2010 F1 driver rumours: Raikkonen spurns Toyota, Renault eyes rookies

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Kimi Raikkonen is on Toyota's wish-list

Remarkably, with just one race left to run the entry list for next year is far from complete. Just six drivers have their contracts officially in place for 2010 and there could be as many as 22 places left to fill.

Among those yet to sign deals are newly-crowned champion Jenson Button, team mate Rubens Barrichello and former champion Kimi Raikkonen. So where are they going to end up?

Toyota court Raikkonen

Raikkonen has had discussions with McLaren and Toyota. His salary demands appear to be too much for the latter, and he is also negotiating for the smallest commitment to PR events he can get away with.

Toyota have given off mixed signals about who could be driving for them next year. While John Howett has been critical of Jarno Trulli in the press, the Italian claims team boss Tadashi Yamashina wants him to stay.

Similarly, Timo Glock has insisted he will keep his place and poured scorn on claims he was informed of the team’s decision to drop him at Singapore. Howett described Glock’s stand-in, Kamui Kobayashi, as “a bit slow” in Brazil but also suggested the Japanese driver could stay at the team in 2010.

But we still can’t take their participation next year for granted until their budget is confirmed next month. New Toyota president Akio Toyoda blogs about his company’s road cars using a pseudonym and isn’t very complimentary about them. One has to wonder what he makes of his company’s faltering F1 effort.

Lots of room for rookies

Four different names have been linked to the second Renault seat alongside Robert Kubica. They include former Renault test drivers Lucas di Grassi and Franck Montagny, plus Glock and Bruno Senna.

This suggests Romain Grosjean has fallen out of favour already. His results haven’t been great but given how he was hastily drafted into the team with little testing, perhaps he’s being judged too harshly too quickly.

Many of the latest crop of GP2 talent have got sponsors lined up and are hoping for places at F1’s new teams for 2010 – Manor, USF1, Campos and Lotus.

Looking elsewhere it would be astonishing if, having won the championship with Brawn, Button ended up somewhere else next year. He’s found himself at the centre of contract disputes in the past, but a wrangle over money at this late stage would reflect poorly on the new champion.

It still looks as though Barrichello will make way for Nico Rosberg at Brawn, heading to Williams in a straight swap. As Williams will not be using Toyota engines next year, Kazuki Nakajima will most likely be moving on.

Two drivers rarely mentioned in the ‘who goes where’ discussions are Heikki Kovalainen and Nick Heidfeld. Kovalainen will stay at McLaren if Raikkonen doesn’t tke his place, but Heidfeld is taking a risk if he gambles on Qadbak keeping the former BMW team in Formula 1.

Slow upheaval

One thing is for sure – almost every team in F1 will start 2010 with a different pair of drivers to who they ended 2009 with. Red Bull is the only certain exception at this stage.

The scale of the upheaval is one of the reasons why the driver market is moving so slowly this year.

Last year the driver market was unusually stable – most teams kept the same pairings for 2009 as 2008. And many of those drivers had contracts that expired in 2009. So everyone’s on the move at once.

The recession has forced teams to cut budgets and that means some tough discussions on driver salaries are taking place – Button and Raikkonen are cases in point.

Add to that the uncertainty over which teams will be competing next year and the situation becomes very complex.

As usual, the most coveted drivers take their seats first and that is by and large what has happened so far. But it’s taking a while and there could be some surprises still to come.

Read more: 2010 F1 drivers and teams

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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157 comments on “2010 F1 driver rumours: Raikkonen spurns Toyota, Renault eyes rookies”

  1. Prisoner Monkeys
    22nd October 2009, 7:04

    I’m growing less and less confident that Vitaly Petrov will make it into a 2010 team.

    Dammit, but I so wanted to see a Russian in Formula One. I firmly believe that Formula One needs representation in every major geographical region, and Russia and the former Soviet Bloc – in addition to Africa and the Indian subcontinent – have been ignored for too long.

    I have, however, heard the rumours that Renault will back out completely and mainain a presence only as an engine suppliers; the buyrs are said to be a consortium led by the owner of Russian telecom giant MegaFon, who already sponsor Renault, and who will leave the team exactly as it is. I don’t believe a word of it, though.

    1. I know F1 is a business a lot of the time but I would rather not just stick people in a car according to geography. It should be the best for the job and if that means 10 Italians, 4 Germans and a Spaniard then fine (it’ll never happen). I would expect that given the size of Russia and other basically F1-untouched continents would have some talent to offer so PM I think it is only a matter of time that F1 has more representation from them.

      1. Yep…..politics…why we have Jaime Algersuari and not Brendon Hartley…there are not enough New Zealanders for sponsors to sell stuff to. I agree Steph.

    2. That reminds me, who remembers the rumours that Renault were going to pull out, and the team was going to br renamed Briatore F1? I doubt that’s going to happen anymore…

    3. In Brazil they are reporting that Renault may end their team and stay on only as engine suppliers… that this was discussed over the between them and Bernie and that MegaFon and a risk investment company, Mangrove, are potential buyers.

      Here is the text, in Portugese:


      There is also another news stating that a brazilian driver, Lucas Di Grassi, is close to signing on with Manor.

      1. Thanks for link!

    4. how about just the fastest drivers?

      1. Don’t be ridiculous

  2. HounslowBusGarage
    22nd October 2009, 8:17

    Raikonnen – “and he is also negotiating for the smallest commitment to PR events he can get away with”.
    Love it!
    I can hear him saying “I turn up, I drive, I **** off”

    1. haha, yes that doesn’t surprise me. Fits into want Ant. Davison was saying about him being really shy.

      1. Speaking of which, SURELY Davidson is under consideration by some teams… ??

        1. Since 2002, Davidson has been under consideration by some teams.

    2. McLaren don’t need him for PR anyway – Lewis is a publicity machine.

      Unless it’s geographically important just send Pedro de la Rosa to do doughies in some city street during an exhibition.

