the team.

I wonder if RBR are really the first domino to fall. Would Kimi wait for RBR decision to pull the trigger on Ferrari? Is RBR his first choice? They did back Sauber back in Kimi's days. RBR are not needed however in that Ferrari Kimi deal, and clearly Kimi wouldn't want to make his new future team feel like they were second choice to RBR either.

Timing of these announcements is actually going to be something interesting, and perhaps telling. Someone better do something soon!

Tornillo Amarillo

I disagree, for me:

1. if Kimi accepts Red Bull, it should be announced quickly.

2. If Ricciardo is the choice, it will be announced later, maybe just before of the end of the season.



Schumi's last pass in this first run in F1 a hard charger inside move on Kimi into the esses at Interlagos 2006 with a lap or two to go in his carrier.

The body language of that pass was telling in my view. Kimi yielded and didn't make it an issue. But it was interesting move in a drive that I think was one of Michael's epic performances. Clearly Kimi didn't care to fight over non-podium spot. But he also didn't force the issue, while he could have ended Schumi's carrier wiht a DNF.

I'm not saying Kimi would have been letting Vettel through if he was on the way to RBR (which it appears he is not). I'm just saying that Kimi is the kind of personality that may not make something an issue if it makes no difference to him or may help him. It may be something small like room left to allow a pass, or no agressive defence, or no agressive attack - something small but "helpful" to his future team. Certainly, he won't be moving over for Vettel now that RBR have said..."how much Kimi??? Nahhh..thank you."


I seem to recall back in 2006, with Kimi poised to take on the Ferrari drive, he was the only driver to hold up Schumacher's progress up the field in the final race. While no Kimi fanboy, I respect that he drives 100% for his current employer. He will never let a competitor through. Sorry Sebee.


Sebee: are you actually suggesting that Kimi would let Vettel past? Not sure about that one!


I disagree. 🙂

Keep Kimi stringing along as long as you can as it unsettles the #2 WDC standings guy. Let's say Kimi RBR deal is in negotiation, maybe he doesn't race Vettel/Webber so agressively as to hurt his future team the WCC/WDC standings. But this only works if Kimi doesn't have a Ferrari deal lined up, of if negotiations are realy taking place.

If Daniel is the choice, then at very least you let him know - "Hey Daniel, you're getting the seat. But we're going to string Kimi and others along to unsettle them for as long as we can in 2013." Or you announce it before Kimi has a chance to announce. Daniel needs to feel like he has full team support to contribute if he's the choice. Otherwise, you start on the wrong foot. Still, as I said, he'll be happy to get the seat. But happier to know he was chosen over Kimi.


I totally agree!


Go on James, give us a prediction - where will Kimi end up?


Oh OK, since you twisted my arm.

I think Kimi will end up at Ferrari. James Allison is now a part of the team again and he obviously worked well with Kimi. I reckon he might have suggested it be advisable to get Kimi on board.

I have read else where that Ferrari would have cruised to the 2008 championship had they not decided to back Massa as suggested by Schumacher, taking the car developments further from Kimi's liking.

Any team he joins seems to do well with development (apart from Ferrari 2009, still backing Massa apparently). I think he knows what he wants in a car, how to get it and provides great feedback for engineers.

I also think the "won't join a big team due to hatred for PR" myth is utter nonsense. Kimi has said himself that he has driven for big teams and knows how it is. He is a very smart guy.


Lol I am sure he meant James Allen


Ferrari did not win the 2008 championship so everything else is pure speculation.

It amazes me how so many Ferraristas like to think that 2008 was their title when in fact I recall Hamilton getting a rough deal from several FIA decsions and Massa a few favourable ones, handing a bagful of points to Massa which otherwise the WDC would have been settled by Hamilton well before the last race in Brazil.


I've always thought the same, that Ferrari developed the car around Felipes driving style and not Kimi's. They have very different preferences in what they want from a car and designing the car to Felipes strengths not only negatively impacted Kimi's performance but I beleive it also led to his reduced motivation and loyalty to the team.

Pretty sure Felipe has a big problem with controlling oversteer. How many times has he lost the backend, just this year? I've never seen anyone loose the rear as much as he did at silverstone in 08. Whereas Kimi likes a pointy car and has no problem with a very loose rear. Since a car can only be designed with a preference for one of those traits they had to choose which driver they wanted to please. I don't think it was just Schumacher's input but also that Kimi's personality didn't mesh well with the new Italian management and that's why they chose to design the car around Felipe.

It's nice to see my theory shared by someone as knowledgeable as Mr.Allen.


I tried to get James to predict his WDC choice. He wouldn't commit. Man is the definition of neutral really.

But I have expressed my suspicions that if he wasn't the "On F1" James and just a regular James with an F1 weekend GP ticket he won on some website, you would probably bump into him in the grandstands on Sunday wearing a Lewis kit. At very least the hat.


Wrong. I think James used to be a Lewis fan back in the McLaren with Alonso days but those days are long gone. If you too were paying attention to the press conferences over the years since, you would have noticed the odd tense moment and flippant commentry by Lewis towards James. The boy is too self entitled and gets down when things dont go his way, starts blaming the press with comments like 'it's interesting you asked the question it like that' etc. Dare I say it, James is not a big fan. It's ok James you dont have to burn any bridges by admitting it 🙂


Well, we know he respects Webber, but has to move on if that's the one if that's it.

This should be a JAonF1 contest! It's been a while since last one. 🙂 Name the current driver who's kit James would wear to a GP if he was just a regular bloke heading to his designated grandstand seat without a sweet all access media pass. May just be the hardest contest ever.


No, Button for sure.


Newsflash: James Allen stated emphatically on his blog today that he:

Does not bump into people.

Does not sit in F1 grandstands, especially on Sundays.

Does not like the Lewis Hamiton's latest clothing line.

Does not like to wear hats.

...or something...

More news at 11...


James, do you think Alonso's recent actions will push Ferrari towards employing a second driver who can challenge for wins instead of an obedient number 2?


Remember Kimi saying a few weeks ago that some people may think his decision on where he drives next year may seem crazy to some people. Think about it?


I took that to mean crazy to the people in the Lotus team.


McLaren fits the bill too.

They need a quality driver.

They have none. They must realise how much they miss Hamilton by now.

I am sure they can sack Perez. Performance clausule?

Kimi is they key to the driver market then the chips will fall. He will choose where he likes to go and the others have to deal with it afterwards. I am sure he has decided, all details might not be on paper but an agreement has been made.


So evidently having a world championship does not make you a top driver?

Then in the same car outscoring Hamilton across their seasons together also makes you average?

But no they wont sack Perez...I mean he's better than kovalinen!


I doubt McLaren are in a rush to sack Perez - he brings a lot of Mexican sponsorship to the team.


Perez probably brings Telmex to McLaren next season. I think their stuck with him.


If the rumour of the Telmex sponsorship is true, then Perez will be there for the long term.


I took this as it would seem crazy to everyone else that he chose to stay at Lotus over bigger, more powerful teams (such as RBR at the time).


This strikes me as though the deal with red bull has gone quiet so the best way to put pressure on is to look like you're wanted elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong I would live to see kimi v fernando but I can't see Ferrari going back to a driver they fired only 4 years ago.


These rumors started in a Finnish paper and they may have just been to get a reaction from the F1 media and have their 15mins. Looks like they succeeded.


No, I think it was German paper that started the initial rumors.


@Pauli H

Thanks for the clarification.


The Finnish website, suomif1.com, reported on August 1st that Kimi has signed the contract with Ferrari and their information is coming from the Italian sources.

The German magazine Sport Bild reported at the same time that Ferrari had made an offer to Kimi and their information is coming from the sources close to Kimi. Sport Bild was the first one to publish that Kimi had signed a pre-contract agreement with Ferrari in the summer of 2005.


Nevermind Ferrari's wishes...

Why would Kimi want to go back there?

- Their sponsorship engagements are more than those of Lotus.

- We haven't heard a peep about their progress in making a competitive 2014 eng... erm, power unit.

- Their windtunnel issues are apparently ongoing.

So, why on earth would Kimi even begin to think about going there??


Let us see what his other options are:

Lotus - financially and technically (no Allison) weak.

RedBull - it is more of Vettel's team especially when he got away lightly by violating team-orders.

Ferrari at least has history of treating drivers equally (Kimi and Massa). Also they got Byrne, Allison in their team now. So Ferrari is as good as other options, if not better.


"RedBull – it is more of Vettel’s team especially when he got away lightly by violating team-orders."

Webber got away even MORE lightly for violating team orders, so logically you would have to say Red Bull is Webber's team.


All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

- Animal Farm -


ROFL - "Ferrari at least has history of treating drivers equally"

you must be from La La land 🙂


???? - Someone has a distorted view of things. Just ask the likes of Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barichello and Felipe Massa (when partnering both Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso).


Face facts, Kimi is leaving Lotus. He has no choice if he plans to remain competitive.

If Lotus doesn't have enough money to develop their 2013 car, how can they have enough funds to develop a competitive car for the revolutionary 2014 rules?

Were Raikkonen to stay with Lotus, he'll be a back-marker in 2014. His only realistic competitive choices are Ferrari and Red Bull. Were he to go to Red Bull, his car would likely suffer the same mysterious failures as Mark Webber's. Helmut Marko would see to that.

Raikkonen's going to Ferrari, it's not official, but it's done.


The whole basis of this rumour, had to do with what would happen IF Alonso gave up wearing red and went to work for the marketing department of a certain drinks' company...

Without this, i.e. a situation that leaves Ferrari without a No1 driver, the 'Raikkonen-to-Ferrari' rumour is just a pointless story.


"Ferrari at least has history of treating drivers equally"... *cough*... not...


Raikkonen and Massa were given equal opportunities to race for the championship in their time together and Massa is given an equal opportunity at the start of each season to show he can beat Alonso. It just happens that Alonso has completely pummeled Massa since 2010, long, long before the German GP incident and has rightfully earned No 1 status


what! ferrari has history of treating drivers equally?! where did you get that from!


