Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2015

Should Ferrari keep Raikkonen for 2016?

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2015Kimi Raikkonen has recently been voted the most popular driver in Formula One – as he has been among F1 Fanatic readers since the end of 2013 – but his days as a Ferrari driver may be numbered.

Raikkonen’s contract is up for renewal at the end of this year and several promising young drivers have been linked with his seat.

Should Ferrari keep the faith with him for one more season – or has his time finally run out?

For

The arrival of Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari potentially gives them more reason to hold on to Raikkonen. The pair appear have a productive and harmonious working relationship. At times they have complemented each other very well, with Vettel displaying strong one-lap pace which on occasions has challenged the Mercedes, while Raikkonen’s superior tyre management has brought him into play in the races. Vettel has said he wants his team mate to stay.

Ferrari’s young driver programme suffered a terrible setback last year when Jules Bianchi was seriously injured in Japan. None of their other young drivers have sufficient experience to be realistic candidates for promotion. As an alternative to bringing an ‘outsider’ into the team, it’s still possible to make a strong case for keeping Raikkonen.

Against

Despite being a former champion and hugely popular, Raikkonen simply hasn’t done enough in his second Ferrari career to merit another year in a red car. He’s taken a single podium this season to Sebastian Vettel’s six, and the year before managed only one top-five finish compared to Fernando Alonso’s eight.

Qualifying remains a persistent weakness of Raikkonen’s, and he’s made driving errors in each of the last three races. While he has also shown well on occasions – notably in Bahrain and at Silverstone until the rain arrived – if Ferrari are going to tolerate a driver making these kinds of mistakes they may as well bring in someone with much less experience but with great potential for the future.

I say

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2015For Ferrari to dump Raikkonen after just two seasons – one less than he managed in his previous stint with the team – would be tantamount to admitting they were wrong to rehire him in the first place. That’s no reason not to do it, of course.

A new management regime has been installed since his return, so we can expect hard results rather than sentimentality will be the only metric that matters. And on that count it does not look good: Raikkonen has scored less than half as many points as the driver in the other car since his return.

Raikkonen’s insouciant demeanour does not inspire any confidence that he’s about to turn everything around. “I don’t know” may be a useful way of fobbing off reporters when asked to account for his mid-race spin in Canada or his first-lap crash in Austria, but when the rain is falling at Silverstone and his race engineer needs to know what rubber he wants it’s plainly not good enough.

He may be the last driver to win the world championship in a Ferrari, but based on the past season-and-a-half it’s hard to see it happening again. Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo or Nico Hulkenberg would all be worthy alternatives, but based on recent form I’d opt for the latter.



You say

Who should be Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari team mate in 2016?

  • Kimi Raikkonen (27%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (52%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (10%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (8%)
  • Someone else (3%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 625

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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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161 comments on “Should Ferrari keep Raikkonen for 2016?”

  1. I think it is very simple. There is no doubt he deserves the seat on skill and talent, there’s just better options available right now. Bottas and Ricciardo are not an option and surely we are going to see Hülkenberg join the Italian squad at the end of the season. If they can’t bring Hülkenberg in, I’d keep Kimi for another year.

    1. + 1.

      Hulk just needs that one season in a top car. He looks very hungry for it.

    2. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      14th July 2015, 22:19

      But he just isn’t using his (supposed) talent, or at least MUCH less now compared to his 2012 and 2013 season.

      Anyways, I’ve asked this before, I’ll ask again; where has his (alleged..^^ ) speed gone?? Compare the Mclaren years vs Ferraris years (1. and 2d stint). Was he really that quicker than Alonso (and Schumi) during his Mclaren years, or was his alleged speed just a product of a series of good Mclarens?

      1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
        14th July 2015, 22:25

        Oh, my vote is a clear and loud NO. He should have been kicked out iin late 2014 already, along with “the others” at Ferrari then. You could clearly seen he just doesn’t care.., F1 is more like a lucrative hobby for him. Welcome the great Hulk in!

  2. Graham (@guitargraham)
    12th July 2015, 13:59

    will somebody PLEASE put Hulk in a competitive car!

    1. A huge +1

    2. Yes please. Although Bottas and Ricciardo are very fast, they are having hard times against their current teammates, or at least we can say they are not producing amazing performances as compared to their current teammates and car performance. Nico is simply in another league compared to his teammate, especially given his car’s performance, which shows us the potential of Nico if given a fast car that can fight for wins and championships.

      1. is Bottas faster than Massa?

    3. @guitargraham I agree that Hulk is a good driver. Congrats to his Le Mans Win. Make no mistake I would also love to see him in the red car.

      On fact remains is that Hulk has not spectacularly outshone his team mate Sergio Perez in Force India. While in 2014 Hulk finished well ahead of Perez, he was trailing Perez until round 7 in 2015. Which means that Sergio Perez also hovers somewhere close to Hulk as far as performance is concerned. This might be a data point the team principals are watching. Plus Perez brings in the big Petro dollars. Him in a red car will give F1 a face lift in Latin America !!!!

      Fingers crossed !!!!

      1. Not really. No. Hulk was probably bored. It’s pretty absurd to think Perez is anywhere near Hulkenberg. Among all the candidates the fastest guy is Nico.

      2. Perez is too hit and miss. He has these weekends where he is really quick and then others where he is nowhere. Hulk is much the better choice. Mclaren let Perez go for a reason.

      3. Not beating Perez sufficiently might be an argument against hiring Hulkenberg; I can’t see how it could be an argument in favour of hiring Perez, who is in fact being beaten by Hulkenberg.

        1. I don’t think occasionally finishing behind Perez is anywhere near as bad as always starting behind or half the time finishing behind Massa/Kvyat. No offense to Kvyat. He is pretty much “rookie”.

          1. @pal I am not Sure why we say that Ricciardo is not faster than Kvyat. He just had some bad races but I don’t see Kvyat anywhere better or faster than Riccardo. If that is the case Ferrari can go for Kvyat himself !!!!..

            Again Massa made some good starts as always but i See Bottas has a better race pace than him.

          2. Well how can we say Ricciardo is faster than Kvyat? The reason he looks so ahead of Kvyat in the standings is he gained a whopping 8 points in Australia where Kvyat didn’t even start the race. Even for previous race in Austria, Kvyat looked much faster until Ericsson jump start fall out and probably his inexperience saw him finishing behind his teammate. And he’s been starting&finishing races ahead of his teammate since they got their reliability under control and started having clean weekends in Monaco.
            I think Ferrari should go for him.

          3. You people just don’t get that the reason Kvyat can fight with Riccardo isn’t because Riccardo lost his skill but because Kvyat is a great driver. Do you people think he got the promotion to Red Bull after just a year in Toro Rosso just by luck?
            No. It’s because the data while driving for the Faenza team showed he has great speed.
            Kvyat isn’t some nobody. His a great talent.

        2. @sharoncom You do have a very good Point and that is why I mentioned in my original comment

          Plus Perez brings in the big Petro dollars. Him in a red car will give F1 a face lift in Latin America !!!!

