Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015

Raikkonen ‘will lose Ferrari seat to Bottas next year’

2016 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015Kimi Raikkonen will lose his Ferrari seat to Valtteri Bottas in 2016, according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

The report claims Ferrari will not take up its option on Raikkonen, which expires at the end of the month, and will pay Williams £8.35 million (€12 million) for their driver. Former Williams test driver Felipe Nasr, who currently races for Sauber, is tipped as a replacement for Bottas.

Bottas made his grand prix debut in 2013 and has finished on the podium seven times, including in Canada this year.

Raikkonen won the world championship for Ferrari in 2007 but had his contract cut short in 2009, when he was replaced by Fernando Alonso. He rejoined the team at the start of last season.

Raikkonen was recently voted F1’s most popular driver in a poll of over 200,000 fans conducted by the GPDA.

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166 comments on “Raikkonen ‘will lose Ferrari seat to Bottas next year’”

  1. I imagine the most popular driver in the field getting the boot will do wonders for F1 viewership numbers for next year. I don’t see anyone else picking up his paycheck, considering he is clearly on the descent.

    1. Sumit (@sumit-chawla)
      17th July 2015, 10:01

      I was surprised that he was the ‘most popular’ driver in the fan survey. His ‘straight talking’ resonates more like narcissism to me.

      1. agree, I find him rude and childish. I did think he was a great driver c.
        2005, not so much now though.

    2. I think equating him as most popular without the GPDA offering raw data is false. For all we know, he could simply be the one with the best average since a lot of other drivers are basically marmite for a lot of people!

      Also, he could be 1 vote ahead of another driver and statistically be ‘the most popular’.

      1. So apparently the survey is rigged? Silly silly silly silly. If they had to rig the survey they will alter fan opinions that the strategy group doesn’t want to acknowledge. Not something about popular drivers haha. Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t need F1 F1, F1 needs Kimi Raikkonen Raikkonen.

        1. Optimaximal was trying to say that unless they tell us how they calculated the “most popular” then there are many different ways they could have interpreted the raw data.

    3. @gicu he said that he would ‘probably retire’ after this stint with Ferrari anyway. I’ve always been a big fan of Raikkonen, but his time in F1 is well and truly up now. He had a year and a bit of great running with Lotus, but since then he has very rarely looked like the Kimi Raikkonen of his peak.

      1. It’s almost as though he came back this time just to get some money out of Ferrari.

    4. I started to wonder what Bernie thinks about kimi quitting. Considering how popular kimi is, i would not be surprised if Bernie tries to grease (MONEY) Williams, Lotus …etc. to hire him. Martini sponsorship and kimi would be a great mix.

      But Kimi could most likely do a better job in a another series. These current generation cars seem to be ill suited for him.

      1. he’s is bloody awesome at lawn mower racing.

    5. Kimi is HARDLY the most popular driver. Maybe by a poll taken in Finland.

  2. Seriously.. What does Hulkenberg have to do to nail a competitive seat.

    Is this the final push he needed to switch series!?

    1. @nemo87 Quit F1 and get a (permanent) competitive seat elsewhere :)

      Seriously though, it would be a huge shame if Hulk had to say goodbye to F1 before having a shot at podiums and victories. I would really love to understand why there seems to be a big wall between him and the top teams. Height, attitude, anything else?

      1. @girts Lack of financial backing…

        1. @optimaximal But Ferrari should not be concerned about that, right? Particularly if they are ready to pay Williams €12 million for Bottas.

          But probably it has something to do with financial stuff, such as marketing potential.

          1. like amount of Ferrari’s sold in Germany vs Finland ;)

          2. @coldfly I guess Vettel already helps Ferrari sell some extra cars in Germany so they might rather want to diversify the sales team :) Anyway, I do not think financial issues were decisive in this particular case.

          3. They’re paying to buy him out of his Williams contract, but my guess that’s on the understanding his Finnish sponsors come with him, thus offsetting the payment.

            At the end of the day, they picked up Esteban Guitierrez cheap in 2014 and plastered his sponsors all over the place, even though they didn’t need to.

          4. Pawel Jackowski
            18th July 2015, 4:56

            Popularity, nationality and road car sales potential have little to do with a teams choice of drivers. otherwise the grid would be full of Arab, Chinese and American drivers. I can count on zero hands how many of those are on the current F1 grid. The only things a driver can bring to the table are points or cold hard sponsorship cash it all depends on what the team is looking for.

    2. I imagine Ferrari might have to pay a lot towards Force India to buy Hulk out. That or maybe Hulk cant speak Italian? :P

    3. Hulkenberg is overrated. What, half a decade in the sport, and how many podiums? He’s the reincarnation of Ivan Capelli. He needs to go to WEC or IndyCar. Either will welcome him with open arms, but sadly for him he was forced to wait too long and now it’s too late. He needed the season his teammate had in 2012, and he never got it.

      1. @spdoyle17 – what a nonsense. Hulk has never got a car that was fast enough to fight for podiums.
        Sergio was able to take a podium last year only because the floor on Hulk’s car was broken. And only because Halk was able to hold everyone to guarantee that the team will get podium.
        A driver cannot win without a good car.

