Kimi Raikkonen, GP3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Raikkonen ‘pursuing Ferrari’ after Red Bull rejection

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, GP3, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen’s manager confirms his driver will not race for Red Bull next year.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

R??ikk??nen ei siirry Red Bullille (Turn Sanomat, Finnish)

With Raikkonen not moving to Red Bull in 2014, as confirmed by his manager Steve Robertson in this article, the way is clear for Daniel Ricciardo to join the team.

Raikkonen ‘wants Ferrari F1 return’ (BBC)

“[Eddie] Jordan said Raikkonen had made a return to Red Bull his first priority but when talks with the world champions broke down, he turned his attention to Ferrari.”

Red Bull coy on Ricciardo rumours (ESPN)

“Red Bull has refused to dismiss a report that Daniel Ricciardo will be announced as Mark Webber’s replacement at the Belgian Grand Prix.”

Hulkenberg says Sirotkin F1 move ‘risky’ (Autosport)

“Me, I wasn’t ready for Formula 1 at that point. It is ambitious, maybe a bit risky, but it’s not my decision.”

On the red carpet (Motorsport Monday)

Toro Rosso technical director James Key: “I felt that the belief in being cable to compete at a higher level was not there with everyone. It’s just a case of [coming in] and saying that there’s no reason why we can’t do it, no one has written down that we need to be a P9 or a P8 team we can do better than this.”

A provincial backwater (The Way It Is)

“The last all-American victory at Le Mans was scored 46 years ago in 1967 when Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt drove one of Carroll Shelby’s Ford Mk IVs to a legendary win. On the face of where were are today with no American drivers, cars or teams competing internationally at the top levels of the sport and both IndyCar and American sports car racing in the doldrums, we can only guess that none of these things are likely to happen again.”

I was there when… 2000 Belgian GP (MotorSport)

“The cars had indeed touched ?ǣ to this day the damaged front wing endplate from [Mika] Hakkinen’s car sits in Martin Whitmarsh?s office.”

Flashback: Belgium ??68 – the first of many wins for McLaren (F1)

“There then came a grave moment when something broke on Brian Redman?s Lotus coming into Les Combes, pitching the Englishman forcefully into the barriers. He was lucky to escape with a broken arm, whilst an injured marshal was airlifted to hospital.”


Comment of the day

@William-Brierty names Robert Wickens as another driver who deserves a crack at F1:

He did a hugely impressive test for Renault in 2011, shortly after taking the Formula Renault 3.5 title; a series that has arguably produced better young drivers of late than GP2.

In the DTM he took the now statutory shaky first year in the series, but is now easily one of the series? front runners, which is high praise in a series that features such a eclectic mix of touring car and single seater stars.

Equally high praise is that he is now arguably Mercedes? fastest driver, deposing Gary Paffett, who for all of the “nearly, but not quite” insults chucked at him is still a very good racing driver.

With Williams currently perusing the Mercedes DTM squad for a driver to enroll into a young driver programme following their engine tie-up with Mercedes, I?d advise them to forget Daniel Juncadella and get themselves a Wickens.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Woffin and Kozo.Higashi!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Long-serving McLaren engineer Jo Ramirez turns 73 today. He was at the team during the time of Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and later Mika Hakkinen. His 2005 autobiography Memoirs of a Racing Man is well worth hunting down.

Image ?? GP3/LAT

190 comments on “Raikkonen ‘pursuing Ferrari’ after Red Bull rejection”

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  1. I’d so ditch Ricciardo and put Hulkenberg in that Red Bull… you don’t have such a bright talent sitting around waiting for a ride every week.

    1. Ferrari – Raikkonen and Hulkenburg
      Lotus – Alonso and Grosjean

      Who knows?

      1. @nickj95gb

        I disagree about Ferrari’s future lineup but, in light of recent rumors, I think Alonso at Enstone in 2015 is becoming more likely.