      1. Correct. Raikkonen back to McLaren please :-)

    3. “I turn up, I drive, I **** off”

      Hahaha actually laughed out loud!!
      But his no-nonsense approach is what we admire in the Iceman. That and the fact he’s one of the best. :)

    4. you forgot, ‘I eat Ice cream’

    5. He would be perfect ambassodor for Redbull-vodka.

  3. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    22nd October 2009, 8:47

    He maybe an ex-world champ, but i for one won’t miss Raikkonen if he doesnt secure a drive for ’10.

    1. Terry Fabulous
      22nd October 2009, 10:22

      Let me make a prediction, whoever signs Raikkonen is making the biggest and most expensive mistake of anyone.

      He does not motivate his team,
      he does not charm sponsors
      he doesn’t even beat his teammate (I mean who rated Massa before he whiped Kimi last year?)

      He adds nothing.

      1. Nothing? He’s won one WDC and two Constructors in two years. How in the world can you call that nothing?

      2. Obviously your comments are based in a very shalow point of view. Just take a close look to Kimi’s career and character and you know what I’m talking about…
        Clearly your comments ADDS NOTHING to whom knows about F1 indeed.

        1. Roger if you can highlight examples in his time at McLaren and Ferrari – despite il give you his ‘off season’ things that make him not worthy of a f1 drive.

          1. Two Constructors and a WDC. I know some people that say he isn’t a good driver, but of the drivers on the grid right now, he is one of the best. You can’t ignore that.

        2. Terry Fabulous
          22nd October 2009, 22:03

          Hi Roger
          Lets look closely at his career.
          Sauber – 2001 – Slower and less points then Nick, but hey, it’s his first team.
          McLaren – Five years at a top team, at least two of those years in the fastest car. No Driver’s titles. Did beat Coulthard and Montoya, so yes, he is better then both of those.
          Ferrari – Wins 1 Driver title due to Lewis falling over in the last two races and the FIA punishing Alonso at Hungary. Then Beaten soundly by Massa, a man who is supposed to much slower and it certainly paid a hell of a lot less.

          So as far as I can read his career. He has spent eight years driving for the best teams and won exactly one drivers title.

          Alonso has done better then that, Hamilton has done better, even Button has done better.

          Do you honestly think that if someone else had had his drives they wouldn’t have done just as well if not better?

          1. All the time he was at McLaren they had poor reliability, and the all the titles won in that period either went to the dirty driving Schuey in the then dominant Ferrari or Alonso in the Renault with illegal suspension ! Dont know why he has gone downhill after winning his WDC, but he is still a legend.

          2. Hi Terry!
            If you look closely at his time at McLaren, He lost 2 WDC because of engine failures, not because his drive capabilities. In his second year there he lost de WDC by only two points against Schumi. 2004 the engine was terrible, 7 retirements in that season, but he could manage a win at Spa. In 2005 he won 7 times, as many as Alonso, losing the WDC by 11 points to Alonso, and 50 points more then Schumi, who was champion the year before… 2006 he had 6 retirements, none because of him, but reliabilities and accidents caused by others. There’s the episode that, don’t remember when, he was to win the race and lost his front tire in the last lap because the regulation that was forbiden to change tires.
            Kimi has had lots of misfortunes, he could be at least 3 times world champion already if it all depended of his talent. Other thing, Kimi won the WDC in his first year at Ferrari, where Massa was there alongside Schumi in 2006. Kimi had a low 2008 most because the car wasn’t quite right as it was in 2007, he said it himself. In 2008 he had other misfortune too, like loosing the exhaust pipe, make him loosing a race to Massa, Hamilton hit his rear at Canada (I think), where he had a clear chance to win, so… Hamilton was so lucky to start right away in F1 in a fantastic car as it was McLaren in 2007 and 2008. I really hope that he goes to McLaren next year. I’m positive that Hamilton will have a hard time…
            Sorry about my english, I’m a brazilian and know Kimi is better than Massa, Barrichelo… and even Senna.

          3. Fellow F1 Terry,

            It seems you’re missing a point and
            just being too harsh on providing a comment, that has no grip. Kimi just had bad lucks in his years in McLaren.

            If you compare him to the like of Alonso, Hamilton, then how can you consider Rubens Barrichello who has been in F1 for 15 years but still unlucky to clinch a single driver title.

          4. Terry Fabulous
            23rd October 2009, 23:29

            Gday Roger and XDriver

            Firstly, isn’t it great that we can have a sensible debate and not just resorting to insults like some other people on the internet do!

            My point about Kimi is not that he has or hasn’t had any luck, it is that he has had more opportunity then anyone on the grid. There isn’t another driver who has had more years in a top team and he has one title. Maybe it is time to try someone different.

            Secondly, he is paid like Schumi was, and he is not performing like Schumi did, on or off the track.

            Surely F1 team bosses would rather get a cheaper driver, who is better with the team, better with the sponsors and just as fast (Look at Felipe! I know you don’t rate him, but he has out pointed Kimi last season and for the first half of this one).

            That is my point, not that Kimi isn’t good, obviously he is good. Just that you can get someone as good or better for less money who will be better with the team and the sponsors.

            Enjoy Abu Dhabi!

      3. What rot!

        2 Constructors titles for the team 1 Driver’s tile, just how many people on the grid have that to their names?

        He is the fastest out there and he is 1 amongst the very few classed as the best in the world. We dont need prancing ponies and media whores so to speak we need drivers who can drive fast. Thats what kimi is.

        1. Terry Fabulous
          22nd October 2009, 21:50

          OK Personally, I don’t think he is that fast, but I can see how his efforts recently, especially at Spa would convince you otherwise. So lets put that aside for the moment.