      2. @slava

        Hulk has never got a car that was fast enough to fight for podiums

        Alonso got a podium with a 2009 Renault, which was at least as bad if not worse than any of the cars Hulkenberg has had since 2010.
        Rosberg also got two podiums with the 2008 Williams, again, this car was no better than Hulkenberg’s cars in his career.

        Hulkenberg has been in F1 for 5 years now, and he has driven consistently solid cars (6th-7th in the WCC) during this time. There really isn’t an excuse for him to not have a podium by now.

        To be honest, I don’t even think that Hulkenberg is Rosberg level, let alone Alonso/Hamilton level.

        1. consistently solid cars (6th-7th

          Out of how many again?

          The results Hulk had before F1 were as good if not better than any other driver. He was only beaten by his team mate once, in his rookie season against Rubens. He is beating Perez who in 2013 was outscored no worse by button than he is being outscored by Nico.

          There are so, so many ways I can try to show that Nico is a match for almost any driver on the grid.

        2. Don’t need to compare with Alonso
          PEREZ(!) has 4 podiums in F1, all with Sauber or Force India.

        3. @mike

          There are so, so many ways I can try to show that Nico is a match for almost any driver on the grid.

          I would be absolutely fascinated for you to explain how Alonso in 2009 had a podium and finished 9th in the WDC, while Hulkenberg has never had a podium or finished above 9th in the WDC despite cars like the 2014 Force India, who were clearly better overall (relative to the competition) than the 2009 Renault.

          1. @kingshark

            Well, in Sinapore the Renault was very quick, Alonso placed well in practice, placing 4th, 2nd in the first two sessions and qualified 6th for the race, so at that track it was clearly a decent car. Secondly, the race went badly for many who may have beaten him normally, Rosberg got sent to the back when the safety car came at out a horrible time for him after he’d picked up a penalty, Vettel broke the pit lane speed limit and both Brawn’s had dismal qualifying and frankly weren’t that quick there anyway.

            It wasn’t a normal race.

            In 2014, Perez scored, as Nico’s team mate, a podium finish, beating Nico. But the idea that Nico did badly is just not right, he scored far more points than Checo, 96 to 59 over the season.

            Who in 2014 do you think Nico should have beaten in the WDC? Alonso’s Ferrari? No way, Massa in the Williams? Joking. Button in the Mclaren? I don’t think there was any way to say that he should have beaten Button. I don’t think you could legitimately argue that Nico’s car was good enough to deserve better than 9th in the WDC.

            And you’ve got to remember, in 2009, Alonso would have been 10th should Massa not have had his accident. And even then, the car looks worse in the WCC because of how rubbish Piquet was. If he had of scored half the points of Alonso, as Checo did to Nico, then the car would have been 6th in the WCC, not 8th.

            Now, I don’t think the Renault was as good as the Force India, but if Alonso was in the 2014 Force India instead, I also do not think he’d have been any higher than 9th in the WDC either.

        4. Doesn’t 6th-7th in the WCC mean 10-12 faster cars likely to beat you to a podium?

        5. Guys, if he hadn’t (fairly lightly) tapped Hamilton in the 2012 Brazilian GP, he would have won it or come second, completely on merit. Yeah, coulda woulda shoulda, but hell if people are going to give Luca Badoer credit for the podium he almost got in his Forti, Hulkenberg should get credit for Brazil here.

    4. James Allen believes that Hulk is ultimately not good enough:

      Detailed analysis of [Hulkenberg’s] on track performance data by the engineers, which Williams management will be studying now, as all the teams do, shows that while he has his moments of magic, he’s not at the level of a Bottas or a Ricciardo.

      The next paragraph also suggests that Hulk lacks “repeatability”. In other words, he can be very strong but not often enough.

      1. That’s a surprise to me @girts, though if that’s what they say I have to believe it.

      2. Well, Bottas is the first one to suffer all of those syndromes. He is so unconvincing that more often than not, it’s Massa who finishes ahead of him, and yet, we keep hearing Bottas, Bottas, Bottas…

        Me thinks his marketing team is much better and there are people from his camp blowing his trumpet all over the place, while Hulk pretty much doesn’t have anyone saying week-in-week-out how he is great and how top teams keep considering him.

        Mind you, the Ferrari management at the moment isn’t the one with experience, so they might be swayed with hype more than some others with more experience in F1.

        1. 11 times out of 23 over 1.5 seasons isn’t “more often than not”.

        2. @brace
          – Bottas has beat Massa 5-3 in a two car finish this season, and is 3 points ahead in the WDC despite missing out in Australia.
          – Bottas was better than Massa by a modest margin in 2014.

          Overall, Bottas is better than Massa, but not by a clear margin like Alonso was. Still, being better than Massa is something Raikkonen couldn’t manage in his first stint with Ferrari.

          1. Not sure what 2007 season you were watching, but Kimi beat Massa by pretty substantial margin during his first season. And unlike Fred, he didn’t need to have the car built exclusively to his driving style and get preferential treatment. He stopped caring after the first championship; had you paid attention, you would know that much.

