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Could Ferrari's Finn make a shock return to McLaren?

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Andrew Benson | 17:59 UK time, Sunday, 23 August 2009

With the political rows that have dominated this Formula 1 season more or less over apart from a few late skirmishes, attention in Valencia has turned to the driver market.

The key move this season is Fernando Alonso's prospective switch to Ferrari. This has not been officially confirmed yet, but it is considered a given. And it will trigger a series of swaps that will significantly change the look of the F1 grid next season.

Among the top teams, only Red Bull are not changing their line-up and there are attractive seats available at Ferrari, McLaren and Brawn.

Kimi Raikkonen could well be looking for a new team to drive for in 2010

In the wake of Alonso's move, the key men in the market place are Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica.

Assuming Jenson Button stays at Brawn - which is not 100% certain, but looks very likely - they are the A-listers who will be top of most teams' shopping list.

The driver market is always complicated - but the injury suffered by Felipe Massa has made it more Byzantine than usual this summer.

Ferrari have actually got themselves into a bit of a pickle. Alonso's arrival means they have three of the top drivers in F1 for next season and only two cars to put them in, as both Felipe Massa and Raikkonen are under contract until the end of 2010.

They intended to partner Alonso with Massa, but the Brazilian has a fractured skull following his accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Although he is expected to make a full recovery, in terms of living a normal life, it is impossible to know right now whether he will be able to race in F1 again, even if Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello and Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley, probably the two people closest to him in the paddock, are optimistic.

Massa is talking about an emotional return for the Brazilian Grand Prix in October, but many feel that may well be over-optimistic, even allowing for the traditionally astonishing powers of recovery of F1 drivers.

And if Massa cannot drive until after the end of the season - which means he might not be able to do so until January, because of the testing restrictions in December - that makes getting rid of Raikkonen less immediately appealing.

Despite that, it does appear that the Finn will be the one to leave Ferrari, for whom one solution would be to gamble on Massa being fit and, if he isn't, take one of the experienced drivers who may be left standing after the game of musical chairs finishes.

Jarno Trulli looks certain to leave Toyota - whose entire future in F1 may be in doubt - and the futures of Rubens Barrichello, Giancarlo Fisichella and Nick Heidfeld are all up in the air. All would make a more than decent one-year stand-in.

In that eventuality, the question is where Raikkonen will end up.

There are a number of interesting possibilities. His advisors are known to have had talks with Brawn, which interests him, and Toyota, which does not. And another obvious possibility is Renault, who need a top-liner to replace Alonso.

And there is one intriguing possibility that I have not heard discussed on the paddock rumour mill - could Raikkonen make a shock return to McLaren?

It comes a bit out of left-field and might seem outlandish, but bear with me on it for a moment.

Lewis Hamilton is locked in there until 2012, but the second seat is open. Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is under pressure because of his unconvincing performances in races and there has been talk of Nico Rosberg moving over from Williams.

But, if you were McLaren, why replace one guy who is not as quick as Hamilton with, in Rosberg, another who isn't either but might be more disruptive?

Raikkonen, on the other hand, is well known by McLaren having driven for them from 2002-6, and he is low maintenance - he just gets in the car and drives and couldn't care less who his team-mate is.

Poland's Robert Kubica is one of the big names in Formula 1 who will be looking for a team to drive for in 2010

Rosberg is known to be wary of facing Hamilton in the same car - he was his team-mate in karting and knows how quick he is - and Kubica has a reputation as hard work and demanding.

Raikkonen is the total opposite. He would not be bothered about the team's focus on Hamilton. He would just do his job and go home - just like he always has.

Not only that, but he left McLaren largely because he fell out with Ron Dennis, but the former boss has no involvement in the F1 team any more.

So a fresh link with Raikkonen could be an appealing idea for McLaren - and vice versa.

And read this quote from team boss Martin Whitmarsh after Sunday's European Grand Prix: "Kimi's really raised his game and all weekend has done a great job and Heikki has always been a fantastic team player and a good asset in our team but his race pace hasn't been good enough."

Of course, all of that might be hugely wide of the mark, in which case Raikkonen will probably end up at Brawn or Renault - at both of which Kubica must be considered a contender.

The Pole has been strongly linked with a move to Williams following BMW's decision to quit F1. But this weekend he has opened negotiations with Brawn, which would surely be a more appealing option considering the two teams' respective performance this season.

It is a difficult decision for Brawn. Given that Raikkonen has been a little off the boil in the last couple of seasons, Kubica is arguably the best driver on the market this season.

But he has a reputation for being disruptive inside a team and Ross Brawn might prefer not to disturb the equanimity of Button, the man who still looks likely to be world champion this year.

On top of that, Kubica is understood to want a one-year contract so he has the ability to move on for 2011 if a better drive becomes available, while Brawn would almost certainly want him to sign for two seasons.

Traditionally, early September is the time the big pieces in the driver market puzzle begin to fall into place. But given the inherent complications, this season it could be a good deal later than that.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    i reckon rosberg will push through a move to mclaren, kubica will go to brawn and maybe trulli or heidfeld to williams.

    therefore, i think kimi would rather quit the sport than drive for an under-preforming renault team. also, ross brawn will surely see kubica as a better long-term option, and although he apparently only wants to sign for one year, he may not have any better options than a two year deal at brawn.

    Another outside bet regarding kubica, if rosberg doesn't leave: McLaren???

    2010 will be very exciting by the looks of it!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    kimi could also retire and move into rally, or other racing, he might have lost the passion to drive..

  • Comment number 3.

    Some interesting points raised here, despite the Finn saying earlier this year that he wanted to see out his career with the Scuderia. If they do turf him out, he may simply leave the sport rather than start out again at another new team; a move that wouldn't surprise me coming from Raikkonen.

    There is nothing to suggest at this moment in time that Heikki Kovalainen is going to leave McLaren at all, but I can see either Nico Rosberg or Robert Kubica filling that seat sooner than Raikkonen, and neither of them are slouches behind the wheel.

    Raikkonen definately won't go to Brawn. Toyota (providing its future is secure) is a more attractive proposition when you take into account the long-term future in terms of performance. For sure, Brawn won't be as dominant next year, as they were at the start of this one.

    Having said this, I can't picture Raikkonen at Toyota either, whose salary might demand too much from the recession-struck carmaker. So basically, it's either Ferrari or out for me.

  • Comment number 4.

    So what's Kovalainen's move after McLaren get rid of him? Back to Renault?

  • Comment number 5.

    I think Kimi going back to McLaren does make alot of sense, and given the enbarrasment of both Ferrari and McLaren at the beggining of this season, It is likely that both will push extremely hard next year to start strong. And with Alonso and Massa on one side and Hamilton and Kimi on the other It could well end up like 2007 with 2 "super" teams battaling against each other all year, which would make for very exciting viewing.