      2. I’m not sad about Kimi not going to RB. What makes me more sad is the possible prospect of Alonso leaving Ferrari with no WDC. He always wanted to win a WDC with Ferrari

        I mean, he wasted good years of his life at Renualt just waiting for a Ferrari seat to open, they have probably the best F1 driver of the past decade (excluding Shumacher) and have failed miserably to get the title. Alonso has pushed for all his years at Ferrari. He should have won in 2010, but his team messed him up at last race. Then in 2012 they provide a terrible car, but somehow he manages to keep the title going to the last race. In 2012 he put in some of the most amazing driving I’ve ever seen. But I fear Alonso will retire a 2 WDC.

        1. “I mean, he wasted good years of his life at Renualt just waiting for a Ferrari seat to open, they have probably the best F1 driver of the past decade (excluding Shumacher) and have failed miserably to get the title”

          He went to McLaren in 2007, had the best car, had a rookie teammate and failed to beat his teammate let alone win the championship. Going to Renault was his choice because he didn’t want to compete against and be beaten by Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

          Alonso has pushed for all his years at Ferrari. He should have won in 2010, but his team messed him up at last race. Then in 2012 they provide a terrible car, but somehow he manages to keep the title going to the last race. In 2012 he put in some of the most amazing driving I’ve ever seen. But I fear Alonso will retire a 2 WDC.

          2012 was great from Barcelona onwards. Yes it wasn’t as quick as the McLaren (which was the fastest car), but it had great pace and was by far the most reliable car on the grid which allowed Alonso to steal all those podiums. If Alonso manages to not get outqualified by his teammate in the last couple of races, if he made Vettel pay for starting at the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi he wins the championship. He had the opportunity to win but failed to grasp it…again.

          2010 is completely Alonso’s fault. In the final race went into his shell and didn’t attack. Had a great car (was good enough to win 1-2 in the first race of 2010). If he doesn’t make a driver error at Spa he wins the championship.

          1. Keep in mind that rookie finished with as many points as Alonso: two short of the world championship.

          2. @anon: 2012 hardly had “great pace”. Yes, it was fast compared to everything except RedBull and Mclaren in terms of pace, but that’s hardly great when you’re battling for the championship.

            Think that F1 has incredibly good drivers, so the ones that are truly great will add something to the car, but they can’t take a midfield car and make it battle for a championship. The F2012 was slower that its main rivals all throughout the year, yet Alonso managed to get it within 3pts of winning the championship.

            As to 2010, how many overtakes happened in that GP? I remember reading somewhere that Renault’s engine was newer than Ferrari’s and, supposedly, that was the reason why Alonso couldn’t even get closer to Petrov.

          3. @alexx_88 @anon Not only this, the F-Duct and the set up of Petrovs Renault were much better on the straights than the Ferrari.

            By the way, Alonso did NOT go into his shell and didn’t attack. Remember that one desperate attempt, where he finally was close enough for once but Petrov closed the door, leaving Alonso almost sliding into the Renault? That was the cause of Alonso’s… let’s call them wild gestures post-race. And if Vettel hadn’t had that sparkplug problem in Bahrain, there would never have been a Ferrari 1-2. The Red Bull had much more pace than any car, even the McLaren. McLaren and Ferrari were just close to them on occasions.

    2. I think Hulkenberg is not exactly avalaible. Marko wanted him for YDP but for some reason he didn´t sing. If Hulk was avalaible I´m sure RBR will considere him…

      1. sauber failed to pay him in 2013 with broke his conract making him a “free anent” he can leave at anytime

      2. @celeste Sauber are not really in top condition to pay a driver like Hulkenberg, are they? financial troubles are getting the best of them, the car’s been rubbish, Hulk doesn’t really get sponsors, and there’s a russian boy willing to take his seat.

