Kimi Raikkonen, GP3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Raikkonen ‘pursuing Ferrari’ after Red Bull rejection

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, GP3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen’s manager confirms his driver will not race for Red Bull next year.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

R??ikk??nen ei siirry Red Bullille (Turn Sanomat, Finnish)

With Raikkonen not moving to Red Bull in 2014, as confirmed by his manager Steve Robertson in this article, the way is clear for Daniel Ricciardo to join the team.

Raikkonen ‘wants Ferrari F1 return’ (BBC)

“[Eddie] Jordan said Raikkonen had made a return to Red Bull his first priority but when talks with the world champions broke down, he turned his attention to Ferrari.”

Red Bull coy on Ricciardo rumours (ESPN)

“Red Bull has refused to dismiss a report that Daniel Ricciardo will be announced as Mark Webber’s replacement at the Belgian Grand Prix.”

Hulkenberg says Sirotkin F1 move ‘risky’ (Autosport)

“Me, I wasn’t ready for Formula 1 at that point. It is ambitious, maybe a bit risky, but it’s not my decision.”

On the red carpet (Motorsport Monday)

Toro Rosso technical director James Key: “I felt that the belief in being cable to compete at a higher level was not there with everyone. It’s just a case of [coming in] and saying that there’s no reason why we can’t do it, no one has written down that we need to be a P9 or a P8 team we can do better than this.”

A provincial backwater (The Way It Is)

“The last all-American victory at Le Mans was scored 46 years ago in 1967 when Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt drove one of Carroll Shelby’s Ford Mk IVs to a legendary win. On the face of where were are today with no American drivers, cars or teams competing internationally at the top levels of the sport and both IndyCar and American sports car racing in the doldrums, we can only guess that none of these things are likely to happen again.”

I was there when… 2000 Belgian GP (MotorSport)

“The cars had indeed touched ?ǣ to this day the damaged front wing endplate from [Mika] Hakkinen’s car sits in Martin Whitmarsh?s office.”

Flashback: Belgium ??68 – the first of many wins for McLaren (F1)

“There then came a grave moment when something broke on Brian Redman?s Lotus coming into Les Combes, pitching the Englishman forcefully into the barriers. He was lucky to escape with a broken arm, whilst an injured marshal was airlifted to hospital.”


Comment of the day

@William-Brierty names Robert Wickens as another driver who deserves a crack at F1:

He did a hugely impressive test for Renault in 2011, shortly after taking the Formula Renault 3.5 title; a series that has arguably produced better young drivers of late than GP2.

In the DTM he took the now statutory shaky first year in the series, but is now easily one of the series? front runners, which is high praise in a series that features such a eclectic mix of touring car and single seater stars.

Equally high praise is that he is now arguably Mercedes? fastest driver, deposing Gary Paffett, who for all of the “nearly, but not quite” insults chucked at him is still a very good racing driver.

With Williams currently perusing the Mercedes DTM squad for a driver to enroll into a young driver programme following their engine tie-up with Mercedes, I?d advise them to forget Daniel Juncadella and get themselves a Wickens.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Woffin and Kozo.Higashi!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Long-serving McLaren engineer Jo Ramirez turns 73 today. He was at the team during the time of Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and later Mika Hakkinen. His 2005 autobiography Memoirs of a Racing Man is well worth hunting down.

Image ?? GP3/LAT

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  • 190 comments on “Raikkonen ‘pursuing Ferrari’ after Red Bull rejection”

    1. I’d so ditch Ricciardo and put Hulkenberg in that Red Bull… you don’t have such a bright talent sitting around waiting for a ride every week.

      1. Nick Jarvis (@)
        20th August 2013, 0:12

        Ferrari – Raikkonen and Hulkenburg
        Lotus – Alonso and Grosjean

        Who knows?

        1. @nickj95gb

          I disagree about Ferrari’s future lineup but, in light of recent rumors, I think Alonso at Enstone in 2015 is becoming more likely.

        2. I’m not sad about Kimi not going to RB. What makes me more sad is the possible prospect of Alonso leaving Ferrari with no WDC. He always wanted to win a WDC with Ferrari

          I mean, he wasted good years of his life at Renualt just waiting for a Ferrari seat to open, they have probably the best F1 driver of the past decade (excluding Shumacher) and have failed miserably to get the title. Alonso has pushed for all his years at Ferrari. He should have won in 2010, but his team messed him up at last race. Then in 2012 they provide a terrible car, but somehow he manages to keep the title going to the last race. In 2012 he put in some of the most amazing driving I’ve ever seen. But I fear Alonso will retire a 2 WDC.

          1. “I mean, he wasted good years of his life at Renualt just waiting for a Ferrari seat to open, they have probably the best F1 driver of the past decade (excluding Shumacher) and have failed miserably to get the title”

            He went to McLaren in 2007, had the best car, had a rookie teammate and failed to beat his teammate let alone win the championship. Going to Renault was his choice because he didn’t want to compete against and be beaten by Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

            Alonso has pushed for all his years at Ferrari. He should have won in 2010, but his team messed him up at last race. Then in 2012 they provide a terrible car, but somehow he manages to keep the title going to the last race. In 2012 he put in some of the most amazing driving I’ve ever seen. But I fear Alonso will retire a 2 WDC.

            2012 was great from Barcelona onwards. Yes it wasn’t as quick as the McLaren (which was the fastest car), but it had great pace and was by far the most reliable car on the grid which allowed Alonso to steal all those podiums. If Alonso manages to not get outqualified by his teammate in the last couple of races, if he made Vettel pay for starting at the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi he wins the championship. He had the opportunity to win but failed to grasp it…again.

            2010 is completely Alonso’s fault. In the final race went into his shell and didn’t attack. Had a great car (was good enough to win 1-2 in the first race of 2010). If he doesn’t make a driver error at Spa he wins the championship.

            1. Keep in mind that rookie finished with as many points as Alonso: two short of the world championship.

            2. @anon: 2012 hardly had “great pace”. Yes, it was fast compared to everything except RedBull and Mclaren in terms of pace, but that’s hardly great when you’re battling for the championship.

              Think that F1 has incredibly good drivers, so the ones that are truly great will add something to the car, but they can’t take a midfield car and make it battle for a championship. The F2012 was slower that its main rivals all throughout the year, yet Alonso managed to get it within 3pts of winning the championship.

              As to 2010, how many overtakes happened in that GP? I remember reading somewhere that Renault’s engine was newer than Ferrari’s and, supposedly, that was the reason why Alonso couldn’t even get closer to Petrov.

            3. @alexx_88 @anon Not only this, the F-Duct and the set up of Petrovs Renault were much better on the straights than the Ferrari.

              By the way, Alonso did NOT go into his shell and didn’t attack. Remember that one desperate attempt, where he finally was close enough for once but Petrov closed the door, leaving Alonso almost sliding into the Renault? That was the cause of Alonso’s… let’s call them wild gestures post-race. And if Vettel hadn’t had that sparkplug problem in Bahrain, there would never have been a Ferrari 1-2. The Red Bull had much more pace than any car, even the McLaren. McLaren and Ferrari were just close to them on occasions.