  • Comment number 6.

    It is something i thought about to but i think McLaren will go for Rosberg because he is a) cheaper and b) a more long term option.

    I for one would love to see Kimi back in McLaren and actually think had he stayed then he would have been F1 champion in 07 and 08. Clearly lost motivation at Ferarri and no internal competition is hardly going to push him for the end of the season.

    Think he'll go to Brawn, Rosberg to McLaren, Kubica to renault and Barrichello to a new team. Sutil and Hunckelberg to Williams.

  • Comment number 7.

    Agree with Lord_Lancashire on this, if Kimi is turfed out, which is what we all expect and would be very harsh to chuck out Felipe, not just regarding the accident, then he will most likely leave the sport. He has no motivation for it anymore after becoming world champ, which he was revved up beyond words for at the back end of that season.
    For the McLaren seat I would think Nico is much better suited than Heikki, but Heikki is in the box seat as he has it this year. Nevertheless to my mind, anyone who says Nico would shy away from being teammates with Lewis is clearly a Lewis fan, I think he would provide an equal match for Lewis, and has shown so in his performance this year.
    As for the other drivers I cannot say as it is all speculation. All I would say is Robert Kubica must get a drive, Romain Grosjean and Jamie Algesuari should keep their seats given their debuts and personally I expect to see Bruno Senna in a car.

  • Comment number 8.

    With money only a minor consideration at this stage in his career, Kimi going back to McLaren could be good news all roung - PROVIDED that McLaren move away from their entrenched policy of favouring one driver over another.

    In Valencia, McLaren were effectively operating two one-car teams - the cars were SO different - and the FIA should be looking into taking action to ensure the two cars of any one team are sub stantially identical.

  • Comment number 9.

    But Alonso won't have a team mate that could rival him for the title. So to sign Alonso, Ferrari would have to weaken their team. I can't see why they would want to do that.

  • Comment number 10.

    Kimi to switch to Rallying with Heikki Kovaleinen as his co-driver.

    Massa & Alonso at Ferrari.

    Hamilton & Rosberg at McLaren.

  • Comment number 11.

    Nick Heidfeld deserves to keep himself in Formula 1 so i hope that a decent team will take him on for next season as he is one of the most underrated drivers on the grid and better than the likes of Fisichella and Trulli.

    Kubica is a strange one, still very inconsistent but has shown flashes of brilliance.

    I also think a lot of the abuse that Kimi gets from people is unmerited too and he is more than worth his spot at Ferrari along with Massa.

    It's going to be one of the biggest driver turnarounds for many a year, especially with all the new teams coming in too.

  • Comment number 12.

    If RD was there I would have said McLaren would go for someone who would serve a second fiddle and let Hamilton bask in glory. With the new management, I am not so sure though.
    I think Kimi will not retire. He has shown more hunger during last few races and has done reasonably well. With McLaren doing well in last few races and having driven there, I think he would choose McLaren. And if he gets fair treatment, I would say that would be a good move for him. And he would also like to prove himself. Hami and Kimi at the same team, will be intriguing.

  • Comment number 13.

    @Donald Donaldson- passion? what are you blind or what? did you ever watch any race ?
    did you see how kimi performed. i really dont think a guy getting podium finishes of a sluggish car could be blamed for having no motivation.
    perhaps you could change your outlook.
    kimi is a great driver and ferrari would be foolish to dump him next year.
    alonso and massa wont be as succesful as kimi and felipe have been.

  • Comment number 14.

    Why is Rosberg neccesarily going to be slower than Hamilton if they become teammates at McLaren?

    On his gridwalk Brundle told Rosberg he was possibly his driver of the season and, looking at the results, you'd have to agree that that is a convincing argument.

    Either way he will definitely be quicker than Kovalainen.

    http://sportingchameleon.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 15.

    I have to say that I find this article slightly insulting towards Rosberg. He has clearly out performed most of the other drivers, consistently improving his position in almost every race! His team mate has no points (yes there has been some bad luck but this is after 11 races) where he has 25.5. To suggest that he isn't as fast as Hamilton at this point is utterly absurd!

    I think Rosberg will end up at McLaren next year. Kubica could rock the boat and Raikkonen is inconsistent and temperamental at times. Rosberg knows Hamilton and they are good friends which makes their competition genuine and fair. McLaren have courted him before and he has only improved since that time. On top of that Rosberg is an extremely charismatic individual who is easy to market in a merchandising business based era.

    I would expect Hamilton to come out on top next year but that would purely be due to his experience with the team. 2011 could be a completely different story ...

    Please write better articles next time!

  • Comment number 16.

    ok so im thinking 2010 lineup:

    Mclaren - Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
    Ferrari - Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso
    Renault - Kimi Raikkonen, Heikki Kovalainen
    Brawn GP - Jenson Button, Robert Kubica
    Red Bull - Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel
    Toyota - Timo Glock, Nick Heidfeld
    Williams - Jarno Trulli, Nico Hulkenburg
    Force India - Adrian Sutil, Rubens Barrichello
    Toro Rosso - Sebastien Buemi, Takuma Sato
    Campos - Jaime Alguersauri, Pedro De La Rosa
    Manor - Anthony Davidson, Jean Karl Vernay / Gary Paffett
    USF1 - Danica Patrick, Mario Andretti / Juan Pablo Montoya

  • Comment number 17.

    woops meant Marco Andretti at USF1 and i forgot to fit Romain Grosjean in somewhere and Lucas Di Grassi could get a drive at a smaller team.

  • Comment number 18.

    Trulli in a Williams would be a nice idea as I think he is getting fed up with anything Toyota related. I would love to see Kimi back in Mclaren giving it his all.

    Now that Dennis is gone it seems a far less stuffy atmosphere which would suit him however Lewis would demand that he has a wing man rather than a rival in the second car hence why he is so happy with Kovalainen. I could see Rosberg and Heidfeld (this year's biggest loser anyone remember his great drive to 3rd in Malaysia?) in a Mclaren. Both are very solid points scorers who can challenge on their day and both German which will delight Mercedes.

  • Comment number 19.



    Comment 11. Kubica is a strange one, still very inconsistent but has shown flashes of brilliance.


    This is the driver who lead the championship after winning in Canada last year. How is this inconsistant?

  • Comment number 20.