Actually he's right in a way, even though he doesn't realize it. Ferrari always had a thing for driver equality (at least in terms of skill) before the Schumacher years. Berger/Alesi, Mansell/Prost, Arnoux/Tambay. All those guys were allowed and were required to compete with their teammates for the world title whenever possible.



But I'm sure that RBR can offer the same if not more $$$...except they have a bit more vrooom to go with it, and that's what any real race driver really wants.


Lotus vs. Ferrari, there is something to think about here really?

Did you hear about some of the financial challanges at Lotus? Ferrari is Ferrari. Kimi knows that Ferrari are likely to be a more serious contender next year than Lotus. Don't you?


The points about the Ferrari faulty wind tunnel corelations and questions about the engine development are significant.

While that continues, it seems unlikely that a sensible character like Kimi would go there, whether or not Alonso was there.


I can see Kimi go there if they offer him a 3-year ironclad contract compared to a 1-year deal with RB for example(they want their options open for Toro Rosso drivers etc).

He knows Ferrari will come back to form even if 2014 wont be stellar. He might drive alongside Alonso for 1 season and then Alonso is heading elsewhere. 5 seasons without a championship(2010-2014) with Ferrari and he will look for something else.

In the longer picture it will make sense even though RB will be best shortterm. If Kimi knows they will develop the car for him, at least after 2014 I see no problem he going there. If Ferrari wants him back they will back him this time, why would they otherwise sign him?

Allison might be key too. Allison knows what Kimi is capable of as many others in Ferrari.

Ferrari is always Ferrari and they will bounce back and have the resources.


Until I hear something about their 2014 engine/plant, I don't really, no.


@Sebee: I absolutely agree about Mercedes. I wasn't implying that we need pictures, audio or simulated laps from Ferrari... it just seems odd to me that nobody there talks about the 2014 engines at all.


I actually find these psychological engine games quite funny. Mercedes out there beating their chest as if they have some magic that Renault and Ferrari, (Honda) can't figure out.

Their hype of their 100HP advantage is actually out of no where, because no one has put these 3 engines together in true anger until 2014, GP #1.

Fair play in this sport. But what an embarassment if they really don't bring the fastest package at the first race. They are actually putting pressure not only on others, but on themselves - and it's the pressure within that destroys.

No one can deny that from all the talk Mercedes are considered 2014 favorites. Which means, for once anyone in the Ferrari or RBR camp are rooting for the underdog. And I have a feeling it won't be such a long shot and all this engine talk may backfire on Mercedes. 🙂


“Right now, we’re really not giving any thought to the driver-market situation,” said a Ferrari spokesman.

According to the reports the contract has already been signed, so they would not be lying by saying the above and Kimi will still be at Ferrari 😉

They could have just said flat-out "Kimi will not drive for Ferrari in 2014", is it that hard? Instead they used laywer talk which makes people think they said something while they said the opposite without lying.


As long as they are noncommittal people will talk about it and wonder if there is anything more to it.

If they denied it outright that would be the end of it and they would get no more press space

Its all about free advertising 🙂


This news is hurting them, unsettling the team so they would benefit by saying flat out " Kimi won't drive for Ferrari in 2014 and Alonso will be in Ferrari in 2014".


....No foundation. No powder, no blusher, no face cream, no gloss. In other words, it's a done deal.


This "news" seems to circulate around. I'd like to the quote "no foundation" in it's original context. As it is now it means nothing. Also, the rest of the quotes do nothing to deny the rumour, which leads me to believe there is truth in it. Ferrari could simply just say that Kimi will not drive for them, yet they haven't anything like that.

When asked in June who would drive in his own fantasy dream Domenicali replied "Fernando and Kimi". When asked who would be his favorite to replace Massa, he replied "Kimi Raikkonen". A Freudian slip, perhaps?


Didn't he leave on quite bad terms though?

It doesn't make any sense at all - if Raikkonen were to leave Lotus, surely Red Bull would be the logical destination. Unless Alonso has already secured a switch to Red Bull.

James, do you have any news on the likelihood of Hulkenberg ending up at the Scuderia? A Raikkonen - Hulkenberg lineup would be very solid indeed. And could feasibly happen at Ferrari or Lotus I guess.


Because Hulkenberg is just what the Scuderia need: a guy that spends most of the year being completely anonymous then turns up to race in Brazil... Actually, scratch that - they already have Massa...


Don't think Ferrari will go with 2 new drivers


Hulkenberg is a very good mid grid driver. He would struggle to consistently score high points at the front.

And he is seriously low on charisma.

If it isn't Kimi or Vettel, I would skip the rest and go for young Bianchi. Talent promised, and bags of charisma.


I strongly disagree with this, I think Hulkenberg is far more down to earth and has more charisma than pretty much any other driver on the grid. He is undoubtedly deserving of a much better car


Completely disagree. The Hulk has more than proven that he has the credentials to step up and consistently score big points. Look at his superb GP2 title year, which he one on his first attempt. And his string of strong points scoring finishes for FI at the end of last year where he continually dragged the maximum out of the car.

Bianchi is good, but he's never really been consistently impressive in his career the same way that Hulkenberg has. He really ought to have won either the GP2 title or FR 3.5 in the last three years. And I don't think he really has that much charisma. He made Heidfeld look positively riveting in his appearance on the F1 Show earlier this year!


"Hulkenberg is a very good mid grid driver. He would struggle to consistently score high points at the front."

How can you know that?


No one said anything bad about anyone's mom. Just a few tens of millions of Euros changed hands, nothing else.

I'm not crazy about Kimi choosing not to be in F1 a few years for the money, as I feel he let his fans down. But I understand why he made that self serving choice. It was money that was locked up, and no team was willing to double it - which is what it probably would have taken to keep him on the grid.


Sebee, why don't you look at it another way. Kimi had raced in F1 for 9 years and was quite often challenging pole times in a Sauber on debut !. 4 years at Mclaren showed as many blown Mercedes engines as it did race wins for him and possible lost 2 WC - he was a WC at Ferrari then the team started repaying Felipe for years of subservience to MS in fact MS intervention in 2008 ensured that!. Lies, politics, interference- complete garbage.

Where did he have to go- What did he have left to prove ?

Going back to Mclaren- who would after his 4 years ? Hindsight might suggest he & Hamilton might have beaten the Red Bulls but not so soon after hed left them.Red Bull- no vacancy. Renault was a non event, Mercedes- refer Mclaren

Sure money was a factor at both Merc and mclaren- but reliability and competitiveness were a much bigger question especially after Red Bull came flying home in the second half of 2009! Kimi is a very smart operator- could you imagine what would've happened to his name if he flogged a dead horse as MS did at Mercedes. His f1 career would have been over- instead he's saved his career and the last thing I would have wanted is him becoming a Heidfeld. I reckon he is the wisest guy in paddock- with a good management team. He is an honest man that rebuilt his reputation when Ferrari smeared it very falsely and very publically - I too would have taken 54Million than go back to Mclaren or Mercedes for 8million- he was and still is worth more than any driver certainly the equal of Alonso 30mill. Reputations are what makes you money- money does not give you credibility- Hello Fernando


just brilliant. said, as things are


Very thoughtful post.

You make a great point that Kimi has managed his career well. I now see how hard it must have been for Kimi to have suffered Ferrari's self serving act branding him as unmotivated, just so that they could get Santander money and Alonso on board.


As you and others have reported, James, LdM and Kimi had a massive falling out that would seem to rule out a return to Ferrari. But the more I think about it, the more I think it could actually make sense for both sides.

To start with Ferrari, there are many things that would point to them being interested. For starters, he's already won a World Championship for them: duh. Sure, Massa outperformed him through a large patch in 2008 and in 2009, during which there were questions about Kimi's motivation. But Kimi also is known to have struggled getting the Bridgestones up to temperature in 2008 qualifying- and none of even the most talented drivers in racing are immune to having such problems. It's also well-known that Kimi struggled with a rear-end change in 2008 that Ferrari made in Hockenheim. Even so, he was nonetheless extracting lots of pace in races as his fastest lap streak that year showed, and he beat Massa on sheer pace in Japan and China. He had plenty of bad luck to contend with, as well, that Massa wasn't having during this time. And after it was clear that he was getting dumped for Alonso in 2009 and Massa went down with the injury, Raikkonen surely did his part in the second half of 2009 to leave the team with an extremely positive impression, scoring the win at Spa and a run of podiums and quality points finishes. This was after Ferrari stopped developing the car and Kimi basically had no reason to have motivation to go fast considering that, in hindsight, it's clear he was going to go off to rallying. So at least a lot of people at Ferrari know how good Kimi is. This next contract will probably be Kimi's last, and we shouldn't expect it to really be more than 3 years or so. That time period just so happens to line up with the period they would have to wait before Vettel would arrive. (Which Ferrari seems hell bent on making happen in the future.)

From Kimi's side, he definitely had a falling out with LdM and didn't look very happy at Ferrari for his last year and a half there. But Kimi Raikkonen is probably one of the simplest guys in the history of F1 to please, as he seems to have only two requirements that Ferrari would easily be able to satisfy: 1) a fast car, and 2) money. Kimi also said last year that he never had negative feelings toward the team, and if there is one thing that we have learned about Kimi in his dealings with the media (other than the fact he doesn't like to deal with them), it's that you can always take him at his word when he says something. Remember, when he went to rallying, he always said he could come back to F1 in the future, and low and behold, he did when he found an opportunity that he liked. If both sides can move on from the difficult period and LdM can promise to step back, I could see Kimi being willing to give it another go. There might be some reason to think that, given flare up of Alonso's more temperamental side over the last couple of weeks and Ferrari's historical dislike of its drivers' opening their mouths to the media, I could see LdM being more willing to tolerate a low key personality like Kimi and allowing him to be him.

But the key for me in all of this? Two words:

James Allison.