          1. So Hulk doesn’t get the seat because he isn’t “sufficiently” beating Perez, but Perez does get it?

          2. I don’t think Ferrari need big Petro dollars, tbh.

    4. I’ve heard Hulk’s size is a problem. Did the rules evolve to make Hulk more competitive? Did Ferrari lighten the car enough his weight isn’t a problem?

  3. Robert McKay
    12th July 2015, 14:07

    I think it would be a shame if he wasn’t in an f1 seat somewhere on the grid next season, but yes, I do think Ferrari need to hire a replacement unless Kimi seriously improves in the remainder of this season.

  4. I’ve always liked Kimi, but he’s never lived up to his potential since returning to F1 and has looked decidedly average since returning to Ferrari.
    I was hoping we’d get some good battles between him and Seb, but so far he’s been offering very little in the way of competition.
    Personally I’d love to see Ricciardo given a chance in the other Ferrari, although I’d have no complaints if they hired Bottas or Hulkenberg, or broke with tradition and gave one of the talented youngsters their chance.

    1. I’d say his 2012 season was very impressive though…

  5. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
    12th July 2015, 14:11

    Nope. I’ve always liked Kimi but his best years are evidently behind him.

  6. Sad to say this, Kimi is one of the greats of F1. But he just has something missing nowadays and I don’t think it is coming back. Hulk deserves that seat.

  7. Ben (@scuderia29)
    12th July 2015, 14:13

    Raikkonen has been outperformed in the same way massa was by both alonso and vettel AND massa in 08 and 09, rendering his last 4 seasons at ferrari disappointing..are 4 seasons not enough to prove his inability to perform to a ‘ferrari standard’. No one more than Hulkenberg deserves the seat although i would have loved to see Bianchi in Ferraris second car instead, and before him Kubica, both suffering accidents removing 2 potential world champions from the sport. Now there is bottas..who is a little too closely matched to Massa for ferrari to consider in my opinion, and hulkenberg who may not have completely outclassed perez in the last 2 seasons but has done enough in his career to show he’s capable of performing well enough for a top team like ferrari

    1. Agreed. If only Ferrari’s 2016 lineup would be Kubica-Bianchi…

  8. I’d surely drop Raikkonen. He was my favorite driver for 8 years, but his recent form was a dissapointment. He wasn’t as good in his second career in the first place. And he never was good in the rain. His prime was his Mclaren stint where he was fighting Schumacher and Alonso.

    I’d definetely put Hulkenberg in that second Ferrari. He is quite experienced, probably in his prime years, good equally in qualifying and race, brilliant in rain and often extracts maximum from his car. He just wasn’t able to show what he can do in a really competetive car.

  9. Kimi is an Awesome race driver, but i think it is time to move on. I would love to see Kevin magnussen in a Ferrari.

  10. This was the easiest poll ever on F1F. Ferrari must keep Kimi at all costs.

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      12th July 2015, 14:41

      Could you expand on why?

    2. …as the head of PR, not as a driver.

      1. @mashiat Ahahaha love it!

    3. I’d love to see this properly justified.

      I’m a massive Kimi fan. As such, I’d like to see him retire whilst still relatively competitive – his time has come. I think Bottas needs to prove himself able to outperform a very average Massa more convincingly, and Ricciardo would be an idiot to leave RB to get second billing at Ferrari.

      I hope Hulkenburg gets his shot.

    4. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th July 2015, 14:48

      Yes! No!
      responses to your 2 statements, @huhhii

    5. Kimi’s had so many chances now and not lived up to expectations. It’s been embarrassing.

      Time to give someone else a try at much lower costs.

    6. They could keep him as team mascot
      :)

    7. The guy has the personality of a door knob and is never willing to work with the team, as Vettel is. Long overdue his sacking by Ferrari. Bottas or Hulkenberg would be great options.

  11. I wish Alonso could replace Kimi and finally we can get that Vettel vs. Alonso battle.

    1. @mashiat
      You’re not wrong, but I think Alonso’s so fed up with Ferrari that he’d rather stay with McLaren and wait for the miracle to happen.

      1. @nase Perhaps, but I have a feeling Ferrari have a much greater chance of challenging Mercedes’ dominance than Honda will. People forget that Ferrari are also a work’s team has just as much potential and is already 2nd best to Mercedes, not 2nd worst to Manor. As an Alonso fan, I’d rather he fight for 3rd than 15th.

        1. I don’t think that Ferrari are going to get there for a while yet, and that Alonso made the right call to leave. McLaren may have stuffed up this year, but they will be back…

          If you watch the “Rain Dance” video at f1.com, you will see that the Ferrari is truly atrocious to drive (for both drivers) in the wet – with massive torque steer on every gear change. By contrast, the Mercedes is smooth as…

          1. Yeah. After the race I watched some on-boards too. Vettel was amazing with slicks on wet track. He was fast as Mercedes with that car! That part was sensational. Because the car was all over the place!
            I realized that in Malaysia though. The quali lap he did for 2nd place was bewildering too. Ferrari are nowhere near Mercedes.

    2. I can imagine what would happen. In every race Vettel qualifies 3rd, we would have Alonso qualifying 4th or somewhere around Williams and occasionally Red Bull/STR. Then, by the end of the race he would be right there with Vettel or somewhere around Williams drivers. Then everyone would say Alonso has the race pace to finish 5 seconds down Vettel who qualified and finished at the same position. If only Alonso qualified where Vettel did! Similar to what people have been saying about Raikkonen whole year long up until Canada, or what they said about Vettel in Canada.

    3. Alonso out-qualified Raikkonen by 16-3 in 2014, and his average advantage over Kimi in those 16 qualifying duels he won was 0.819 seconds. To claim that Alonso would qualify alongside the Toro Rosso and Red Bulls in what is clearly the 2nd best car is laughable. Alonso is easily on par with Vettel in qualifying, and a better racer by a modest margin.

      1. I don’t think so. I think Vettel is at least on par with Hamilton and they just have the edge over Fernando. I’m talking about edge, not half a second.
        Raikkonen vs Alonso: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/statistics/2014-f1-statistics/driver-form-guides/kimi-raikkonen-2014-form-guide/
        Raikkonen vs Vettel: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015-f1-season/statistics/driver-form-guides/sebastian-vettel-2015-form-guide/
        Not that I think those numbers are really 100% transferable over seasons.
        Difference between Ferrari and Williams is frequently very small indeed. Sometimes Red Bull or STR performs much closer to Ferrari than everyone. (Like Monaco. But Alonso is often good in Monaco. Not the best example.) That’s the “occasional” case I am talking about.
        You can laugh as much as you like. I often laugh at the comments I read on the Internet too.

    4. That would be epic. Vettel with his one lap miracle pace and Alonso with his majestic race pace… Could be a serious duel.

  12. Have always been a fan but both last season and this year he has reminded me a little of the likes of Hill, Villeneuve or Coulthard in their last seasons – drivers who just stayed in the sport a little too long. I don’t see what he actually brings to Ferrari any more – yes he is experienced and yes he looks after his car and tyres well but he has also made a fair amount of mistakes for someone with over 200 GP starts, plus his ability to bring home big points are always compromised by his poor qualifying. I do think that he is perhaps also ill-suited to this new era of car systems management and practising in the sim (the latter of which he refuses to do) as opposed to the era when he could rock up and test the car all the time.