    After some (serious!!) thought, I'd like to throw in this 2010 lineup:

    FERRARI Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
    McLAREN Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg
    RENAULT Robert Kubica Romain Grosjean
    BRAWN Jenson Button Rubens Barrichello/Bruno Senna
    RED BULL Mark Webber Sebastian Vettel
    TOYOTA Timo Glock Kazuki Nakajima/Kamui Kobayashi
    WILLIAMS Nick Heidfeld Nico Hulkenberg
    FORCE INDIA Adrain Sutil Bruno Senna/Rubens Barrichello
    TORO ROSSO Sebastien Buemi Jaime Alguersuari
    CAMPOS Pedro De La Rosa Vitaly Petrov
    MANOR Anthony Davidson Christian Klien
    USF1 Juan Pablo Montoya Marco Andretti/Danica Patrick

    As for Team 13, potential candidates could be:
    Nelson Piquet, Lucas Di Grassi, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Pastor Maldonado, Alexander Wurz, Jules Bianchi, Sebastien Bourdais, Takuma Sato, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Marc Gene, Gary Paffett

  • Comment number 21.

    The article makes a good point on Raikkonen... (I thought he was probably not going on after '09). Now though...

    ReMassa: Does anyone remember when Nannini had his air accident? I just hope that Massa isn't exiled to a non-GP formula, after this.

    Does RB's win today affect matters? Could he really return to the Scuderia? Remind me, why did he leave in the first place? Ferrari, with Alonso... (and some say Santander too...)

    Kubica I reckon will get a top seat! Rosberg too.

  • Comment number 22.

    RE: Legendary Daggers et al

    What about any more teams of the class of '09, not being on the grid next year?

  • Comment number 23.

    Kimi to McLaren seems a bit far fetched even for silly season.
    He seemed to have lost his mojo a while ago and despite recent improved showings I think he has fallen out of love with F1 and is WRC bound.
    More credible contenders -
    Rosberg - Quick, friendly with Ham, knows his place, marketable, German.
    Kubica - Quick, hates Ham, paranoid moaner, marketable in Poland, Polish.
    Rosberg Snr has previously vetoed Nico's move to McLaren fearing a whooping from Lewis would do terminal damage to his son's reputation.
    Which leaves us with - don't laugh - HEIDFELD.
    German, consistent, team player, German.



  • Comment number 24.

    @ auslegal

    I'd thought of that possibility, the most fragile of course being Toyota, but I went on who currently is on the list for 2010. Whatever, Bernie and the FIA want 13 teams and still have enough applicants to fill these spots should more 09 teams drop out.

  • Comment number 25.

    It was certainly interesting that Martin Whitmarsh basically said that they will only look at the drivers market once Alonso is confirmed at Ferrari. Or they will wait because the drivers market will be more open. That was a strange comment to make, considering the fact that neither Rosberg or Kubica have anything to do with the Ferrari-Alonso move. The only driver who are affected by this move is Raikkonen. It was also interesting that Whitmarsh was the one who defended Raikkonen in the press earlier this year against Coulthard, while Ferrari said nothing. Perhaps it doesn't mean that Mclaren are interested in Raikkonen necessarily, but it shows that Whitmarsh still have a very high regard for Raikkonen.

    Mclaren are actually in a very unique situation, all of the current champions have driven for them, so they should know pretty well how they all compare. Mclaren also knew how to get the best out of Raikkonen, while it seems like at Ferrari both parties just dont understand each other. Ferrari have not managed Raikkonen well, and it seems like he just doesn't fit into the team, like Alonso didn't fit into Mclaren.

    Raikkonen have been driving the wheel of that Ferrari, it is around the 4th fastest car and he has been able beat a few faster cars. If anything his last performances shows that the man can still drive! The Mclaren's were much faster today, and Raikkonen still ended up in front of Kovalainen, I am sure that wasn't suppose to happen.

    If Alonso goes to Ferrari, then they again will have a very strong pairing, if Mclaren really wants to challenge for the WCC against them then they would need two very strong drivers for the future.

    Rosberg have been performing consistant, but I am not really convinced yet. His car has been good throughout the year they have had a double diffuser since the begining of the year. They have often looked stonger then the Ferrari, and even before this race, Rosberg proclaimed that he would beat Raikkonen because he had the better strategy and pace. And yet while Raikkonen have been able to score three podium finishes so far this year, Rosberg has none. It is almost the same thing with Kubica he was fantastic last year, and the BMW have been a really bad car so far this season, but still Kubica haven't done anything special this year. Raikkonen didn't perform well last year but he is still a world champion and he has a history of seven very good years in F1, and Mclaren knows exactly what they will be getting with him, and they know how to get the best out of him. It could be a very clever move for Mclaren.

    Raikkonen have been slighted way to often this year, he is performing very well. Especially if you consider that he currently has the added pressure of being the only one having to score points for Ferrari to try and keep them 3rd in WCC, while the whole team is in state over his injured teammate. On top of that he also have to contend with the constant press of being kicked out of Ferrari. Ironically he has properly showed more this year so far then Alonso have.

  • Comment number 26.


    Below are my 2010 predictions. They are listed in preference with any 3rd, 4th, or 5th drivers being official test and reserve drivers.

    McLaren
    Lewis Hamilton
    Nico Rosberg
    Gary Paffett

    Ferrari
    Felipe Massa
    Fernando Alonso
    Michael Schumacher
    Marc Gene
    LUCA BADOER!!!

    Renault
    Robert Kubica
    Heikki Kovalainen
    Lucas Di Grassi
    Romain Grosjean

    Williams
    Niko Hulkenberg
    Rubens Barrichello

    Red Bull
    Mark Webber
    Sebastian Vettel
    Brendon Hartley

    Toyota
    Timo Glock
    Kazuki Nakajima
    Kamui Kobayshi

    Toro Rosso
    Jaime Alguersuari
    Sebastien Buemi
    Brendon Hartley

    Force India
    Adrian Sutil
    Vitantonio Liuzzi
    Jarno Trulli

    Brawn
    Jenson Button
    Bruno Senna
    Alex Wurz

    Sauber ???
    Nick Heidfeld
    Christian Klien

    Manor GP
    Antony Davidson
    Adam Carroll

    US F1
    Marco Andretti
    Danica Patrick

    Campos Meta
    Pedro de la Rosa
    Nelson Piquet

    Would be a shame to see Raikkonen retire, especially with his unique style. Schumi should return to Brawn, Montoya to US F1 and then the season would be absolutely legendary. Think Hamilton, Alonso, Massa, Kubica, Montoya, Rosberg, Button and Vettel fighting it out in different top teams. Classic!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    And also sticking Badoer in a top car would also throw in a bit of entertainment. Oops its already been done. Who would speed in the pitlane 4 times in 2 days, cross the pitlane line once and be 3 seconds per lap off the pace of Raikkonen. Unheard of.

  • Comment number 28.