      2. I think Hulkenberg is not exactly avalaible. Marko wanted him for YDP but for some reason he didn´t sing. If Hulk was avalaible I´m sure RBR will considere him…

        1. sauber failed to pay him in 2013 with broke his conract making him a “free anent” he can leave at anytime

        2. @celeste Sauber are not really in top condition to pay a driver like Hulkenberg, are they? financial troubles are getting the best of them, the car’s been rubbish, Hulk doesn’t really get sponsors, and there’s a russian boy willing to take his seat.

          I doubt Hulk wants to stay there… maybe previously he didn’t see a future in Red Bull, but now Red Bull need a driver, and the possibilities for him are wide open. He won’t say no…

          1. Maybe Hulk should consider knocking on Marko´s or Horner´s door?

        3. Marko wanted him for YDP but for some reason he didn´t sign

          In order to sign for Red Bull’s YDP Hulkenberg must be separated from his sponsor DEKRA which he didn’t want

      3. I think that Ricciardo and Hulkenberg are pretty even as drivers. They have both shown lots of promising talent in the midfield and have done great jobs with the cars they have been given. So even if you were to pick the out of the 2 of them it might as well be Ricciardo, as he is a driver they have known well for many years and has proven his feedback on the car is good due the his tests in a Red Bull. If they chose Hulkenberg the whole point of the Young Driver Program and Toro Rosso would be pointless as they would pick another junior driver with no more excess talent to one they already have waiting in the wings.

      4. So everyone to Ferrari these days, Räikkönen, Hülkenberg, Bianchi, Vettel & Alonso and Massa of course. Ferrari really need to push for a three-car entry, lol!

        1. If the 3 car entry fails they always have a GT program to fall back on for driver seats @feff1s!

          1. sry that should have been @jeff1s

          2. Are teams allowed to 3 cars?

            1. @full-throttle-f1 no, it’s been banned for a while for cost reasons I’m pretty sure! One wouldn’t even be eligible for constructor’s points anyway so it’d basically be a mule, which would only be of reasonable benefit for Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes at this rate.

              So no, three cars are not allowed. ;)

        2. @jeff1s don’t forget Kamui.

      5. For some reason, I think D. Mat. wants to have close ties with Aussieland and keeping an oz driver fulfills that link.

    2. Nick Jarvis (@)
      20th August 2013, 0:09

      Fantastic that Ricciardo is getting the Red Bull seat
      I’ve always loved the guy, and I’ve always had a feeling he’d be WDC one day, plus he’s one hell of a qualifier, which, assuming he’s willing to be Seb’s b*tch, gives the team more options in the race regarding strategy.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        20th August 2013, 1:32

        If Vettel is going to Ferrari in 2015 then Ricciardo would only have to put up with one season of being Seb’s whipping boy before he leaves.

        1. That’s not going to happen , Seb is under contract with Red Bull until 2015 & Alonso is under contract with Ferrari until 2016, if there is a chance of Vettel joining Ferrari then it will be in 2017

          1. Well, Ferrari has been as patient as a stallion in the heat when it comes to sign a new charger. Think of 2006 when they signed Kimi, or 2009 when they signed Alonso.

        2. It’s possible that Red Bull might be a little fairer on Ricciardo than they have been on Webber. I believe they favour Vettel over Webber because Vettel has always been their driver – they ushered him through the junior categoies, planned his entire career trajectory for him, and set him up as the first successful graduate of the young driver programme. Webber, on the other hand, was just there when Red Bull purchased Jaguar.

          But the difference between Webber and Ricciardo is that Ricciardo also went through the YDP. His career path has been much closer to Vettel’s than to Webber’s. With the high turn over of the YDP, they need to prove that it still produces talented drivers, and supporting Ricciardo will do just that.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys not sure if Webber played second fiddle to Vettel. There have been a few examples where it was the case and Webber was quite vocal about them – and Marko is part of the RB organization but doesn’t call the shots and Horner isn’t his biggest fan either.
            In general I think the shared attention of the team was much closer to a HAM/BUT or HAM/ROS pairing than a ALO/MAS environment.

            What poisoned the relationship was the same what happened with ALO/HAM – Webber was the rooster in the team but Vettel was quick enough to challenge him from day one and he had troubles to cope with it.

            1. +1
              Vettel was far less experienced than Webber, yet delivered their first victory in 2009 and runner up in the first season, two places ahead of Webber. That kind if set the tone

          2. @prisoner-monkeys Webber was trudging along with Williams when Red Bull bought Jaguar.

            1. @optimaximal Correct. He already signed for Williams when RBR took over and only became their fifth race driver (out of a total of six so far). The only driver they ‘inherited’ from Jaguar was Christian Klien who was part of the Red Bull young driver programme in the first place.

    3. So Peter Windsor thinks that Ferrari would rather replace Alonso with Kimi? Or does he just mean that Alonso would stay on for just one more year, with Massa moving over for Kimi?

      1. I think Alonso will stay but maybe Luca has changed his mind and is willing to kill the “#1 driver policy” at Ferrari, and there’s no better way to put it into practice than pairing Alonso with a top notch driver and Kimi is the man.

        1. Alonso + Raikonnen, that would be one great line-up :-)

          1. Yep, just hoping that a great car finally comes along too … 3rd row isn’t good enough

          2. I still don’t understand why Ferrari dropped Kimi 3 years ago. Alonso and Kimi would’ve been a dream of a line-up.

            1. @wallbreaker because they have memory and Alonso + Hamilton was not a good display for Ferrari and to avoid that…

            2. It was related to Santander pushing to get Fernando a seat and Massa keeping his. I read somewhere they wanted more participation in the Brazilian market (the reason for choosing Massa vs Kimi). Not sure if this was the only reason but it was indeed a powerful one, nothing to do with #1 drivers policies, maybe Fernando wanted Kimi out also, but not sure about that, Im only certain of Santander influence. Check this link:

            3. That and his lack of pace when he was teamed with Massa. I don’t think it went down to well with him that they weren’t supporting him over Massa. His pace definitely went up after Massa’s injury

          3. Maybe in 2007. They’re both getting a bit long in the tooth now. This is the Vettel and Hamilton era. You’re already 0.2 or more of a second off the pace if you don’t have one of those guys in your car.

            1. Excuse me, but please not this again?? Ever since 2009 Hamilton has finished the championship with two or three drivers ahead of him – excluding Vettel. Even now he is 4th despite the illegal test.

              How on earth is this possibly his era more than those those ahead? Is it because his cars haven’t been good enough? Well maybe 2010-11 was Kimi’s era then, he just didn’t have a car at all!

    4. ” but it’s not my decision.”

      A guy can’t even decide whether he drives or not these days?

      1. Hang on, I’ve just read and re-read the article – it’s Hulkenberg who says that!

        Although I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Sirotkin gets thrown in much like Gutierrez did! Even Gutierrez admitted he wasn’t ready…

      2. @electrolite uh? did you read it? or maybe I don’t understand what you’re saying…

      3. He was talking about the team putin’ the Russian kid in a race seat.

        (sorry for the pun)

      4. Not if the team don’t want or can’t keep him.

    5. @William-Brierty I agree with the COTD. I’m guessing it’s a lack of sponsorship rather than talent which is holding him back. My knowledge of feeder series isn’t very in depth, but I think he’s done well enough to earn his shot in F1 based on merit.