The Allison-designed Lotus cars of the last two years have undoubtedly been a revelation on a limited budget. But a big part of the reason why is because Kimi has consistently produced with it, and this is surely something that is on Allison's mind. It seems as though Ferrari views him as the guy to take them to the next level technically, and I'm sure he will be getting lots of input in a variety of areas. Having two of the top drivers in the sport in one team who have had lots of past success in cars worked on by your new technical director would be a very nice thing to have- especially when these two drivers are showing to be very handy in the new Pirelli era and fit Allison's technical approach in this era. We also know from reports that the loss of Allison is something that Raikkonen is very unhappy about.

As for Alonso, I don't see this being a problem for him at all. People make a lot of him not liking to have a teammate who can push him, but honestly, I think this is blown astronomically out of proportion. Alonso has said many times in the past that Hamilton was not the problem for him at McLaren, but rather it was his relationship with the team- and maybe Hamilton's falling out with McLaren and departure from the team confirms this. He's been outqualified and outraced by Massa a handful of times at Ferrari (just as Barrichello did a few times to Schumacher), especially at the end of last year and beginning of this year. Alonso has always responded as he should: getting to work and stepping up his game. People also make a lot out of what happened at Hockenheim in 2010, but the fact is that Alonso was quicker than Massa in that race, that he was in the championship battle (when Massa wasn't), and that failing to make the switch would have put Ferrari in danger of Vettel in the race. There were a couple of others situations that year in which Massa was ahead of Alonso in the race and had a pace advantage, and Alonso never radioed the team to tell them to move Massa aside. I think, in fact, one can argue historically that Alonso has actually shown more of his pace potential when he has been challenged by a teammate than when he hasn't. An older, wiser Alonso may have realized this by now.

The other thing to think about from Ferrari's perspective is that they now have one rival on the rise in Mercedes who very much appear to have a very threatening driver pairing both this year and going into a new formula starting next year, in which all reports indicate they have at least a horsepower advantage that could be as much as 100 bHP. Constructors Championships mean more to the teams than anything else, as this is where they get their money, and if Mercedes have two genuinely championship-quality drivers with such a strong car, you darn well step up your game in the arms race and have two drivers who can do the same. Red Bull clearly knows this: they've had two drivers the last three years who have shown championship quality, even if one is quicker and more consistent than the other, and the fact that all of the buzz out there is that Horner is hell-bent on having Kimi clearly shows that they see the threat that Mercedes poses. Does Ferrari really want to risk having two of their rivals with two championship-quality drivers? If anything, getting Kimi could be a defensive move to make sure that they are one of the two teams with two big guns behind the wheel rather than not being one of them. Of the other names out there, maybe Hulkenberg can give them this, but he hasn't been put into a position to show this yet. Di Resta and Sutil really haven't shown the extra spark yet, and it would certainly be too big of a jump for Bianchi at his age and experience level to go from a car 3 seconds off the pace to a car in which you are expected to win races and get podiums.

The more I think about it, the more I really think Kimi will simply not be back with Lotus next year. He was very honest that there are "problems" with Lotus, one of them being the fact that they are delinquent in paying him. And he has voiced clear dissent about Lotus' strategy calls to the media and in radio transmissions. If Red Bull decide to take Ricciardo (which there seems to be more momentum for in the past week, given the comments coming out of Franz Tost and the jealous rant from JEV), I think Kimi will take the next best opportunity he can find for a seat with winning prospects and the resources to keep up in the arms race. And that means Ferrari.


When you're used to reading five line comments your post was a bit daunting at first, but I've actually gone back and read what you said properly now...and it makes sense.

Having said that I'm still not 100% convinced, but I do have to seriously consider the possibility that Kimi may be ready to sign the dotted line with Ferrari...if he hasn't already 🙂


Totally agree with Paige. But I would like to add in. The Adrian Newey and Kimi Raikkonen combo in Mclaren worked better than the Allison and Raikkonen combo in Lotus. Adrian really knows how to build a car around Kimi. Maybe.. he does not even have to. I am sure Kimi can just blend into a Newey Chassis so well like Sebastian. Kimi has great adaptability skills anyway don't you think? All I am saying is, this might surely be another factor that RBR is pondering. We might very well see Adrian Newey preferring Kimi as well.


Well, I wouldn't say it necessarily worked better, if for no other reason than that Newey's car at that time had a 40% chance in any given race of not making it to the end. Sure, there was the 7 win season in 2005- but then again, McLaren also had a tire advantage in terms of speed. This is, of course, not to mention the obvious advantage that McLaren in those days had over Lotus today in terms of money. McLaren in 2005 was probably spending well more than double, maybe even triple, of what Lotus is spending now for a whole year.

The Allison-Raikkonen combo has been held back by operational problems at Lotus, most notably in the area of strategy. A number of wins have been left on the table by strategical errors by the team. And the big advantage that Lotus has- tire management- requires getting the strategy right if there are quicker cars out there on one-lap pace. (Of which there are two right now.)

The Allison philosophy and Raikkonen driving style are perfect for the Pirellis. Combine a car with competitive pace (if not necessarily the fast) with good balance and tire conservation with Kimi's remarkably efficient driving style (cutting the corner short to minimize the effect of car misbehavior, linear applications of steering, braking, and throttle to minimize slides and wheelspin), and you get what you get in Australia- a 12 second win. If you put the money of Ferrari behind this combination and add Alonso, you have a real possibility for a World Championship in the next two years.


Good one Paige. Agree


very interesting and though provoking post, Paige. Thanks.


No, thank you!


Personally I feel the story that Kimi lacked motivation was Ferrari politics.

In 2008, Massa won races when the following happened to Kimi - exhaust broke allowing Massa to cruise past and Kimi finished second; wing damaged at the start when Kovalainen and Kimi touched; Kimi released from pits with fuel rig; Kimi battled Hamilton at Spa - Massa inherited win; etc

I think there is a high element of luck involved in F1, and that year was his unlucky year. Was that also the year Hamilton drove into Kimi at the end of the pit lane in Canada when Kimi was leading the race? There was just a comedy of errors - some Ferrari's fault, some just bad luck.

When world championships slip through fingers, it's easy for "management" to look for scapegoats.

Just look at the negative change in tone on Alonso by Ferrari - when they still can't get their wind tunnel calibrated after what, 3 years?

What LdM really said was - drivers come and go, but I ahem I mean Ferrari, will always be here.

unF1nnished business

Yes it was '08 Montreal...which most likely would have been a win for Kimi as he was flying right before the first pit! Your correct that alot didn't go his way that year but also, the bridgestones didn't work with Kimi's driving style in 08. They took too long to warm up and this jeopardized his qualifying positions. He had the most fastest laps that year which indicated that his incredible speed was there – it was just that the performance window of the bridgestones to Kimi's driving was too narrow.


I think this is a little off. Before Germany, Kimi and Massa were about even on qualifying, but Kimi was the more consistent and better race performer when he didn't have bad luck. (Like getting run into by Hamilton- who actually would have won if not for his stupidity, as he was miles quicker than anyone else- in Canada, losing the exhaust in France, etc.) And even despite all of the poor luck that Raikkonen was having (not to mention his drunk driving accident in Monaco with Sutil), he was still tied with Massa after Silverstone.

It really was when Ferrari made the rear-end change at Hockenheim that Kimi's season in terms of performance relative to Massa really went to hell, as all sides acknowledge at that time that the rear-end change gave him a very high level of discomfort with the car. And even despite that, he was three points ahead of Massa after Hungary and in the frame for the championship. Then the engine failure in Valencia and crashing out in Spa while in second place in the closing laps killed his season.

Personally, I don't think Kimi lost motivation in 2008. He has always been very motivated and given it his all on the track. He's also always been good at giving feedback and knowing what's going on with the car, and he told them exactly what the problem was (and when they fixed it in Fuji 2008, BAM! He went faster). He has always kept himself fit, as well. Kimi has just never been the type of guy who will go to the factory a lot, log lots of hours in the simulator, etc.. He never really needed to be before he got to Ferrari. Simply put, in 2008, he had a problem with the car and tires and couldn't quite get it sorted out. It happens sometimes. Then in 2009, I would guess he probably got the idea, "Hey, I've got a World Championship, I like the rallying thing, Ferrari is bringing in Santander/Alonso, why not try something else?" He tried something else, decided he missed F1, and came back on form.


That has to be the longest post I've ever seen. I think there it have been something about Raikkonen, Ferrari, The Lord of the Rings along with the entire history of Middle Earth, War and Peace, A Tale of Two Cities, a bit of Dr. Suess and Paradise Lost, but frankly I just skipped to the end:

'And that means Ferrari'

Got there in the end 🙂


Paige living up to the name! 🙂


I have a theory that it was Schumi's presence at Ferrari that rubbed Kimi the wrong way. Schumi pulled for Massa, and Schumi did have quite a bit of pull at Ferrari as we know.

Schumi gone, so is the problem perhaps?


just google "truth about kimi raikkonen, ferrari and santander" before you say schumi was the problem in 2008/09


No one can say what the role of Shcumacher was in the whole Ferrari - Raikkonen dealing as there is no evidence to show. However, don't underestimate Shumacher's ego. Raikkonen won the WDC in the first year and was on track to win the second one. My personal belief: Schumacher did whatever he could to stop Raikkonen. Can someone explain this to me? After Massa got injured, the only person to score more points than Raikkonen in the remaining part of the season was Hamilton, by couple of points I believe. What happened? Is it possible that Ferrari bound by some clause in the Santander deal needed more points that season and knew that they need Raikkonen to score more points? Did Ferrari let finally Raikkonen race, by undoing whatever they have been doing till then?


He wasn't the only issue, I think that it may have helped Ferrari crush kimi's spirit though and give fuel to "lack of motivation stance they took" I know Ferrari wanted santander money which mean shoehorning Alsons on in,


I agree Seebee, I read an article on another page that shumi had the front suspension changed without consulting Kimi and took car development in his own chosen direction, which turned out to suit Massa and not Kimi. It's well documented that Kimi did not like have Shumi virtually standing over him and they didn't get on so well at a personal level either. Kimi does not strike me as a man who likes to told how to drive, "leave me alone, I know what I'm doing" says it all.