    Replacement-wise, on pure talent alone I think it should be Ricciardo but can’t see it happening for various reasons (doubt Seb would be keen, Red Bull won’t want him to go etc). Hulkenburg deserves his chance and funnily enough I think he would do the kind of job Ferrari want Kimi to do – bring home a bag of points but not really beat Vettel too often. Whilst I think Bottas is a touch over-rated (he should be beating Massa every weekend if he is as top drawer as people say he is) he would also be a safe pair of hands without threatening. Anyone know why Button isn’t mentioned? if McLaren don’t take up his option for next year he’d be a very solid, points-accumulating choice too for maybe a year before Ricciardo and Bottas come out of contract for 2017?

    1. @danieru

      Anyone know why Button isn’t mentioned?

      Might be because even McLaren don’t know if they should consider him for 2016. I think there are quite a few names that come to mind before Button’s joins the list. After all, he’s just as old as Räikkönen (read: not a man of the future), and he’s never quite been able to shake the impression that he doesn’t have the outright pace to keep up with the best.

      1. I agree absolutely with what you say but I think Ferrari want a top class number 2 who’ll bring home a bag of points, them being “the next big thing” is perhaps secondary. As I say, Button in any case would be a short term appointment.

    2. Button would be too short-term. Raikkonen is already short-term. I think they want a teammate for Vettel who will finish close to him, can occasionally out qualify him if he gets complacent/makes a mistake, will be with the team for years to come.

    3. I am curious about Vettel vs Hulkenberg. They were 2 young talents from Germany at the same age. Their karting championships are 1 year apart or something. I heard they raced each other before in karting too, and I know some occasions Vettel finished ahead, but don’t know the details of their karting career. There must have been more occasions they encountered each other on track when they were kids.
      Not that it would directly translate into the same results in F1. I mean, Vettel beats Hulkenberg is karting, Hulkenberg beats di Resta in F1, di Resta beats Vettel in F3. Who is better? Was someone underperforming a year, or are they all closely matched? Can we really compare drivers like this? …
      Also, both Vettel and Hulkenberg were BMW ADAC champions. They got the championship 1 year apart, but by the time Hulkenberg was champion Vettel was already test driver for BMW Williams and then Sauber next year. Why didn’t Hulk get the fast-track to F1 like Vettel and had to wait until 2009 for Williams TD position? Was it the Red Bull effect on Vettel?

      1. I’m sure we can’t compare drivers in their younger years and translate performance there into a performance list in F1. Firstly because they develop and matures differently, in different pace and secondly because F1 in any era is a very tough step up the ladder plus the fact that any era of F1 has its peculiar rules and various technical traits and tyres are causing some drivers to turn out on top, others to seem mediocre. We have often seen rule or tyre specification changes to severely impact the pecking order among even established F1 top drivers.

        1. Yeah I agree with you.

      2. I know a little bit about Hulkenberg and Vettel in karting. They didn’t race each other as often as you might expect. Hulkenberg raced for a Dutch-Italian team, mostly in Italy; while Vettel was more firmly a product of the German karting championships.

        Believe it or not Hulkenberg was quite small for his age at the time and often moved up a category a year later than Vettel, which also had an effect on how often they raced each other.

        When they did race each other regularly, the results aren’t clear cut: sometimes Hulkenberg finished ahead, sometimes Vettel.

        Both dominated the German junior kart championship (Vettel scored 9/12 wins in 2001, Hulkenberg won all 10 races he started in 2002). Vettel struggled in the one year he did in Formula A: he didn’t have the physical strength in 2002 aged 14. Hulkenberg dominated the German kart championship in 2003.

        1. Thank you very much for the info.
          I have heard of Hulk being smaller than Vettel, I think there are some pics on the Internet actually.
          Vettel still looks too small for Formula 1. I don’t know how he’s so consistently good in places like Malaysia, Singapore etc. Well, maybe being slightly smaller with a lean body would help actually, but he looks just too small.

    4. I do think that he is perhaps also ill-suited to this new era of car systems management and practising in the sim (the latter of which he refuses to do)

      Do you have a source for this? That alone could explain the 3 spins in 3 races and would seem extremely negligent for an f1 driver these days.

      1. I remembered Vettel spinning every week at the beginning of this season. In Spain pre-season testing, Australia-Malaysia(-China?) FPs etc etc. He was new to the car, probably testing the limits and so on. But maybe there was something to be learnt there that Raikkonen didn’t quite realize at the time…
        I just watched a video of both Ferrari drivers struggling a lot in Silverstone rain. Raikkonen’s car wasn’t maybe snapping as much as Vettel’s (maybe because he was going slower?), but I thought that if what happened to Vettel happened to Raikkonen, he would have lost it already. Even if that’s not true, that’s the impression he gave to us now…

  13. They should have hired Hulk in the first place…

    1. If they don’t hire Hulk now, and if the Hulk goes to Williams, even if Ferrari-Williams perform similarly relative to each other next year, their new driver will probably be qualifying behind Hulkenberg anyway…

  14. ColdFly F1 (@)
    12th July 2015, 14:51

    It went wrong even before Raikkonen joined Ferrari (for the second time). The second part of his last season at Lotus somewhere between poor and abysmal (even taking into account the the financial issues).

    1. Yeah, but at the time he had some back pain, and even gone through surgery. There’s nothing to explain this recent lack of results. It’s good to have Kimi at F1, but he’s not driving at a Ferrari level anymore.

  15. I personally feel as though Ricciardo deserves that Ferrari seat more than any other as he has proved himself against Ferrari’s current No. 1 and is a proven race-winner, and has raced against the best of the field, and often beating them. But one also has to look at the performance of Kvyat vs. Ricciardo to see that Kyvat should also be a contender but Ferrari don’t often hire drivers with only two years of experience. And they are very unlikely to move from Red Bull, but Red Bull might be a bit less strict for 2017 with Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jnr. waiting for that Red Bull seat. So Ferrari might keep Kimi for 2016, before hiring one of the Red Bull drivers for 2017. Or they could go for Bottas, who has proved himself to be a very good bet for the future, but his performance against someone who they sacked is not very promising. Massa might be better and happier in Williams, but Alonso vs. Massa and Bottas vs. Massa might prove that Bottas isn’t quite on the Vettel/Hamilton/Alonso league. Hulkenberg though, might a pretty good bet, though with doubt hanging over him. I wonder would like two Germans at Ferrari, but due to their nationalities, I feel that Hulkenberg and Vettel will get along well. So tough choice for Ferrari, but I just have a feeling that they’ll keep Raikkonen for 2016, like they did to Massa in 2012, but ONLY if he can match Vettel.