          But the big issue here is that driving an F1 car is not just being fast. You need to inspire and unite the team and you need to add value to your team. Look at the outpouring of emotion to Lewis from the McLaren team and to Button from Brawn when they got the win. You could tell that the team loved the guys, and that they inspired the team and treated them well.
          Does Kimi do that? I think not. how would you feel if you had flown halfway around the world, worked your butt off to get the car ready and then, as soon as it rains, and his strategy doesn’t work, the driver gets out of the car, gets changed and sits there in front of you eating an ice cream?????

          And despite comments to the contrary, you need to smooze the sponsors because they bring money into your team so they can keep developing the car. You don’t want to? Then bugger off to WRC or DTM where there are less sponsors. If you want to stick around in F1 at least have the maturity to show respect and credit to the companies that are paying your salary and building your chariot.

          1. Terry, are you talking about this year…or his career? If you are talking about his career, you need to do some homework.

          2. Terry Fabulous
            22nd October 2009, 22:27

            Hi mfDB
            Talking about his whole career.
            Look he is obviously capable of driving a car very fast…
            Massa has demonstrated convincingly that you can get someone faster AND Cheaper AND better for the team AND better with the sponsors.

            It is a no brainer, really, go for cheaper, faster, nicer more mature driver then Kimi!

            He has lots of fans amongst F1 officiandos because from the outside, he is like a cool kid, a rebel who doesn’t care about boring stuff like helping the team or smoozing the sponsors.

            From the inside of the team, it must be a nightmare. How did Ferrari feel, know that Massa was faster, cheaper, more motivating for the team and better with the sponsors?

            Have a good one mate

          3. Terry you fool, get of this forum with your stuppid comments, you clearly have a selective memory. People are telling you facts and your ignoring them! Dont be so good damn ignorant!

          4. Terry Fabulous
            23rd October 2009, 23:33

            Hi Theo

            Can you tell me what facts I am ignoring. I admit he was won a drivers title and is very fast. But Felipe has shown you can get someone as fast, cheaper, who is better with the team and sponsors.

            And don’t insult me, read the comment policy, it’s not on.

          5. Terry Fabulous
            24th October 2009, 20:13


            Crickets chirping


        2. Well said Maria!

          1. Terry,
            Ferrari contracted Kimi knowing about the way he is, they don’t need a drive to be patronizing them, or you think they are kids or bimbos? They needed a great driver, that’s why they wanted Kimi, and paying a lot of money because they knew he could deliver results as he did. So you think a driver should pose as a salesman (no offense to the professionals), Kimi is not like that, what you see is what you get with Kimi.
            Barrichelo and Massa participated in a live interview here in Brazil. Massa told that this year’s car is very, very hard to handle. Kimi manage to score 38 points in the last 7 races, and winning at Spa, despite Ferrari stopped the car’s development in the mid season. This shows clearly how Kimi has the capability to adapt to a bad car. Besides, in regard to his “motivation”, he never, never stopped being who he is, a cool person and a great diver, no matter what.

        3. Absolutely agree Maria!

        4. Terry Fabulous
          24th October 2009, 20:31

          Hi Maria

          Yup he is a World Champion, but he has had 8 years in a top team and done it once. For all the talk about bad luck etc etc Winning a world title requires you to make your own luck.

          Winning a title is not about grabbing the car and driving it like you stole it. It is about maximising points so you are first across the line at the end of the year.

          As F1 fans, maybe ‘we’ don’t want a media whore or a prancing pony, but as a Team owner that is exactly what you want. One of the reason Schumi was paid such a staggering salary was because of the way he serviced his sponsors, also Jackie Stewart went on at length in his autobiography the importance of servicing the sponsors who pay for your team. If Kimi doesn’t want to do this, then why is he demanding as a driver who will?

          But Maria, Roger, Theo and all the Kimi fans who want to punch me, I would be all for him earning bucketloads of dosh if he was really really fast, like Schumi Fast. But he isn’t.

          1. Ok, this is a message (a belated one admittedly) for Terry.

            Theo, what facts has Terry ignored? Raikonnen has won 1 WDC and 2 WCCs. He is a fast driver. These are concessions that Terry has made.

            Raikonnen fans: can you honestly say that Kimi is as fast as Schumi? No. So does he deserve to earn Schumi money on that criteria alone? No.

            And Terry’s point about team spirit is a good one. If Raikonnen wins the WDC I would imagine the team having a reaction along the lines of: “we won the driver’s title”, rather than “Yes, Kimi did it!”. This although does not necessarily detract from the team harmony, it certainly does not enhance it like it does in other teams.

            Additionally, Raikonnen’s heart simply does not appear to be in it any more. I have read (I cannot remember where) on numerous occasions that he is contemplating retirement or moving into rallying. That does not show commitment to the sport, and if there is no commitment there can be no improvement. So why should McLaren sign him? Answer: they shouldn’t.

            And by the way, Terry – well argued! Respectful and in my view, spot on in accuracy!

          2. Terry Fabulous
            1st November 2009, 21:45

            You are too kind Lewis,
            Have a good one mate

      4. Terry Fabulous congratulations on the most ill-informed reply on the blog!

        1. Terry Fabulous
          23rd October 2009, 23:51

          Which one? I have replied about five times now!

          Have a good one Theo

    2. doyle, dont be boring

  4. I don’t think Mclaren need Raikkonen as they already have Hamilton as their star driver& they don’t need two champions on the same team as they learned a lesson in 2007.

    Kimi may move to Red Bull if not Toyota with Mark moving out of it,& he will be a good person to promote Red Bull drinks.

    I will be astonished if Button don’t stay in Brawn.
    Senna or Nico may partner

    Romain may partner Kubica.

    Kobayashi won’t be bad for Toyota.

    I don’t want a grid full of Rookies next season,so I hope drivers like Glock,Trulli,Webber with Kilen,Pizzanio and many more have a decent job.