      I’m hoping he can truly prove his worth in DTM and take the Paul Di Resta route to F1. I’m not sure if he’s WDC material, especially with the talent at the strong end of the grid, but I think he’d at least be a strong mid-field driver.

      I want to hear the Canadian anthem again after a F1 race, very badly.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        20th August 2013, 11:40

        @steevkay – Absolutely. I agree he’s not going to be the next Sebastian Vettel, but I certainly think he is worthy of F1 and could perhaps operate at a similar level as di Resta. Unfortunately Wickens is a name on that long list of talented but unsponsored drivers, a list headed by a certain Robin Frijns. A lot of drivers that power through the junior series only to find an unassailable financial wall around F1 often find themselves in DTM, which is a series that is not short of a few quid, and therefore can invest in talent (what a foreign concept that is to an avid F1 viewer). And therefore guys like Mortara, Vietoris, Juncadella, Wittmann and Robert all find themselves in DTM, where they will show their talent in relative anonymity. Wickens has an opportunity to forge a link with an F1 team following Williams’ Mercedes engine deal, and with Williams openly saying they are looking for a new young driver, Wickens is up against Vietoris and Juncadella for a very realistic stab at a 2014 F1 seat in the now likely possibility that Maldonado replaces Grosjean at Lotus.

    6. And the last all-American victory at Le Mans was scored forty-six years ago in 1967 when Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove one of Carroll Shelby’s Ford mk IVs to a legendary win.

      I thought that was the only all-American win. And I believe it was the only occasion that a truly American car won, as the other GT40s were designed and built in the UK with Lola.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        20th August 2013, 1:14

        Funnily enough birthday boy Jo Ramirez was involved in the GT40 project. Strange to think one of the best looking and iconic cars in history came from Slough.

    7. I totally agree with the COTD. Wickens deserves a F1 seat.

    8. Gordon Kirbys analysis of motorsport in America should be read as a salutory look at where F1 is headed as it follows the US path of being a business rather than a passion. Running a racetrack should be a business but building and racing race-cars should be a passion, instead in F1 we have the opposite situation, racetracks are run by dictators, sheiks and politicians with a passion for prestige while the teams that build the cars and the management of the series make decisions based profitability rather than passion. If things do not change F1 will decline slowly into irrelevance just as motor racing in the US has.

      1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
        20th August 2013, 0:47

        Oh huh, when have motor racing become irrelevant in the US?? Never heard that one before…

    9. I never got the impression that Kimi was interested in joining Red Bull. The interest all seemed to run in the opposite direction – they wanted him a lot more then he wanted them. I can’t believe he is interested in a switch to Ferrari either.

      1. I agree, I’ve no dubts that if Kimi really wanted to go to RBR he would’ve done it.
        When he’s on it 100% he can be a match to any other driver out there, but for that to happen he has to be comfortable in the team.

        In the end I’m not too disappointed he’s not going to RBR, I think he would’ve underperformed against Vettel in that particular environment.

        1. If Raikkonen wanted to go to Red Bull, then he would go to Red Bull.

          Whether or not Red Bull wanted him is an entirely different story.

      2. So you’re disagreeing with his manager on Kimi’s ambitions, wow….

        1. @jason12 Read the article. Nowhere is anything said regarding motivation. He had discussions with RBR, he gave them their terms, they gave him theirs, no agreement was possible, game over. Having negotiations when a seat in the best team is available and having real motivation to go there aren’t the same. @jonsan is correct. Had KR had a real motivation to go there he would’ve found a way to compromise

        2. Are you under the impression that Eddie Jordan is his manager? Given your history the answer may be “yes”.

      3. “after RedBull rejection” ? I would believe it more the other way round.

    10. I’m not going to lie. I’ll be a little disappointed if Kimi goes to Ferrari. The joy of Kimi at Lotus is watching a top-tiered driver in a (relatively) low-budget team. I enjoy seeing the Lotus mix it up with Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari on a much smaller budget.

      There’s a rebel attitude to Kimi and a rebel attitude to Lotus, and it would be a real shame to break up that pairing.

      1. COTD

      2. +1

        And after what Ferrari did to him in 2009, I don’t think Ferrari deserve the prize of getting him back

        Lotus are a good team even if their budget isn’t as high. They can compete with Ferrari, especially given the big changes next year regardless of that

      3. There’s a rebel attitude to Kimi

        Kimi is just as much a money grabber as any other driver. If Ferrari offer him a bag o’ money and lenient media duties, he’ll jump ship to Ferrari in a heartbeat.

        Kimi a rebel?! You must be joking!!

      4. Post Massa Ferrari possible line-ups
        Alonso | Raikkonen or Alonso | Hulkenberg or Alonso | Kobayashi or Alonso | Bianchi

        Man, Kimi is not going to Red Bull so I can’t help but push for his move to Ferrari, F1 needs a strong line-up to take us back to the Prost-Senna days (or Alonso-Hamilton) because Hamilton-Rosberg is not that cool anymore…

        1. Alonso Kobayashi seems a highly unlikely proposition to me and Alonso Bianchi seems rather unlikely also considering they rejected Perez in the basis of inexperience. I don’t really see Räikkönen moving as he seems happy at Lotus and one has to remember Ferrari unceremoniously showed him the door a year early for the very man he’d be partnering, so Hülkenberg is easily the most likely candidate for a Ferrari seat should Massa leave (which I hope he does with some dignity before he’s booted).

          So for me I think most of the top 5 is all but set for 2014:

          Red Bull: Vettel – Ricciardo
          Mercedes: Hamilton – Rosberg
          Ferrari: Alonso – Hülkenberg*
          Lotus: Räikkönen – Valsecchi (my wild card)
          McLaren: Button – Perez

          What I’m really interested in though is to see what happens in 2016: I believe Alonso is up then, Vettel is up then and Hamilton is up then (I may need verification on that though) – I do hope Vettel ends up at Mercedes with Hamilton provided they have a fast car (as is looking likely).

    11. Kimi is smarter than he seems. He said he would do something that other people might think is stupid and what was good for himself. I never would have thought Ferrari was on his radar.

      1. I suspected it. I think he should still stay at lotus one year, then see who’s strongest and attempt to move.

      2. That’s what I thought when he said that.

    12. Spa 1968, 3litres not a wing in sight and a 150 mph lap, what have we got for 45 years progress.?

      1. what have we got for 45 years progress?

        Drivers not getting killed every race

        1. +1 Beautifully Mentioned :)

        2. Safety is of course the obvious answer and it is true that the extra weight needed to ensure that safety is a drag on performance, but if cars with no downforce and only mechanical grip were able to average such speeds 45 years ago why is so much money being spent on aerodynamic downforce today?