    1. I think it’s become quite obvious in the last 2 years that you cannot really trust the intra team battle results between drivers using Renault/Honda PUs.
      Last year Vettel was massively underperforming, now Ricciardo is doing a Vettel. Actually he’s been rather “lucky” that his teammate didn’t race in Australia where he bagged a considerable amount of points, Ericsson jump started in Austria which had a domino effect that resulted in Kvyat damaging the car despite being faster all weekend, and Kvyat spinning with being a tad late to pit in order to fight for the podium. Other than that, they didn’t have an incomparable difference in reliability department. And Kvyat lost some big points in last two races probably due to his inexperience.
      No need to go into details with Honda really…
      I think both Hulkenberg and Ricciardo are on par with either Hamilton/Vettel or Alonso/Button/Rosberg with their speed. On the other hand, I’m not really sure Bottas is faster than Massa. I think the fact that Williams has not been on podium more often had to do with their drivers’ quali performance. They don’t need faster race pace than Ferrari to do that. They just need a faster car, or a faster qualifier than Vettel. Good luck with that.
      On the other hand, considering Ferrari atm is a strong front runner on par with Williams, and sometimes Red Bull, Vettel shouldn’t be finishing the year with twice as much points as Raikkonen with a car he’s comfortable with if Kimi wants people to believe that last year was a fluke. In the end though he can finish the year anywhere from 4th to 6th as long as he doesn’t massively lag behind, for his chances to remain at Ferrari. I don’t think losing 2nd in WCC to Williams would bode well.
      I think Seb would get along with all 3 of them. He already had Dan as teammate and contrary to popular belief they were getting along well. Bottas is Finnish, ’nuff said. The Hulk is the fellow countryman he gets along with. But, I think Hulk or Ricciardo would be much closer than Bottas. Maybe too close for comfort. Would that make him perform better or worse? I dunno. I don’t think Ricciardo has the option to be at Ferrari next year though. It’s either Bottas or the Hulk. If not Raikkonen.

  16. Rather than posting my opinion from scratch, I’d like to do so by replying to a few quotes. It’s probably going to sound a bit harsh towards Keith’s statements, but that’s not my intention.

    The pair appear have a productive and harmonious working relationship.

    Well, that’s a story they’re telling, but what on-track evidence do we really have that they’re actually achieving things they weren’t before?
    While it is obvious that Ferrari managed to take a big step and reduce the gap to the Mercs, it is also quite obvious that the biggest step stems from the fact that they massively improved their power unit after the depressing 2014 campaign. But have they really made any significant progress after that? The Ferrari drivers were able to follow the Mercs quite closely in the first couple of races, even snatching victory from then under favourable circumstances in Malaysia. But since the Bahrain GP, Mercedes has started pulling away again. So, is there really any evidence for the assumption that any of Ferrari’s improvements stem from the ostensibly productive cooperation between their drivers?

    At times they have complemented each other very well, with Vettel displaying strong one-lap pace which on occasions has challenged the Mercedes, while Raikkonen’s superior tyre management has brought him into play in the races.

    Has it really? I can think of exactly one instance where that happened, and that was in Bahrain, where Ferrari purposely split the strategies early on, which worked out pretty well for Räikkönen, while Vettel’s race was simply horrible, with him making several mistakes and killing his penultimate set of tyres (on which he initially planned to finish the race) in a big lockup, requiring an unscheduled pit stop.
    Apart from that particular race, Vettel was not only faster over a single flying lap, but also solidly outpaced Räikkönen in most of the races.

    For Ferrari to dump Raikkonen after just two seasons – one less than he managed in his previous stint with the team – would be tantamount to admitting they were wrong to rehire him in the first place.

    That’s a conclusion they could’ve easily reached by asking their older team mates why Ferrari preferred to pay him his royal salary for twidlling his thumbs after 2009 rather than drive one of their cars. The answer would’ve been clear: Räikkönen frequently and massively under-performs and is generally prone to errors when something is not to his liking, is not strongly inclined to tackling such problems on his own, and is quick to blame the team when his problems persist.
    Everything that has happened since 2013, from his crushing defeat against Alonso to his distaste of test drives even though he has pressant issues that need to be worked on (such as his throttle mapping worries), Ferrari could’ve learned from recent history. We need to learn from history, lest it repeats itself? Well, it’s obviously Ferrari’s fault for not bothering to look past Räikkönen’s seemingly promising Lotus episode.

    I hope they finally opt for Hülkenberg, as I consider him one of the most promising drivers who’ve never really had a competitive car. He also has a solid reputation as a hard and intelligent driver who prefers to think before he opens his mouth. And his Le Mans experience is the definitive proof that he can quickly adapt to a different car as well as different requirements and perform at the highest level under those circumstances. My only regret would be that Ferrari didn’t hire him at the end of 2012. He could’ve sky-rocketed back then.

  17. I can’t believe that Raikkonen is 17% and Ricciardo is 9%. I just have a feeling that there might be biased votings towards the most popluar driver on F1 Fanatic.

    1. It’s 26% for Kimi and 8% for Ric by the time I replied this. @mashiat
      The thing is, this poll ask “Should Ferrari keep the faith with Kimi for one more season?” not “Who do you want pairing Vettel with in Ferrari 2016?”
      So, while I believed Ric is far better than Hulk and Bottas, I found it rather unlikely to happen. So I choose Kimi will be Ferrari choice…

      1. I think Hulk and Ricciardo would be close. Bottas definitely slower. At the moment Ricciardo might be the slowest of those three though. If he’s not seriously underperforming, he might be closer to Bottas than Hulkenberg.
        If Ferrari gets Bottas and Williams gets Hulkenberg, we might see Hulkenberg in Williams outqualifying Bottas in Ferrari and closer to Vettel. I don’t think Williams is any slower than Ferrari, at least in qualifying, most of the time. In my opinion, they are losing out in podiums because of drivers. Even if they fell behind Ferrari in race pace, it wouldn’t have mattered with this aero…

  18. Kimi has been a disappointment, no doubt. But I am not sure if Bottas would really be an upgrade over him currently. Bottas is barely performing above the level of Massa who himself is not really the benchmark when it comes to F1’s elite drivers.
    If Hulk is available, then certainly ditch Kimi. With Ricciardo, I am not so sure. In the last month or so, he has been under-performing quite significantly. The more I ponder over Ricciardo and where he fits in the pecking order of F1’s top drivers, the more I get convinced that 2014 was a fluke much like Felipe in 2008, Frentzen in 1999, Webber in 2010.

  19. I have to say that I’d drop Kimi for Hulkenberg.

  20. I think Kimi has accepted the fact that he will be the second driver in Ferrari, and that he doesn’t mind anymore. I think he is the driver that has struggled the most with the new regulations and has been more unlucky than the average driver.

    Ferrari currently need a No.2 driver to support Vettel as they rebuild themselves, and I think Kimi is up for the job. Any of the other drivers that are mentioned will want to race and beat Vettel and not obey to team orders when they are enforced. I am of the opinion that if Ferrari want to make the same comeback they did with Schumacher in the early ’00s they either will keep Kimi or put either Gutierez or Vergne in the car

    1. Raikkonen is too slow compared to Vettel. He’s like at least half a second slow slow. Guttierez would be at least as slow as Raikkonen, if not more. Vergne though, he would probably be better than both.