        I doubt Hulk wants to stay there… maybe previously he didn’t see a future in Red Bull, but now Red Bull need a driver, and the possibilities for him are wide open. He won’t say no…

        1. Maybe Hulk should consider knocking on Marko´s or Horner´s door?

      3. Marko wanted him for YDP but for some reason he didn´t sign

        In order to sign for Red Bull’s YDP Hulkenberg must be separated from his sponsor DEKRA which he didn’t want

    3. I think that Ricciardo and Hulkenberg are pretty even as drivers. They have both shown lots of promising talent in the midfield and have done great jobs with the cars they have been given. So even if you were to pick the out of the 2 of them it might as well be Ricciardo, as he is a driver they have known well for many years and has proven his feedback on the car is good due the his tests in a Red Bull. If they chose Hulkenberg the whole point of the Young Driver Program and Toro Rosso would be pointless as they would pick another junior driver with no more excess talent to one they already have waiting in the wings.

    4. So everyone to Ferrari these days, Räikkönen, Hülkenberg, Bianchi, Vettel & Alonso and Massa of course. Ferrari really need to push for a three-car entry, lol!

      1. If the 3 car entry fails they always have a GT program to fall back on for driver seats @feff1s!

        1. sry that should have been @jeff1s

        2. Are teams allowed to 3 cars?

          1. @full-throttle-f1 no, it’s been banned for a while for cost reasons I’m pretty sure! One wouldn’t even be eligible for constructor’s points anyway so it’d basically be a mule, which would only be of reasonable benefit for Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes at this rate.

            So no, three cars are not allowed. ;)

      2. @jeff1s don’t forget Kamui.

    5. For some reason, I think D. Mat. wants to have close ties with Aussieland and keeping an oz driver fulfills that link.

  2. Fantastic that Ricciardo is getting the Red Bull seat
    I’ve always loved the guy, and I’ve always had a feeling he’d be WDC one day, plus he’s one hell of a qualifier, which, assuming he’s willing to be Seb’s b*tch, gives the team more options in the race regarding strategy.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      20th August 2013, 1:32

      If Vettel is going to Ferrari in 2015 then Ricciardo would only have to put up with one season of being Seb’s whipping boy before he leaves.

      1. That’s not going to happen , Seb is under contract with Red Bull until 2015 & Alonso is under contract with Ferrari until 2016, if there is a chance of Vettel joining Ferrari then it will be in 2017

        1. Well, Ferrari has been as patient as a stallion in the heat when it comes to sign a new charger. Think of 2006 when they signed Kimi, or 2009 when they signed Alonso.

      2. It’s possible that Red Bull might be a little fairer on Ricciardo than they have been on Webber. I believe they favour Vettel over Webber because Vettel has always been their driver – they ushered him through the junior categoies, planned his entire career trajectory for him, and set him up as the first successful graduate of the young driver programme. Webber, on the other hand, was just there when Red Bull purchased Jaguar.

        But the difference between Webber and Ricciardo is that Ricciardo also went through the YDP. His career path has been much closer to Vettel’s than to Webber’s. With the high turn over of the YDP, they need to prove that it still produces talented drivers, and supporting Ricciardo will do just that.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys not sure if Webber played second fiddle to Vettel. There have been a few examples where it was the case and Webber was quite vocal about them – and Marko is part of the RB organization but doesn’t call the shots and Horner isn’t his biggest fan either.
          In general I think the shared attention of the team was much closer to a HAM/BUT or HAM/ROS pairing than a ALO/MAS environment.

          What poisoned the relationship was the same what happened with ALO/HAM – Webber was the rooster in the team but Vettel was quick enough to challenge him from day one and he had troubles to cope with it.

          1. +1
            Vettel was far less experienced than Webber, yet delivered their first victory in 2009 and runner up in the first season, two places ahead of Webber. That kind if set the tone

        2. @prisoner-monkeys Webber was trudging along with Williams when Red Bull bought Jaguar.

          1. @optimaximal Correct. He already signed for Williams when RBR took over and only became their fifth race driver (out of a total of six so far). The only driver they ‘inherited’ from Jaguar was Christian Klien who was part of the Red Bull young driver programme in the first place.

  3. So Peter Windsor thinks that Ferrari would rather replace Alonso with Kimi? Or does he just mean that Alonso would stay on for just one more year, with Massa moving over for Kimi?

    1. I think Alonso will stay but maybe Luca has changed his mind and is willing to kill the “#1 driver policy” at Ferrari, and there’s no better way to put it into practice than pairing Alonso with a top notch driver and Kimi is the man.