            And Massa has proven he’s capable of mixing with the best when he’s given parity. I can’t stand Massa, but even I will give him his dues.

      3. @girts, of course we have all the data as well, if we are patient enough to dig up all the fastest lap articles here on F1Fanatic. @keithcollantine, what do you make of that paragraph from James Allen? I presume you have all the data in a more compact form?

        Although I haven’t followed Hulkenberg’s performances that closely over the years, I do not subscribe to the point of view that he is average with occasional moments of magic. I feel that apart from his magic moments, he also operates at a very high level. I cannot find the team mate stats at the moment, but didn’t he beat all his team mates in both qualifying and race over the seasons?

        1. @adrianmorse I think he has indeed beaten every team mate after his debut season (Barrichello was clearly better in 2010). As always, you can question the quality of his team mates.

          I am afraid we do not have all data as engineers have access to telemetry, more detailed timing information etc. so they see exactly if and where the driver loses time. But it would still be good to read some analysis of his performance – if Keith does it, I am sure it is going to be a good one! :)

      4. Yeah. I read that. He also said Vettel is outstanding.

    5. @nemo87 – I guess it depends how good a car Williams design for him next season! ;)

    6. Jon (@patomilan)
      17th July 2015, 12:55

      If this does happen I’ll be happy to see Bottas at Ferrari but like so many I wish to see Hulk in a fast car as well. However realistically though I couldn’t imagine Ferrari with two German drivers.

    7. @nemo87 Simple, get more result. I feel Hulkenberg is overrated among F1F commenters. He is good driver but unfortunately for him there are better drivers than him. Saying you can’t get outstanding result because the car is not good enough is rubbish when all the top drivers in the top team already producing extraordinary results during the same time Hulk is in F1 now.

      In the end what all his supporters do is making him sounds like Massa that everything is the car fault, not his (to clarify, its not that he the one who said those things, but its the excuse I always heard here in comments section by the fans).

    8. He’s German (and maybe too tall); Ferrari already has Seb;
      Besides i personally think Bottas is better than Hulk.

  3. Sumit (@sumit-chawla)
    17th July 2015, 9:55

    As a Force India fan, I am happy, as this means HULK might be staying put. At the same time though, Nico deserves a top seat. I mean what more he needs to do? Win Indy 500?

  4. A sensible decision. If this is true, then it will be interesting to follow the battle between Bottas and Vettel. I think that Vettel will come out on top but I will not be surprised if the new Finn surprises me (if that wording makes sense). I am sure that he will score more points than Raikkonen anyway and that his first win is now just a matter of time.

    I hope that Raikkonen also takes the right decision and ends his career at the right time. It would be a shame if he ended up like Jacques Villeneuve…

    1. Vettel gets along famously with Finns. I’m very curious about the potential of their relationship as teammates.

      1. Vettel I think is okay with any teammate except for Ricciardo, hate to say but he really got in Seb’s head in 2014.

        1. Wow, still think this despite the obvious. Okay…

    2. (@girts)

      I think that Vettel will come out on top

      Wow, it astounds me that even after 2014 some people still rate as anything above average.

      2016 will be another repeat of 2014 – everyone quoting all his championships and success, expecting him to show Bottas what’s what. And again, a talented young upstart will show just how much those four years of domination were entirely the product of his machinery and a very lucky set of circumstances. And again, the excuses trotted out for his destruction will be as delicious as they are ridiculous.

      1. I do not think so. Not only Bottas will be knew to the team but Ferrari really likes to focus on their number 1 driver and that will be Vettel. So Bottas will already start with big disadvantage.
        If we also include that Bottas probably isn’t as good as Riccardo since he can’t beat Massa convincingly then this shows that Vettel will have a lot easier challenge with Bottas than with Riccardo.

  5. We need to start a petition for Williams to take back Hulkenberg. The guy needs to get at least 1 chance in his career, right?

    1. Sumit (@sumit-chawla)
      17th July 2015, 10:04

      Without sounding overly optimistic, if the cologne wind tunnel works fine, force india might be a better option than Williams next year

      1. Force India doesn’t have the money Williams has.

    2. @meander Perhaps I am underestimating the inner power of the team from Grove but I do not think Williams would be a real “chance” for him. Podiums – yes, a lucky win – maybe. But I think that Williams have currently squeezed out all their potential and cannot really climb any higher. Firstly, they do not have the money to do that. They might outsmart one or two of the richer teams but someone will still be better than them. Secondly, they buy their engines from Mercedes and I doubt if they can ever beat Mercedes’ factory team like that.

      1. @girts Why not? For all we know the Mercedes might have been the best engine but Mercedes built a crap chassis like McLaren did in 2013-15. With Ferrari and Red Bull struggling last year it might have all of a sudden seen Massa become champion because their chassis was really good. I’m not saying that is likely to happen but it could’ve happend. It’s always this small invention that changed the balance of the teams. Sadly there is so little room to find these that the chances of it happening are quite slim.