          1. Alexander (@)
            20th August 2013, 6:29

            It is because of the old layout of the track, 8.7 miles long with lots of long straights

            1. It is because of the old layout of the track, 8.7 miles long with lots of long straights

              Umm, this – it’s kind of obvious! Put a Lotus 49 on present day Spa against a contemporary F1 car and there’s obviously no comparison (iRacing has the Lotus 49 & Williams FW31 – top lap times: 2:22.3 & 1:47.5 respectively. A difference of about 35 seconds over 4.35 miles (7km). That’s also what we have to show for it.

          2. I don’t really get your point. The current F1-cars are much, much faster in every way.

        3. I have to agree with @tifoso1989, excellent response!

          However I do see @hohum‘s point: is it worthwhile investing so much in aerodynamics? Wouldn’t it be best to balance it out between engines (which can obviously be applied to road cars)?

          1. That’s one of the main reasons behind the regulation changes next year – more emphasis on engine performance (and energy recovery), less on aerodynamics.

        4. Very good comment @tifoso1989.

          1. @bascb, when I wrote that comment I was well aware, and thankfull of, the saftey improvements, but I decided to keep my post short and hope for a broader debate (thanks @vettel1).
            Thanks for advice on chocolate hats, not expecting to need one but I don’t like to make empty promises, maybe marzipan or shortbread would be more practical, hmmm.

            1. wow, thank for the mention @hohum.
              I too had to shorten my comment (because I was in a hurry) to only remarking about the very to the point remark, and not reacting to the part of your comment that certainly does have a valid point, namely that all the money spend, and time invested does not really show up all that much for “progress” having been made.

      2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        20th August 2013, 1:39

        Lots more things to stick logos on.

    13. The quote by Mika at the end of the article about the ’00 Belgian GP is great:

      “People always said to me, ‘How can you be so calm?’ Well, I was educated by my parents that way – I learned to control my emotions when I was a kid. I did karting for years, but if you didn’t win a race, you didn’t complain to mummy and daddy about it. My father said, ‘OK, there’s a forest over there – go and kick some trees, get your rid of your frustrations, and then come back’. For a while it seemed to me there were not enough trees – not enough forests! – but in the end I realised my dad was right: there’s no point in getting upset. It doesn’t do any good, doesn’t achieve anything…”

      1. That’s why I liked Mika and then Kimi! Finns are an interesting bunch.

        Let me tell you a story. In 2005 I was in conference and met a Finn who was also F1 fan and told him that Kimi is my favourite driver but complained of his rotten luck (he had just lost WDC for the 2nd time in quick but unreliable Newey McLaren).

        The guy told me that:”we Finns believe that if you are the best, fortune will come to your arms. If you are unlucky, you are not the best”.

        I found it really harsh, but when he won the title two years later with incredible amount of luck in the last two races (Hamilton beaching on the entry to pit lane in china and his short gearbox failure in Brazil), I saw what he meant.

        Now I am not still a believer in this saying as it can imply that every eventual victor is the best (was Button really the best driver in 2009 or Vettel in 2010?) but still it gave me an sight to the psyche of Finns.

      2. I always loved Hakkinen’s charisma. Some say he has none, but I totally disagree.

        1. A fan since the 1990 Macau Grand Prix, where I saw the first glimpse of the Epic Hakkinen/Schumacher rivalry. Sadly he had a terrible accident and lost a little bit of his fierceness there, but was a great. Not everyone can match Senna at qualifying in his first year.

      3. I still see Mika crying between the trees at Monza – nice to have a little extra context here.

        1. I bet he wanted to kick some trees there at that moment…

    14. Wickens must be in Formula 1 by next year. I’m usually not much if a nationalist guy, and I was never much of a fan of JV, but Robert is legit talented and seems like a much more likable guy.

      1. Where would he go?

        The only thing that makes sense is if Toto Wolff uses his influence in Mercedes to get Wickens a seat in a Mercedes customer team – but that means di Resta, Sutil or Bottas has to go (Maldonado is safe because of his sponsorship).

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I have a question. I read an article a while back (a month or so ago) and it said that Maldonado would not go to Lotus because Lotus would not be able to get the PDVSA sponsorship as the PDVSA deal is between Williams and the group and not Maldonado. Surely if Williams didn’t want Maldonado, the team would still have the PDVSA sponsorship?

          1. My understaning is that Maldonado could leave but would need to be repalced by another driver of the same Nationality. Oh God no please not Johnny Ceccotto.

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            20th August 2013, 11:59

            @formula-1 That makes no sense. Are the PDVSA going to nail Maldonado into an uncompetitive car and all but write off the chances of another Venezuelan win? No. Are PDVSA a Venezuelan bank going to keep paying a British team whilst the Venezuelan driver they’ve sponsored for the last x number of years goes in the opposite direction? No. I don’t know where you read that but it directly contradicts the way the PDVSA made it quite plain in the winter of 2011 that if Maldonado chose to go elsewhere his sponsorship would follow him. It would be extremely odd if a standard, if hefty, sponsorship deal between a driver and investor somehow metamorphosed into a commercial deal between a team and investor. It sounds unfeasible to me.

        2. Williams want another young driver to develop in the same way they developed Bottas. They could probably put Wickens in as a Friday driver for 2014 for the intention of promoting him to a race seat in 2015.

          I seriously doubt Wickens will be racing in F1 in 2014, nor do I think he should. He’s a touring car driver with very little F1 experience. Even when di Resta moved from DTM to Force India, he at least had a years worth of Friday driving with the team. Give Wickens a “Bottas year” in 2014 and then pop him in the race seat for 2015.

        3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          20th August 2013, 11:49

          @prisoner-monkeys Maldonado is certainly not “safe because of his sponsorship”. From the outset PDVSA have made it quite plain that Maldonado’s sponsorship would follow him in he chose to leave Williams, which would be his prerogative. Lotus are looking for a few quid and a quick driver to replace the inconsistant Grosjean, or to replace Raikkonen in the highly unlikely chance that he goes to Ferrari. For me, it all fits, and it certainly fits better than Raikkonen returning to Ferrari. Arguably Maldonado has shown that he is worthy of a better car, and that the occasional flashes of devastating speed are genuine, and on that basis I really see no reason why Maldonado won’t go to Lotus in 2014, and I also don’t see any reason why Wickens couldn’t be the man to replace him.

          1. Actually, PDVSA is solely with Williams at the moment. If MAL left now, PDVSA is ‘stuck’ with Williams for a bit, that’s why it’s best for MAL not to move.

            1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              20th August 2013, 17:30

              @beejis60 That seems a highly unlikely eventuality. PDVSA sponsor Williams because Maldonado drives for them. If goes elsewhere the cash and the PDVSA decal on the side of the FW35 goes with him. The structure is identical to the Telmex system, who are currently paying Sauber and McLaren for the privilege of being on their sidepods, but they are attached to the driver. It’s like the situation with Karthikeyan in 2011. When he went, the Tata sponsorship went too.

            2. @william-brierty The apparent story is that PDVSA is sponsoring Williams through a multi year contract. How long that contract is, I do not know, but I am just echoing the article I read awhile ago.
              And I am aware of how the sponsorship has/is worked with Telmex, Tata, etc.