      1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        20th August 2013, 9:50

        Alonso + Raikonnen, that would be one great line-up :-)

        1. Yep, just hoping that a great car finally comes along too … 3rd row isn’t good enough

        2. I still don’t understand why Ferrari dropped Kimi 3 years ago. Alonso and Kimi would’ve been a dream of a line-up.

          1. @wallbreaker because they have memory and Alonso + Hamilton was not a good display for Ferrari and to avoid that…

          2. It was related to Santander pushing to get Fernando a seat and Massa keeping his. I read somewhere they wanted more participation in the Brazilian market (the reason for choosing Massa vs Kimi). Not sure if this was the only reason but it was indeed a powerful one, nothing to do with #1 drivers policies, maybe Fernando wanted Kimi out also, but not sure about that, Im only certain of Santander influence. Check this link:

          3. That and his lack of pace when he was teamed with Massa. I don’t think it went down to well with him that they weren’t supporting him over Massa. His pace definitely went up after Massa’s injury

        3. Maybe in 2007. They’re both getting a bit long in the tooth now. This is the Vettel and Hamilton era. You’re already 0.2 or more of a second off the pace if you don’t have one of those guys in your car.

          1. Excuse me, but please not this again?? Ever since 2009 Hamilton has finished the championship with two or three drivers ahead of him – excluding Vettel. Even now he is 4th despite the illegal test.

            How on earth is this possibly his era more than those those ahead? Is it because his cars haven’t been good enough? Well maybe 2010-11 was Kimi’s era then, he just didn’t have a car at all!

  4. ” but it’s not my decision.”

    A guy can’t even decide whether he drives or not these days?

    1. Hang on, I’ve just read and re-read the article – it’s Hulkenberg who says that!

      Although I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Sirotkin gets thrown in much like Gutierrez did! Even Gutierrez admitted he wasn’t ready…

    2. @electrolite uh? did you read it? or maybe I don’t understand what you’re saying…

    3. He was talking about the team putin’ the Russian kid in a race seat.

      (sorry for the pun)

    4. Not if the team don’t want or can’t keep him.

  5. @William-Brierty I agree with the COTD. I’m guessing it’s a lack of sponsorship rather than talent which is holding him back. My knowledge of feeder series isn’t very in depth, but I think he’s done well enough to earn his shot in F1 based on merit.

    I’m hoping he can truly prove his worth in DTM and take the Paul Di Resta route to F1. I’m not sure if he’s WDC material, especially with the talent at the strong end of the grid, but I think he’d at least be a strong mid-field driver.

    I want to hear the Canadian anthem again after a F1 race, very badly.

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      20th August 2013, 11:40

      @steevkay – Absolutely. I agree he’s not going to be the next Sebastian Vettel, but I certainly think he is worthy of F1 and could perhaps operate at a similar level as di Resta. Unfortunately Wickens is a name on that long list of talented but unsponsored drivers, a list headed by a certain Robin Frijns. A lot of drivers that power through the junior series only to find an unassailable financial wall around F1 often find themselves in DTM, which is a series that is not short of a few quid, and therefore can invest in talent (what a foreign concept that is to an avid F1 viewer). And therefore guys like Mortara, Vietoris, Juncadella, Wittmann and Robert all find themselves in DTM, where they will show their talent in relative anonymity. Wickens has an opportunity to forge a link with an F1 team following Williams’ Mercedes engine deal, and with Williams openly saying they are looking for a new young driver, Wickens is up against Vietoris and Juncadella for a very realistic stab at a 2014 F1 seat in the now likely possibility that Maldonado replaces Grosjean at Lotus.

  6. And the last all-American victory at Le Mans was scored forty-six years ago in 1967 when Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove one of Carroll Shelby’s Ford mk IVs to a legendary win.

    I thought that was the only all-American win. And I believe it was the only occasion that a truly American car won, as the other GT40s were designed and built in the UK with Lola.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      20th August 2013, 1:14

      Funnily enough birthday boy Jo Ramirez was involved in the GT40 project. Strange to think one of the best looking and iconic cars in history came from Slough.