      2. @girts I completely agree. If McLaren, with all of their resources and big names cannot beat the works team, then what hope do Williams have? It’s precisely why McLaren left Mercedes for Honda, and whilst Williams has had small success in this partnership with Mercedes, it is quite clear that for now at least – beating the works team is impossible.

        Just look at the facts. Every pole and race win has been taken by the two works teams this season. Together they have achieved 25 of the 27 podiums on offer, and should have achieved the other two as well. Mercedes has an incredible advantage over the next non-works team in the championship – a staggering 220 point lead over Williams. Ferrari’s gap over Williams stands at a relatively healthy 60 points as well.

        Hulkenberg will not win a championship at Williams in its current state. In fact, I don’t believe that any driver will win a championship in the near future unless they are driving a Mercedes, a Ferrari or if they get their act together, a McLaren.

        1. It doesn’t hurt that the works teams you mention have Hamilton and Vettel as drivers. Hamilton is showing what he is capable of with a competent team. As long as Mercedes keep it together then much success should follow. Mclaren absolutely blew it. First letting Hamilton go, then changing engines.

      3. As a chance it could be just a stepping stone towards a bigger team. Maybe for Wolff to realise that they could put him in the Mercedes as their next German driver if he brings good results there. But if he stays in Force India now as well, he probably won’t get higher up the grid ever, so he has nothing to lose by moving to a bigger team like Williams, even if they are not exactly a top team.

        1. Gastonmazzacane
          17th July 2015, 17:04

          The next German driver already is Pascal Wehrlein, I guess…

  6. Although I’m sure Bottas is a better choice than Kimi at the moment I don’t think he is the right choice. Hülkenberg fits right into the teams philosophy, he has quite a few years of experience with three teams no less, and already with a Ferrari engine.

    Bottas on the other hand scored a couple of podiums thanks to the ridiculous straight line speed of their car. If anything his Q3 in Canada in 2013 was far more impressive than any of his podium visits, except for maybe Silverstone last year. On the day there has been plenty of proof how difficult Bottas has it to beat Massa, the one they dumped for Kimi.

    So Bottas would be an improvement on Kimi, but he might just turn out like Perez at McLaren.

    1. @xtwl If fairness, based on Massa’s performances since this new formula, I think I’d rather have Massa in the Ferrari over Raikkonen. Obviously it’s impossible to tell, but that’s how my gut feels.

      1. @philereid Yeah, as I wrote some comments below, it seems they should’ve kept Massa in 2014 and then they would be in a better place now.

        Weird question perhaps, are you the same guy from AOR blue in the ProMazda championship?

        1. @xtwl Ha, I am! Are you involved too?

          1. @philereid I’m massively involved. I watch the videos. ;)

            I sadly have no computer that could run the game at proper level.

          2. @xtwl Well I’m glad we have got them back up and going again then! And that’s a shame, as it is, for me, the best out there for what it does.

    2. Perez at McLaren

      This was my first thought after reading the news. Based on Alonso’s demolition of Massa and Kimi and Bottas’ subsequent non-domination of Massa, it looks like the only benefit that Ferrari will have is cheaper driver at the same speed and for the same results.

  7. An inevitable decision but sadly predictable. So few sportspeople have the privilege of ending their careers at the top of their game, and there will be quite a few people watching F1 today who have no idea of Raikkonen’s great drives in the past. By those past standards he’s underachieved since his return to F1, and it seems that there are now very obvious, better, younger prospects across the grid.

    Bottas has mostly done everything right to ensure that he’s the natural successor and good teammate to Vettel, and moves like this are positive as it triggers changes across a number of teams.

  8. Good.

    Raikkonen, Button, Massa and Alonso all need to clear off so the field can be rejuvenated. Too many has-beens clinging on to their final contracts. Yes that’s harsh but these guys have had their time and their chances. Move on.

    1. I tend to agree. There is enough talent ready to take over those seats. Drivers like Magnussen and Vandoorne deserve (another) chance in F1.

      I think Alonso has a couple more years in him however. I sincerly hope Mclaren-Honda is more competitive next year so that we can see him in action once more.

    2. I agree as well. As an endurance racing fan I’d very much love to see Button, Alonso and Hulkenberg putting their immense talents to good use in a competitive series, rather than to see them struggle in F1.

      If F1 doesn’t need them, it’s F1’s loss, really.

    3. Don’t really agree. Ideally I’d say that young talents should be given a chance (strong Vandoorne supported here), but in the meantime I’d still take the best driver out there, and in my book Alonso at least fits the bill.
      Young talents can still perfect their racecraft in the feeder series.

      1. In fact, I don’t feel the need for the field to be especially rejuvenated like you do, @spawinte.

    4. Why they should leave if they still can perform? While Raikkonen performace is poor on lately and Massa form always erratice, Button and Alonso still performing good consistently. If they should leave to provide room for new bloods, shouldn’t all top athlete retired after certain age for the same reasons?

    5. Clearly you equate Alonso’s abilities as a driver with his ability to drive a competitive car…

      Perhaps you’ve only recently started watching F1, so you have no idea what you’re talking about – this is all I can surmise.