I can see Schumy as the problem too.

He was replaced as a 5-time WC by Kimi and in charge of the car development. He was close to Massa. He could even think of his legacy. If Kimi came their and won 3-4 straight WDCs Schumys achievement would be less valued.

Kimi had 1 and was heading for 2.

Schumy even took the disastrous choice to put Kimi on wets when it did not rain but rain was coming. Then Schumy was replaced at the pit wall.

Todt backed Kimi and with Todt gone Kimi had no allies at the top echelon and Santander showed their 100s of million dollars. Santander have rough times now.

Kimi going back to Ferrari will also say, Ferrari was wrong and he right so it will rebuild his reputation too, for those who doubts him.


interesting and seems very plausible.

I'd still like to see the Kimi-Lewis head-to-head at Mercedes next season.

also, Domenicalli... I just don;t think he can do it.

If we assume a Dommenicalli change, who would that role be filled with to complete the regrowth period?

can Kiomi wait for a regrowth period to get another championship, having worked very hard building Lotus up?


The 2008 Kimi-Ferrari relationship is a puzzle whose pieces are not all on the table as of yet. Kimi was surely treated attrociously by Ferrari, demoted to no. 2 status after the race in Malasya for reasons unrelated to his racing form. Domenically, in an interview, said that the decision was taken because Massa had helped Kimi to win the WDC, so it was his turn in 2008.

Rumours are that the decision was taken by Montezemolo who anted Kimi to conform to the team's corporate image and show up at work every morning like a loyal employee. It had also been said that Kimi told Montezemolo to f### ##f when summoned to his office while he was doing a commercial for one of the sponsors. If, and i underline the 'if', these rumours have any truth to them, then it is unlikely that the rift between Kimi and Montezemolo can be bridged.

Kimi said last year, in response to a question whether he could go back to Ferrari, that he holds no grudges and that he got along fine with all, except one, the members of the Ferrari team. He probably meant Montezemolo.

Politics, however, as well as sport, make for strange bedfellows, as the saying goes. I would not be surprised if Kimi ends up at Ferrari, but only if Alonso decides to go the RB way, or if Montezemolo decides that he shall imitate Enzo and fire him in order to show that no one is above the team. In such case, there can be no greater punishment for Alonso, to be replaced by the man he replaced under at least peculiar circumstances. For these reasons I believe that the whole story is manufactured by Ferrari to bring a restless and disappointed Alonso into line and, by the looks of it, it succeeded.


Ferrai might be the team to be next season as the old team is being is silently working on next years car.

Design Guru Rory bryne has been brought out of retirement along with Allison and few others of the glory days of ferrari in the nineties.

Iceman could get luckier and payback LDM big time.


They said the same about Allison joining, didn't they?


Yes very identical, they didn't need to comment then, and they didnt need to comment now. Here's an excerpt from Autosport.com: When asked whether Allison was joining the team, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said at an event in Maranello on Wednesday: "I don't know any truth in that. I must deny it."

Same here!


Enzo would gain Vettel with any means (with or without firing Alonso) and rearrange design&engineering dep


I would absolutely love this to be true, but I can't believe it would happen for so many reasons.


I dont know where Kimi will go next, but if i were Ferrari, i would probably refrain from hiring two top guns. Adrian Sutil would be the best replacement for Massa, followed by the hulk or Bianchi.

As for Enzo, i am sure there are many lessons to be derived from the great man's life, but from what i've read/heard about him, i dont think management was his strongest point. LdM is solely responsible for the great Ferrari turnaround of the 90s and 2000s. His shoes will be hard to fill when he decides to retire - which may come sooner than later given he is 67 yrs old already.


It may interest you to know that LdM was solely responsible in the 90's and 00's because Enzo Ferrari had died in 1988.


I am well aware of Enzo's demise at a ripe old age of 90. Enzo never had much interest in his roadcar division anyways, and the loss making unit was sold to Fiat. I am not sure how much input a 80+ yr old Enzo had in the Ferrari's of 1980s, but with exceptions of 288 gto and F40, the rest were utterly awful. The 70s were no better with Daytona and 308 being saving grace. Ferrari was never profitable nor an international marketing powerhouse which churns everything from F12s to keyrings today. The Ferrari that has survived, and sells more cars than what it can make is all due to LdM.

And it was LdM who put Scuderia Ferrari back on top by hiring Todt and later Schumacher. Without whom probably they still would have been trying to scare that 1979 Jody Scheckter's title monkey off their backs..


Alonso just doesn't do fast team mates. Massa has had to take some tough calls in support of Fernando's quest for championships so if the rumours are correct there'll be bad blood all around the garage.

As for Alonso, his loyalty seems to be restricted to teams that give him winning cars, on that basis the only garage left to him is Red Bull but imagine the rumpuss if SV continues to trounce him


Back to Ferrari?

Not while Raikkonen’s in charge . . .


Will not happen in a million years.


James maybe you can ask Kimi or his management if he had talks with Ferrari- he did not deny he had talks with Red Bull I dont see him denying "talks" if they happened.

Alexander Supertramp

Soooo, Kimi to Ferrari, Fernando to RB and Hulkenberg to Lotus?


Thank you James for the article!

I hope Lotus will be saved by the incoming investor & we see Raikkonen stay put come 2014.


Honda should have just bought Lotus - and rebranded the team into Honda. Let's hope Toyota or BMW will follow Honda back into the sport and buy Lotus.


Whoa a Kimi move back to Ferrari would be nothing short of a remarkable comeback or turn around and we do not see a lot of those fairly tales in this dog eat dog sport.

But on closer inspection, lets see if this move has legs or if it's just Kimi's camp using this speculation as a way of squeezing money out of somebody.

1) Ferrari have a rich history and in that rich history they aren't know for re-hiring former employees especially if those employees were drivers.

2) As mentioned many times by Luca, the team can't handle two roosters in the same team and seeing as Alonso has a contract to 2016, this makes it unlikely.

3) As our JAonF1's sources said earlier, as long as Luca is at Ferrari, Kimi has no passcode back into Maranello for in Luca's mind Kimi doesn't represent what Ferrari stand for i.e. Flair, passion, aggression, charming personality etc.

4) Kimi is famous for liking a good working condition with no added pressure and with Ferrari being the top dog in the sport that comes with a whole load of responsibilities such as media undertakings, I find it hard to believe that Kimi would sacrifice himself in this way.

So taking the above points into consideration and the fact Lotus are pretty optimist of keeping him, I think Kimi won't move at the end of this season at least.


it seems well within the range of possibility, especially if one considers potential team principal and design leaders.

I'm wondering about a Boullier to Ferrari move to strengthen the top position.


"Ferrari have a rich history and in that rich history they aren’t know for re-hiring former employees especially if those employees were drivers."

They actually re-hired a former employee very recently. Name is James Allison. And I seem to recall Ferrari also denying the rumour of signing him.

As for drivers, remember Gerhard Berger?


Like hero says...

1) There is a first for everything. Funny you made this point #1. 🙂

2) Ferrari better have two big roosters for 2014, because you can't have maker or $100k AMGs besting a maker of $300k 458s. Bad enough Ferrari engines are gunked up with Red Bulk past 3 years.

3) Kimi knows Ferrari and is a known quantity there.

4) He did OK first time around. Good salary will motivate him.


Stranger things have happened..


we might be in for a shocker concerning Ferrari´s 2014 line up.

I am wondering if Vettel takes a 4th world title, why would he want to continue at Red Bull? He´s always said one day to want to drive for Ferrari.

I can imagine a recent fall out at Maranello between Ferrari and Alonso over performance. One blaming the driver (over his 2013 form), the other blaming the team.

No driver is bigger than Ferrari, including Alonso. So maybe there was truth in the 2012 rumours of Vettel moving to Ferrari in 2014.

Vettel does have a contract extension with RB but we dont know the exit clauses.

Also rumours of DM wanting Alonso are flying around.

Adding everything up: 2012 + 2013 rumours maybe we will see Kimi replacing Massa, and maybe we will see a Vettel-Kimi line up at Maranello, at the expense of Alonso.


Kimi doesn't need the money, doesn't need to "do Ferrari" given that he's still the only driver on the grid to be a Ferrari WDC. Kimi needs the best car he can - as time is running out in his F1 career.

Mercedes is not in play for him. He has a choice of Lotus and RB. Unless he thinks next year's Ferrari is going to be special, it makes no sense for him to choose Ferrari - given their recent track record.

Kimi's 2014 car will have a Renault engine in it.


Just indulging in some conspiracy theory :

Finnish connections are used to spread the rumor to strengthen bargaining position

German connections genuinely don't want Vettel/Kimi at RB as that would be a strong pairing against Hamilton/Rosberg.

Red team sympathisers too don't want to face a Vettel/Kimi onslaught.

There are 3 strategies to winning - A. build a strong team, B. build a strong car, C. weaken your opponents.

I think we are seeing masters of the universe moving chess pieces in pursuit of C.


Bear in mind that Red Bull is Austrian, not German, so they don't give a hoot about the German team.

Also remember that a few years back, Mclaren and Mercedes (aka Brawn) stopped RBR being supplied with Merc engines.


You don't think Kimi @ Ferrari has an impact on weakening Alonso's position?

After 4 years of no WDC, Ferrari go on and hire a guy who has a Ferrari WDC!? Talk about gut-check for Alonso if Kimi comes in.


I'm not a fan of Fernando, but to suggest the lack of success is his fault is somewhat ridiculous. The cars pre 2009 were developed on the test track everyday. This era is dominated by wind tunnels and cfd, things that were neglected before. To suggest that Kimi would have done better is very brave.


I was thinking that whole lets send Alonso's manager to RB and LdM scolding Alonso in public was also a smokescreen ploy to "confuse" RB. Anything to make RB hesitate a fraction in making the logical choice of hiring Kimi; and to have Kimi slip away from their fingers.

If RB think they are going to walk away with the WDC title next year, and only need number 2 driver support, their arrogance could be their downfall. Hamilton/Merc may be too strong for just Vettel to take on; with a distant number two wing man.