  7. I totally agree with the COTD. Wickens deserves a F1 seat.

  8. Gordon Kirbys analysis of motorsport in America should be read as a salutory look at where F1 is headed as it follows the US path of being a business rather than a passion. Running a racetrack should be a business but building and racing race-cars should be a passion, instead in F1 we have the opposite situation, racetracks are run by dictators, sheiks and politicians with a passion for prestige while the teams that build the cars and the management of the series make decisions based profitability rather than passion. If things do not change F1 will decline slowly into irrelevance just as motor racing in the US has.

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      20th August 2013, 0:47

      Oh huh, when have motor racing become irrelevant in the US?? Never heard that one before…

  9. I never got the impression that Kimi was interested in joining Red Bull. The interest all seemed to run in the opposite direction – they wanted him a lot more then he wanted them. I can’t believe he is interested in a switch to Ferrari either.

    1. I agree, I’ve no dubts that if Kimi really wanted to go to RBR he would’ve done it.
      When he’s on it 100% he can be a match to any other driver out there, but for that to happen he has to be comfortable in the team.

      In the end I’m not too disappointed he’s not going to RBR, I think he would’ve underperformed against Vettel in that particular environment.

      1. If Raikkonen wanted to go to Red Bull, then he would go to Red Bull.

        Whether or not Red Bull wanted him is an entirely different story.

    2. So you’re disagreeing with his manager on Kimi’s ambitions, wow….

      1. @jason12 Read the article. Nowhere is anything said regarding motivation. He had discussions with RBR, he gave them their terms, they gave him theirs, no agreement was possible, game over. Having negotiations when a seat in the best team is available and having real motivation to go there aren’t the same. @jonsan is correct. Had KR had a real motivation to go there he would’ve found a way to compromise

      2. Are you under the impression that Eddie Jordan is his manager? Given your history the answer may be “yes”.

    3. “after RedBull rejection” ? I would believe it more the other way round.

  10. I’m not going to lie. I’ll be a little disappointed if Kimi goes to Ferrari. The joy of Kimi at Lotus is watching a top-tiered driver in a (relatively) low-budget team. I enjoy seeing the Lotus mix it up with Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari on a much smaller budget.

    There’s a rebel attitude to Kimi and a rebel attitude to Lotus, and it would be a real shame to break up that pairing.

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      20th August 2013, 9:51


    2. +1

      And after what Ferrari did to him in 2009, I don’t think Ferrari deserve the prize of getting him back

      Lotus are a good team even if their budget isn’t as high. They can compete with Ferrari, especially given the big changes next year regardless of that

    3. There’s a rebel attitude to Kimi

      Kimi is just as much a money grabber as any other driver. If Ferrari offer him a bag o’ money and lenient media duties, he’ll jump ship to Ferrari in a heartbeat.

      Kimi a rebel?! You must be joking!!

    4. Post Massa Ferrari possible line-ups
      Alonso | Raikkonen or Alonso | Hulkenberg or Alonso | Kobayashi or Alonso | Bianchi

      Man, Kimi is not going to Red Bull so I can’t help but push for his move to Ferrari, F1 needs a strong line-up to take us back to the Prost-Senna days (or Alonso-Hamilton) because Hamilton-Rosberg is not that cool anymore…

      1. Alonso Kobayashi seems a highly unlikely proposition to me and Alonso Bianchi seems rather unlikely also considering they rejected Perez in the basis of inexperience. I don’t really see Räikkönen moving as he seems happy at Lotus and one has to remember Ferrari unceremoniously showed him the door a year early for the very man he’d be partnering, so Hülkenberg is easily the most likely candidate for a Ferrari seat should Massa leave (which I hope he does with some dignity before he’s booted).