    1. Sure, McLaren don’t need Kimi for PR reasons. But in an increasingly competitive field it would be useful to have a second driver who bags a load of points and a few wins – just like Barrichello did this year, without whom Brawn couldn’t have achieved the Constructors.
      Besides, unlike Alonso, Kimi is likely to keep a low profile when not in the car so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      Agree with Kobayashi for Toyota. He’ll learn in no time where the line is as regards driving standards/weaving, and will be entertaining to watch.

      1. three4three, that might be true, but Kimi has already said that he’s not into that. He will just go rallying before he goes to McLaren as Lewis’ back up driver….

        1. Purely from a driver talent point of view, it would be a shame for Kimi to leave F1 so early. I guess we’ll wait and see.

    2. They may not need Kimi for the WDC, Hamilton will surely provide a decent fight for it. But if they want any chance at beating Ferrari in the WCC, then they definately need him. Alonso and Massa are a superteam, you can’t beat two star drivers with one star driver + an average one, if McLaren want any chance of being close to the WCC then they need Raikkonen to do the business, this also means they have another driver in contention for the WDC. Of course Raikkonen and Hamilton will take points of each other, but don’t forget that Massa and Alonso will be doing the same.

      Also, I’m assuming they are the two teams fighting it out for the title next.

      Just look at this year, if Massa was not injured then Ferrari would surely have secured 3rd place by now despite having an inferior car to McLaren.

      1. Spot on. Ferrari are up to something for 2010. Alonso and Massa are indeed the superteam and Mclaren can only challenge them with a superteam with Hamilton and Raikkonen. Ross Brawn will be back even better with a superteam with Button and Rosberg.

        1. I’m not trying to bash Button here, but I think its more than a little generous to call Button and Rosberg a “superteam”

    3. My favorite team is Red Bull and as much as I like RAI, I don’t want him on my team. They have two decent drivers. It would suck if they picked RAI over WEB.

      1. I agree. It is not about the driver its all about respecting contracts. Even if you have a slightly inferior driver who is doing fine for his level he should not be removed to take on a better driver if there is a contract in place.

        1. I agree with both of you Brian and Maria, to some extend, but picture this. Right now everyone is talking about a prospective WDC and WCC fight between Ferrari and Mclaren cars and drivers. Now put a WC KIMI next to a future multi champion Vettel, and you get a real DREAM TEAM that will absolutely fight the 2 usual suspects for both championships.

  5. If even Toyota aren’t even prepared to pay Raikkonen what he is asking for it is either a sign that Toyota really are making massive budget cuts or that he is asking for too much.

    Raikkonen earlier said he only wanted to be at a team that can win in 2010, and the teams most likely to do that are the teams who won this year. Of those teams I think McLaren would be the most likely to sign him but the rumour is they can’t agree on a salary either.

    I would be very surprised if Heidfeld can’t get a seat for next year, the only way it will happen is if pins his hopes on Sauber for too long and all the drives are taken.

    I doubt that Sauber will be a 14th team next season but does anyone know if there is any sort of deadline for them being a replacement 13th team, for example if no other team has dropped out by the end of this year will Sauber defiantly not be on the grid next year, and what will happen if a team drops out the week before the first Grand Prix next year, is there clause in the Concorde agreement fining them for dropping out so late?

    I think the new teams should go for at least one of their drivers having F1 experience, so that should provide a seat for some drivers who probably would otherwise be left out.

  6. I’d like to see Button at McLaren alongside Hamilton next year.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd October 2009, 9:28

      Ew, ew, ew!

      Besides, Button has already said that Brawn is his first (and pretty much only) choice. From the sounds of things, the so-called pay dispute was a rumour that came about because Button struggled in the second half and hadn’t re-signed.

    2. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      22nd October 2009, 10:33

      yeah, it always works having two world champs in one team………

      1. You mentioned this, yet which was the last team that actually had two world champions in their team? I think it was McLaren in 1989, although when Prost and Senna teamed up the latter wasn’t world champion yet…

        1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
          22nd October 2009, 14:06

          Exactly my point!

      2. Well what’s your opinion on the likely pairing of Lewis and Kimi then?

      3. Not just two WDC but two British drivers in a British Team.

  7. I think Mclaren may just pay more, they won’t want to because they won’t want to pay anyone more than Lewis but Mclaren want that constuctors and they need a strong line up to bring it to them.
    I may not like Romain but it is unfair if he is just dropped. I don’t see what teams expect from rookies with this testing ban it just meants that a rookie’s first year is basically testing. I think Nick (a rumour he was up for seat in Mclaren but doubt that will come to fruitition) or Kovy will get the Renault seat in the end.

    1. If there is no contract for next year then its all fair to be dropped. But of course its unfair because he didn’t get in testing miles in Renault. And they obviously concentrated on their number 1 driver Alonso. And I am an Alonso fan.

      Any valid contract should be respected IMHO.

  8. One thing is suprising
    Why BrawnGP let Barrichello go
    Who will test and set right car to go?

    Barrichello could stay in BrawnGP

    1. Maybe Jense may suffer without Rubens in terms of set up for the car (Rubens is very, very good at this).
      It also won’t be as friendly but Nico is a young and promising talent and Rubens is near the retirement stage and has had a strop at the team before.

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd October 2009, 9:42

      I think that was just rumour, back when people were trying to make a case for Brawn giving team orders in Spain. Button’s been in the sport ten years; if he doesn’t know how to set a car up by now, there’s no place for him in the sport.

      1. Jense could certainly do it himself, not saying he isn’t capeable but Rubens is better at getting the best out of it in terms of set up.

        1. With all due respect Steph, how do you know this?

          1. I’m saying Jenson is good but I have looked through Ruby’s career (this is all just personal opinion by the way I’m not a fact book and I admit I get a lot of things wrong but can’t be bother to say ‘in my opinion’ all the time :P) and he is recognise as having great feel for the car and being good at set up. Just because I’m complimenting one person doesn’t mean I am criticising another.