            3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              20th August 2013, 19:34

              @beejis60 I heard that story too, but I a) expect that contract to have expired or just be about to, and b) I hardly think PDVSA will begrudge Maldonado a move up the grid based on Williams current performances. Maldonado started with Williams in 2011, so at the end of this season that’ll be three seasons PDVSA has sponsored Williams. For a then rookie, I find it highly unlikely that a sponsorship deal with a team and a driver’s investor would have lasted longer than three seasons. Maldonado’s situation is exactly the same as every other sponsored driver, and the logistics of being essentially “nailed” to single team for ever do not fit with a successful career, and the PDVSA, a nationalist organization that took great credit and pride for Maldonado’s 2012 Spanish successes, will realize and I hardly think that such an infringing arrangement would be in place.

    15. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      20th August 2013, 2:19

      Kimi vs Alonso could be just as good, if not a more mouth watering prospect than Kimi vs Seb.

      1. Don’t forget Kimi loves the Ferrari ice cream service.

        1. LOOOL

        2. HaHa that’s Gold

      2. Let’s wait and see. Kimi at Ferrari – with Hülkenberg? Or with Rosberg and Hamilton Alonso reunited? Or Kimi at Mercedes and Rosberg to Ferrari?

        1. An Iceman/HAM team would be kinda ridiculous.

          In before Kimi begins to hate dogs :p

        2. Alonso and Kimi at Ferrari seems almost impossible just their combined salaries can support a small nation.

    16. Why aren’t people considering Christian Vietoris too?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        20th August 2013, 12:19

        @wsrgo I completely agree, Vietoris is being impressive too. Either Wickens or Vietoris would be a good bet for Williams if Maldonado moves on, and both would definitely be better than Juncadella. I would argue that Wickens’ greater single seater vintage makes him a stronger bet, but either Vietoris or Wickens could be looking good for a shot at F1 next year.

      2. Wickens came up yesterday because I mentioned his DTM victory. I agree on Vietoris worthy of a chance in F1 – at least for a test, I don’t think he’s done any.

        Another guy who I really miss is Bertrand Baguette. He was dominant in 2009 in FR3.5, got a bit of testing with Renault and BMW, then had a quiet year in Indycar and since he has got out of sight, though this year he’s been doing well in WEC (LMP2).

    17. Fernando Sandrini
      20th August 2013, 3:33

      Alonso will go “back home”(Lotus) with his Santander money. Montezemolo doesn´t accepted the Alonso´s behaviour. Alain Prost was fired in the end of 1991 by the same thing(publicly criticize the car and the team).
      In my opinion, Red Bull will have Vettel-Ricciardo, Ferrari will have Kimi-Hulkenberg and Lotus(saved by Santander) Alonso-Grosjean.

    18. Raikkonen to Ferrari would be a blessing in disguise. It would match Alonso with a better competitor and both will push each other to higher level of competency. Alonso could now drive at 80% now and still beat Massa comfortably.

      Having a good second driver is very important for the WCC and Massa has been failing to do this job for some years now. I would go on to say that had Massa been better, Alonso might have nicked a title in the past years in the Ferrari.

      1. +1
        So many people think Alonso is leaving if Kim is hired. I don’t think so. I think Ferrari need them both to finally go after a Constructors title. I don’t get the can’t have two top tier drivers argument. RBR has won 3 constructors titles BECAUSE they have 2 great drivers, not in spite of. :)

    19. I’d love to see Raikkonen back at Ferrari and Hulkenberg at Red Bull.
      For me Ricciardo is not good enough for the job, but who knows, maybe he’ll prove me wrong.

      1. I fear Hulk is going back to Force India or maybe even a worse team…

    20. Great article about Spa 2000.

    21. I cannot even begin to comprehend how most people believe that Kimi to Ferrari is possible. Kimi might be good but his attitude does not blend well with Ferrari. I also agree that if they were to hire him back it would be admitting that they did a mistake and it clearly wasn´t. ALO has fought to the end in inferior machinery twice, 2010 and 2012. Now if Ferrari would just give him a proper car… he could work his magic.
      Ferrari definitely does not need these distractions… they need to focus on their 2014 car and a better partner for ALO… I don´t personally like Hulkenberg but he seems like a sensible option. If I was Luca, I would get Bianchi but hey, that´s just me.
      People should just get over the KIMI/FERRARI move because it is just not happening.

      1. Kimi himself said he has many friend still at Ferrari and that it remains a possibility for him to return. He also said his departure could of been handle better, but that wouldn’t keep him from returning. As honest as Kimi is with what he thinks, I will take him at his word over media opinion.

        1. @twiinzspeed
          That might be true Christopher… but it really isn´t up to Kimi´s friends is it? I think it would be up to Luca and well… Luca is not about to twist his own arm for no one so yeah, Kimi is not going back to Ferrari.
          Kimi in all honesty, should give thanks that Lotus took him when he wanted to come back into F1. He should be thankful that he has a seat that most other drivers would kill for. Seriously… Lotus might not be well financially right now but it would be dumb and nearsighted to think that they will continue to have these problems in the near future. The way Lotus is going, they will end up 2nd or 3rd in the constructors and that alone will give them funds enough to handle their business. I honestly believe Kimi is just being ignorant to that fact! After all, he is second in the WDC! Again, he should be thankful he has a competitive seat!

    22. Sad that Kimi is not going to Red Bull.

    23. Really think it’s a major blow to f1 that Kimi won’t partner Vettel next year. Thanks alot RedBull! :-(

      1. Why do you think f1 is at a loss?
        Red bull is as they will realize later what’s the difference between kimi amd daniel.
        Although I think its a perfect decision by Kimi, as he would never get the atmosphere there to win
        KERS failure is sure for a red bull number 2 driver ;)

    24. I think Kimi not moving to RBR is bad news, as it was the first time i really wished a driver move to a certain team (mostly i dont care about it), but this time I really wanted to see this epic battle Kimi vs Seb. The main reason is that for me drivers like Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton have nothing to prove… they are all WC’s and the have proven many times that they are the Top drivers on the grid.
      Seb on the other side is always considered, even thought hes a 3 times WC,that he archived everything mostly because of the superiority of his car.
      Would he beaten Raikonnen fair and square on the same car, or at least give him a good fight? then all of us having the same opinion about him as I do would shut up, give him the crown and wait for him maybe to be the most succesful driver in F1 history.

      1. Who was Kimi’s best teammate? Any proof that Hiedfield Couthard or Massa is better than Webber or Bourdais?
        What about Alonso’s best teammate? Hamilton beat him in his rookie season, also Alonso lost to Trulli. Logically can you really rate Alonso higher than Vettel because he matched Hamilton on same machinery?
        Hamilton and Button are quite closely matched during their 3 years, why people think Alonso is better than Button?
        Team mate comparisons are important, but we need to be fair.

        1. @zeus_m3 Hiedfield, Couthard, Massa, Webber and Bourdais are not Top drivers.
          Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton are TOP drivers.