As I said - conspiracy theory indulging. I have no basis other than just speculative fun.


Agreed Sebee that RBR will keep their 2013 iron in the fire longer than all others.

They've been the kings of the 2009-2013 regulations, and they'll do all they can to sew up what should be their 4th WCC/WDC.


Interesting filp, Ferrari playing RBR. But Let's be honest, Alonso deserved a slap on the hand after he "slapped" his team.

I have a real concern about 2014. There are too many weird things happening. There is no guarantee that RBR can go for the WDC/WCC in 2014. Therefore, bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. RBR must close out the WDC/WCC in 2013 and will likely push development on 2013 further than Mercedes and Ferrari can afford to in an effort to get that 2013 WDC/WCC because 2014 is a complete unknown.

And if the Mercedes 100HP thing is just hype and smokescreen, and Renault build a solid engine as expected, RBR have the resources to mount a 2014 challange. But no way RBR bail out of 2013 as early as Mercedes and Ferrari will because of the possible 2014 risks. You play your percentages if you're RBR.

So that basically was long way to agree with your point that 2014 will not be a walk for RBR and hence more importance for them to win 2013.

Also, Kimi and Lotus strength has been reliabilty as pointed out by James. If RBR deliver that in 2014 it will go a long long way. If Deniel can be consistent and mix it up in the top 5, he'll be just fine. No Kimi needed. And hey, Daniel 2M, Kimi 15-20M - how far does 15M go to help development in an important formula switch year like 2014? Even for RBR, 15M is 15M - I would put it into the car before I put it into Kimi. Not like "Santander" type money is following Kimi around. If it was, Lotus wouldn't be having sponsor challanges and financial issues. So Kimi is basically an expense to any team. At Lotus he's paid his way not with sponsor contribution but with WCC standings for Lotus. RBR is already #1 so nothing more to be gained there - Kimi is all expense for RBR.


One thing is for sure, as much as I like Massa and think he's been a stand up guy and an amazingly loyal #2 if Ferrari are looking at the menu and...

On the left side of the menu is

Massa beans re-fried

On the right side of the menu is

Kimi a la mode

I think clearly Ferrari will go right, a la mode.

OK now everyone, give it up for my "Kimi a la mode" You know it's a good one, and first time you've seen it used.


Sorry Sebee, it's not ever going to beat 'Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing'...but points for trying 🙂


A la mode man! As in Apple Pie a la mode...you know with Vanilla Ice Cream? Kimi with Ice Cream...no? Nothing? Not even a chuckly?

Ahhh...alright. But I'm not giving up. More funny attempts to come!


Wouldn't have it any other way 🙂


"It would be interesting to know what Enzo Ferrari would have thought of the Raikkonen rumours."

He would have fired Santander for firing their World Champion to begin with... and would have re-hired Raikkonen to end it. There is nothing more important to anyone than "Sporting Performances"... and Raikkonen is beating both Ferrari's driving for a MidField Team. That's the main reason Kimi is wanted at the moment, not some PR stuff written by Andrew Benson on BBC. Hiring Kimi wouldn't be an admission of guilt.. it'd be an acknowledgement of his Great Performance on track in 2012-13. Enzo wouldn't care about journalists making Drama Stories about rehiring a proven athlete.


As for Luca, this is just about the best decision the legendary Enzo could have made for Ferrari's future taking into account the success (both on and off track) Luca has been able to achieve for the team since to the point that most fans associate formula 1 with Ferrari and that's why every driver would want to race for the team at some point.

Not only is Luca a charismatic leader/ manipulator but he's also a veteran business man that has a good nose for the best dealers.

And as long as Luca is in charge of this team, you can never rule them out of anything for they will always throw everything they got to win.

So yes, Enzo would have been very proud of what Luca has done for Luca as a person represents everything Ferrari stands for and that's they won't stand for second best.

Regards the story of Luca having a picture of Enzo on his desk, that is a very moving story and just goes to show how highly Enzo is still regarded at Maranello.

Overall, Ferrari has been good for the sport because whenever they win, this gives the sport a much needed boost in the media and if Ferrari gets beaten, this gives the rival teams that much more credibility/satisfaction.


Maybe Ferrari have signed Raikkonen because they are unsure if Fernando Alonso is sticking around into next year?

I bet Enzo wouldn't have cared one bit as he always thought drivers were expendable and should be grateful for driving a Ferrari whether it was competitive or not.


Maybe Alonso is looking around because he knew Kimi was returning..


I think you could be onto something


You wouldn't want to see a Kimi/Fernando pair-up? I think it would be better to watch than Kimi/Vettel personally.


Actually, one more thing...POWER CONSOLIDATION.

Mercedes are Nico and Lewis

Ferrari Alonso and ... Kimi?

RBR with Vettel and ... Kimi (I still say Daniel)?

Let us at least accept that top 5 is easily spoken for in 2014. But is this power team and power driver consolidation good for F1?

Remember, many teams will pretty much fight for 7th-10th scraps, and business case for them to participate in F1 will become more challanged.


Look, F1 is a competitive business. The competition for the teams is the Constructor's Championship. It really makes no sense from a business perspective to not have the best two drivers you can possibly hire for your cars. I mean, seriously, if you have a team and can find a better driver out there, why would you ever let your rivals have him?

Having two top drivers works. McLaren destroyed everyone in the 80s when they had two top drivers- first time with Prost and Lauda, then next with Senna and Prost. Ferarri has had no trouble in the past winning with top driver pairings. And Rubens Barrichello wasn't exactly a slouch with Michael- he did his share of winning and outqualifying.

Mercedes has a mega pairing with Hamilton and Rosberg. Red Bull and Ferrari see that. One teams has an opening coming in one seat; one can upgrade the other seat. And you have this free agent out there who has perhaps adapted to the new Pirelli era better than anyone else in terms of his driving, with one of these two teams knowing how good he is since he has already won a world championship for them and turned in performances in his last season with them that were of such a high quality that the engineers couldn't explain them. Seriously, if you are Red Bull or Ferrari, you would be really dumb to not do everything you could to hire him, not just to have the talent to go against Mercedes, but also to prevent the other team from getting him. And you throw perhaps the final deadly blow to a team on the rise and is maybe on life support in terms of their financial condition.

Racing is just like war. It's about winning. And if you want to win in war, you scrape for every advantage you can get as if your very survival depends on it, because it actually does. This is one of the qualities that makes F1 great.

unF1nnished business

Interesting point. After reading this, the Ferrari seat doesn't seem that far fetched.


I agree with everything you say. However I might add racing is not only about winning it is about money. One cannot win without money. So one thing that perhaps throws a spanner into this story is Alonso's sponsor. Santander paid a good deal of money to get Kimi out and Fernando in asap. Do they have a say in who partners up with Alonso? Would they like their golden boy being showed up by the guy they paid to NOT race?


Yup. How much does Ferrari want to keep Santander happy? And how much say do they have about #2? After all they booted Kimi out basically. Clearly this is the biggest obstacle, not so much Luca. If Santander says no, no Kimi.

Again, problem with Kimi is no big sponsor is following him around for obvious reasons. So he is an expsense to all teams. And it would certainly help him to have a big sponsor behind him now that all teams, even Ferrari want money.


Nice post. This is why I love this site, not much fan ranting!



You won't hear me disagree with you on anything you've said above. My concern is simply the vacuum this may leave behind for some teams already in pain. Lotus without Kimi drops out of top 5. Sauber is already in pain and basically someone's (with money) play thing. There is hope for McLaren if that engine is good in 2014, and then Honda money comes in. But there is 3-4 teams in serious trouble.

It's great to have power teams up front, but recent seasons have spoiled us and the grid. With further driver consolidation in front running teams it's going to really lock out teams and could result in a shrinking grid. We need some fan favorites in the smaller teams, and they need some sponsors!


Was'nt that the same thing they said about Allison, and look where he ended up


Raikkonen, 33, has finished each of the 30 races he has contested since his return to the sport


I wonder, could Spa be the place Kimi's remarkable run comes to a halt.

Yes Kimi has had a couple of DNFs there and as they say, all good things have to come to an end >>> unfortunately.


You just jinxed the run! 🙂


Kimi signed for Ferrari. Announcement will go at Monza. Alonso reaction to this was furious and made him overreact, sending Garcia to CH. Ferrari will have strong driver line up next season, I think its a smart decision. AND I sincerely hope Alonso would not do same things he did to Lewis at Mclaren, or get lost with politics in the garage.

Fulveo Ballabeo

No foundation, eh? Wonder if that means Kimi isn't going to Ferrari for real, or if Kimi "isn't going to Ferrari" like James Allison.


James, what about the rumor that Dietrich Mateschitz is personally taking interest in acquiring Alonso's services next season?


You answered your own point - rumor.

Why would RBR need Alonso? Vettel is winning WDCs left, right, centre! Now, when Vettel really wants to leave, believe me, there will be no shortage of willing drivers to fight for that seat.

How about, RBR talk to Alonso to unsettle both Ferrari and Lotus with their Kimi talks. I say it's time RBR talk to Lewis too! 🙂


Maybe, Ferrari really think RBR will sign Daniel and will announce at Spa (as per reports that's when RB will make things publuc), that would leave nowhere for Alonso to go so would have to put up with Kimi as team mate. LdM is a smart cookie, you just can't under estimate the lenghts he would go to, to put them red cars back at the front of the pack.


No doubt. That's why I don't believe that LdM as you call him doesn't put past Kimi issues behind him for sake of business and Ferrari success. I think he knows it may very well be Mercedes that is the issue in 2014, and if Alonso is the answer to Lewis. Who is the answer to Nico? I think clearly it's Kimi.

But how can Lotus replace that giant hole Kimi leaves behind?


I can't see why Kimi would go to Ferrari while RBR wants him. Doesn't make sense.

At Ferrari he would have to move over for Alonso, while at RBR there would be a fair chance of team orders being implied in Kimi's favour. And this time I guess Sebastian would obey the team orders and gift Kimi the win, because in contrast to Mark Kimi is his friend.