        So for me I think most of the top 5 is all but set for 2014:

        Red Bull: Vettel – Ricciardo
        Mercedes: Hamilton – Rosberg
        Ferrari: Alonso – Hülkenberg*
        Lotus: Räikkönen – Valsecchi (my wild card)
        McLaren: Button – Perez

        What I’m really interested in though is to see what happens in 2016: I believe Alonso is up then, Vettel is up then and Hamilton is up then (I may need verification on that though) – I do hope Vettel ends up at Mercedes with Hamilton provided they have a fast car (as is looking likely).

  11. Kimi is smarter than he seems. He said he would do something that other people might think is stupid and what was good for himself. I never would have thought Ferrari was on his radar.

    1. I suspected it. I think he should still stay at lotus one year, then see who’s strongest and attempt to move.

    2. That’s what I thought when he said that.

  12. Spa 1968, 3litres not a wing in sight and a 150 mph lap, what have we got for 45 years progress.?

    1. what have we got for 45 years progress?

      Drivers not getting killed every race

      1. +1 Beautifully Mentioned :)

      2. Safety is of course the obvious answer and it is true that the extra weight needed to ensure that safety is a drag on performance, but if cars with no downforce and only mechanical grip were able to average such speeds 45 years ago why is so much money being spent on aerodynamic downforce today?

        1. Alexander (@)
          20th August 2013, 6:29

          It is because of the old layout of the track, 8.7 miles long with lots of long straights

          1. It is because of the old layout of the track, 8.7 miles long with lots of long straights

            Umm, this – it’s kind of obvious! Put a Lotus 49 on present day Spa against a contemporary F1 car and there’s obviously no comparison (iRacing has the Lotus 49 & Williams FW31 – top lap times: 2:22.3 & 1:47.5 respectively. A difference of about 35 seconds over 4.35 miles (7km). That’s also what we have to show for it.

        2. I don’t really get your point. The current F1-cars are much, much faster in every way.

      3. I have to agree with @tifoso1989, excellent response!

        However I do see @hohum‘s point: is it worthwhile investing so much in aerodynamics? Wouldn’t it be best to balance it out between engines (which can obviously be applied to road cars)?

        1. That’s one of the main reasons behind the regulation changes next year – more emphasis on engine performance (and energy recovery), less on aerodynamics.

      4. Very good comment @tifoso1989.

        1. @bascb, when I wrote that comment I was well aware, and thankfull of, the saftey improvements, but I decided to keep my post short and hope for a broader debate (thanks @vettel1).
          Thanks for advice on chocolate hats, not expecting to need one but I don’t like to make empty promises, maybe marzipan or shortbread would be more practical, hmmm.

          1. wow, thank for the mention @hohum.
            I too had to shorten my comment (because I was in a hurry) to only remarking about the very to the point remark, and not reacting to the part of your comment that certainly does have a valid point, namely that all the money spend, and time invested does not really show up all that much for “progress” having been made.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      20th August 2013, 1:39

      Lots more things to stick logos on.

  13. The quote by Mika at the end of the article about the ’00 Belgian GP is great:

    “People always said to me, ‘How can you be so calm?’ Well, I was educated by my parents that way – I learned to control my emotions when I was a kid. I did karting for years, but if you didn’t win a race, you didn’t complain to mummy and daddy about it. My father said, ‘OK, there’s a forest over there – go and kick some trees, get your rid of your frustrations, and then come back’. For a while it seemed to me there were not enough trees – not enough forests! – but in the end I realised my dad was right: there’s no point in getting upset. It doesn’t do any good, doesn’t achieve anything…”

    1. That’s why I liked Mika and then Kimi! Finns are an interesting bunch.

      Let me tell you a story. In 2005 I was in conference and met a Finn who was also F1 fan and told him that Kimi is my favourite driver but complained of his rotten luck (he had just lost WDC for the 2nd time in quick but unreliable Newey McLaren).

      The guy told me that:”we Finns believe that if you are the best, fortune will come to your arms. If you are unlucky, you are not the best”.

      I found it really harsh, but when he won the title two years later with incredible amount of luck in the last two races (Hamilton beaching on the entry to pit lane in china and his short gearbox failure in Brazil), I saw what he meant.