          2. @Steph: Oh no, I’m not suggesting that you are criticizing Button (And my question wasn’t motivated by an interest in defending him).

            I’m just interested in understanding how you came to the conclusion that Barrichello is better than Button at car setup.

            I should imagine that like so many other things in F1, it depends and varies based on the car, weather conditions, and even track. I can imagine a scenario where Barrichello may be very good at setup at Monoco, but Button being better at Monza. And perhaps Barrichello is better at setup in the rain but Button better in the dry.

            Furthermore, you’d have to find an engineer or someone else close to both Barrichello and Button, who would have seen and interpreted data from their respective setups. That person would then have to speak to the media. You would have to read or watch those remarks and then come to the conclusion. Simply looking at results doesn’t tell us anything about setup skills alone, because results are a combination of so many things.

            I’m always interested in how F1 outsiders like us form broad and confident conclusions with little or no data – yes, even though they are opinions. In the real world, you are held to your opinion. And saying “It’s just my opinion” doesn’t cut it.

            My theory is that most people make an emotional or “gut-level” decision about the drivers and then add rationalizations and selective evidence & memory on top of it.

            That’s what motivated the question :D

      2. Jense didn’t seem to do too bad a job setting his car up in 2004 did he!!

        1. Hakka, I am in no way an engineer and it is very hard to work out who is very good at setting up a car, I literally just have to compare what others have commented on and go through Rubens career history. I in no way meant to offend if I did with my ignorance but I do always mean what I say, otherwise I wouldn’t bother commenting although of course I am more interested in hearing other people’s comments and improve my understanding.:P
          Thanks Hakka for that, it has gave me a new insight into set ups.

          1. Thanks Hakka for that, it has gave me a new insight into set ups.

            There are no insights about car setups in my comments; quite the contrary, I am saying that I am completely ignorant about the details of F1 and which driver is good or bad car setup. I’m also saying that every non-insider is equally ignorant. We know next to nothing.

            and go through Rubens career history

            What does that means exactly? Do you mean look at his results?

            The only acceptable way to judge car setup skills is by listening to the same engineer who has worked with the two different drivers being compared. So if Chris Dyer comes out and says Schumacher is infinitely better than Raikkonen at car setup, then we definitely have something to go by. Or if Mark Slade comments on Alonso vs. Kimi vs. Montoya. That would be credible.

            But race engineers know it is far more nuanced than that, and wouldn’t dream of saying anything along those lines. But that’s a different story.

          2. Hakka I meant with history going through his career, searching for engineers comments, his own, team mates the situation results and looking at the car. I do believe that I am quite ignorant as maybe a lot of fans as it is hard area to look at. All I simply meant was that maybe Barrichello offers more to the team than maybe Nico. I’m not sure, just broaching ideas.
            But as you say, and gave this insight and reminded me nothing is concrete and we have to form our own opinions so i’m very sorry Hakka.

          3. every non-insider is equally ignorant.

            First of all, sorry for interfering in this conversation, but I cannot let the opportunity…

            You’re absolutely right in what you said, and that is valid not only for Setting up skills but for the main issues regarding F1.

            We all, can hardly see the reality, just its shades. And in most occasions, those shades are previously manipulated by the press.

            So, at this point… so what?

            We are just F1 aficionados commenting our views and opinions about the “given reality” we have available.

            Nothing wrong on this… only when we are conscious of that, something that we occasionally forget.

          4. IDR is so right.

          5. @IDR,

            Agreed, and point taken with regards to the “So what?” question. I think there’s plenty of real stuff to talk about (points, results, overtaking, etc. are all real and factual) – but there’s no stopping speculation I guess.


            Didn’t mean to make you apologize! Just making a friendly point – hope I didn’t come off too strongly there.

          6. Hakka you weren’t too strong, I love f1 debates! And IDR you weren’t interfering, glad you contributed and you too bobo :)

    3. With Rubens age, despite not being slow, it would make sense for Brawn to look to the future in a young driver rather than retaining two experienced drivers.
      Likewise, IMHO Barrichello’s technical expertise and considerable experience would be better utilised at another team with a younger/rookie driver who RB could effectively take under his wing. So RB/ Hulkenberg should work.

      1. There is absolutely no doubt that both Schumaker and lately Button have benefitted considerably from Barricello’s critical ability to find setup solutions when time and constraints force rapid decisions to be made…as in the pressure pot of one hour qualifying.

        Time and again when the Brawn GP001 was not performing as predicted and the engineers were scratching their heads for a solution;the time frame was against them, Barricello would come up with a critical adjustment.

        The man has such special skills developed over his long, long career that I suspect even he would find impossible to describe precisely. He just does it.

        And to a team under pressure that is a priceless asset.

        1. Totally agree.

          As the Steph and Hakka conversation further up points out, as outsiders we do not have a clear and definite idea of Barrichello’s abilities, but he does indeed seem to have an exceptional talent for this. Looking further ahead for Barrichello, when he retires from driving I wonder if he will take on an advisory role in a team (maybe Williams?) like Schumi? Or even start his own team as he seems to have the money…

          1. Accidental Mick
            23rd October 2009, 20:44

            @ Steph. You dont need to apologise to anyone (especially as I agree with you about Rubens :-) ).

            My reason for thinking this is that, during practise, he usually manages to get his car “on song” before his team mate, whoever that is. On his day he is capable of a great drive but he doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct. He doesn’t seem hungry enough for wins.

            @three4three I have been working with a Brazilian recently and their press have been reporting that Rubens wants to get into team management.

    4. Brawn is engined by mercedes and to keep this for 2010, they need a German driver. Rosberg is their best choice.

      1. And not a bad choice either. Tabloids will have different things to write when Nico comprehensively outshines button if button stays. But if Raikkonen comes in to replace button? Now thats different.