Of course the decision could be centred around money, in which case a move to Ferrari would make sense.


Why on earth would he have to move over for Alonso? No driver is bigger than the team at Ferrari. They will get equal support until one of them has to help the other win the championship.


Agree. Unless Kimi has some reason to think that Ferrari is the car to have next year, it makes no sense to choose Ferrari over RB.

Team orders at RB may not be an issue next year. There is the possibility that Hamilton Mercedes will prove too strong. So RB absolutely needs both cars to score strong points to have WCC chance.

Sorting out who should give way to whom will look like a nice problem to have, compared to the problem of having neither able to catch Hamilton in the Merc.

Leaving aside corporate politics, Kimi to RB makes the most sense. Going to Ferrari makes no sense.


I read Kimi is hanging out for an extended sponsor deal for his motor cross team from red bull, that's the delay in signing cos he is trying to squeeze as much as he can for it. We all know Kimi likes racing, money and beer (i suspect in that order too lol) don't forget his management team are notorious for wanting the big bucks.

Christos Pallis

If the Raikkonen rumers to Ferrari are true that could suggest the Alonso rumers to Redbull have some substance too.

It makes seance moving into 2014 regulations to have two top drivers in a team but I agree with comments above. If Kimi went back to Ferrari and that's a big IF, surely Alsonso would not want it or would possibly leave???



Any chance Ferrari let Alonso out of his contract and send him to Red Bull as a form of trojan horse? The thought being Ferrari ca't beat Red Bull on the track, so why not send them Alonso to destabilize the team. The last drivers crown Ferrari won was with Alonso and Hamilton fighting it out in the superior Mclaren while Raikkonen vacuumed up points in the Ferrari. Alonso at Red Bull could set up 2007 all over again.


Do u work for an anti virus company, I heard Kaspersky is a sponsor on the red cars...!!!


I still think this is just Kimi's camp keeping pressure on Red Bull, mainly for two reasons: 1) Kimi and LdM simply do not get along, and 2) If Kimi and Red Bull were not still negotiating, Red Bull had already signed Ricciardo, and apparently that has not happened yet.

Good to keep a couple of things in mind though. Ferrari must realize that they need two strong drivers in order to fight for WCC and hence they'd naturally be interested in Kimi. Also, Domenicali has always been quite open about the fact that he likes Kimi very much, so, apart from LdM, the chemistry is there. I just can't see LdM being able to admit he was wrong to fire Kimi four years ago, no matter how much business sense it makes. Of course it might be that Luca will concentrate on his political ambitions and leave racing to others.


Also, Antti: can it be both RBR and Ferrari want Kimi on board to eliminate him as a competitive threat?


Forgot to add the Allison aspect, maybe there is a connection between him and Kimi that makes the move happen.


Alonso won his WDC's in a team with allison in, I think Kimi's WDC at Ferrari was when Allison worked for them, and Kimi has enjoyed his cars again with lotus. So both Alonso and Kimi like Allison's cars so would make sense to have 2 drivers that are gonna suit the next car Ferrari produce.

Valentino from montreal

There are rumours appearing on German news outlets on the internet about a possible return of the KING ( no not Elvis ) coming back to Ferrari next year ... The king is even linked to the vacant Red Bull seat too ...

Unless the King removes himself from his ambassadorial role @ Mercedes , Im not holding my breath ..

Besides , Alonso is only 32 and is already on the decline and fast too , how harmful could it be to Ferrari having the sport's most successful driver , even if he's 45 years old in January ??

To Elie and Tim , please , make like a jacket and zip it !


Aww it's so nice that you thought of me Val before you posted ! Im always too hot to zip up & Im certainly no pushover - or is that pullover -- anyway..

King starts with K and so does well you know it sounds right doesn't it - King Kimi.

Your right again about Red Bull - King Kimi is definitely linked !

As for trading Alonso for 45 yo WC cheat- Why don't you just sign his mother that would be easier too...Dear oh Dear, oh Dear Val - you are such a tragic ! It's ok to love him but just let him go enjoy F1 for what is now !

The last time MS was at Ferrari as a consultant he ruined the place- stuck his nose into everyone's business and spoilt Ferraris last first time WDC &WCC by doing his utmost to favour Felipe.Well he succeeded and Ferrari are still stick with his legacy- that just does not work !. It must be something about German drivers- they cannot fight with anyone on equal terms the only way they succeed is to to crush their team mates or competitors by cheating,unfair advantage or pulling the strings in the team- seems to be a common thread- can we please move on from this GREAT disease in F1.


I don't think there is anything I need to add to that 🙂


Air Hi five brother : ) lol


I just saw this article which highlights some discussions about next years power plants.

One thing for sure Mercedes right now with Hamilton and Rosberg are very well placed. Ironically, will it be Mclaren that come back strong next year with that Mercedes power train. ?.

I wouldn't even have dreamt about Ferrari / Kimi until it was announced James Allison is there in two weeks. Now the table is open for bets!. I still really want Kimi to stay at Lotus and be the guy that returns the Lotus name to glory- that would be phenomenal - but do they have the technical / financial firepower to build a great car next year??- Any feedback on the deal with Infinity would be greatly appreciated James !


which instrument did they measure that 100bnp with? could they have tested all 3 engines are did they smell it?


This news seems to circulate around. I'd like to see the "no foundation" quote in its original context.

The other quotes don't do anything to deny the rumour of Kimi moving to Ferrari. To me, this suggests that there's truth in it. If there wasn't Ferrari could just clearly state Kimi won't drive for them, yet they haven't done that.

Stefano Domenicali was asked in Silverstone this year who would drive in his own fantasy team. His reply was "Fernando and Kimi". When asked further who is his favourite driver besides Alonso and Massa, he replied "Kimi Räikkönen". Source: Heikki Kulta


Let us have no more talk ever about "drivers who develop cars" and drivers who can be "team leaders". This rubbish was all the rage with all F1 commentators and pundits when Ferrari made that decision to turf out Raikkonen and take Alonso instead.

No shred of evidence that Alonso has developed one miniscule item! Because it's the engineers who develop. Drivers drive.

Kimi gave the scuderia THREE titles.

Alonso gave them ZILCH titles.


horner prophecised that mclaren would be weaker in 2013 without hamilton.


Kimi gave Ferrari three titles when they developed the car through track testing (plus Mclaren imploded). To suggest Fernando is responsible for Ferrari being lightyears behind in wind tunnel work and cfd is patently ridiculous. Unless Fernando designed their new wind tunnel, that is.

unF1nnished business


Hehe...true that!


There is a famous American saying. "To win the Kentucky derby, you don't leave your prize stallion behind." Let's say that to LDM 😛


My two bobs worth.

1) Kimi wants more money,or the 2014 package

is a "dud".

2) Kimi going back to Maranello serves two

points,Alonso will be awere that Luca d M

does not tolerate a loud mouth regardless of

one ability,and Kimi knows Ferrari Cheques

are good,he got € 25 mil doing nothing.

3)As for those who beat the drum about the

Mercedes power advantage in engine output?,a

load of "crap",why would Mercedes leak out a

information that is so preciouse to their

competition? six months ahead lining up on

the grid and finding out how really good you

are when the chips are down,in my back of the

wood saying goes,"talk is cheap", in any



Was it really Merc leaking it out though? It was a story in the F1 press, and mainly driven by Merc's pushing for wider tires for next year ... taken as a sign that they have a power/torque advantage that they want to translate through the wheels.

Michael Grievson

Ill believe it when Eddie Jordan breaks the news. He was right about achumachers return and Lewis to merc.


Does Kimi really want to go back there especially after this is what happened??


If that analysis is correct they just screwed him left right center....

Tornillo Amarillo

Nobody talking about HAMILTON in this post? What happens?

Anyway, Hamilton should prefer in 2014 Ricciardo in Red Bull, Kimi still in Lotus and Alonso also in Ferrari.

Hamilton would hate Alonso and Ricciardo or Hulkenberg in Ferrari, Vettel and Kimi in Red Bull and Hulk or DiResta and Grosjean in Lotus.


Don't see that it makes any difference to Hamilton who goes where, as long as it's not Merc. He has to beat them all consistently, no matter what car they drive, in order to take the WDC and that's all he cares about. Merc on the other hand will prefer the other teams to be weaker in order to take the WCC.


Well, that's because this post isn't about Hamilton. And you just tried to make it about him with a post that is illogical so as not to be disqualified from deserving an intelligent reply.


My educated guess, Kimi is discussing price tag with Red Bull so he brings Ferrari into the party.


Bottom line is the last face that goes next to a Ferrari title hanging on the wall is that of Mr. Raikkonen. I would love to see it, but would be stunned if it happened.


It seems to me the one surefire way to up your price in the driver market is to portray yourself as an object of desire to teams other than the one you are negotiating with. The easiest way to do this is to be rumoured to be 'talking' to another team. This latest bout of discussions works for Alonso and Raikkonen, just like it did for Lewis last year.


Emotional reasons aside, there are plenty of good reasons to drive for Ferrari for any driver.

James Alison has joined Ferrari, so their technical team is growing.

Alonso's manager going to Red Bull. I know Kimi won't have a problem with a strong teammate, but Alonso and Ferrari will. Especially with Ferrari, they will always have a clear No.1 and No.2. Massa may still be around after Kimi joins or they can just find Bianchi.

I suspect Alonso might be moving to RedBull (for the chance to win) or Mercedes (for the extra money). and Rosberg? Rosberg who?

A lot can still change so I will wait patiently for their official announcements.


Silly is as silly gets; mercy me!

In consideration of a Kimi move to Ferrari, I believe that one must expand the theatre of variables.

What could be behind what on the surface would seem ludicrous, kimi going to a team that made him the highest paid driver, who wasn't even driving that year, when they replaced him with Alonso???

With the transition in formula next year, and the trend towards 'development wars', capability in overall team management is becoming more and more of a factor in how a team performs.

