Posts Tagged ‘raikkonen’

Alonso confirmed at Ferrari (finally)

September 30th, 2009 No comments

Alonso puzzleFormula One has never been able to keep a secret and today the latest worst kept secret was finally confirmed: Fernando Alonso will drive for Ferrari.

Alonso’s contract is for three seasons starting 2010, partnering Fellipe Massa with Giancarlo Fisichella as reserve driver.

There has long been speculation that Kimi Raikkonen would make way for Alonso next year (a year before his contract was up) but Felipe Massa’s accident and then the Renault race fixing investigation held up the announcement which was expected at Monza.

Like one of those sliding puzzles, Alonso’s move to Ferrari now frees up a space at Renault and the game of musical chairs can begin.  Where will everyone be sitting when the music stops and who will be left standing?

McLaren say nothing has been decided yet but there are rumours that Kimi may return to the Silver Arrows in place of fellow Finn Kovalainen (and that Spanish bank Santander will pay Kimi’s 2010 Ferrari salary.)

Robert Kubica has been tipped to take over Alonso’s seat at Renault while Nico Rosberg could switch places with Rubens Barrichello at Brawn.

While Adrian Sutil will probably stay at Force India, Tonio Liuzzi may be under pressure from Nick Heidfeld to keep his seat there.

The good news for those drivers worried about losing their seats is that there will (hopefully) be at least three new teams on the grid next year.  None of them have announced their driver lineup yet but McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa  has been linked with Campos while Manor or Lotus could provide a way back in to F1 for BBC commentator Anthony Davidson.  I actually think Davidson is a really good commentator but I also think his Formula One career was prematurely interrupted just as it seemed to be getting off the ground.

Somewhat surprisingly we may even see Nelson Piquet Jr return in 2010.  Manor team boss, John Booth, could offer the Brazilian a drive in 2010.  He was quoted by the Telegraph as saying (without a hint of irony):

I’ve not spoken to him at the moment, but he’s a smashing little driver. I’ve no personal problems with him, but it is unclear what his current position is with regards sponsorship

Ferrari press release

Categories: Drivers Tags: , ,

Is Kimi going back to McLaren?

September 20th, 2009 1 comment

Kimi Raikkonen, Australia, 2005According to an article in the Mirror, Kimi Raikkonen has already signed an agreement to race for McLaren next year — as long as Ferrari will pay him his £30m salary for 2010.

It seems certain that Fernando Alonso will drive for Ferrari in 2010 which means the Scuderia will have way more drivers than they need; 5 if you include Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella (7 if you also include Badoer and Gene.)  The trouble for Ferrari is that Raikkonen still has another year left of his contract.

There are always lots of rumours this time of year and I wouldn’t necessarily place too much confidence in the Mirror, especially as the article says:

Paddock sources say the Finn, 29, has signed an outline agreement to return to the car he won the world title with in 2007.

Raikkonen did indeed win the Championship in 2007 but I seem to remember him driving a Red Car that year…

This tweet from McLaren’s FifthDriver seems to suggest no decision has been made so as usual we will just have to wait for official confirmation.

As much as I like Heikki and think he deserves to keep his seat for 2010 I can’t deny I would love to see Kimi back in one of the Silver Arrows.  He was criticised earlier in the year for an apparent lack of interest in F1, but since then he  has scored 5 podiums including a win in Belgium.  That doesn’t seem like someone suffering from a lack of commitment.

I also think the team of Kimi and Lewis would work.  Raikkonen clearly doesn’t care who his team mate is, he just gets in the car and drives fast. Some think that Hamilton needs to be number one but I’m not so sure.

Both Hamilton and Raikkonen are awesome talents.  They have each won a world Championship and I would love to see them pushing each other all the way through 2010.

Image: McLaren

Categories: Drivers Tags: , , ,

Fisi scores Force India’s first points

August 31st, 2009 No comments

Giancarlo Fisichella, Belgium, 2009Why can’t they all be like that?

The Belgium Grand Prix was a thrilling race on a fantastic circuit.  There was overtaking and excitement throughout the whole race.

Kimi Raikkonen may have taken the chequered flag on Sunday but it was only thanks to a pile up at Les Combes that he was able to pass Giancarlo Fisichella who had been on form all weekend.

The crash (which took out reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton and current leader Jenson Button) and subsequent safety car allowed Raikkonen to deploy his Ferrari’s KERS to power past the unboosted Force India of Fisichella.

After taking his first win of the season (and his first for 25 races) Raikkonen said:

I knew I needed to get past him. If I hadn’t been able to do that at the restart, they had too much speed and it would have been all over. But I was close enough coming out of the first corner, used KERS and it was pretty easy in that way to get in front. I knew that so long as I didn’t make any mistakes, I should win.

Despite scoring the first pole, points and podium for Force India, Fisichella knew if things had gone differently he could have been standing on the top step:

If you had asked me before coming to Spa, I would have said it would be fantastic to finish in the first eight and score a point for the team but, considering the pace we had all weekend thanks to improvements we’ve been making to the car, it was possible to win this race. My start had been perfect. When the safety car came out, I was over two seconds ahead. Kimi would not have been able to get near me for the rest of the race. But, because we had the restart, he was right behind me and able to use the KERS to overtake. There was nothing I could do. Second place and eight points is a fantastic result. But it could have been so much more.

The fact that Raikkonen was the sixth different driver to win in as many races means Jenson Button has still managed to hang on to a 16 point lead in the Championship.

2009 Belgian Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 6 23:50.995 10
2 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1 23:51.934 8
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 8 23:54.870 6
4 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 5 24:00.961 5
5 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 3 24:02.271 4
6 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 15 24:23.758 3
7 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 4 24:26.456 2
8 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 10 24:27.203 1
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 9 24:27.954 0
10 Timo Glock Toyota 7 24:32.485 0
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 11 24:33.631 0
12 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 24:37.101 0
13 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 18 24:45.236 0
14 Luca Badoer Ferrari 20 25:33.172 0
RET Fernando Alonso Renault 13 retired, 26 laps 0
RET Jarno Trulli Toyota 2 retired, 21 laps 0
RET Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 14 crash, 0 laps 0
RET Romain Grosjean Renault 19 crash, 0 laps 0
RET Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 12 crash, 0 laps 0
RET Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 17 crash, 0 laps 0

Image: Force India