      Now I am not still a believer in this saying as it can imply that every eventual victor is the best (was Button really the best driver in 2009 or Vettel in 2010?) but still it gave me an sight to the psyche of Finns.

    2. I always loved Hakkinen’s charisma. Some say he has none, but I totally disagree.

      1. A fan since the 1990 Macau Grand Prix, where I saw the first glimpse of the Epic Hakkinen/Schumacher rivalry. Sadly he had a terrible accident and lost a little bit of his fierceness there, but was a great. Not everyone can match Senna at qualifying in his first year.

    3. I still see Mika crying between the trees at Monza – nice to have a little extra context here.

      1. I bet he wanted to kick some trees there at that moment…

  14. Wickens must be in Formula 1 by next year. I’m usually not much if a nationalist guy, and I was never much of a fan of JV, but Robert is legit talented and seems like a much more likable guy.

    1. Where would he go?

      The only thing that makes sense is if Toto Wolff uses his influence in Mercedes to get Wickens a seat in a Mercedes customer team – but that means di Resta, Sutil or Bottas has to go (Maldonado is safe because of his sponsorship).

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I have a question. I read an article a while back (a month or so ago) and it said that Maldonado would not go to Lotus because Lotus would not be able to get the PDVSA sponsorship as the PDVSA deal is between Williams and the group and not Maldonado. Surely if Williams didn’t want Maldonado, the team would still have the PDVSA sponsorship?

        1. My understaning is that Maldonado could leave but would need to be repalced by another driver of the same Nationality. Oh God no please not Johnny Ceccotto.

        2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          20th August 2013, 11:59

          @formula-1 That makes no sense. Are the PDVSA going to nail Maldonado into an uncompetitive car and all but write off the chances of another Venezuelan win? No. Are PDVSA a Venezuelan bank going to keep paying a British team whilst the Venezuelan driver they’ve sponsored for the last x number of years goes in the opposite direction? No. I don’t know where you read that but it directly contradicts the way the PDVSA made it quite plain in the winter of 2011 that if Maldonado chose to go elsewhere his sponsorship would follow him. It would be extremely odd if a standard, if hefty, sponsorship deal between a driver and investor somehow metamorphosed into a commercial deal between a team and investor. It sounds unfeasible to me.

      2. Williams want another young driver to develop in the same way they developed Bottas. They could probably put Wickens in as a Friday driver for 2014 for the intention of promoting him to a race seat in 2015.

        I seriously doubt Wickens will be racing in F1 in 2014, nor do I think he should. He’s a touring car driver with very little F1 experience. Even when di Resta moved from DTM to Force India, he at least had a years worth of Friday driving with the team. Give Wickens a “Bottas year” in 2014 and then pop him in the race seat for 2015.

      3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        20th August 2013, 11:49

        @prisoner-monkeys Maldonado is certainly not “safe because of his sponsorship”. From the outset PDVSA have made it quite plain that Maldonado’s sponsorship would follow him in he chose to leave Williams, which would be his prerogative. Lotus are looking for a few quid and a quick driver to replace the inconsistant Grosjean, or to replace Raikkonen in the highly unlikely chance that he goes to Ferrari. For me, it all fits, and it certainly fits better than Raikkonen returning to Ferrari. Arguably Maldonado has shown that he is worthy of a better car, and that the occasional flashes of devastating speed are genuine, and on that basis I really see no reason why Maldonado won’t go to Lotus in 2014, and I also don’t see any reason why Wickens couldn’t be the man to replace him.

        1. Actually, PDVSA is solely with Williams at the moment. If MAL left now, PDVSA is ‘stuck’ with Williams for a bit, that’s why it’s best for MAL not to move.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            20th August 2013, 17:30

            @beejis60 That seems a highly unlikely eventuality. PDVSA sponsor Williams because Maldonado drives for them. If goes elsewhere the cash and the PDVSA decal on the side of the FW35 goes with him. The structure is identical to the Telmex system, who are currently paying Sauber and McLaren for the privilege of being on their sidepods, but they are attached to the driver. It’s like the situation with Karthikeyan in 2011. When he went, the Tata sponsorship went too.