    I actually think Kimi back to McLaren makes sense.

    Kimi is afraid of no one hence won't baulk at having Hamilton as a teammate and he knows McLaren and was widely liked there. As said he will turn up, drive to the max and go home. No dramas, no dummy spits, just a very fast driver who let's not forget was WC just 2 years ago. What more could McLaren want of a driver?

    I know I haven't mentioned Hamilton in all this, but why should he bother who his teammate is. He had Alonso in his rookie year who everyone tells me is the best on the grid yet Hamilton bet him fair and square and I think he is a much better driver now than he was then.

    If McLaren want the constructor's championship as well as the driver's then Kimi makes the most sense of all.

  • Comment number 29.

    Oh and if Ferrari go with Massa and he doesn't come back may I suggest they offer Schuey the seat. Watch Alonso's reaction to having him as a teammate LOL!

  • Comment number 30.

    even though this years market is probably the most exciting it will pie in the sky until Monza where Ferrari traditionally announce their driver line up. I can't see Danica Patrick at US F1 maybe Dan Wheldon maybe tempted to return to Europe who knows. I think Kimi will just leave as Ferrari even when they are off-form are the pinnacle of F1 and its only down from them not up

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't know where some people get the idea that Raikkonen will leave the sport and where they get these strange impressions of his 'motivation'. Raikkonen has always looked like he has, win or lose. He's still a massive asset to any team and I doubt whether many drivers around could have got third today or any of the other performances he's turned in. The Ferrari isn't fast enough to challenge at the front and there's no guarantee it will be for Alonso next year, should that move work out.

    Going to McLaren makes sense. The guys at McLaren always loved and rated him highly and McLaren simply need to better drivers fighting it out that the front. They need the constructors points which they haven't had since Alonso left and it's cost them.

  • Comment number 32.

    Theres no driver I would like to see at Mclaren more than Kimi Raikkonen again, I hated it when he left, he was such a calm, chilled out driver what was perfect for the team who couldn't match Ferrari's pace when he first joined. When he was at Mclaren and they did have a Championship winning car, despite its unreliability he still remained relaxed. Pretty much he was a complete opposite figure to Alonso and Hamilton, with the same ability (if not better). Regardless on some inconsistant results he is still one of the best drivers in F1.

    As much as I would love to see Montoya return, it is probably unlikely, which is a shame, he had the ability to be a world champion...I could see the grid lining up along the lines of this:

    Ferrari - Alonso, Massa - I feel Marc Gene will step in for Massa for the rest of the season, and the start of next if required.

    Mclaren - Hamilton, Rosberg/Kovalainen - As much as I want Kimi there im not sure Mclaren will go for him.

    Brawn - Button, Bruno Senna

    Renault - Raikkonen/Kubica, Grosjean

    Williams - Kovalainen/Rosberg, ???

    Sauber - (Assuming they get taken over) - Heifeld, ???

    Toyota - Glock, Kovalainen - Feel Kovalainen could end up here depending on his current Mclaren situation and what happens at Williams.

    Believe Force India, Torro Rosso will remain much the same, and Red Bull are the only team we can be certain about. As for the new teams, I expect a few debut drivers.


  • Comment number 33.

    After how quiet it was last year, this years silly season is insane. You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Kovalainen fan than me, and the idea of him leaving my favourite team really upsets me BUT if Kimi was to come back, that would be my dream right there. Kimi + McLaren is my favourite driver/team combo from the whole time I've watched F1 and I was gutted when he went to Ferrari.

  • Comment number 34.

    Kimi at McLaren sounds like the only option to keep Kimi in F1.... or maybe Brawn. I just don't see him going to any other team. Renault, Toyota... I just don't see it. Money probably won't be the determining factor here as Ferrari will have to fork out a huge pay cheque to buy out his contract.

    Lets be honest though, he is one major asset to any team with his cool, calm approach and is driving the tyres off that Ferrari at the moment.

  • Comment number 35.

    I can't help but feel that if BRAWN get rid of Rubens Barachello then he would leave the sport. FERRARI get rid of Raikonen then he will most likely go rallying. My personal choices would be.
    FERRARI - Alonso & Massa
    McLAREN - Hamilton & Rosberg
    WILLIAMS - Kovalainen & Hulkenberg
    TOYOTA - Glock & Buemi
    RENAULT - Grosjean & Kubica
    BRAWN - Button & Senna
    RED BULL - Webber & Vettel
    TORO ROSSO - Algesauri & Hartley
    FORCE INDIA - Sutil & Heidfeld (unless BMW find a buyer)
    USF1 - Piquet & Andretti
    CAMPOS - Wurz & Nakajima
    MANOR - Davidson & Hartley

  • Comment number 36.

    Why is no-one considering that Kimi is actually contracted to FIAT, meaning he could easily be retained as a tester in the winter and then given drives in other disciplines (e.g. WRC) by FIAT before coming back refreshed in 2011

  • Comment number 37.

    Interesting article, I see Kimi as a thrill seeker, as long as he has that feeling of thrill and excitement in the sport, he will stick around F1, you could see he was really bored at the start of the season, but since Ferrari have improved the car, he has been doing well. I remember him saying in an interview, "I am not going to run around for a race seat". I can't see him moving to another team without having a very good reason to do so i-e consistently win. He moved to Ferrari to win, and he achieved that, however it has gone downhill since then. Mclaren are in no better shape than Ferrari at the moment, who knows what is going to know happen in 2010. So IMO, I only see Kimi moving from Ferrari to another team in F1 if he can clearly see a wining team. As for Ferrari's own situation, I can never work them out. They make strange decisions, no one in the paddock could understand putting Luca in race seat, the guy is 3 sec off pace, he is not magically going to find 3 sec in time in next race, it is just not possible. And having 3 drivers for next season, is going to be a nightmare at Ferrari. One of those drivers is going, which one? I think Kimi is very likely if Alonso is to move to Ferrari. However I would think that Kimi will be out of F1 if that happens.

  • Comment number 38.

    Am I the only person who thinks that Sutil deserves a drive in something a bit better than a Force India? He's been consistently faster than Fisichella, who I can't believe is being linked to better teams at this stage in his career.

  • Comment number 39.

    Silly season is well underway!! I know many people hate speculating but I love it, especially when I seem to get it so very wrong.............

    There are a number of very interesting suggestions, some viable and others not so. Danica Patrick and JPM have both ruled out a drive with USF1, in fact, JPM gives the impression he'd rather pull his own toenails off rather than come back to F1, so that partnership is a no-go.

    The only reason Kubica is (unfairly) labelled as 'difficult' is because he was angry that the development of the 2008 car was stopped while he was a genuine WDC contender, I wouldn't have been too chuffed either.