  9. The only pairing that could line up against Ferrari’s drivers would be Lewis and Kimi at Mclaren. The Latin Connection at the Scuderia will be on fire. Those guys want to beat the field and beat each other. Motivacion ultimo. You must take ice to their fire in order to win.

    1. Very poetic

    2. CovertGiblets
      22nd October 2009, 14:10

      You are assuming of course that Ferrari can produce a decent car next year.

    3. …and Ice beat Fire at the weekend :-)

      1. Fire transforms Ice into water!!!

        :-) :-) :-)

  10. Prisoner Monkeys
    22nd October 2009, 10:04

    USF1 interested in Kyle Busch.


    True story.

    1. That is hideous! According to that article Busch said he would consider it for a couple of years and go back to NASCAR. If someone isn’t ready to commit long term, they shouldn’t even be considered. I’m horrified at the idea of some part-timer getting the seat.

      1. I don’t think a part-timer would be a good idea for USF1 to start off, but I’m not opposed in principle. Racing drivers used to experiment with all forms of motorsport, and a lot of them were at least modestly successful in more than one. It’s all well and good to be a specialist, but to me, that’s the mark of true talent.

        1. True. Mario Andretti was able to win in multiple formulae, and more recently so has Montoya. But somehow I’m doubtful that a tin-top driver could pull it off. I mean, the guy only turns right twice a year.

          1. This is a lure by Peter Windsor. With the exception of F1 fans in the US, the team has had ZERO media interest. By dropping the name of a controversial NASCAR driver, they hope to get a few angst-ridden NASCAR fans to switch to F1. (Since Nascar is hemorrhaging fan support in their own Schumacher era).

            Gutsy feeling USF1 drivers will be Davidson and Sato.

          2. ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Sooo disappointed in Peter Windsor. As an American I was looking forward to USF1, but first we have to hear Windsor spout off about how great Danica Patrick would be in F1 now we have to hear about how some inbred redneck who whines like a 5 year old girl and can only turn left would be F1 Champion!! What the hell Peter, pull your head out of your ass and just hire the two most qualified drivers don’t worry about where they are from!!

  11. 2010 will show what Button can and he has a experience even a lot as formula 1 driver.
    I’d say also Rubens is very good team player but year by year older as everyone.
    Nico could be fresh blood for Brawn and it is important because 2010 will be much more different year than 2009.
    There is one more good driver and free to go Nick.
    He could be in Brawn and also in Renault with Kubica.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd October 2009, 10:15

      Heidfeld’s useless. Can’t convert podiums and podium and points finishes to win. Haven’t seen anything that would make him worthy of a top drive.

      1. He is still made Kubica look nothing special for two years with the exception of 2008.

    2. You’re right about him.
      He will stay there he is if team find place on grip.
      There are also two more things and nobody is talking even about this.
      first Why Hamilton is out of all this
      Maybe answer is easy McLaren is his only future.
      And second nobody ask and say about Buemi.
      He has experience in F1 but he has bad days too.

      1. Erm…maybe because Hamilton has a secure contract with McLaren until (I think) 2012…

    3. I think Heidfeld’s OK. He’s been team mate to loads of good drivers- Massa, Raikkonen, Kubica, Villeneuve, Alesi, Frentzen, Webber (all race winners)- and he usually either beats or matches them. He’s hardly a world beater but he deserves a place in F1.

      1. I agree 100% with you Ned.

      2. agreed Ned

      3. How awesome was Frentzen! :-)

      4. One of the sensible unbiased comments in here for a while now. Agreed.

  12. Well, i feel for Raikkonen. I hope he doesn’t end up without a seat next year..

    Apparently he is asking about 25m for the seat at either McLaren or Toyota:


    1. If that is true, tis a bit ridiculous. Isn’t he already getting something like £20m from Ferrari as severance?

    2. Imagine a combination of Kimi’s marketable aura and Japanese committee management. That should be exciting.

  13. I’m getting a bit tired of people saying Jenson will be trying to squeeze every cent he can get out of Brawn now that he is World Champion. Jenson and the team agreed not to negotiate a new contract until the title race had been wrapped up, and I read somewhere, could have been autosport.com but I’m not sure, that he wats to stay with the team, he is happy and he is “not that expensive”. Before we all call him a moneygrabbing scoundrel let’s not forget he did takle a paycut this year.

    I’d love to see Kimi at McLaren next year, but I don’t see it happening for some reason. I don’t see him at Toyota either, he said he wants to be in a position to win from the get go and Toyota can’t give him a car to do that. Trulli and Kobayashi may be a more realistic lineup for Toyota.

    Bruno Senna must be in F1 next year! It would be great to see Senna on the timing sheets again, and he is a seriously talented driver.

    Renault will stick with Grosjean, I’m pretty sure of that. he has been poor, but you can’t judge him yet, he was thrown in the car without any testing. If he is useless next year too, then get rid of him.

    It is a crazy marketplace at the moment, its going to be fun to watch it pan out.

    1. Jenson washed his own overalls between races and paid his own airfares. That’s the first I’ve heard all of this!


    2. The tricky thing for Jenson is that he’s not driving for a manufacturer team any more. In 2008 did he earn something like £8m? Sure he did take a huge pay cut for 2009 but he can’t expect Brawn to now pay tens of millions for a champ, like Honda might have.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        22nd October 2009, 13:14

        It’s not about the money; he’s said as much. He wants a good car and a team that can win, and he feels Brawn can continue that for him.

    3. The reason is that Hamiltosn has a “veto right” about who will be his team-mate, amd he doesn’t want a competitive driver, Kovalainen was as good as Piquet for renault, a 0 in the left…

      1. *Hamilton :-)

  14. Kimi out of F1 would be weird. I don’t like him one bit. But it will be hard to hate anyone else now for me ;)

    1. Didn’t Raikkonen have his WDC gifted to him because McLarens two drivers were taking points off of each other?

  15. One potential move that for some reason I’ve barely heard rumoured is Button to Toyota. I could see Toyota offering him a load of money to try and get an F1 champion to lead the team for the first time. He would also bring the number 1 with him, which would help persuade the management in Japan to keep on backing the team.