          2. @william-brierty The apparent story is that PDVSA is sponsoring Williams through a multi year contract. How long that contract is, I do not know, but I am just echoing the article I read awhile ago.
            And I am aware of how the sponsorship has/is worked with Telmex, Tata, etc.

          3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            20th August 2013, 19:34

            @beejis60 I heard that story too, but I a) expect that contract to have expired or just be about to, and b) I hardly think PDVSA will begrudge Maldonado a move up the grid based on Williams current performances. Maldonado started with Williams in 2011, so at the end of this season that’ll be three seasons PDVSA has sponsored Williams. For a then rookie, I find it highly unlikely that a sponsorship deal with a team and a driver’s investor would have lasted longer than three seasons. Maldonado’s situation is exactly the same as every other sponsored driver, and the logistics of being essentially “nailed” to single team for ever do not fit with a successful career, and the PDVSA, a nationalist organization that took great credit and pride for Maldonado’s 2012 Spanish successes, will realize and I hardly think that such an infringing arrangement would be in place.

  15. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    20th August 2013, 2:19

    Kimi vs Alonso could be just as good, if not a more mouth watering prospect than Kimi vs Seb.

    1. Don’t forget Kimi loves the Ferrari ice cream service.

      1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        20th August 2013, 9:53


      2. HaHa that’s Gold

    2. Let’s wait and see. Kimi at Ferrari – with Hülkenberg? Or with Rosberg and Hamilton Alonso reunited? Or Kimi at Mercedes and Rosberg to Ferrari?

      1. An Iceman/HAM team would be kinda ridiculous.

        In before Kimi begins to hate dogs :p

      2. Alonso and Kimi at Ferrari seems almost impossible just their combined salaries can support a small nation.

  16. Why aren’t people considering Christian Vietoris too?

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      20th August 2013, 12:19

      @wsrgo I completely agree, Vietoris is being impressive too. Either Wickens or Vietoris would be a good bet for Williams if Maldonado moves on, and both would definitely be better than Juncadella. I would argue that Wickens’ greater single seater vintage makes him a stronger bet, but either Vietoris or Wickens could be looking good for a shot at F1 next year.

    2. Wickens came up yesterday because I mentioned his DTM victory. I agree on Vietoris worthy of a chance in F1 – at least for a test, I don’t think he’s done any.

      Another guy who I really miss is Bertrand Baguette. He was dominant in 2009 in FR3.5, got a bit of testing with Renault and BMW, then had a quiet year in Indycar and since he has got out of sight, though this year he’s been doing well in WEC (LMP2).

  17. Fernando Sandrini
    20th August 2013, 3:33

    Alonso will go “back home”(Lotus) with his Santander money. Montezemolo doesn´t accepted the Alonso´s behaviour. Alain Prost was fired in the end of 1991 by the same thing(publicly criticize the car and the team).
    In my opinion, Red Bull will have Vettel-Ricciardo, Ferrari will have Kimi-Hulkenberg and Lotus(saved by Santander) Alonso-Grosjean.

  18. Raikkonen to Ferrari would be a blessing in disguise. It would match Alonso with a better competitor and both will push each other to higher level of competency. Alonso could now drive at 80% now and still beat Massa comfortably.

    Having a good second driver is very important for the WCC and Massa has been failing to do this job for some years now. I would go on to say that had Massa been better, Alonso might have nicked a title in the past years in the Ferrari.

    1. +1
      So many people think Alonso is leaving if Kim is hired. I don’t think so. I think Ferrari need them both to finally go after a Constructors title. I don’t get the can’t have two top tier drivers argument. RBR has won 3 constructors titles BECAUSE they have 2 great drivers, not in spite of. :)

  19. I’d love to see Raikkonen back at Ferrari and Hulkenberg at Red Bull.
    For me Ricciardo is not good enough for the job, but who knows, maybe he’ll prove me wrong.

    1. I fear Hulk is going back to Force India or maybe even a worse team…

  20. Great article about Spa 2000.

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