  21. Signing Bottas is a safe bet. Williams could replace him with Hulk, then Ferrari could get a clear picture aboout Hulk by Massa, they still can sign Hulk at the end of 2016.

    1. No. They would regret it. Hulk would outqualify Bottas. He is a good qualifier. Much better than Massa/Bottas. Don’t exactly know how much better though. Is he on par with Alonso/Button or Hamilton/Vettel…

      1. Do you really get my point? Or…

  22. Right now, Kimi’s name plays a big part in his career. If you were to change Raikkonen’s name to John Doe and analyze his current and last year’s performance at Ferrari, you would conclude the results are mediocre.

    1. To be fair, you could say this about a lot of drivers at any season (Vettel in 2014, Hamilton in 2011 being the most recent examples).

      1. @npf1
        But Lewis and Seb have only had one poor season, Kimi has had several with only one good season to his name since he came back.

  23. Grosjean! that’s my option…

  24. I have voted Kimi only because if he will not be at Ferrari next year, he won’t be in F1 anymore. I can’t imagine F1 without Kimi. Of course, if I use the rational part of my brain, I would certainly vote for Hulk. He has done (and is still doing) miracles in middle-field teams and deserves his chance in a top team. Bottas and Ricciardo also deserve a seat at Ferrari. Ricciardo is starting a bad cycle because RBR is not able to keep up with Mercedes and Ferrari, RBR puts all the blame on Renault even if they are far from the best chassis in F1. And for Bottas, he suffers from not being in a works team and that Williams is afraid of challenging the top teams.
    If I could add a fifth driver to the list, Vergne would be the one. He has done a great job at STR and could not graduate to RBR because Ricciardo had the same performance but a better smile. When I see Kvyat in RBR, it is clear that there is a bad ingredient in the Red Bull formula. Vergne is impressive in Formula E (even if the car is far from a F1) and he deserves a second chance in F1.

    1. When I see Kvyat in RBR, it is clear that Ferrari should choose him. He’s at least as fast as Ricciardo and much more younger with a lot less experience. When that guy gets a couple of years under his belt, he will be the Vettel to Ricciardo’s Webber.

  25. Should Ferrari keep Raikkonen?
    Sure, who wouldn’t want a surly, average, lazy raicing driver in their team. It’s a no brainer really…

  26. Only as their new PR manager.

  27. I’d like Raikkonen to pick up the pace and acquire his seat next season with a mighty second half of the season. But, he seems to be unable to really get to terms with F1 in his second career, even if he has driven for ‘lesser teams’ (relatively) than in his first career. I don’t think it’s a matter of motivation, as he seems to be as comfortable as he was back in the day, but he doesn’t seem to be able to extract his talent like he did before. Which is sad, because I honestly think he’s one of the few drivers who simply have too little achievements to his name.

    That being said, Ferrari have never been a team to take on young drivers and wait for them to develop. I think Hulkenberg might just have the edge over Bottas and Ricciardo in the sense of experience, but that might be because of the stories about Red Bull’s development earlier in the year and that I’ve never heard much about Bottas’ technical skills. Yet, I feel of the three, it’s perhaps Bottas who might be the best fit for Ferrari. Hulkenberg is a little prone to good times/bad times and can get a little irritated over team radio (we know what drama Alonso caused by yelling at Monza last year at Ferrari), while Ricciardo also seems like a driver who’d be a little too open to the media regarding his opinion on the progress of the team.

    I say this because, as a Ferrari fan, I still don’t believe they’ll catch up to Mercedes. They’ve been too inconsistent for the past 6 seasons to ‘suddenly’ be able to maintain progress over a winter, in my opinion. I think Bottas might be the best bet for a team that is till in flux and has a long time to go in F1. My heart says Raikkonen or Hulkenberg, but my mind says Bottas.

  28. Absolute Kimi. No question! Bottas & Hulk are qood pilots but no marketing values for Ferrari and has’nt interesting habits. They are boring people…sorry

  29. If I was in Arrivabene’s position I would certainly end Kimi’s contract and hire Ricciardo, Bottas, or Hulkenberg.

    But I’m pretty sure Kimi is staying for another year.

    If any team in the paddock has a “No.1 driver” system, it’s Ferrari. Like Schumacher or Alonso, Vettel is now the face of the Scuderia Ferrari. He’s a 4 time world champion, he loves to be in red and constantly says so and most importantly, he’s the faster driver in the team at the moment. Ferrari went through a complete make-up at the end of the last seaason, with myriad staff changes from the President, the manager to the engineers. And Ferrari wants to build this new era around Sebastian Vettel.

    So, what does Ferrari expect from the “other driver”? A young, auspicious and talented driver to battle with Sebastian Vettel? No. They want a Rubens Barrichelo, a driver that can constantly play the supporting role, a driver that puts the car exactly behind the No.1 Ferrari and most importantly, a driver that can do so without talking trash about his teammate, his team or playing tricks.

    Now, does that description sound like Kimi Raikkonen?

    1. maarten.f1 (@)
      12th July 2015, 16:47

      Not really, @ducpham2708. But I believe Bottas follows orders nicely…

    2. @ducpham2708 – good logic. I suspect you will be right, which is a shame – it’s not so exciting when there’s no change in the top teams’ driver line-up.

  30. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    12th July 2015, 16:18

    I truly like Kimi Raikkonen, he’s probably one of my favourite drivers. I think he’s deserving of more than the single WDC he has and when he’s on form he’s easily one of the best talents in F1. I was gutted when he left, and then thrilled when he returned with Lotus, and then back with Ferrari.

    That said though it’s pretty clear Raikkonen isn’t having a good time. He simply doesn’t seem to be on the same level as Alonso was last year or Vettel is this year. For a huge fan of him this is naturally disappointing, but it’s still pretty undeniably obvious. Now everyone makes mistakes but Alonso and Vettel have made him look distinctly average and the flair he showed in his ‘first career’ – or even when he was with Lotus – doesn’t seem to be there anymore.

    I’d love Raikkonen to stay with Ferrari but realistically if they want to challenge Mercedes they need a strong 2nd car, and last year that wasn’t Kimi and it still isn’t.

    If Ferrari choose to replace him I would have suggested either Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg or Daniel Ricciardo – just as this poll does. Ricciardo and Bottas are doing excellent jobs at Red Bull and Williams respectively although I can’t see Ferrari pairing Ricciardo with Vettel again or taking Bottas as he could do with another year or two to really underline he’s a tip for the future.

    For me Hulkenberg is the right choice. I thought the guy was damn good when he first arrived in F1 and that was solidified from his single year at Sauber, where he virtually single-handedly wrestled that dog of a car into places it shouldn’t have been. Sauber scored 57 points that year – 51 of them coming from Hulkenberg alone. His win at Le Mans just underlines that the man is an excellent talent that for one or a number of reasons just hasn’t had the car to shine and it really is about time he got that chance.

    As much as I love Kimi, I do think it’s time for him to move on.