    Kimi and McLaren are a match made in heaven, but I can't see him going back, especially when the team seems to be contradicting its reputation of driver parity. Kovelainen seems happy enough to play second fiddle to Hamilton but somehow I can't see Kimi queueing up behind Lewis for an ice-cream. It's really interesting to read reports stating that Kimi and Alonso will be team mates next year, yet here it is a natural presumption that Massa will be Alonso's bedfellow at the Scuderia in 2010. I personally go with the latter, especially hearing Domenicalli et al talking of Massa being part of 'the Ferrari family'.

    I don't see a problem with Rosberg at McLaren at all, he's quick, he's focused and he is very talented. Lewis needs a team mate who will push him all the way, in equal machinery of course......

    I was convinced that Raikkonen would be competing in WRC next year but now I'm not so sure. What I will put my money on is Kimi not going to Renault, if Alonso can't get the shed on the podium then Raikkonen surely can't.....he can't can he?

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm really intrigued as to how it's been decided that Kimi is the one to make room for the apparent Alonso move?

    Surely on paper Kimi is the better driver hands down? He has a world championship under his belt, doesn't need his hand holding all the time and doesn't make silly unforced mistakes (think back to last year).

    Why not an Kimi \ Alonso partnership?

  • Comment number 41.

    I can't help but notice the strong reaction to the authors Hamilton is quicker than Rosberg comment. I have to say if you believe that Rosberg is truly as quick as Hamilton, than why don't you also state he's as quick as Alonso? After all Hamilton was a rookie who was immediately as quick or quicker than Alonso from his first race forward, in the exact same car. Here's where the conspiracy theorists will tell you that McLaren hired the two time defending world champion for an obscene amount of money, then chose to equip an unproven rookie driver (that many said was not ready for F1) with a better car. Even though Alonso had beaten out the "greatest driver in F1 history", was still a very young man, and a proven celebrity and marketing star. There is no logic in that theory. What is logical is Hamilton is every bit the driver that Alonso is. Alonso said as much in a recent interview when asked who his challengers were going forward. That said, why if Rosberg is as quick as Hamilton has no one questioned Ferrari's choice in Alonso? Why not Rosberg to Ferrari then instead? If he's as quick as Hamilton/Alonso, four years younger than Alonso, comes with less baggage than Alonso, is more personable than Alonso, and he is most certainly going to be cheaper than Alonso. Yet no one has questioned Alonso over Rosberg to Ferrari, the very statement sounds absurd, but why then does Hamilton seem to be on level ground with Rosberg with some of you?

  • Comment number 42.

    "Why not Rosberg to Ferrari then instead? If he's as quick as Hamilton/Alonso, four years younger than Alonso, comes with less baggage than Alonso, is more personable than Alonso, and he is most certainly going to be cheaper than Alonso."

    Ferrari don't care about cheap or personable, Raikkonen has proved that. Alonso is a proven champion in F1, he knows how to get the best out of his car, he brings an intelligence that Rosberg is yet to reach as far as F1 goes and he is, without question, the best F1 driver right now.

    Being fast is obviously crucial, but you need to be a bit more than fast to succeed in F1. Lewis too is very fast and is maturing into a great driver, but he still isn't in the same league as Alonso. Fast yes, but not quite there with Alonso at this precise moment.

    And before anyone regurgitates race statistics, Alonso is driving a tank right now, in equal machinery we may have a very different set of statistics.

  • Comment number 43.

    Remember, a certain Gordon Brown - like most Labour MPs - will be looking for a new job next year.

    Lord Drayson is now permitted to drive with the sight in only one eye, and I presume that the FIA rule changes would also enable our illustrious (!) PM to go boldly...

    Gordon Brown for McLaren!!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Was #43 just a tad TOO silly even for Silly Season?

    No more so than GB's suggestion Labour might actually win in 2010!

  • Comment number 45.

    After several seasons of disputes and controversies McLaren needs a period of stability and growth. Kovalainen is a dissapointment and needs to be replaced, surely with Hamilton the quickest driver around what they need is a good backup man who can work with Hamilton. Raikonen is the best bet because he just does his job! Kubica has a difficult reputation, Rosberg is too competitive and not fast enough, Trulli is a great guy but his results are poor. Personally I felt McLaren were well rid of Alonso maybe Ferrari will find that out! Who will shine? Next year McLaren for sure and Brawn and Red bull will challenge. Ferrari possibly but too much confusion and negativity. Bad decisions hampered them until the Brawn/Todt era. Now both have gone elsewhere and Ferrari appear to be suffering not just a driver problem but a direction and leadership one.
    Incidentally Martin Whitmarsh made an appalling blunder when interviewed claiming that the box-up with the tyres during Hamilton's pit stop hadm't affected the result! When will they learn?

  • Comment number 46.

    F1aficianado, you've answered your own question there. Alonso has huge marketing potential compared to Rosberg while being as good as him. He'll get them results whilst making them alot of money from sponsors and merchandise sales. I don't think there's too much difference between Hamilton and Rosberg but I personally rate Rosberg slightly more than Hamilton because of what he has achieved with inferior equipment. His qualifying and race pace are always good and consistent with the ability to finish above where many expect him to be so I feel he wouldn't have a problem competing with Hamilton in the same car.

    Personally I see Raikkonen going to WRC. Also I remember something about Wurz more or less being guaranteed a seat at USF1 with them also saying that Danica Patrick wouldn't be interested unless they could guarantee a championship chance. Trulli may look to do what Fisi did and try to revitalise his career at Force India though I wouldn't rule out a move to employ an indian driver as this is a priority on Mallya's list, return for karthikeyan? Can't see Torro Rosso or Red Bull changing their line ups but I reckon Di Grassi could get the second Brawn seat. Kubica to Renault seems more likely than Williams with Grosjean also staying put. Williams to look at GP2 again with Hulkenberg being the target. The new owners of BMW to retain Heidfeld with another GP2 driver though I wouldn't like to speculate who. Campos to pick up Piquet while also giving his son a chance.

    This is just my opinion though.

  • Comment number 47.

    Brawn GP- Jenson Button, Bruno Senna
    Red Bull- Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel
    Mclaren- Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
    Ferrari- Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso
    Williams- Heikki Kovalienin, Nelson Piquet Jnr,
    Renault- Robert Kubica, Romain Grosjean
    Toyota- Timo Glock, Nick Heidfield
    Torro Rosso- Sebastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley
    Force India- Adrian Sutil, Rubens Barrichello
    Manor GP- Anthony Davidson, Gary Paffett
    Campos- Pedro De la Rosa, Jaime Algesauri
    USF1- Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti

  • Comment number 48.