A blog ago, there was a torrent of wrangling editorial contributions concerning the Gazetta del Sport mid-season ranking.

I'd like to see (especially the more astute) contributors' opinions on team bosses, because, having had a 'Silly Season' in technical directors, now the drivers silly season is in full swing, I think the astute observers may be considering team principal silly season, beneath the surface, and how that may affect the drivers' movement amongst the teams.

I'd enjoy reading what the contributors here think of the performance of the team chiefs.

Notably, Boullier has done a fantastic job, and if you consider the tighter budget he's had, one might consider him the champion team principal.

At the other end of the spectrum, whether you like him or not (I like him), Domenicalli has failed to deliver.

Now Allison to Ferrari.

Whose next?

Wouldn't Ferrari want to poach somebody like Boullier, who has proven that he can manage around constraints, like money constraints, and drivers who don't like PR work nor the spot light (when it isn't on the top step of the podium)???

So what if Ferrari have a Team Principal switch in progress, either Boullier or even Horner; surely Horner wants to prove what he can do at another team.

And of Newey, maybe he's had enough; if Horner had the inside line on that, maybe he'd be ready to move along.

With the consideration of these kinds of variables, the range of what seems like a good move will be very different from the assumption of no change from right now.


Eventually I noticed that among all Ferrari pilots of last 10 years the Ferrari overalls and menswear do best fit on Kimi a la perfect model))

Another obvious trend of this year I have noticed that Mr.Samurai is being overshadowed in media by 2 Mr.Consistents))


Raikkonen back to Ferrari - YES !


I like Kimi character, but I think he has been over rated lately. His F1 history shows a different thing. Like Vettel, his "apparent high value" is partly a consequence of the actual team mate.

I hope they don't put the best driver in the best car, for the sake of the sport. On the other hand, putting Alonso and Vettel in the same team would be useful to demystify that arrogant kid.


Whilst he is an "arrogant kid", he is also a very fast one. Webber is still very fast despite his age (why else would THE successful team continue to hire him when the drivers clash), and I have no doubt that Vettel will at least be equal to the challenge of ANY other driver.

I don't like him and consider him to be a spoilt brat. However, he is a great driver that has proven himself in all conditions and deserves credit for that, even if the car is designed around him.


Vettle Started his full first season in a Toro Rosso... He had to earn his sit. Furthermore, he had his first outing on a BMW Sauber. People forget this and think he entered F1 in a car capable of winning races and championships.


raikkonen has won races and has been a title challenger at mclaren ferrari renault and lotus. how many drivers can have achieved that? nigel mancell and vettel won almost all their races in dominant cars and yet they are highly rated so why not raikkonen?


Vettel has won none of his races in "dominant cars", as he has never had such machines at his disposal. A dominant car is one which finishes many races one-two, and finishes the season one-two. The 1992 Williams was a dominant car. None of the Red Bull's have been.


sorry I didn't know that. one other fact I am not sure of, which car won all f1 championships from 2010 to date? why is adrain newey so famous while others doing his job in other teams are not known?


That's right, and we will never know what's going on inside teams, so we may be unfair by only evaluating drivers results, but Kimi was unable to match Massa (Ferrari, 2009 I believe).

He's good, no doubt, but far from the toppest level, IMO.

I don't rate Mansell or Vettel at top level either (I mean, like Prost, Senna, Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher...)


i do not think massa could live with raikkonen. he must have enjoyed preferencial treatment. i say this because schumacher gave up his seat for massa and when alonso turned up raikkonen was paid off. some internal favours helped massa race competatively against raikkonen as a teammate.

for how long has his performance been poor and for how long have they kept him?


We can say that Mark Webber must be really enjoying this, watching everyone make predication about his former seat.

If Kimi was to stay at Enstone, then he would want to be sure that the massive black hole in the finances of the team has been closed and they have the funds to develop the package for 2014 and during that year. So far to date, we have heard – read about all this investment going into the team, and who they are but nothing has actually happen. No money, and that to me is a really big worry.

You then, somehow lose the second best visionary on the pitwall (After Newey) through bad management, and that alone start’s me asking question about the overall management of the team and what their goals are. So with all of that, then surely Kimi’s management team must be looking to place him somewhere else.

With James Allison turning up at Ferrari, and having Rory Byrne there also, these two have history from days back at Enstone, and with Pat Fry, just – still there (for how long?) they are starting to put together an interesting design team, that has the track record of results. The only down side I can see with this concept, is the engine for 2014.

James Allen has said “to date” the Mercedes is leading the pack, with the Renault a close second, and worryingly a distance third is the Ferrari engine.

We know that Byrne and Allison can work magic on the chassis, but if the power plant is down, then the package has problems from day one. So would Kimi really want to go there, knowing they might be down on power? Again on the plus side for him is James Allison, and he would know all about the data that Kimi has produced at Enstone, and which buttons to push and which ones to leave along. Kimi also knows what Allison and Byrne can produce, like drivers want to drive a Newey Car, drivers also want to drive one design & built by these two. As for all the Ferrari politics, that is in the past. I really doubt has any bearing on what will happen. Ferrari wants to win and a driver also wants to win. The political baggage that hangs around Ferrari is bad, but you can shut it out. Kimi is a pretty laid back sort of guy, who just likes to race and win.

The joker in the pack I believe is Fernando. If he really believes that the Renault is the engine to have, and that the Newey design car – package is also the one to have, that could allow him to win another title and races, and then it was wise to have his management sound out Red Bull about the seat. (I won’t have done it so publicly) He is “Street” smart to engineer a move away from Ferrari, history shows us that via Alain Prost who did it.

Enstone would have to show Kimi and his team that they have the funding all in place and the skill set (People) to make a good package for 2014. The engine – Renault might be the power plant to have after Mercedes.

Red Bull looks promising on the surface, with Newey and Renault power plant, plus they do have the funding. There star driver is only signed up for an additional one year, so do a two year deal and you could be sitting pretty on your second year. Common sense would or should tell you that this is the package he should go for, but it is not always that simple it seems.

The Dark horse, is of course that big Red Horse in the corner, and gut feeling is that he would go there, with Fernando going to Red Bull.

As for this talk about liking or not liking the PR route, one only has to look at the “Iceman” fan club, and tap into that, instead of having him turn up at all those plastic chicken dinner meeting. Time for that circus is after the racing is done with and the results are in the bag – history books.


Kimi welcome back to Ferrari.


Looks like we need Eddie Jordan's comments, he's been very quiet of late.

Kimi can accept any team mate but can Alonso? No Way!

Vettel has to accept Kimi to save his face but still he wouldn't want Alonso as he said so.

Best silly season so far, with the comments posted I thought a race has just happened.


Vettel said he prefers Kimi over Alonso because of the offtrack politics that Alonso plays (i.e., drama). He did not say he feared Alonso on the track, it was his offtrack stuff that he can live without. Kimi has none of that offtrack stuff so.


Who would he replace?

I can't see it happening myself. Alonso and Kimi? Will they keep Massa for another Season? Kimi and the Hulk at Ferrari, now that would be cool.


In a funny way, and one that isn’t really talked about, would be Williams’ for Kimi to turn to. A real long shot, but they will have Mercedes Power.

It would be perfect if James Allison turned up there, and teamed up with that big bad shark - Pat Symonds. Put those two together and we have seen what they can produce on a limited budget, plus Williams does have a great engineering team and equipment. (Much better than anything Enstone have)

We also have to remember that word was Kimi did look at Williams before going to Enstone. Plus Maldonado is now saying he wants to stay at Williams. One does have to wonder how much longer his sponsors will buy into a team so low down the grid. Would the sponsor move to another team with Maldonado, say to Lotus?

The thing is Williams will have Mercedes Power for 2014, and they have Pat Symonds there now, so could they pull something out of the bag, and go from zero to hero in 2014?

Like I said a real long shot, but funnier things have been known to happen in F1 and yes we are in the silly season.


Reading this...

Future vision: Engineers discuss 2014 changes


I suspect there will be a few DNF in the first half of 2014 - heat related.

It will be hard to pick which top car/team will have the goods

Kimi wont take the gamble and sign a 3 year or a long contract at his age, I predict he will stay with Lotus on a 1 year (If they can sort out their finace) and the big move of top drivers will be in 2015

Kimi stays at Lotus

Daniel at Red Bull

Massa ???? is the seat to watch


There may not be any openings in 2015 in top-teams. Ferrari and RBR will have already signed multiple year deals by then. Not sure how long Button has its contract with McL.


He should go back to rallying, and eat some ice cream.


James - I know its slightly off topic, but say Red Bull do take Kimi, where does that leave Daniel? Does he seek out Lotus, Ferrari or stay put? Would any other team take him or JEV? Knowing that he will not get promoted to the Mother Team and likely be cut if not this year then definitely next year to allow De Costa and Sainz Jnr the chance to "do a Vettel" with the Jnr Team before Vettel's contract is up in 2015 and most likely seeks another challenge at another Team to cement his Ego in the top echelon of the sport?


My take would be Kimster might be going to Ferrari.

james what is your take on this what does your sources say


James mentioned that there is no way he will be there when LDM is at charge


...is what my Finnish colleague who is always strong on Kimi intell says

I'm reserving judgement until I speak to all the people involved at Spa


James, your personal opinion, do you prefer to see Kimi in RBR or Lotus next year? And what would your educated guess on who goes where in general?


James, your personal opinion, do you prefer to see Kimi in RBR or Ferrari next year?


it's also possible Red Bull may want to make an announcement at Spa too. This will certainly limit any other options Kimi may have on the table.

I don't see the sense in all these contract talks half way through a season. I think all negotiations should happen in November and contracts signed before Christmas. If its a driver outside F1 it can happen any time.


Luca wonders what Enzo would do whenever an important decision comes up? Finally we find out why Ferrari have been so mediocre over the past few years!


WWED: Letters to live by 🙂


Hey! ...that tops the "a la mode" joke for sure.


Are you implying Luca's guesses of Enzo's decisions are incorrect OR Enzo's decisions are daft with Luca's guesses being accurate?