      2. The intra-team battle would be epic and probably lol-worthy at times. If he goes to Ferrari, it would probably be even more lol-worthy to see Alonso getting upset every other day like 2007. Plus, think about it; it may be sweet justice for Kimi to dethrone Alonso after his seat got bought out by him/santander. Kimi goes away, comes back into the team some 4-5 years later, then beats Alonso badly. I mean, how much would Kimi and Kimi fans absolutely love that? Sweet justice.

        1. @beejis60 Im sure it will be epic fight too, if he moves to Ferrari next to Alonso.
          What I said is that I wanted to see him on a RedBull next to Seb and I’ve explained why.

      3. You’ll have to remind me – what “top drivers” have Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamlton beaten in the same car? The fact is that, if judged by “Vettel Rules”, these three still have a lot to prove. Nando and Kimi in particular still have big question marks hanging over them.

        Of course all that shows is the stupidity of “vettel Rules” – the collection of rules people have concocted to judge Vettel by but which for some reason are never applied to any other driver.

        Would he beaten Raikonnen fair and square on the same car, or at least give him a good fight? then all of us having the same opinion about him as I do would shut up

        Nope, I don’t believe that for an instant. You’d have said “Kimi’s car is being hobbled”, and “Vettel is being favored and gets the best strategy” and “We need to see Vettel in the same car as Hamilton”.

        1. @jonsan you totally missed my point here… I dint say Vettel is not good because we compare him with Webber!!!
          What Ive said is that while Kimi, Alonso, Hamilton have proven that they are top drivers and for me that is driving a car that is not simply the best on the grid to get results( all three of them have proven that) Vettel did not, this season so far he has done a fantastic job tho, but still on a freaking fast RB.
          since i dont expect RBR to have a crap car or go downhill in the middle of the championship like ferrari or just dont get things right like Mclaren the only measure i can have for Vettel is a very strong team mate..

          1. @stagger

            What Ive said is that while Kimi, Alonso, Hamilton have proven that they are top drivers and for me that is driving a car that is not simply the best on the grid to get results( all three of them have proven that) Vettel did not, this season so far he has done a fantastic job tho, but still on a freaking fast RB.

            The only cars any of those three have driven that was weaker than the 2007/08 Toro Rosso that Vettel got great results in was Alonso’s 2001 Minardi, and arguably Alonso’s 2009 Renault.

    25. Kimi is proving he knows how to negotiate not only the tracks in F1, but also the back rooms and media too. He is negotiating his way to the best deal he can get and for the best chance to win another title with whatever team he works with. He is a consistent known value and a proven winner. He wants to win again.

      I doubt he will be at Ferrari in 2014, but stranger things have happened. I think it would be great to see Kimi and Fernando push the team forward and each other too. But, Montemezolo will have to swallow some pride to bring Kimi back. Or, he can turn that into a challenge thrust upon Fernando.

      Mr. Raikkonen is not negotiating for no reason. He wants to win, he wants the best deal he can get and knows he is worth it. I think if he stays with Lotus he is going through all this to serve notice that he wants to win and that Lotus needs to be serious about winning, whatever that takes. Red Bull and Ferrari have the resources to win, but Lotus is more of a question mark. Their car is very close right now, but can they sustain their efforts and performance, especially going into 2014 with new regulations.

      My favorite veteran driver on the track at this moment in F1 history, i will continue to thoroughly enjoy watching Kimi as long as he stays in the sport. No doubt he will be trying his best to win at Spa in a few days. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

      1. I think in the current state of Formula 1, it’s the perfect storm for Lotus to be performing… They’re probably a mid-field or upper mid-field team but due to the tender tire situation and the fact that Lotus is so gentle on its tires, that’s the only reason why they’re performing well and Kimi knows that. Next year, it probably won’t bode well for them without serious sponsorship money to develop, what I expect, a rather glib car.

    26. What on earth is Alonso on about now? Can anyone provide me with a translation into Sensible?
      Honestly, he puts me in mind of Eric Cantona when he said something about seagulls following sardines . . . or maybe it was the other way round.

      1. :-)

        I think “Warrior” refers to himself, “when is insulted” refers to the recent comments by Montezemolo, “uses his sword” refers to pulling strings at Santander or having his say in who will be his teammate.
        So, in sensible speak, even though Montezemolo has been saying bad things about him, Alonso will not exercise his say over who will be his teammate or over Santander because Alonso is brave.

      2. It’s his good ‘ol samurai nonsense again @timothykatz, although this one is significantly better because it actually makes sense and obviously reached the character limit before “#samurai”! Basically he’s saying not to react to insults with knee-jerk responses, be brave and because he has higher aspirations than to “flinch” as he puts it.

        So yes basically I think what he’s saying is he won’t “do a Prost” and get himself kicked out of Ferrari!

        1. @vettel1

          That is a very good interpretation Max, however, I find it unnecesary to call it “nonsense”. Everybody is entitled to believe in what they want. The guy finds the Samurai culture appealing to him and it´s a strong motivational force for him so I think everybody should just let him be. It´s his thing… and obviously he feels strongly about it otherwise he would not have gotten the tattoo that he did!

          1. @karter22 no I agree, but I don’t think that therefore excludes others from making a comment on it ;) He’s entitled to his opinion, I’m entitled to mine! :)

        2. @vettel1
          Thank you Max, I really appreciate that. But whether Montezemolo will appreciate it or not is another matter.
          So Alonso is maintaining his dignity and publicly refusing to get wound-up by the mouthy boss. Well, that’s going to make the boss even more tetchy, isn’t it?
          It’s going to be fun at Maranello!

      3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        20th August 2013, 11:12

        That’s one of the things I really like about Kimi, he doesn’t come out with nonsense like that.

        1. +1
          Kimi speaks only when necessary and even so very economically. That’s the way of Samurai :)

      4. samurai, kung-fu (seb), and the inner peace guy (kimi) . this sure looks more like Kung Fu Panda instead of F1

        1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          20th August 2013, 16:30

          Jos Verstappen – Violent, drunk wife-beater

          1. What is Jos doing in the mix?

      5. To me, Alonso’s twit means that he wants to stab Montezemolo in the back. Or the neck. Or that Montezemolo wants to stab Alonso in the back but the samurai will not take this as an insult. Or maybe means that he wants to be a samurai and kill a finch… no, wait… Or maybe there is a strong erotic symbolism related to the sword.
        It is funny because if someone was “insulted” were the members of the team, not Alonso. Maybe he is trying to say that the team mechanics and engineers are not real samurais because they react to criticisms grabbing the sword, while, the REAL samurai, has higher targets.
        We need more Mark Webber, me thinks…

    27. 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.

      1. @ferrari_412t I quite agree with the fact that it could well be a defensive (and logical) move from ferrari.
        – they take the driver with the engineer (a surely veery costly option – but if ferrari has one thing its money)
        – they avoid having two top teams with two champion-class drivers in each.
        I think too that Alonso’s reluctance to have another top driver in the team is way exaggerated.

      2. PLUS ONE! Well laid out opinion. I think you are spot on, and it will be fun to watch these two push each other and make Ferrari a contender for the Constructors Title again.