    I predict that, for a variety of reasons, the first race of 2010 will see a total absence of Brazilian drivers from the grid.

  • Comment number 49.

    I actually think the driver market won't be quite as fluid as some people are suggesting. So this is my opinion:

    Brawn GP: Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello
    (or Kimi Raikkonen should he decide he loves F1 after all)
    Red Bull: Mark Webber, Sebastien Vettel
    McLaren: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
    Ferrari: Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa
    (if Massa still not fully fit, a driver from the available pool)
    Williams: Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Heidfeld
    Renault: Robert Kubica, Romain Grosjean
    Toro Rosso: Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari
    (unless either or both are replaced mid-season by yet another Red Bull protege)
    Force India: Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Liuzzi
    (or Rubens Barrichello should he have to make way at BrawnGP)
    Campos Meta F1: Pedro de la Rosa, Andy Soucek
    Manor GP: Anthony Davidson, Timo Glock
    USF1: Jacques Villeneuve, Jonathan Summerton (or other US unknown)

    12th & 13th teams: (the pool of drivers which include; Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Kazuki Nakajima, Nelson Piquet Jr, Alexander Wurz, Bruno Senna, Lucas di Grassi, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Christian Klien, Giorgio Pantano, Adam Carroll [oh go on, somebody give him a chance])

    You will notice i've left out Toyota. Sorry, but at least BMW have managed to WIN a race - surely the management in Japan have had enough of the excuses and shut the whole operation down?

  • Comment number 50.

    dont know why your all bothering yourselves withe speculation lets just wait and see and enjoy the rest of this very very interesting year which i may add aint over by a long way not one of you can say who is going to win for sure so shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and be happy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Comment number 51.

    I personally rate Rosberg slightly more than Hamilton because of what he has achieved with inferior equipment
    ..........................................................................
    Are you alright?!?

    Ham soundly thrashed Rosberg in lower formula, in Rosberg's own team, has 10 wins and a WDC.

    And you rate Rosberg more highly.

    Even allowing for a mediocre Williams he hasn't pulled up any trees.

    Ham will destroy him.

    Truly hilarious!

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Ok, so if Kovi got the upgrades ahead of Lewis, would you still be saying the same?? I doubt it.

    There's no conspiracy against Lewis here, I'm just stating facts.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think Ferrari are going to lose a good champion if they let Kimi go. There car has'nt been great this year and looks more like the Honda of Button 2 years ago. Kimi and Alonso would make a great team line up. Its not really looking good for Massa returning to the sport if you actually read into his injury. This was not just a bump on the head for him, his eye sight may never recover. Kimi knows that the car is under performing yet can still get it on the podium. Kimi would be mad to go back to McLaren, I think the guy would rather go to WRC than head backwards.

  • Comment number 55.

    As we are in the silly season consider this, RD is no longer in charge at McClaren F1, McClaren have the engineering to recover when things go wrong much better than Ferrari, Alonso seems to be getting on ok with Hamilton,so if the Ferrari option does not materialise why not go to McClaren if equal cars were guaranteed?.
    Was M W talking in riddles. Got to be worth a 100/1 chance?? Tis the silly season don't forget

  • Comment number 56.

    I don't think Alonso would go back to McLaren, not when Lewis is there.... once bitten twice shy.

  • Comment number 57.

    Jeeeeez, if Kimi does stay at ferrari, then u will have some serious re-thinking to do you know, i mean hes contracted with Ferrari till end of 2010 and the only way he will go is with a very hefty severance pay, i swear contracts seem to have no bearing on speculations, who says massa's even gonna be back and seriously???? massa and alonso in the same team, heads will roll
    i for one hope that kimi will stay at Ferrari in which case all your hypothtical speculations will seriously need to be reworked :P

  • Comment number 58.

    I'll believe Alonso-to-Ferrari when I see it. Fernando's too arrogant to handle a competititive teammate and both Raikonen and Massa fit that category.

  • Comment number 59.

    I could see Alonso alongside Massa but not Kimi, I would imagine that Alonso would feel that he could bully Massa and keep him under his thumb, where as i doubt that would work with Kimi.

    I don't think that Ferrari see Kimi as having a long term future with them as he is simply to inconsistent, when he is motivated and in the zone he is electric but that hasn't really been the case since the end of 2007, since then he has only shown brief flashes of what he is capable of. I would imagine in Alonso they see a focused driver who is willing to drive the back end off the car race in race out to get the best out of it, and thats what they want and they will do whatever it takes to get him.

  • Comment number 60.

    I personally think, that someone will bring back Nelson Piquet Jr he may not of been great at Renault but, he does have the skill to be a class driver. I can see one of the big teams giving him a chance.

    I reckon Alonso will be at Ferrari sooner rather than later

  • Comment number 61.

    I don't understand why everyone rates Robert Kubica apart from the fluke win in Canada 2008 he hasn't really impressed me that much. Unless he gets a seat with a new team in 2010 I could see him disappear from F1.

    I would also like to see Nico Rosberg move to Mclaren

  • Comment number 62.

    Being a Raikkonen fan I'll be very disappointed if Ferrari do let him go. He's fighting one handed to keep Ferrari ahead of McLaren on the WCC and so far in a bad car this year, he's performing very well which includes 3 podiums.
    If Ferrari do let him go it would be great to see him back at Mclaren and it will also see how good of a driver Hamilton is, not having a wing man for support. No disrespect to Hamilton, he is a good driver, but in his F1 career he's had favouritism from his team and team mate Kovalainen hasn't really challenged him and it has forced Heikki to play wing man.
    Also the relationship between Massa and Alonso hasn't been great over the last few years. For example, Europe 2007. Don't know what happened? Look it up.
    I believe that Ferrari should keep Kimi especially when both he and Alonso have a great relationship with each other and I have no doubt that they would push each other to the maximum. Sorry Massa, great driver but injury may have cost his career. Fingers crossed not.

  • Comment number 63.

    Refering to earlier posts about the new teams. Its difficult to see any big name drivers going to any of these teams due to the budget cap.
    I expect Campos to have at least one Spanish driver, possibly two. Pedro De La Rosa should be one. Being from Sheffield myself there is talk here of Manor bringing local driver Justin Wilson back from Indycar where he is doing well, a pay driver or one of their lower formula drivers will most likely fill the other seat. The US team have said they will sign at least one american. This will not be Danica Patrick, she has already said she doesnt want to do F1 and is poised for move to NASCAR. It will most likely be Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal or Ryan Hunter-Reay. Alex Wurz is nailed on for the second seat.

    Just a thought about McLarens replacement for Kovalainen, how about Bruno Senna. The name Senna in a McLaren 17 years on, think of the story and publicity, and Bruno is an outstanding driver. It worth thinking about.