      Tell me would you rather another corporate friendly, robotic 20 something in the field?

    6. Not in 2016.
      McLaren will keep Alonso. Williams will retain Massa and get Button for a WDC driver will get more sponsors. That leave Haas, who said need an experience driver, no choice but sign Kimi.

  9. The Blade Runner (@)
    17th July 2015, 10:25

    As anyone that’s been to a European GP will testify to, Finnish F1 followers are fanatical about the sport and their fellow countrymen. I was at the Hungaroring last year wearing a Williams Martini polo shirt and spent most of the weekend explaining to disappointed Finns (often wearing blue and white horned hats) that they couldn’t buy one at the circuit and that, no, I wouldn’t sell them the one I was wearing!

    Perhaps Ferrari have been swayed Bottas’ talent/nationality combination?

    Personally I think he is a fantastic driver and a great choice. That’s not to say that he is better (or worse) than Hulkenberg but I suspect that “non-racing” factors ultimately influenced Ferrari’s decision.

  10. Raikkonen was recently voted F1’s most popular driver in a poll of over 200,000 fans conducted by the GPDA.

    Funny how Raikkonen became the most popular driver when in the same survey fans say it is most important (86%) for the driver “to be open and honest with fans”.

    1. Seems right. Kimi pretty much conveys what pops in his mind (very little though) unlike other drivers who stick to the PR line.

      Maybe that is what the fans want and voted for?

      @coldfly

  11. Ah! The Italian media.

    Not saying Kimi is shining, but I hope this is put to bed soon with either Bottas announcement or Kimi being retained for another year.

    Either way Vettel will be happy :-) His domination of Ferrari team mate will continue.

  12. Wanna win? Hire a Finn!

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      17th July 2015, 10:37

      Get printing the t-shirts, you’ll make a fortune!

  13. welll..YAY

    and.. boo

    oh well. Fourth decade of Finnish drivers on the grid in a big team coming up. For a nation of under 6 Million people, we are spoiled.

  14. At this point, I’m more disappointed that Hulk didn’t get the seat, than I care for what happens with Kimi.

  15. I very much hope this isn’t the case for two reasons:

    a) This is Hulkenberg’s last chance of a top drive – Bottas by contrast would have been well placed to replace Rosberg in a few seasons.

    b) A Williams drive for Nasr would deny the race seat Williams development driver Alex Lynn very much deserves.

    I can’t help but wonder if there is a tangible reason why Hulkenberg cannot get a top team seat. Height? Work ethic? Attitude? All of these seem implausible, but you can only say that opting for Valtteri instead was a highly unimaginative decision. It is not a risk free one either: just how good a reference is Massa now anyway?

    1. @countrygent Massa is the perfect reference. They dumped Massa for Kimi, Bottas is hardly showing Massa all corners of the room and now they want to hire that person to replace Kimi. They would almost be better of rewinding time and just keeping Massa all throughout 2014-2015.

      1. @xtwl My concern with Bottas is that he hasn’t been beating Massa quite as consistently as Alonso was during their partnership. If Valtteri wants to be competitive against Vettel, as he will be expected to be, he ought to be aspiring to Alonso-levels of demolition against Massa. Yes, he has a healthy margin in terms of his raw capacity over Felipe, but he still does not always deliver it when it matters: he has under-delivered in Q3 for the past two races.

        Yes, Massa is probably performing better at Williams than he was as Ferrari’s whipping-boy, and yes, beating Vettel in his prime is perhaps not as daunting a task as beating Alonso in his prime (as he was during his partnership with Massa). However, in my opinion, I would be surprised if Bottas’ level of operation in 2015 would be good enough to beat Vettel if Bottas had been in Kimi’s seat this year. That said, he is improving all the time, and I wouldn’t for a moment question the validity of dubbing him a future world champion.

        1. Do Ferrari really want someone to beat Vettel though? I don’t think so. Otherwise why not go for Ricciardo instead of Bottas? Money won’t too much of a concern for them, and this is a guy who has already beaten Vettel once. Of course it doesn’t mean he will do it again in the future but it’s certainly impressive.

          1. @debaser91 Ricciardo, like Bottas has a contract for 2016, but I somehow doubt Red Bull would have been quite as forthcoming in releasing their driver as Williams have allegedly been. He was a genuine contender; Ricciardo himself confirmed that some contact had been made.

            I believe Ferrari have been looking for the best driver available, although I also believe Vettel is instrumental to the new era of Ferrari and therefore his views will be extremely salient. He could well have vetoed Ricciardo and Hulkenberg in favour of Bottas.

            So yes, I agree in that of three, Bottas is the least likely to threaten Vettel’s supremacy, however even if this whole rumour turns out to be true, we will never know whether that was intentional.

          2. If they can hire a guy better than Vettel, sure they will. It would be foolish to let that guy sign with their opponents.

        2. Alonso in his “prime” as you call it would have been in Renault/McLaren if you are assuming Vettel is at his prime at the moment.

          1. Alonso in 2006 was a better driver than Vettel at any point in his career.

          2. Alonso in 2006 was a better driver than Vettel at any point in his career.

            I’d say Vettel in 2011, also winning his 2nd title, was similarly outstanding.