  31. I’m a big Kimi fan but I want to see Hulkenberg in a better car. Therefore I hope Nico gets the seat for next year.

    1. Notwithstanding the fact that it would be awesome to see that famous number 27 on a Ferrari once more.

      1. Definitely. Only if they let him defend his win at Le Mans though…

  32. I voted someone else. I think Hulkenburg is OK but not a world beater. I also don’t think Ferrari will want two Germans in the cars. I think Bottas will end up at Mercedes. Ricciardo is a red bull man and I can’t see Ferrari wanting two ex RBR drivers. Kimi needs to move on, as much as I love him, as its just not working out for him at the moment.

    I think it’s time Ferrari invested in the future, they missed the boat with Perez, and Bianchi had his unfortunate accident, so I think they need to call up Marciello. Maybe they can put Marciello in a Sauber next year and keep Kimi, then bring him up in 2017?

  33. Kimi to Haas, part of the “Ferrari family”. Simples.

  34. Hulkenberg is widely treated as a next big thing in F1, but when did he prove to be that quick? I never felt he has that special magic with him. He can be promoted to a better team, but not Ferrari in any case.

    Bottas is not a champion material for now, sure. Massa is having the better of him this season.

    Ricciardo will be behind Kvyat by the end of this season, so thats not even a question.

    Keep Raikkonen for 2016. He is still good enough to compete among the best. We have seen this season that Kimi’s race pace is as good as Vettel’s, even better in some races. Qualifying is his weakness, a better set up with the help of Ferrari Engineers can solve this issue to some large extent.

    1. About Hulkenberg, being quick in a dog car is not that simple.
      But he outperformed every teammate bar Rubens Barichello in his rookie year.
      Also, he is pretty consistent, almost never crashes and is just a nightmare to overtake, ask Alonso :)
      Worth a shot in a top team, I’d say.

    2. Hulk is a good qualifier. Probably as good as Alonso. Or better…

      When did Raikkonen ever outpace Vettel? That’s a common misconception imo. Using a better strategy doesn’t make you faster than your teammate. The ONLY single time they used the same strategy was last race in Silverstone until the rain came down. And Raikkonen didn’t outpace Vettel in that race. They had a pretty stable 2-3 secs of gap. If that was Raikkonen behind Vettel, people would be saying he’s actually faster but stuck behind his teammate… I think they just had a similar race pace though.

      I agree with your points on Bottas and Ricciardo.

  35. No, Ferrari should not keep Raikkonen. They should hire the best available driver and there are definitely better options than Raikkonen. As simple as that.

    Who should replace the Finn? That is a tougher question. Button, Bottas and Ricciardo are certainly considerable replacements. I do not think that anyone of them would seriously challenge Vettel though (yes, Ricciardo beat Vettel in the same car last year but the German never seemed comfortable in the RB10). But all of them would most probably score a big heap of points for the team and if Ferrari are looking for a very good number two driver, then they should probably choose one of these guys.

    However, if anyone deserves a winning car, if anyone can beat Vettel and win the world championship for Ferrari, then it is Hulkenberg. He has constantly beaten all his team mates over the last seasons and the win at Le Mans seems to have given him even more boost. So I hope that we are going to see two Germans at Ferrari next year.

  36. They have a clear team leader in Vettel. Hulk would be a very safe pair of hands to always be there or thereabouts. If they really want a quick no.2 who is going to threaten Vettel (unlikely) then there are plenty of options. Kyvat, Verstappen, Sainz could all potentially take over as no 1 in a couple of years, Ricciardo would beat Vettel tomorrow. Kimi was always over-rated, now he’s massively over-priced.

    1. Ricciardo would DEFINITELY not beat Vettel tomorrow. He’s clearly underperforming in Red Bull. Kvyat, Verstappen or Sainz doesn’t have the experience to do that either. Maybe Kvyat in a couple of seasons though.
      Otoh, Hulk would be the most threatening out of all the options for Vettel. He’s a good qualifier and a solid racer. I think he would be the closest.

  37. No “too early to decide” button.

    1. @peartree – Agreed, I think it will be more obvious by the end of the season. Who knows, we might be surprised.

  38. Raikkonen is good when we have quali with race fuel, remember, he beat alonso, Schumacher and his team mate too.
    When he won Australia in 2013, the tyre suited him, but FIA change it.
    Now tyre too conservative, only 1 stop, sad.
    Why dont FIA let drivers and teams to vote for the rules, dont go through stupid meeting and veto.

    1. Now tyre too conservative, only 1 stop, sad.

      Contradiction, since one of his best seasons was 2005, with zero tyre stops.

  39. Funny, easy to find comments ranging from Kimi is rubbish to Kimi is best any time his name is mentioned. Long one of my favorite F1 drivers he is now right on the edge with Ferrari and I believe the rest of the season will tell the tale. I think Ferrari would like to keep him, but they want results and that is understandable.

    If he is replaced I don’t see Ricciardo leaving Red Bull, not yet. Seems it would be between Hulkenberg and Bottas. Both are deserving of the seat. Bottas has a difficult decision to make if offered a chance at Ferrari. Williams and Ferrari are so close in performance and it’s impossible to say which will be better over the next few years. Williams has been good to Bottas notwithstanding a few team orders situations. Would it be worth it to take a chance to leave? Hulk has proved himself versatile and an excellent racer stuck in midfield teams. He would likely jump at a chance with a top team.

    If Kimi must go, I think Hulk is the most likely replacement and wouldn’t mind seeing him in the Ferrari.

  40. Kimi is great talent….he should remain in f1….i feel he needs to be in rythm and silence his critics…..

  41. I’d like to see him get another season at the very least. They did keep an under performing Massa for an extra season, so it’s only fair ;-)

    There is a precedent here. Force India are pretty good with letting their drivers go, especially to the red cars.

  42. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    12th July 2015, 20:20

    Raikkonen is that magic combination: fast enough to keep Vettel on his mettle, but detached enough not to want to try to knock him off the number one spot within the team. In Vettel they already have the perfect number one driver, Raikkonen is the perfect foil for him.

  43. Ferrari’s aim is to win the championship and in order to do that they need the best drivers.
    Obviously Vettel is one
    Currently Kimi is not making a very large contribution to the constructor’s championship for Ferrari.
    and they need a driver who can make a good contribution and somebody as good as Vettel

    And definetely Ricciardo seems to be the best option. (He MIGHT also act as a number two while Kimi WILL NOT)

    2016 Lineup
    3. Daniel Ricciardo
    5. Sebastian Vettel
    T. Raffaele Marciello

    1. That sounds like a dream.
      Over the last 20 years I don’t remember a driver winning the championship with a teammate as good as him.
      If they want the best, they should get Kvyat, not Ricciardo. Kvyat is like a junior Vettel, soon enough he will be one of the best drivers on the grid.

      1. i think Kvyat is a little to in expirienced and still makes a few rookie mistakes @moran

        1. The fact that he’s still on par with his teammate makes Ricciardo look worse though. Experience will be coming his way as he races.