    I think a Mercedes led Brawn could soon become Nico Rosberg’s team, and I doubt Button is looking to be a number two driver now that he has finally became world champion.

    1. I think that BrawnGP will remain a team where the drivers are treated equally while ever Ross Brawn has a say in things.

      I also think that Jenson would be mad to go to Toyota, if he did it would only be for the money and that would lose him my support.

  16. Richard Evans
    22nd October 2009, 11:36

    Davidson deserves another chances, as do algasuari and buemi.
    I reckon mclaren would be better for kimi than kimi would be for mclaren but i reckon he will still go there, Mclaren are probably desperate for a constructors championship after failing in 07 and 08 and hes a safe bet for consistent points.

    The sooner trulli falls down the grid the better, how many races has he made worse by the infamous trulli-train.

  17. If either mclaren or brawn (no way Raikkonen will go to toyota) doesnt shell out for him, this sport will be a whole lot poorer without one of the top 3 current drivers. Cant see this happening, hes just too good not to drive next year for a top team. And furthermore he will be the most fired up in ages, and looking out for ferrari blood…
    Not many can match a fired up Raikkonen sitting inside a good car.

    1. Well said. I think Kimi can achieve a lot more in F1 just give him right machinery. In my opinion he should go to McLaren – I dont like them too much, but I know they can build powerfull cars, and they should know by now how to handle two great drivers in one team (from their own experience, and by learning from Ferrari AD2008 and Brawn AD2009). Toyota would be too much of a gamble for him, and even if the Japanese can build good car next season, they will quit F1 sooner or later…

    2. Kimi is no doubt one of the fastest drivers today.

      But 9 times out of 10, there is some issue that bothers him. Whether its the temperature in the tyres, or the setup of the car, or his “motivation”, or change of strategy, etc, etc, etc.

      There are too many IFs with respect to Kimi’s performance. A lot of things have to go right for him to make an impact. Even if one of them fails, he seems lost. The other top drivers Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa can make things work even if all things aren’t in perfect place for them. They can work around problems. Kimi, however, can’t.

      1. The other top drivers Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa

        I wonder if Button would have been in that list prior to his winning the WDC….
        I think he’s (a lot) better than you give him credit for.

      2. Swap Button for Kimi and then you’re talking :-)

      3. Terry Fabulous
        22nd October 2009, 22:08

        Exactly right mate.

    3. Oh yes, kimi will be on fire for ferrari revenge next year, cutting his contract in favour of Alonso. He needs Mclaren, a top team. Not sure if toyota can give him the winning car he wants.

  18. i reckon Kimi and Hamilton would do well together.


    Hamilton wants to win whatever the cost.#

    Kimi just wants to drive well and do his own thing.

    “Unlike having in Ferrari”:

    Massa wants to win a world title.

    Alonso wants to win badly.#

    #You can see why it never turned out so well in 2007 for both of them.

    I think Hamilton or Kimi could pip both Ferrari’s to the end next season or maybe dominate it, while Massa and Alonso are at each others throat.

    I wont be surprised if Spain starts to hate Massa next, the way they act, with other drivers beating Alonso to. So that would make Spain hate Great Britain x2, Germany x1 and maybe Brazil x1 soon.

    1. very funny. Massa and Alonso……latin hotheads, both want to win, and Alonso likes to be the first driver, not playing second fiddle to Hamilton back in 2007. And Massa is no rookie and just missed out by a point. Massa is not happy l doubt with Alonso playing his part in Singapore last year and won the race, thanks to the safety car and piquets crash……..i agree with Massa, he would have known.

  19. Prisoner Monkeys
    22nd October 2009, 13:19

    Motorsport Aktuell are reporting that Renault are looking to exit the sport, but stay on as an egine supplier. Their buyer is supposedly Mangrove venture capital founder Gerard Lopez and Andrej Krajnik, a Russian who is connected to MegaFon, one of Renault’s sponsors.

    Ecclestone was quoted in a Sao Paulo newspaper as saying he had just talked with someoen who wanted to uy one of the teams.

  20. I think what most people don’t appreciate is that the ferrari Kimi has been driving for 3 seasons is fundamentally not suited to his preference for oversteer. Unlike his probable future team mate he is not one to blame the car every time he has an uncompetetive race. If Mclaren want to challenge Ferrari for the constructors next season then they need him even if that means upsetting their star driver by replacing a willing def-facto no.2.

  21. I think Toyota are fools for not paying WHATEVER Kimster asks for. Struggling team, DYING to get a victory, they need a legit top line driver to take them to the next level. Sorry, but Trulli, Glock or Kobayashi(sp?) aren’t gettin it done. Kimi on the other hand brings instant cred, tons of fans and a real chance for victory.

    1. Agree. Toyota have tried to get by with a string of so so drivers who had never done much. E.g., McNish, Salo, Ralf, Panis, Trulli. This penny-pinching have left them with so so results despite having a car that is often very quick. Give Raikkonen his paper and let him do his one-monthly appearance and be done with it. Publicity-wise, it’s probably just as well to have a world champion on your roster than some journeyman who will do 50 Panasonic commercials.

    2. So Toyota has a budget of $X and Kimi demands $Y, which is more than they have. So they should pay him and bankrupt themselves? No money for the rest of the team, etc. If the Icecream man prices himself out of F1 then so be it.

      1. No, I agree with Sennaboy3 and DMW. If KR is asking for $25m they should just pay it. Toyota badly need a driver who can deliver wins, even if they need to stretch their driver budget. Toyota need to go for broke!

  22. I hope Kimi goes back to McLaren. Toyota won’t be able to compete for the WDC next year. It will be between Ferrari and McLaren once again. I think Brawn was a one-off. RBR may be up there too in 2010, but I don’t think they can threaten the big boys.