    2. b) A Williams drive for Nasr would deny the race seat Williams development driver Alex Lynn very much deserves.

      Will he have enough superlicense points come 2016? At this point, I think it’s more likely he’ll step into Massa’s boots come 2017.

      1. @optimaximal – Alex has 53 points. He could have stayed at home this year and still had enough for a super-license for next year. See what I mean by “deserving”? He is still young, 21, but I really see no need to delay the debut of a guy that really looks like a future star.

        1. @countrygent Fair enough, I thought he was down on points, hence why he took the development role instead of reserve to allow him to run his GP2 campaign.

    3. Lynn doesn’t strike me as good enough for anything past GP2. His form since reaching GP2 is too similar to Gutierrez for my liking: fast until the cars got fast.

  16. Why not Hulkenberg ??

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      17th July 2015, 12:52

      Maybe Ferrari don’t want 2 x German drivers?

    2. oh, I see what you did there… =)

  17. I’d prefer Hulkenberg. His Le Mans performance marks him out as a team driver, whilst Bottas at Silverstone was less convincing. However, Nico’s affiliation with Porsche could be a problem for Ferrari. In all of this, Grosjean still looks like a worthwhile prospect for the Italian team, if Lotus and Total will let him go.

    1. Grosjean! Exactly what I have been saying, and I don’t understand why people have left him out here. He is quick, has experience at the front, and personally I see him as the best candidate. @splittimes

      1. @splittimes @strontium Thank you both. Don’t forget to mention that he was always notably faster than Hulkenberg in the junior formulae and managed to eclipse an on-form Raikkonen at the end of 2013.

  18. It’s a bit of a shame to see Valtteri Bottas supposedly get the nod over Nico Hulkenberg really, especially when he has perhaps not beaten Felipe Massa as well as expected this season, who was axed by Ferrari two years ago. Canada and Bahrain (where Massa was hampered by issues out of his control), it is 3-3 in the races. Each driver has one third place, and whilst according to the form guide, Bottas has outqualified Massa on just three occasions, he has a slight lead in terms of laps ahead, but those will count those races at Bahrain and Canada.

    It’s an odd choice to completely blank out arguably the most in-form driver of all in Hulkenberg (especially judging by the DOTW polls), but perhaps this was wrapped up a while ago.

    1. It could just as well be about Ferrari not wanting two Germans in the car. Or maybe Hulk’s ties with Porsche are an issue or maybe its just Hulk being older? Or his height @craig-o

    2. @meander What is arguably most concerning is that Ferrari reportedly think Bottas is the better driver to the tune of £8.3million. Although, what is a sum as meager as that if you are Ferrari.

      As @bascb says I think the all-Teutonic line up might have been deemed an issue. McLaren’s all British team worked because it was a British team with a largely British fanbase. That said, Hulkenberg was openly regarded as a candidate by the team, and him being in red would have nostalgically seen the team reunite with Nico’s sponsor Dekra.

      The Porsche thing was not an issue for Force India and therefore should not have been an issue for Ferrari. He is not a recognized affiliated driver for either Porsche or Mercedes. In fact of the two, Bottas’ relationship with Mercedes throughout his career could have been the most problematic.

      With the increased minimum weight, Hulkenberg’s height should not have been an issue.

      We must remember Seb: maybe Vettel preferred the prospect of the young Finn to Nico. I think Nico’s junior success and now his Le Mans victory has earnt him some genuine notoriety among his peers.

      This is not official yet: there is still hope of the right man getting the drive.

      1. The Porsche thing was not an issue for Force India and therefore should not have been an issue for Ferrari.

        This is not the case, as Force India exists only as a Formula One team, whereas Porsche is one of Ferrari’s competitors in the road car business. It’s the same reason why Alonso wasn’t allowed to compete in 24h Le Mans.

        That said, Hulkenberg has no contract with Porsche as far as I am aware. It was just those two races which he competed in, so he wouldn’t have to do that next year.

    3. Bottas hasn’t managed to utterly dominate Massa, true. But isn’t it worth noting that Hulkenberg has failed to truly dominate a Ferrari reject in Perez? Why would Ferrari hire someone who is only marginally quicker than a driver they have already decided against?

  19. Time for Jenson to rejoin Williams, perhaps? Stoffel Vandoorne could then replace him at McLaren.

    1. Why would Williams take Jenson and have two drivers at the end of their careers? They would be as well taking Raikkonen and they could afford neither driver’s salary

      1. You are not being fair there. Jenson on current form is better than Massa and Raikonnen.
        They are better taking Jenson and dumping Massa if they do not want two old drivers.

  20. As for why to pick Bottas instead of Hulk is that Bottas is a future champ and Hulk isnt

    1. On what basis is this statement made? Just to state, I think they are both future champions.
      Hulkenberg should start his own team, I think that’s his only chance of getting a top drive because the amount of times he is overlooked is crazy. He’s a great driver.