      3. @ferrari_412t – Excellent analysis from all angles. This certainly looks like the best opportunity for Ferrari and Kimi. As much as I would like to see Lotus be successful this season and next, I think Kimi sees the downside of staying there next season for all the reasons you stated. Pirelli has already announced their tire offerings for next season would be much more conservative. What Ferrari needs most is good car development and the teamwork of Allison, Alonso & Raikkonen would certainly go a long way to providing that.

        The way you have laid out the case for this, the more it makes sense. Ferrari would be foolish not to take advantage of this situation. I admire Ferrari as a team and for their F1 history, but I have not always been a fan of their team in competition. I could become one immediately with Kimi there.

        1. well either that or ferrari goes middle team, they need alonso kimi allisson and newey, a move a la mercedes, I mean suck to ferrari never been dominant ………..

    28. Kimi would’ve had a much easier time beating Vettel at Redbull then he will against Alonso.

      1. I tend to agree with this and by that I don’t want to demean Vettel in anyway or even hint that Alonso is far better than him. I feel that a) Alonso is in a much stronger position (despite the recent ear-tweaking from LdM) than Vettel in RBR and Alonso is much better politician and playing mind games, even though Kimi normally doesn’t care b) Alonso is at his peak as is Kimi, but Vettel is still on a (rather steep) learning curve.

      2. Then why is Kimi making this big mistake not going to Redbull?

        1. We haven’t been given details regarding their talks, so hard to say at this point.

    29. I would have loved to see Kimi and le Seb on a team together. Kimi would give him a REAL run for the money!

    30. It’s a shame Kimi won’t be going to RB, I really believe he and Seb could’ve created one of the best teammate rivalries in F1 history.

    31. I think Ferrari never felt comfortable in the manner they had to discharge Kimi Räikkönen. I mean they really wanted Alonso, who we all know is considered by many the best driver on the grid. At that time they still had massa who was recovering from his crash. Firing him when he was still recovering would not only have made Ferrari look bad, I think it would also have made a lot of Ferrari followers and Tifosi quite unsatisfied. So they just paid Kimi his dues and sent him on his way to rallying. The fin himself wasn’t at ease anymore in F1 and was trying to expand his horizon. No doubt he was quite satisfied when Ferrari offered to pay him off. Now 3 years onwards it seems that these two parties might meet again and engage in a new sort of marriage.

      Many have claimed Kimi Räikkönen was angry at Ferrari for kicking/forcing him out but that doesn’t seem the case, in fact the Red Bull talk never materialised in real negotiations, so that means kimi was way more interested in the offer that was made to him by Ferrari at Silverstone. Signalling these two never held any grudge towards one another.

      No matter what Eric Boullier claims, when your company is 120 million in debt and you haven’t paid your driver a single euro, no way is that driver going to stay around to see the world collapse around him. Lotus might have fought itself a way to the top, when it comes to finances they are playing a really dangerous game.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        20th August 2013, 12:02

        Great point about Lotus. Whether or not the rumours of Kimi not being paid are true or not they just can’t afford him. Boullier mentioned they were keen on Hulkenberg, imagine walking into that mess after the year he’s had at Sauber (talk about ‘Out of the frying pan…’).

        The only driver Lotus should be chasing is Maldonado and his $46m yearly cheque from Venezuela (providing he still gets that backing now that Hugo Chavez is dead). With that sort of income and Kimi’s $20m a year off the books, more than half of their debt would be wiped away.

        1. Exactly @jackisthestig, It just shows that Boullier is talking a lot off nonsense lately, he is claiming Kimi is going to stay and that all is well, he can’t fire Grosjean because then Total will revoke their sponsorship as they threatened Lotus with at the end of 2012 when they tried to get rid of Romain. So why on earth does he find the need to involve Hulkenberg into this? Right…… Kimi is talking to Ferrari and is most likely going to go there just so that he stays with a top team, if Boullier wants to continue denying the facts and facing the real world then that’s his problem but with Allison gone and so much debt I doubt Lotus is going to get a decent car like they have now together, unless off course they can configure their current E21 into something that fits the new regulations. And even if they pull that off it remains to be seen if something like that actually delivers results.

          Concerning Malonado it would be quite fruitless chasing that dream. The deal that Chavez put his signature under was between Williams and PDVSA, Maldonado gets to drive 5 years and then it needs to be renegotiated. Even if Maldonado wants to go to Lotus next year he wouldn’t get that pay check and PDVSA would place another one of their Venezuelan puppets in that car. It’s as simple as that.

    32. I still find it difficult to believe that Raikkonen will return to Ferrari next year, but I hope it’s true.

      Imagine 2014 Alonso and Raikkonen in a Ferrari together? the rest of the field will be irrelevant to me as I will only be following the Ferrari’s and their two driver’s battles.

      Bring it on.

    33. Great round up today Keith! The pieces by Gordon Kirby and Nigel Roebuck are especially fantastic reads.

      I remember how I was so disgusted after another fantastic performance by Alesi had ended up with nothing to show for it. But then, Mika’s overtake made me feel a bit better

    34. I find it interesting that everybody keeps saying that KIMI at RBR would have been good beause he would have given SV a good run for his money. Even though I agree with that, SV would´ve outqualified him just as Grosjean has a couple of times but, Kimi would´ve had better races but then again, we will never know beause someone might have flexed their “muscle” and must´ve had a say in picking a team mate. Ricciardo moving to RBR is going to be a sad move… He is going to be next year´s whipping boy and the designated bodyguard on track! It is sad but hey, it´s a business!

      1. never cease to amuse me how people underrate kimi’s qualifying capability.

        there are a few odd ones when Kimi struggle to get heat into the tires, however…next year new reg and new turbocharge engine gonna run double figure of torque. The only concern is overheating rather than not able to heat the tire.

        It gonna suit kimi like honey and milk.

      2. How much say does Vettel have at Red Bull. He’s won three straight championships yet they wouldn’t let him take the win in Malaysia despite being clearly quicker. I couldn’t imagine a Hamilton or Alonso winning three straight championships and not being given number one driver status.

        1. +1
          the fact the team order went out like that and not “Sebastian is faster than you” shows that Vettel’s status is not comparable to that of Alonso in Ferrari or even Kimi in Lotus.

      3. @karter22 he’d out-qualify him more than a couple of times: in fact, I don’t see much reason to suggest he wouldn’t fair significantly better than Mark did in qualifying! I would bet my bone marrow that Vettel would’ve been nothing like Grosjean relative to Kimi.

        I also don’t think it’d be as conclusive as many seem to suggest in the races: I think they’d be fairly close actually depending on the circumstances. If in traffic, I think Kimi’s greater experience in that respect would show through. If at the front though, Vettel is a dab hand at just getting to the front quickly and staying there.

      4. well I think of all Ricciardo is the fastest qualifiers so give him a redbull for more than a couple hrs and I’m sure he can do at least what vettel does with it, at least it seem from last YDP.