  44. As much as I’d like to see Hülkenberg in a top car, I doubt it will be a Ferrari as long as Vettel is there. Why? Because I find it very hard to believe that Ferrari will have two drivers of the same nationalities, bar, perhaps, two Italians.

    Who, then? Well, another season for Räikkönen wouldn’t be that bad. Bottas and Ricciardo are great drivers. But I’d like to see how Grosjean would fare in a true top-line car and against a driver like Vettel.

    For Ferrari, such a move doesn’t involve too much risk, and for Grosjean it might be a final opportunity to make it in the big time.

    1. I find it very hard to believe that Ferrari will have two drivers of the same nationalities, bar, perhaps, two Italians.

      I disagree, I cannot see this being an issue for them. I know they like to ensure that they remain Italian, but they have never really been that bothered by the nationalities of their drivers for quite a while now.

  45. Nah. His move back to Ferrari was always a bit strange, and it’s not working out. I had high hopes for him with James Allison’s car, and he’s been up there with Vettel on occasion but not consistently.

    Of all the drivers who arrived in the early noughties, and stepped up to fight for the title later in that decade (I’m calling it the Noughtie Step), only Massa is anywhere near his best. Well done Williams (and probably Bottas) for bringing that out of him.

    Raikkonen, Button and Alonso are rather a sorry sight at the moment. I mean, the next new World Champion will be able to say he beat Hamilton and Vettel, and his title means more because of that. Will he care whether or not he beat Kimi Raikkonen?

    1. You are assuming there will be a new world champion before either of them retires :)

  46. Sergey Martyn
    12th July 2015, 20:43

    Leave Kimi alone – he knows what he’s doing!!!

    1. Are you sure?

    2. With the best will in the world, his performances have been poor since mid 2013 so cute comment, but it’s not really backed up with much empirical evidence. Grosjean was quicker in the second half of 2013, he got annihilated by Alonso last year and this year although he has been pretty close to Vettel on pace he has made a lot of mistakes, far too many for a former world champion and someone of his experience.

  47. As others have said, it is disappointing seeing Raikkonen failing to live up to his previous performances. Sadly, as in any other sport, current performance is all that counts.

  48. Based on current form, it has to be Hulkenberg in that seat next year. However, ask me five races ago and I would have said Raikkonen, and ask me again in five races time and I may well say somebody else. This season has many more twists and turns which could well take place before we reach the business end of silly season.

    1. He was overshadowed by Perez at the beginning of the season. Up until Canada and his Le Mans win. Perez was pretty good at the beginning. Whatever happened to him? Did the Hulk wake up? And being outperformed by Perez is not a very good situation, as I find him similar to Massa or Grosjean level.

  49. I voted for Hulkenberg, but I don’t think it would be unfair to say Grosjean deserves a chance too. Everybody seems to have forgotten, he was becoming a top driver by the end of 2013, and poor cars since haven’t allowed him to show that again, but I still believe that he has the ability to drive at the front.

    1. People are criticising Kimi for his average performance, and that stretched back to the second half of 2013. So was Romain that good, or Kimi that average in the second half of 2013?
      I think Romain is a really quick driver, and if Nico doesn’t get the drive I would like to see Romain get his opportunity. Both of these guys have paid their dues and deserve a chance in a good team. And they are both out of contract at the end of this season, whereas Bottas and Ricciardo are not so for Ferrari they would be cheaper as well. If I were Arrizabene these would be the two drivers I would be looking at, not Bottas and Ricciardo.

  50. I would like to see him in this series on the next year, but I know he have to improve the performance.

  51. Ferrari have Vergne on contract and it was very close between him and Ricciardo at Torro Rosso. 1 year between team mates is a hard comparison as driver form is not s constant. Massa was always fast until Ferrari broke his mind in Germany 2010. Look at Football, Stoke beat Chelsea 1-0, Man Utd beat Stoke 4-0 but when they play Chelsea they do not win 5-0.

    There are many drivers who are closely matched and if all was equal car wise 5 or 6 could win any given Sunday (look at Formula E), in fact to win the title you may only have to win 3 races.

    I always wanted Hulkenberg at Ferrari just to scratch the itch, just have to know if he can do what I think he can. For me he is the only stand out candidate the others I think are all the same so might as well go for Vergne.

  52. Raikkonen in the Lotus was incredibly impressive, I don’t know what’s happened to him at Ferrari but he’s not made a case to stay at all in the last couple of seasons. With Vettel pulling in the results it’s hard to justify not taking a gamble on another driver.

    Bottas isn’t beating Massa the way Alonso used to, so I’m not convinced he is the solution. Ricciardo beat an off form Vettel yes but it takes more than one year to prove form and this year hasn’t been as stand out. I think Hulkenberg is the choice from the list to take but I’d like to suggest a wildcard. Button. A seriously underrated driver who has now gone toe to toe with Hamilton, isn’t exactly being dominated by Alonso and I really think he’d give Vettel something to worry about.

  53. @KeithCollantine While there is an option of “Someone else” don’t you believe Sergio Perez and Guttierez has an equal chance like Hulk or Bottas given the Petro Dollars supporting them !!!!

    1. Guttierez is most definitely slower than Raikkonen. They would need to be pretty stupid to hire him. Perez is probably faster than Kimi, but nowhere near the likes of Hulkenberg…

  54. As a fan, Kimi stays;running the business, probably Nico H…………….. Thanks, Norris

  55. Yes they should. And while at that, help him fix the issues with the car. Getting heat into the tires quickly will help a little as will refining the engine map to get better drivablity.

    Oh! and Arrivabene to shut up for a while.

    1. So basically, everyone is at fault but Kimi. The car, Arrivabene, mechanics, engineers, right?

      1. On the basis of what has happened, yes. His fault is probably not qualifying well in Austria. But that can be attributed to the engineer probably not giving him a target time as well.

        Just a hunch considering the response Kimi gave to his engineer when told about his position at the end of the Q.

        Since people have generally laid everything at Kimi’s feet, I feel the opposite view should also be considered.

        1. +1 I agree with what you are saying. Though it is hard to justify the results he’s getting. But on the long term it might be better for Ferrari to keep Raikkonen. As long as he doesn’t fall too much behind Williams/RBR/STR, Vettel might get enough points for 2nd in WCC. There is not much more to do really….

  56. He should keep his seat ONLY if he improves ’til the end of the season. But if things don’t change for better, I think he should be sacked immediately and put Hulkenberg in the 2nd car. I’m still partially a fan of Kimi, but he’s a weak link without doubt… and for too much time already!
    Personally I don’t get it why Ricciardo is linked with a Ferrari seat – I highly doubt we’ll see him at Ferrari and/or teamed up with Vettel again too soon ( = in the next 2-3 years).
    Regarding Bottas, he seems a strong drive overall, but… I fail to see the “spark” of a real champ at the moment. Plus, I’m not so sure he wants to leave Williams now that they have the best engine, built a good chassis and while Ferrari didn’t distance themselves as the 2nd team in terms of performance.

  57. Honestly, Kimi hasn’t been that bad this season, at least not as bad as when he was paired up against Alonso. The last 2 races really dented his reputation, and his qualifying form has been poor this season, but overall he has been relatively solid on Sundays.