    2. Well you future champ is probability being chosen because he will be a decent number 2 to Vettel.
      Ferrari doesn’t want to ruin Vettel’s happy circle right now. He is the guy they chose to lead them for the next years.

  21. Bottas is a very sensible young man, i believe he is a little too courses, admittedly he has his moments but that has to change now if he is going to be with Ferrari,
    more determination to win at some expense to on track bumps and bangs. if he can show more aggression he may make it.
    as for Kimi the slow talker and none excitement voice, comes across as a different and like-able character, will be missed by those including myself from F1, but he seams to sometimes loose concentration on track, shame if he is totally lost from from F1 for ever, hope Hass picks him up.

  22. What about the claimed reports of Hamilton going to Red Bull / Aston Martin / Mercedes and the Hulk going to Mercedes?

    1. Hamilton signed a deal with Mercedes earlier this year @psynrg .

    2. @craig-o Just messing. Can’t believe the size of this thread on Bottas going to Ferrari when it’s just a claimed rumour some of the Italian Press.

      This is what happens when Germany skips hosting a race!

  23. I am a Kimi fan but have become a bit disillusioned with the stock answer of “I don’t know/it’s just the way it is” after each disappointing race weekend

  24. I’m gutted for the Hulk, but then again, you never know who Mercedes will look for in 2017, or what might happen at Red Bull within the next couple of seasons. I’d like to include Mclaren in the list of options, but then again, we are talking about top teams here ;)

    I’m not that surprised by Ferrari’s decision though. Bottas isn’t all that spectacular, in fact, he’s marginally more impressive than Massa. He’s consistently a decent qualifier, and solid racer with standout performances on rare occasions. Above all, he’s a team player and respects the team’s decision. He never bashes his team despite problems, and is fairly good with the PR Stuff.

    This is the classic #2 driver that has always been in Ferrari’s roster. He’s quick and consistent, yet not special enough to deliver stellar performances on a regular basis. He’s good enough to pick up podiums consistently and the occasional win, but not good enough to stay in the WDC hunt. He will be obedient when it comes to team orders, and won’t fret and frown when he doesn’t get the best strategy, engineers, updates, etc. He seems to work well with the team and keeps himself media friendly at all times.

    What more could Ferrari ask for?

    Arrivabene has changed a lot of things up in Ferrari, but he’s smart enough to know #2 driver philosophy has always worked in the past.

  25. Why Bottas?
    He has similar speed to Kimi, he will have roughly same results as Kimi but at a cheaper cost. Very unimaginative decision by Ferrari

    1. very true

  26. About 80% of the sport’s appeal will be gone if this is true. Oh well, I always knew it won’t last forever.
    I will probably continue following the sport even after Kimi is gone, but my enthusiasm will fade drastically, that’s for sure.
    Here’s hoping Kimi will continue his racing career in WRC or some other series. But please no NASCAR!

  27. zoom (@zoomracing)
    17th July 2015, 14:12

    They should re-hire Alonso, that will be fun.

    1. Ahahaha. Alonso 2nd driver in Ferrari.

  28. Just like to comment on something regarding Hulkenberg V Bottas & why teams would be looking at Valtteri rather than Nico.

    Although his results & performance against Massa have not always reflected it in the view of the fans, Most (If not all) of the engineer’s, data gathered & talent scouts in the F1 paddock are by all accounts massively impressed with Bottas & have been since he 1st started racing cars & the people he was working with started raving about how good they felt he was.
    The people at Williams are apparently convinced that he’s a future world champion & would love to retain him long term.

    Nico Hulkenberg on the other hand apparently has quite a few detractors in the F1 paddock who are not totally convinced he’s as good as many fans/media people believe that he is. His height/weight also doesn’t help.
    There is also said to be a feeling that some within the top teams are unsure about his dedication to F1 which is a negative for teams like Ferrari who are now looking at long term prospects rather than a driver to fill a seat for 1-2 years.

    1. My take on the situation of these two drivers:

      1. When Nico was in Williams was a Willi Weber client. But at that time he and MSC had parted ways and Michael was managed by Sabine Kehm. At the time Willi’s power in F1 was declining. In 2011 Nico lost his seat and was demoted to a test role in FI and parted ways with Willi. Nico is one of the few none pay drivers of the field so everything is difficult for him. One year contract only, every year the same conversation. Pitty…

      2. On the other hand Valtteri is managed by three (!!!!) pretty powerful F1 people. Toto (the most powerful man in F1 right now after Bernie, not even Jean Todt!) Mika Hakkinen and Didier Coton (Mika’s manager). At the same time Williams have great stakes If Valtteri go to another team (12 million of them!!). So everyone in the team for two long year are adverting the great and champion in the making Bottas (Pat, Clare, Frank even Felipe!). I don’t know if Valtteri is as great as he is thought off but I do know that sometimes a good salesman can make you buy crap that you don’t need. Finally Valtteri should be kicking Felipe’s behind regularly but he doesn’t. So…..

      1. @babis1980 There would be little point in Williams trying to hype Bottas to make him worth more because teams look beyond any hype been thrown on a driver, They have there own people crunching the data & watching the other drivers & can easily tell if any hype is justified or not.

