Button and Raikkonen in the loop for Ferrari in 2013
29 July, 2012
Jul.29 (GMM) As ever during Formula One’s annual stop in Budapest, the Hungaroring paddock has not disappointed when it comes to ‘silly season’ rumours and this weekend cream of the crop is that Ferrari, who let a 2013 option on Felipe Massa’s current deal expire recently, has approached McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Livio Oricchio, the Brazilian correspondent for O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, might have heard the same rumblings, but revealed that he had “arrived in Budapest thinking the chances of a renewal for Massa were good”.
“Today they [Massa's chances] are smaller,” Oricchio admitted, revealing that he had talked in the paddock with “many people” close to Ferrari.
Autosprint said Button did not even deny the Ferrari rumour, although he did say the Italian team “know about my contractual situation”.
32-year-old Button is firmly under contract to McLaren for 2013. But Autosprint quoted Button as adding in Hungary: “Never say never”.
Another fascinating rumour in Hungary is that Kimi Raikkonen is regarded by Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali as a viable alternative to Massa.
The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 quoted Domenicali as saying on Saturday that Ferrari’s 2007 world champion, and the team’s current number one Fernando Alonso, share “a lot of similarities”.
“He never complained to the outside,” said Domenicali, referring to Raikkonen, who left Ferrari at the end of 2009 and went rallying.
“He could have easily said that this is not the kind of car [in 2009] that I need to achieve my goals, but he remained calm and supported the team.
“I think it was important,” he added. “He was always trying to push the team and maximise everything.”
Subbed by AJN.
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- Alonso: It will be a stressful summer break if Sebastian increases the gap
- Alonso: Gap to Vettel is beginning to be a bit too much in terms of points
- Happy 31st birthday to Fernando Alonso!
- Ferrari: Definitely a case of the glass being half full!