  • Comment number 64.

    So Rosberg isn't as quick as Hamilton? Really Andrew? I'm not so sure about that one!
    Having said that I think Rosberg going to McLaren would be a mistake. Hamilton has the team wound around his little figure and Rosberg would have difficulty gathering the support he needs unless he is out and out quicker than Hamilton, which is very unlikely. How about a seat at Brawn for Rosberg?

  • Comment number 65.

    Paul di Rista should be included somewhere. He had a great DTM season last year and ready for F1, maybe Force India?. I think Rubens will loose motivation next year(he's already said he's 10% not sure he wants F1 anymore)especially as he's unlikely to be in a race winning car. Brawn realstically are unlikely to have the same advantage over the top teams next year, but hope they do as I'm a Jenson fan.

    I'm really pleased to see Anthony Davidson being suggested for the Manor drive. Would love to see him in a Brawn though.

  • Comment number 66.

    I do not believe that Kimi has lost the motivation. I think this is total rubbish, something ferrari have slipped into the media to nudge him out of the way in favour for alonso. Kimi has always had a Laissez-faire approach to everything he does, that doesnt mean he does not want to race anymore!! he has had strong finishes the last three races and when he gets into the car he does his job to perfection! I say bring him to mclaren. He is a legend and i would be happy to have him in the team.

  • Comment number 67.

    @razor_blade01 and TheLastMohican - Of course McLaren favoured Lewis over Alonso.... What team in its right mind would ever back a 2x DWC when they have a rookie in their team.... Kovi has not shown anywhere near the talent or ability to challenge Lewis and generally they have had the same machinery under them.

    McLaren have ALWAYS ad a policy of supporting both drivers, and have often had highly contentious team mates in the past and given both drivers equal footing. I really don't see their philosophy as having changed. I would love to Rosberg in the 2nd seat and would love to see how would do against Lewis in the same car, I would also love to see Kimi or Kubica given that chance. We know what Lewis did in his rookie year against Alonso and I would love to see him challenged by his team mate which is why I was a bit disappointed that McLaren kept Kovi for this season.

  • Comment number 68.

    When I heard the Raikkonen getting kicked out ruhmour at the start of the season i was hoping Kimi would rejoin Mclaren... but not a single site mentioned it except my own site, but now BBC have a story for me to read :) Well done Benson!

  • Comment number 69.

    Whitmarsh says teams will wait for Alonso to move to Ferrari before decided line ups including Mclaren, but what has this got to do with Rosberg moving to Mclaren? I think (and hope) they are waiting to see if Kimi is released or payed off by Ferrari, so then they can make a move for the finn.

    At Mclaren Kimi had some awesome drives and I would love to see Kimi and Lewis racing each other, aslong as Mclaren don't say NO to kimi which may be very likely!

  • Comment number 70.

    [1] I agree with "OriginalJonBlaze" & "razor_blade01". GO KIMI!!!

    [2] If Alonso joined Ferrari and got frashed by his team mate in round one... what will happen? Will Alonso pay Ferrari to support him, or will he get in a strop and then steal information from Mclaren on e-mails and get Ferrari fined $100M?

  • Comment number 71.

    My predicted 2010 F1 Calander...
    March 28 - Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne)
    April 04 - Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang)
    April 18 - Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai)
    April 25 - Bahrain Grand Prix (Sakhir)
    May 09 - Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona)
    May 23 - Monaco Grand Prix (Monte-Carlo)
    June 06 - Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal)
    June 20 - Turkish Grand Prix (Istanbul)
    July 04 - British Grand Prix (Donington)
    July 18 - European Grand Prix (Valencia)
    July 25 - Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring)
    August 22 - Italian Grand Prix (Monza)
    August 29 - Belgium Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps)
    September 12 - South Korean Grand Prix
    September 26 - Singapore Grand Prix (Singapore)
    October 03 - Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka)
    October 17 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Island)
    October 31 - Brazilian Grand Prix (Sao Paulo)

    My 2010 lineup:
    FERRARI Alonso & Massa
    McLAREN Hamilton & Raikkonen
    RENAULT Kubica & Grosjean
    BRAWN - Button & Barrichello
    RED BULL - Webber & Vettel
    TOYOTA - Glock & Heidfeld
    WILLIAMS - Hulkenberg & Rosberg
    FORCE INDIA - Sutil & Chandhok
    TORO ROSSO - Buemi & Alguersuari
    CAMPOS - Senna & Davidson
    MANOR - Fisichella & Kovalainen
    USF1 - Speed & De la Rosa
    Sauber? - Klien & Nakajima

  • Comment number 72.

    slightly off topic...

    i know full well how strong a F1 Drivers neck should be etc etc, but kimi's neck in the photo is insane :)

    on topic...

    be interesting to see what happens next season, my money is on kimi retiring to WRC, and for rosberg to go to mclaren, and maybe heikki to go to renault

  • Comment number 73.

    F1 2010 Sounds very exciting all ready doesn't it? but I'm worried that quarter of the grid will be powered by Mercades! I really hope Kimi doesn't retire from F1 it would be a real shame, to be honest I can't do much in terms of predicting next years driver line up. Also I think the new teams will promote young drivers but will have one experienced driver as well. USF1 is a little bit strange as they are always saying that they want an American driver line up, it's a shame that a young American driver hasn't raced in GP2 this year ready for the graduation to F1. Also it will be interesting to see what R.B wants to do next year, Fisichella and Trulli as I think one of them could be retiring...

    Also will Sauber be saved? time will tell...

  • Comment number 74.

    the new f1 calander is on www.f1crazy.moonfruit.com

  • Comment number 75.

    @ domtv09 Thanks

  • Comment number 76.

    'Left field' ..... not a clue, assume its an American sports reference? Anyway F1 team speculation is part of the sport .... makes for good gambling odds though!

  • Comment number 77.

    what i'm thinking for next season

    BRAWN - Button, Barrichello/Senna
    RED BULL - Vettel, Webber
    McCLAREN - Hamilton, Raikkonen
    FERRARI - Massa, Alonso
    (if Massa isn't back i'm thinking Mirko Bortolotti from F2 will take his place until he returns)
    WILLIAMS - Rosberg, Hulkenburg
    TOYOTA - Glock, Kamui Kobayashi/Kubica
    TORRO ROSSO - Buemi, Alguersuari
    FORCE INDIA - Sutil, Liuzzi
    RENAULT - Raikkonen, Grosjean/Jules Bianchi
    USF1 - Marco Andretti, Dario Franchitti
    CAMPOS - Pedro de la Rosa, Javier Villa
    MANOR - Lucas di Grassi, Paul di Resta/Vitaly Petrov
    EPSILON EUSKADI - Dani Clos, Mark Gene

    Personally i believe sauber will fail to buy BMW and bernie will continue his spanish crusade and select Epsilon Euskadi

  • Comment number 78.

