Ferrari tries to ease 2014 driver uncertainty as silly season hits top gear

21 August, 2013

Who will wear the legendary Ferrari badge in 2014?

Who will wear the legendary Ferrari badge in 2014?

Ferrari has moved to manage growing speculation about its 2014 driver lineup, as the Italian team’s number one driver Fernando Alonso has also been linked with a sensational switch to Red Bull, while the future of teammate Felipe Massa is also uncertain beyond his expiring contract.

And now linked with a return to Maranello is the team’s 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, after the Finn’s manager Steve Robertson said talks with Red Bull had ended.

The Raikkonen-to-Ferrari story got a boost in recent days by Eddie Jordan, a former Formula 1 team boss turned broadcaster, who has in recent times earned a reputation for often correctly predicting driver moves.

Some of Jordan’s media centre colleagues, however, are not so sure.

Who will be at ferrari in 2014?

Who will be at ferrari in 2014?

In the wake of Robertson ruling out Red Bull for Raikkonen, Lotus boss Eric Boullier hit the headlines this week when he said that the 33-year-old will only stay at the Enstone based team in 2014 at the right price.

Livio Oricchio, writing in O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, said that he interprets this news as Boullier revealing “[that] he knows he has the advantage now” in the negotiations with Raikkonen.

Indeed, with the Red Bull door now closed, Robertson went to great lengths to insist Raikkonen still has “plural” options when it comes to 2014.

“The game has turned in Lotus’ favour,” said the Brazilian correspondent Oricchio.

That is because many in the paddock doubt Ferrari is really considering pairing its clear number 1 (Alonso) against a truly top driver like Raikkonen.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at McLaren in 2007 did not work

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at McLaren in 2007 did not work

Raul Romojaro, writing in the Spanish sports daily AS, recalled that in 2007, McLaren’s explosive Alonso / Hamilton pairing ultimately cost the British team the title.

“The only positive of the disaster was that the lesson was learned about how harmful conflicting interests in sports can be,” he said.

“I would even say that putting Kimi with Fernando would be a time-bomb with difficult and unpredictable consequences.”

Another aspect that speaks against Raikkonen’s return is that reports in recent days have suggested that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is not convinced.

“It would be an admission by [Montezemolo] that sending Kimi away at the end of 2009 was a huge mistake,” noted Rafael Lopes, writing for Brazil’s Globo Esporte.

So, given the speculation, it is no surprise that Stefano Domenicali is playing it all down.

Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali have decisions to make at Ferrari

Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali have decisions to make at Ferrari

“We have spelt it out many times before,” said Ferrari’s team boss ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, the first race after the August break.

“The driver topic is definitely not a priority,” Domenicali insisted.

“There is much talk outside the company regarding the future, but we must concentrate only on the present, on the fight for the championship,” he added.

Domenicali also backed Montezemolo’s recent comments, which were interpreted by many as a harsh rebuke of Alonso just as the Red Bull rumours were gaining steam.

“The words of our president before the summer break must serve as a stimulus, because they were meant as the words of a good family father, who, first and foremost, really roots for our team,” he said. (GMM.)

Subbed by AJN.


  • Tamburello_1994

    :/

    Another in along line of completely ambiguous stories that really doesn’t tell the reader anything of value.

    How many more days till Spa? ffs.

  • =El Presidente=

    “It would be an admission by him (Montezemolo) that sending Kimi away at the end of 2009 was a huge mistake,”

    It was a huge mistake. given Kimi’s consistency they would come much closer to titles the last years (if not taken one)

    Whatever happens, at all costs it must be prevented that that haughty snobbish German, wins a 5th title on a trot.
    (5 titles on a trot only makes them worth less btw , because it means the car has been so much faster then other cars)
    at this level of sport you should be very happy to gain 2 titles consecutive.. any more is only -and i mean only- due to superiour materials.

    Still i dont believe Vettel is a “great” driver in historical terms.. and as long as he does not get a title for another team, he will always be “that guy who was lucky enough to be in the right car at the right moment” (im not saying he is not good driver, he is, but i think Lewis, Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen and even Romain, are faster given all the same equipment.

  • Tamburello_1994

    If F-1 was a series that everyone drove “the same equipment” they would rename it GP3. But it’s not. It’s Formula 1. Drivers drive different cars. That’s the way it’s always been. That’s the way it always will be.

    Last year around this time it was Ferrari and Alonso in the lead for the championship. I blame Red Bull and Vettel for not allowing them to win!

    Instead of this “blame the winner” attitude, that’s pervasive with some here – Maybe it’s time for the other teams to step it up.

    Kinda like what Mercedes is attempting.

  • Ankit

    @=El Presidente=

    You might want to brush up your F1 knowledge. 5 titles on a trot? :) Let him win his 4th one first. lol

  • =El Presidente=

    @tamburello.

    It is fine that the team with the biggest resources wins. people just have to see it in perspective,..if i want to see “racing” i watch indeed GP3/Gp2 Kart-euroseries and other series with a much more level playing field.

    F1 Fact : the best car always wins
    Another fact : the best drivers drive the best cars. (within F1 i mean, because a lot of “best” driver don’t even get the chance due to pay-driver-mentality.)

    Still i feel as sport f1 is dead.. or money gathering should be considered a sport. As entertainment F1 is doing an awesome job, though.

  • GreenHell

    @El Presidente: “F1 Fact : the best car always wins”

    This is definitely not the case. Vettel won his first race in a Toro Rosso some years ago. According to your simple logic, the Toro Rosso must have been the “best car” then – are you sure? Or take Kimis last championship: was his Ferrari the “best car” of the year? And why did Vettel instead of Webber win the three recent championships? And please do not quote the naive theory about the team “being on Vettels side”…

    A good car helps a lot to win, this is a given truth – but there is more about to win than solely to have a good (or “the best”) car.

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    If we talk about seasons and not single races, it is a fact that “the best car always wins”. Obviously single races can bring some exceptions to this fact (Alboreto on Tyrrell in 1983, Panis on Ligier in 1996, Herbert on Stewart in 1999, Vettel on STR in 2008) but those are just that: exceptions.
    Plus, a driver should be “on the right seat” of the team that has the best car, if he wants to fight for title.
    Another exception to this is when political interest are stronger then car performance, like for many FIArrari titles, they won without the best driver nor the best car… ;-)

  • Tamburello_1994

    And not to pile on, But to compare a three time worlds champion who’s won thirty races, to someone who hasn’t even won a single race in Formula 1 to this point is completely laughable.

    A little intellectual honesty goes a long way in my book.

  • Mercedes supporter forever

    I don’t think Raikkonen would wanna go back to Ferrari since they can’t even produce a car that can help them win the championship for 3 years in a row now… If he do that, he’ll just be in another Lotus car, but with Ferrari engines..

  • Tamburello_1994

    @ “Msf”

    Ferrari hasn’t produced a championship winning car since Kimi won it back in 2007.

    (Do the math)

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    …and that was not the best car of the 2007 season, McLaren was faster, only the feud Alonso-Hamilton prevented them to win a well deserved titles (showing FIArrari could steal even without MS)

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