    It’s up to Ferrari regarding their driver strategy. If they want 2 very competitive drivers, both fighting for wins and the WDC, then they probably should look for a stronger driver in that 2nd seat. If they are fine with one driver fighting for the WDC, but the other driver just capitalising when the 1st driver cannot perform, then they should be fine with Kimi.

    I’d like to see competitive drivers in that seat, so if the decision was up to me, I’d put either Ricciardo or Hulkenberg in that 2nd seat. It might de stabilise Vettel slightly or push him to perform better, either ways it would be more exciting to watch

  58. Who is Hulkenberg !? Really :D:D He lost his opportunities already. Even if Ferrari thinks a replacement of Kimi, they will take young, promising but 2-3 year experienced driver instead, certainly not Hulk. Its just in his fans’ dream :D

    1. When was the last time Ferrari hired any driver that did not already have at least won a GP before they joined the squad? I think that is Massa and he proved to be a good choice then. Other than that they have never done that in the past decade.

    2. @bright – That’s irony right there!

  59. I want Maldonado or Vergne.
    The former brings speed and money and he is not as reckless as he used to be, i believe he is a diamond in a rough and it will be great to have a driver with fighting spirit after the cruiser Kimi. Also it will be his first and maybe only chance to achieve something.
    The latter showed great race pace in his toro rosso stint and proved to be a much for Ricciardo. Also Ferrari has a long history with french drivers (Arnoux, Tambay, Pironi, Prost, Alesi) the most notable ones, and after his absence he will be hungry and all things considered he more of Vettel, Ricciardo, Kvyat calibre than the Buemi, alguersuari.

    Bottas? Why not Massa for that matter? They are performing at the same level.
    Hulkenberg the perfect no.2 driver Vettel will be delighted, if it wasn’t for Le mans he would still be anonymous as the second half of 2014 and Perez achieved a podium with Force India don’t forget.
    Ricciardo? excellent choice but I smell fireworks between him and Vettel and that is the last thing Ferrari or any other team needs. Mercedes has the luxury of having virtually won both championships and that’s how they get to act cool.

  60. I agree Raikkonen is no ice-man and virtually out at Ferrari, but with alternatives all under contract and Hulkenberg a German too many, it probably means Kimi gets to stay another year.

  61. No, because Hulkenberg. But Kimi is still a very good driver, and could stay in the sport some more years if he, like Massa, decided to go for a midfield team. Unfortunately when there’s only two places per team you can’t expect to be kept just for your history and sit on the bench for most of the time like in football, you’re either in or out.

  62. It’s time for Kimi to retire or move on to another team. Somehow, like in 2008-2009, despite some instances of brilliance, his (2nd) spell at Ferrari just isn’t working out.

    Kimi’s aloof demenaour can be both entertaining and refreshing from time-to-time — w/c somewhat makes him the cult hero of F1. But often, I can see his fans wrongly (and irrationaly) use that cult hero status to justify his stay in the sport, despite his track results pointing to the contrary.

  63. Kimi has passed it now. He should do what Mika Hakkinen done, retired while still reasonably competitive. Otherwise, his reputation will diminish. Unless he comprehensively beats Vettel over the second half of the season, and does an amazing second half of the season i.e. fighting for wins, then it’s hard to see him next year in Ferrari. There are more deserving drivers out there that deserve a chance, and Kimi doesn’t deserve it with his performances at the moment. But Ferrari like him because he’s settled as a No.2 driver. Others i.e. Hulkenberg, Bottas and Ricciardo won’t settle for this. Therefore, it’s likely that either Kimi will stay or less deserving drivers will get the seat, i.e. Esteban Guttierrez or even Jean-Eric Vergne. Typical Ferrari ……

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      14th July 2015, 22:09

      +1, good point about reputation.

  64. No option for Esteban Guiterrez?

  65. I was highly surprised Raikkonen every came back to F1. He complained about it continuously in the years leading up to his sacking by Ferrari.

    Following winning the championship in his first year in a red car, Raikkonen appeared an unmotivated, indifferent individual. Why one earth Ferrari brought him back, gambling on him having a major change in attitude, is beyond me.

    I’d hire Bottas over Hülkenberg. He’s showing a lot of promise in that Williams and he’s two years younger. But there’s no doubt that Hülkenberg is a formidable driver. I’m sure either would do an outstanding job.

    Of course, if I held all the cards, I’d put Verstappen in that car.

  66. I don’t understand Kimi winning most popular, particularly after last season and this year….he’s often complaining, blaming the team for it’s missteps, yet never taking responsibility when he makes the mistake….and he’s not getting the job done on top of all that. He seems to be the type that can never take personal responsibility.

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      14th July 2015, 22:13

      (…) And you really don’t want that in this kind of competetive environment – a bored guy who just doesn’t care and isn’t taking responsibility. Just get him out, he should have been kcked out along with Domenicalis staff in the end of 2014.

  67. HamiltonNumber1
    13th July 2015, 22:40

    Alonso is F1 champion in 12 with Lotus it is that simple.

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      14th July 2015, 22:14

      ? huh

      1. @il-ferrarista – Being confused by that comment means you passed the sobriety test.

  68. Of course they should keep him. He is still good and fast enough to help Ferrari win the all-mattering WCC if their car gives the chance to fight for championships. Replacing Kimi with some other guy now won’t change the Ferrari story, they will be far behind Mercedes for some time no matter who is driving their cars.

  69. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
    14th July 2015, 22:09

    I’ll say just NO. He had his chance, he’s been wasting his chances now for at least 3 out 5 seasons with the Scuderia. He’s too slow, he’s too inconsistent, he’s too boring and blunt. It’s nobodys provilege to be in Ferrari, not even for a F1 champ.

    Apropos speed and pace; where did previous magic go? Or was his pace/speed only a product of the great Mclarens 2003 and 2005, partly 2006), meaning that he isn’t/wasn’t exactly quicker than Alonso?? Look at his qualifyings – since the returns he’s just a very average qualifyer, abysmal at times. And still people rememer that great Monaco pole in 2005 (quickest ever?).

  70. Keeping in mind that Kimi was the number one on Lotus to the point where team orders were used on the 4th race of 2012 against an erratic Grosjean, i’m not suprised to see that Kimi was OK at Lotus, but a better driver could even dream about the WDC with that car.

    He won at Abu Dhabi at Hamilton’s expense, but at least 2 certain victories should’ve been his if he didn’t qualify so poorly for the race : Bahrein and Hungary 2012. Lotus was clearly the fastest car of the day and he challenged for the win (“overtaking” the better qualifier Grosjean on the way) even coming from behind.

    Kimi has nothing to give anymore. And as it seems that Williams may outpace Ferrari for the remainder of the year, his situation will look worse than already is.

  71. Hulkenberg to Ferrari, Bottas and Magnussen to McLaren

  72. Absolutely Hulkenberg deserves that seat . If he is in ferrari then mercedes will get more competetion from this man . Kimi is not in form so he will be dropped .

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