  23. Paige Michael-Shetley
    22nd October 2009, 21:49

    I think Raikkonen to McLaren is a done deal.

    For one, Saward is right; Raikkonen wouldn’t have just left Ferrari without knowing where he’s going next.

    Secondly, Whitmarsh sent out all the signals through the media the whole that he’s wanted back at McLaren. The way he has talked about him since the Ferrari change was announced- talking about how talented he is, how underrated his technical aptitude is, how motivated he would be to beat Ferrari “knowing him”- indicates that wants Raikkonen and is committed to making it work.

    Raikkonen also made some comments in the last week or so to Finnish media which went unreported, interestingly, indicating that his contract negotiations were going well and that something could be “done” now, but that nothing is finalized until everyone signs. This tells me he’s made up his mind already, and given how Howett has said that Raikkonen wants “too much money” this weekend, the chronology of the statements points to McLaren.

    Personally, I think John Howett is making all the Raikkonen business up. He’s one of the most incompetent people in F1, and like a lot of incompetent people, he overcompensates by being loud and boisterous. Toyota has failed under his leadership to deliver results despite spending as much as anyone, and he knows his job is likely on the line. He’s thus publicly blamed his drivers for the team’s problems (even though it was the team that gave away a victory in Bahrain with poor tire strategy) to prevent himself for taking accountability for the team’s results, and he’s made bold statements about going after both Raikkonen and Kubica as part of his “line.”

    Howett probably knew he had no chance at getting Raikkonen all along, and this comment about Raikkonen wanting “too much money” is his way of trying to deflect responsibility for not signing him off to someone else rather than himself or the team under his leadership.

  24. Assuming that the McLaren-Raikkonen deal isnt already done, McLaren are being very clever by waiting until the end of the season to announce drivers. That way Raikkonen will hold out until then, and presumably all the other decent teams will fill up, and he’ll lose all his bargaining chips. He’ll either have to race for McLaren for less money, or just walk away from F1. Also it keeps Heikki performing so that they can clinch 3rd place in constructors championship.

    1. Clever point Hallard!

  25. McLaren may have been burned by Alonso’s presence in 2007, but for the fans that loved it like me, I would be dancing in the street if Raikkonen went to McLaren.
    For the Hamilton haters, of which I see regulary on this site and others there are many, a fast Raikkonen would really start the fur flying.
    Nico Rosberg to Brawn Gp is another prospect that interests me. I have always rated Rosberg, and a pairing with Jenson Button would certainly bear fruit. Its certainly exciting, as there are so many different outcomes and new teams emerging. Nobody knows what will happen to the former BMW Sauber team, or Renault or Toyota.
    It makes the Abu Dhabi race still a watchable prospect, with so many drivers desperate to keep their drives for 2010!

    1. Amen to that!

    2. Yes, and not to forget Ferrari with Alonso and Massa next year, should be an interesting pairing too!

  26. Prisoner Monkeys
    23rd October 2009, 5:13

    Not that this has any basis in reality, but I just saw a certain sequence of videos on YouTube, and … KEN BLOCK FOR USF1!

  27. Well, it’ll be Kimi to McLaren, Red Bull or out of F1. I think it’ll be McLaren and this would mean the most motivated Kimi in years. Mark my words: if this happens, he’ll beat Lewis.
    To everyone saying that Kimi isn’t all that good, cracks up under pressure: I suggest you look into his career rather than the last season. Without McLaren’s reliability issues he would’ve taken at least one if not two championships of Schumacher.
    He was beaten by Massa in his second season at Ferrari, that he threw away himself, but, remind me, what happened in his first season at Ferrari? The season when he entered the team as a newbie and Massa was already established both in the team and had developed the car?
    Kimi can be moody, but if he is performing well, he is one of the best if not THE best.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      23rd October 2009, 9:43

      He’s not going to Red Bull. He’s dismissed it, the Robertsons have dismissed it, Red Bull have dismissed it and Mark Webber has dismissed it.

      Why are people so convinced that it can still happen?

      1. Because it is F1 and generally people don’t stick by what they say :P
        I wouldn’t look too much at what teams/drivers say anyway, I would look at what is on offer for Kimi. Mclaren who nearly always can find their way to the front somehow or RBR who have only really been great this season and we have no idea if they can continue their form.

  28. Newest rumour has it that Button is on his way to McLaren because Brawn GP won’t pay up. My advice to Button would be to stay with Brawn, he’ll get smashed by Hamilton and everyone will think of his championships as being won by Honda.

  29. We all have our views on the drivers’ abilities and know how car-reliant they are but what about the car designers. Who can produce a great car out of the box that is capable of sound development during the year?
    We know that Ross somehow inspires great designs without putting pencil to paper (or clicking a mouse) Adrian is more hands on. Rory is still a consultant at Ferrari. Ron’s team ethic meant that we know less about individuals at McLaren. Force India did a lot with a little. Gascoine is at Lotus.
    Which cars will be strong next year?

  30. I don’t think Button will get into any wrangles over money. If you saw his British press conference after winning the championship he clearly said he wanted to stay with Brawn. Button feels quite close to the team as he had been with Honda for years before that.

  31. spanky the wonder monkey
    23rd October 2009, 14:47

    button ‘linked’ to mclaren – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8322334.stm

  32. Kimi’s stat’s say it all:


    Caompare to Alonso’s who’s said to be the best driver out there:


    Personally I’d love to see him back at Mclaren as I think they owe him a WC for the unreliability of the past and it would give everyone a true benchmark for how good Hamilton is.


    1. Thank you very much for the input Malin.

  33. does anybody knows where will rubens go next yesr?

  34. jeson won’t go to the MC~this was denied by Haug .
    Back to the MC,i think it’s the best choice for kimi.
    what about BGP?
    Anyway,kimi’ll take his best choice.

  35. Raikkonen will be heading to Brawn

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