    I doubt Kimi wants to go back to Mclaren,as Ferrari have given him World Champion status they could not. Also I don't think it would be fair of McLaren to throw away a talent like Kovalainen until they have given him the same equipement as Lewis.

  • Comment number 79.

    I am a massive ferrari fan and as far as i am concerned Kimi has a contract with Ferrari until 2010. Unless i hear otherwise from FERRARI I have no interest in this tittle tattle that goes on. It is all SPECULATION! ! !
    There is far more interesting racing going on the track which people should be watching not wasting time guessing (cos lets fact it that is all it is) who will be where next season.

  • Comment number 80.

    Seriously injured drivers rarely return to their pre-accident performance levels, in this case I am thinking serious head injuries. The only exception to this was Mika Hakkinen.

    Hakkinen injured in 1995 at the Australian Grand Prix in the free practice did not race again until 1996. During 1996 he managed fifth in the Drivers' Championship, and the following season 1997 only a single race win. Hakkinen then went on to win back to back world championships in 1998 and 1999, and Schumacher said that Hakkinen is the man he respected the most during his Formula One career.

    Both Raikonen and Massa are contracted until the end of 2010, and it’s likely that Alonso will come in on a three year deal.

    Ferrari have to be ruthless and at the same time keep the options open, they are not a charity regardless of what was said about Luca Badoer.

    Ferrari will have a new car next year, and will need two drivers at the top of their game.

    They should put Massa out on a sabbatical and let Raikonen race head to head with Alonso in 2010. Raikonen can then see out his contract, leaving Ferrari with Massa and Alonso for 2011. There is also precedent for sabbaticals with Alain Prost in 1992.

    It makes sense for Massa as he will certainly lack race-pace, and poor race performance in 2010 will almost certainly see him dropped for 2011. Massa will also not appear as an attractive option for other teams. Massa needs time to sort himself out and get race fit. Looking at other serious head injury suffers such as Peter Cech, the skull requires six months to heel and further six for a complete physical recovery.

    Massa needs to take time as he’s got his whole life and career ahead of him.

  • Comment number 81.

    Kimi is under contract with Ferrari next year. The only way that Kimi would move is if,
    a) they give him a big payout to terminate his contract, or,
    b) he moves to another team wanting to pay his salary, or,
    c) he moves to rallying.

    Remembering that Luca di Montezemolo is pushing for three cars on the grid for 2010, I guess that Alonso is about to / has signed a contract with Ferrari.

    But if Kimi wanted to move to a big team, where would he go?

    Brawn?
    Would Ross Brawn be looking to hire a driver for a season at $21m? No.

    McLaren?
    On reading this blog, Kimi moving to McLaren would make some sense, and with Kimi being a former driver, it could happen.

    Williams?
    Once again the whole money thing, BUT, Williams are looking for some free engines next year, as they want to run KERS but the Toyota units don't cater for them. So, Kimi --> Williams, Ferrari engines --> Williams.

    Renault?
    Flavio Briatore is famous for wanting value for money, so Kimi moving to Renault seems unlikely.

    A new team?
    I couldn't see it happening.

  • Comment number 82.

    If Ferrari were smart they would stick with Kimi because if they let Kimi go and Felipe can't reproduce the same form that almost made him WC in 2008 and begins to struggle with his injuries, it would be a massive loss for Ferrari in losing one of the best drivers on the grid. But then again what if the FIA approve with the three cars on the grid option, it's a whole new ball game.

  • Comment number 83.

    Two thoughts - without wishing to add another list of spurious speculation!

    1) I fancy Rubens to win the Championship, or be very, very close to Button. Why? because right now he's the better driver, and because he's due some luck - Jenson gets a DNF and Rubens a win and then put your money down! I like the guy, but give Jenson the best car and he wins, give him anything else and frankly he's nowhere. Next year Brawn won't have the best car and Button won't be the guy you want IMHO, whereas Rubens is, and won't cost a fortune either.

    2) Just look as the hapless bunch people are listing for the new teams. Why Bernie thibnks it will be 'good for the sport' to have 6 mobile chicanes of inferior under-funded cars driven by failed past-it ex drivers is beyond me. If the idea was to give a platform for new talent, that's going out the window if we get the likes of Davidson, Gene, Montoya et al back!

  • Comment number 84.

    Why does everyone assume that Sutil will stay at Force India. He is a superb driver who consistently pushes his car way beyond where it should be on the grid. In a better car he could be a top of the field driver (and maybe world champion in a few seasons).

  • Comment number 85.

    Here we go, silly season already. My prediction is that 3 car team will become a requirement for the top 4 teams with a get out of teh budget limit proportionate to running the 3rd car, therefore: -

    Brawn - Button, Barichello
    Ferrari - Mass, Alonso, Kimi
    McLaren - Hamilton, Kubica, Rosberg
    Renault - Grossen, Glock, sutil
    Redbull - Webber, Buemi, Vettel
    Williams - Hulkenburg, Heidfeld
    Torro Rosso - Truli, Luzzi
    Foce India - Fishi, de la Rossa
    Campo - Gene, Alguersuari
    USF1 - Wurz, Andretti
    Manor - Paffet, Davidson
    Sauber / Prodrive (BMW)- Villneuve, Klien

  • Comment number 86.

    or if the teams can only run 2 cars.

    Brawn - Barro, Button
    Ferrari - Massa, Alonso
    McLaren - Hamilton, Kov
    Renault - Glock, Grosjean
    Redbull - Webber, Vettel
    Williams - Rosberg, Hiedfeld
    Torro Rosso - Truli, Luzzi
    Force India - de la Rossa, Sutil
    Campo - Gene, Alguersuari
    USF1, Wurz, Andretti
    Manor- Davidson, Hulkenbrg
    Sauber/ Prodrive - Kubica, Klien

  • Comment number 87.

    Kimi will be in Ferrari come 2010 and will prove it big time. Its too harsh criticize him like this, just to remind that he has finished three times in the podium straight (won one) with an unimpressive car. Keep the faith in him and i know Ferrari will, the love to race is not lost in kimi.

  • Comment number 88.

    Kimi is a great talent and has a good shot at the 2009 WDC!

  • Comment number 89.

    According to www.f1crazy.moonfruit.com, Mirror & PlanetF1, Kimi has a pre-contract with Mclaren for 2010!

  • Comment number 90.

    Raikkonen to McLaren? No thanks

 

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