Being facetious, really - reflecting on Enzo's historic form for playing silly buggers with his drivers, staff and team generally, and on the general mediocrity of Ferrari late in his life.


Regardless of what happens with the driver market now, Mercedes are the favourites to win both the Drivers and Constructors Championships next year.

Mercedes seem to be the most stable team all-round, and are really putting pressure on every other team in the pit lane, particularly Red Bull and Ferrari.

It seems they have got next year signed, sealed and delivered.


Mercedes could well get the car design wrong, but right now they do seem to have the advantage in terms of engine development. How big of an advantage it is, we don't know. But it is definitely worth mentioning that this team has a history of getting ahead on developing a car for a fundamental change of regulations, so I think that is maybe part of the optimism over Mercedes' chances next year.

I think it is safe to say that Mercedes has to be one of the favorites for next year, if for no other reason than that they have taken a massive step this year toward the top of the table, basically climbing from 5th best team (with a car that was often outperformed by the Sauber, Force India, and Williams cars last year) to being the 2nd best team with the quickest car over a single lap. They have clearly laid the groundwork for future success with the best driver pairing on the grid, an immense amount of talent in the engineering department, and bringing in two guys this year (Wolff, Lowe) who have proven to be very talented individuals to manage their various areas of expertise. And it's safe to say now that their position with Stuttgart is rather safe now, and this was one of the biggest concerns for the team in its first three years. They may not win a championship next year, but they look very much poised to win championships in the future.

And this is why where Raikkonen signs is going to have a massive impact. With Mercedes' team strength and two top drivers, they are the team that you have to target if you want to win Constructor's Championships and bring in more money in the future given the current team staffs and driver lineups. And if you want to contend with them for Constructors points, you better have two top drivers who will score consistently. This is why Red Bull and Ferrari need someone like Raikkonen. Red Bull and Ferrari may judge from their data on Ricciardo and Hulkenberg that they can be top performers and score big points, but while both have shown flashes of this type of ability, they appear to observers to not be nearly as sure of a bet as Raikkonen.


And then on the other end of the scale you have Honda at the end of '08: Pulled out, two drivers out of work, no chance on Earth...and then BAM Brawn came along and they won both championships.

And then there's a little team called McLaren who had the fastest car at the end of '12. Sure it's their own fault: They changed the car too much, but next year all the teams have to change their cars and I mean completely change them.

Having said that Mercedes is a good prospect but:

Signed? Yes.

Sealed? No.

Delivered? We'll see in November '14 😉


I would like to see McLaren say a proper goodbye to Mercedes in 2014 by besting them in the standings.

What would you think about that? Possible? If the engine is good, why not?


What would I think about that?

Here's another example: In '08 RBR was woeful to the point of being beaten by their junior team STR. Then came the big regulation change in '09 nd all of a sudden they were title contenders, second only to Brawn in the first half of the year.

So with a nother big regulation change coming in '14 anything is possible.

You can (almost) never count out McLaren so them beating Mercedes is definitely possible, but then again there's the smallest chance that Marussia might come along and blow everyone away!

Whatever happens it's going to be interesting 🙂


i like your optimism but don't forget that prophecy is the least profitable profession and trampling on a persons dignity is grossly offensive.

we have only witnessed the performance of 2013 cars we haven even seen what the 2014 cars look like let alone how they compete against each other.

i hope the 2nd half of the season is as entertaining as the first.


I didn't even start yet....at least allow them to try the new car first


Next season the regulations change dramatically. Mercedes can very well drop the ball, as can any other team.


Kimi's helmet design would go better with the Ferrari than with the Red Bull. 🙂


Always an important factor 🙂


If the contract or the contract negotiations did take place, that could explain Alonso's manager paying a visit to Red Bull and the 'tuning' words of LdM which stressed that at Ferrari, the team always mattered first. Interesting times ahead.


I love a good driver rumour! Maybe there will be a proper merry go round with Kimi to Red Bull, Fernando to Lotus and Seb to Ferrari. Or maybe Kimi to Ferrari, Fernando to Red Bull and Seb goes to drive sportscars for Porsche! Who knows? I would love to see either Seb or Fernando go up against Kimi in equal machinery, but I just don't see it happening. I think that no matter what all the teams say publicly, they all only want "one rooster in the hen house" and so wherever Kimi goes, it will be to replace a "Top Dog" rather than as a number 2. We know how ruthless Ferrari can be with their superstars, so maybe he could go there, we also remember all the Vettel to Ferrari in 2014 rumours, so maybe RB is Kimi's destination.


“Drivers are not a problem for us even if we were to change Felipe (Massa).”

It is very unprofessional of the team to say this. Why even mention Massa in the context of this rumour? I do find Ferrari's habit of continually making inappropriate comments in public quite remarkable.


Felipe has had it pretty rough as well as smooth.

One minute they're smothering him with love and kisses, next minute they're throwing their shoes at him.

The lad will be nervous walking up that pitlane in spa into the Ferrari garage.


Perhaps it's called "laying the groundwork"?


Hasn't Massa pretty much been doing that himself for the last two and a half years?

I like the guy and I'd love him to keep a seat in F1, but...


In my experience watching F1 (of two decades), one thing I know for sure is that there are always rumours going around and a lot of them are untrue.

However, rarely has there been a case, where a rumour about a "signed contract" is proved to be baseless (note it may not always have materialized, but it always means there is something real and tangible abotu the content of the rumour)

So, I think this is no different.

Either way, I think Raikkonen will be Vettel's teammate in the next couple of years... (Redbull or Ferrari seems to be the only question)

Christer Hammarström

Ferrari will be good for both Kimi and me, then i can use my old Ferrari skirt from Spa 2009. A fine day to remember.Ferrari will do fine in 2014 with Kimi and James Allison.


+ Kimi considers it one of his very best wins.


That settles it. That is hands down the absolutely best reason I have heard for Kimi to move to Ferrari.

Kimi, are you listening? SIGN NOW! 🙂


My guess is that Alonso stays at Ferrari, Massa is booted, and Kimi comes back to the Scuderia. Ferrari needs 2 good guys to get that Constructors trophy back. RBR will put Daniel in Webbers car as not to rock the boat with Seb. Kimi likes big money and Ferrari are the ones with it. All the talk about Kimi being pissed I think is over blown. I really don't think he was as ticked as the media let on. After all, he got 30 mil to go on vacation. Also alot of people say he hates PR, but I don't think that is an issue either. Again, probably just media opinion more than anything. Besides, it is all conjecture at this point anyway. 🙂


Massa is booted, not Botted. 🙂


This is extremely promising news for the sport (for once), either way he goes he will be up against the best of either Vettel or Alonso. I don't see him staying at Lotus. If he wins it is the stuff that legends are made of.


About time to do more and talk less..too much of break between races :)!!

The Spanish Inquisitor

Kimi's divorce was very expensive.

That's the key of the problem......

Kimi need money, money, money


Kimi was married?


Yeah since, 2004.


Kimi is the only one out of top drivers who do not care about who is in the other car!

Hope he goes to Ferrari or Red Bull, then finally we get to know who is the best!


if tires become even more important next year then he will be the one to beat...


Here's a left wing option:

Would it be possible that we see a double-shuffle with both RIC and Kimi?

RIC takes Kimi's spot at Lotus, Kimi moves to Red Bull???


A) Red Bull have the fastest combo right now.

B) Red Bull continue to cultivate RIC's talent at a sister Renault team.

C) Lotus have a fast driver that can push to the front, and yet have their financial commitments eased through a smaller salary of Dan.

D) RIC's will be WDC ready by the time Kimi retires completely.

James, I'd be interested to hear your comments on this theory as to how feasable it is.

I don't believe this idea has been floated yet on this forum (there's a lot of posts to check!) please excuse me if it has.



Off topic but do you know anything about a completely revised Lotus for the Belgium GP ? It should come with a 10cm (!) longer wheelbase (thus new crash tests, revised aero etc)...


What is Buttons contract status? I remember kimi having talks with McLaren before the 2010 season and Whitmarsh courting him. They couldn't come to an agreement back then but that's not to say that given time either side may shift on their demands? Ok McLaren have had a rubbish year but they have recently signed what looks to be a works deal with Honda and have publicly announced they have a very healthy long term budget. Might not seem so crazy?


Well, looks like we have our answer on Red Bull:


Not a surprise. The momentum had been going that way for a few weeks- especially since Ricciardo conveniently decided in Silverstone that he belongs in the first 4 rows of the grid and a test that did him some favors.

Can't blame Red Bull for giving a young driver a shot after he has demonstrated he's quick. He's still a project and we don't know the limit with him, but good for the team for deciding to stick with the project and have patience.


As a Kimi fan, I have to say his best move now would be to return to Ferrari.

Although Lotus are doing a fine job considering their relatively low budget, they will be treated as as "customer" team by Renault, with RB having the "works" status.

As a team, I prefer Lotus to Ferrari, but if Kimi wants another championship, the best available (possibly only "works") option seems to be with Ferrari.


Kimi's manager Steve Robertson has confirmed they are no longer in negotiations with RBR. Link here (in Finnish): http://www.ts.fi/moottoriurheilu/f1/524442/Raikkonen+ei+siirry+Red+Bullille


James, now that it's confirmed by Steve Robertson's that Kimi won't go to RBR next year do you think he will go to Ferrari or stay at Lotus?


just read in Ferrari website praising Kimi as the King of Spa. So do we take this as a hint that kimi is moving towards prancing horse.



Ferrari is not interested in taking back Kimi. Let me rephrase that, Kimi is not interested in going back to Ferrari. That’s the damn truth. With Kimi, in a dog of an under developed car, Ferrari has won two constructors and a drivers title and please remind me how many have they won with Alonso.

Alonso and Michael will make it to everyone’s top drivers list, but as a formula 1 fan, they will never make mine (total disdain for cheats). I have always liked athletes who bring a certain individual character to the sport. Kimi and Gilles are very good examples.

I hope Kimi wins the drivers title and Lotus the constructors and not just to rub it into Ferrari.

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