    35. i remember when everyone was speculating about ferrari kicking out massa at the same time last year. it should’ve happened back then, but it didn’t. i wonder what makes everyone so certain that massa is going to loose his seat at ferrari this time? perhaps he’ll find himself a little bit of pace again, like he did last year. my guess is that we’re gonna see the exact same line-up for the 4 top teams in 2014 (with an exception of red bull, where ricciardo will most likely get the seat)

      the only thing i’m wondering about is, how long can alonso talk about ferrari like this? if i were di montezemolo, i’d consider kicking alonso out of the team before massa, who suffers the same issues as alonso but doesn’t moan about it to anyone that wants to hear it.

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        20th August 2013, 14:49

        @rigi Alonso is at his prime and he is a double WDC. He has pushed his mediocre machinery to levels higher than it deserves – just look at ’10 and ’12. He has a right to be frustrated – he wants more titles.
        Massa is, well, um, Massa.

        1. @shreyasf1fan
          there’s a diffrence about being frustrated and being a *ick
          alonso constantly moaning about his car will not make it better all of the sudden
          the ferrari crew aren’t going to be euphoric about hearing this, in fact it puts way more pressure on every single crew member, fearing the aftermaths of a simple mistake

          to be honest i think alonso has lost his prime and is turning more and more into a person that i dislike. (and he used to be my favourite driver!)

          1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
            20th August 2013, 16:26

            @rigi This was the first time he complained, as far as i know. And Alonso is still in his prime, and undoubtedly the best driver on the grid.

            1. @shreyasf1fan well, maybe the first time he complains this directly. he made a lot of comments last year about bad development of the car, and even this season he was complaining a lot. how could you miss that?

              about your second sentence… i’d agree if we were in 2012, but this year… no

            2. @shreyasf1fan it’s far from “undoubtable” – you’d have a fair argument for alluding that Hamilton or Vettel were better (at least currently).

            3. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
              20th August 2013, 18:30

              @vettel1 Well, yes, touché. Vettel has most certainly been consistent and fast this season. For the first time I have felt that if he wins this championship, it shall be 100% deserved. But you cannot deny Alonso a solid form this season, barring Malaysia. But Hamilton, no, he was having tremendous issues with his braking, and was being outperformed by ROS. He has been stellar for the last 2-3 races – but at the halfway mark i would say Vettel-Kimi-Alonso-Lewis. :)
              I expect Hamilton to be charging in the second half, though.

            4. @shreyasf1fan interesting you’d put Lewis where you did and it’s actually a fair point but I tend to give him some leniency as of course he was in a new team with a completely different way of operating. Alonso has been strong as usual but in the context of 2012 not so much – that’s applying very harsh standards though so I definitely agree a top 4 performer, although I’d personally have Vettel-Räikkönen-Hamilton-Alonso (on the basis of what I said earlier) :)

              Anyway that’s just me being nitpicky on one detail ;)

            5. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
              20th August 2013, 20:20

              @vettel1 Well you do have a point there. So I guess Alonso vs Hamilton remains undecided for the first half. ;) Let’s see who has the upper hand in the second half. :)

            6. @shreyasf1fan in the end it’s the overall performance that matters of course, just ask Vettel (who had a good start to last season but a great end) :)

          2. @rigi Well I think Alonso is right when he complains about the car, he is the star driver of Scuderia Ferrari and they are in this sport to win, if they can’t give him the machinery then he has every right to complain just as much as Button has that same right to complain about his MP4-28. There is a major difference however when one driver can achieve good results and one does not. Example. Button-Hamilton in the first half of the 2012 season

            I also agree with @shreyasf1fan, yes Alonso has made two uncharacteristic in Malasia and Bahrain. His race in Hungary was not his fastest either but that was partially his F138. Still he has had great races this year like China, Spain and Great Britain. So I’d say he is still in his prime but the form of 2012 is not currently there but I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts improving after the summer break.

            1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
              20th August 2013, 18:34

              @force-maikel Yep, as a die-hard fan of Ferrari and Alonso, I am hoping Ferrari has made full use of the time – of course their factories were shut down, but not their brains :) Call me an idiot, but Alonso for WDC! :D

        2. 2010 was a great car. Ferrari started the season with a 1-2, had a 1-2 in Germany, both cars on the podium in Korea and Italy. Considering how bad Massa has been since his accident that shows it was a great car. Consistently quick throughout the season too. If Vettel was in that car he would have won the championship with it.

          2012 the Ferrari wasn’t as quick as the fastest car (McLaren), but it was by far the most reliable car on the grid which enabled Alonso to steal a lot of podiums. He also had a lot of good luck, whether safety cars coming at the perfect time, scoring heavily when his closest rivals scored little or nothing, never had a problem in the pits, no punctures, when his car was poor in the first four races the Red Bull was also weak.

          I mean it was a solid season for Alonso in 2012 but I thought Hamilton drove better.

          1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
            20th August 2013, 20:22

            @anon Hamilton barely drove in 2012. LOL ;)

    36. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      20th August 2013, 12:13

      If we are to believe the rumours flying around at the moment we could end up with Alonso at Red Bull, Raikkonen at Ferrari, Hulkenberg and Maldonado at Lotus, di Resta also at Ferrari, oh, and what was that headline that appeared on the BBC Sport website about a year ago…Vettel to Ferrari in 2014! Everyone apart from Ferrari’s current race drivers is being linked with Ferrari, with Alonso being linked with Red Bull and Massa being linked with a comfy retirement home. It is all rubbish. OK, this is marginally more feasible than some of the other rumours flying around, but we already know that a) Raikkonen and Ferrari doesn’t work and b) di Montezemelo doesn’t want “two cockerels in one hen-house”. Raikkonen is staying where is, as is Alonso, as is Vettel. The “big four” of Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel have found teams where they are comfortable, and they will stay put for a few years now. End of.

      On another note, thanks for the COTD Keith.

    37. I’d imagine Buemi and Alguersuari are fairly hacked off at present…

    38. I’m just enjoying these snaps between Alonso and Montezemolo. I want to see if Luca turns up in Spa to hand Alonso his pink slip personally, or if he just hides in his office and bangs out another screed for the “horse whisperer”. Alonso is testing his authority now.

      Can’t say that I see Alonso going back to Lotus. Maybe his Santander money is enough to get them back in clover, but I still have a hard time believing that a Spanish Bank, in these dark days in Spain, is breaking off the same kind of money for sports sponsorship as back in the pre-09 days.

      Anyway, I guess Massa is breathing a sigh of relief every time Alonso and Luca start playing the dozens. But I still think that at Ferrari it’s time to clear out Massa, Stefano, Smedley and start over, even with a young guy in the car. The 2008-era crew has done not much there.

    39. Raikkonen to Ferrari, Massa out of F1, Ricciardo to Red Bull, Hulkenberg to Lotus, Sirotkin or Bianchi to Sauber, maybe?

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        20th August 2013, 20:25

        @austus If that comes true, 2014 will be legen-waitforit-dary! ;)

    40. Bold headline to make.

    41. Red Bull “Rejection”??
      We do not know enough to say that, not by a long way.

    42. Hamilton move appear stupid and greedy, guess everyone want one of those nowdays !

    43. Raïkonnen’s thoughts: yeah yeah, I know what I’m doing!

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