        Additionally as I said its not just Williams that have been praising Bottas, Everyone he’s ever worked with in both F1 & the junior categories have done nothing but talk about how great they feel he is & some of these people have worked with former/current f1 world champions & don’t throw this sort of praise around unless its justified.

    2. @gt-racer It doesn’t really matter if the engineers are impressed if he is going to finish behind Massa anyway is it…

      1. @xtwl Depends, The teams tend to look beyond results alone because they have far more data to base opinions on & generally have a far better understanding of why drivers end up where they did.

        Take the last race as an example, Yes Bottas finished behind Massa but when you dive deeper & crunch the data (As the teams do in post race debriefs) its pretty clear that Bottas was faster than Massa (Hence the debate about team orders in the early stint) & that is the bit the teams will focus on when evaluating & rating driver performance.

        1. Depends, The teams tend to look beyond results alone because they have far more data to base opinions on & generally have a far better understanding of why drivers end up where they did.

          @gt-racer I understood what you ment but even though the engineers are impressed, but he finishes behind more often than not it does not really matter who is impressed if he can’t beat his teammate who does not impress the engineers.

  29. It annoys me somewhat to hear Bottas described as a ‘future champion’ by some people. What has he really done to deserve that? I remember the same thing being said about Perez 3 or 4 years ago, and I see Perez as being a similar level of driver to Bottas.

    1. Bottas is getting podiums and get that by showing mature driving in his 2nd year in F1 (2014). If you think that only because Williams is the 2nd best car (it is, but Ricciardo RB proved to be tough competition too last year), this year he already showed numerous times how mature he handles the pressure from the obviously quicker Ferrari. Likewise, Perez is multiple podium winner in Sauber also in his 2nd year in F1 (2012) and that year Sauber only ranked 6th in WDC.

  30. surprised Ferrari ever gave Raikonnen a second chance. he was amazing from 2002-2005 and partly 2006. in 2007 he was good enough, but still only won the championship because Hamilton choked, aand because Massa gave up a place in the last race. After that it is like maybe he didnt care anymore after winning a championship, because from there on it has been downhill. in 08-09 Massa beat him. then he tried Rallying and was pretty poor at it, he came back to f1 and got some good results with Renault, which i believe were mainly because of Renault’s leniancy on its tyres, yet he never showed any amazing speed, his better results were because of strategy, and he only had a midfield teammate to beat. choosing Raikonnen to team Vettel seemed like he was destined to be number 2 anyway, he had not chance against Vettel, and it is showing. I dont see Vettel wanting Bottas as a teammate, he will offer more of a challenge to his status in the team. As for Hulkenburg, i dont think he has a chance for a top drive, he never shone as bright as Bottas early on – and the top teams look for young talent now. winning Lemans means nothing if you have the fastest car and the other 2 drivers driving the same lemans winning car drove faster than you and those 2 have no chance of ever even driving f1 probably.

  31. So it begins… Button to Haas, Hulkenberg to McLaren, Kimi to partying?

    1. @maciek Considering Mclaren have Kevin Magnussen & Stoffel Vandoorne under contract I can’t see them considering Hulkenberg.

      If there replacing Button with anybody next year i’m expecting it to be Vandoorne as having somebody as highly rated as him sitting on the sidelines as test/reserve for a year makes no sense & I can’t see them wanting to loan him to any other team.

  32. Bottas is overrated.
    Hulk deserves the seat a huge amount more .I believe his motivation would be double if not triple than that of 2012 ,2013.
    A lot of jaws would drop when he would relise his pace

  33. This would be good, it’s time for Kimi to bow out and possibly go elsewhere, I can see him in World Rallycross in the future. Bottas is a good fit for Ferrari I think, he’s shown well in the Williams. However, I don’t want to see Nasr in the Williams. It’s now become a relatively good seat, and I’d love to see Nico Hulkenberg move back there. Nasr has done really well this season, but I can’t help but feel he’d be a waste of a seat in the sport’s current third best team.

  34. In the likely event that Bottas does end up at Ferrari, the biggest winners are Williams.

    They’ll get a nice payment from Ferrari and have a few very good options open to them:
    – Nasr – He’s done well for Sauber so far this year and Williams will have all the information they need on him after being their test driver last year. He’d bring Banco do Brasil sponsorship with him as well, who have sponsored the team previously, which would make up for losing Bottas’ sponsors.

    – Hulkenberg – He’s been in fine form of late and will be a cheap option. The team will know him from his time with them in 2010 but he doesn’t bring any sponsorship like Nasr. People should consider that Hulkenberg might already be in the right place for 2016…

    – Button – If he becomes available, he would be great for the team. He’d help with attracting sponsors and with the current ones, it would be a massively popular move (with being where he started his F1 career) for him and the team and he is still an excellent driver.

    1. ^ 1 podium in 2.5 years

  35. Two Brazilians driving for Williams will be very interesting.

    1. Felipe, Felipe is faster than you…

      1. It’ll be a nightmare for commentators.

        1. Amazing how they already pronounce Massa and Nasr exactly the same.

          1. “MAZZUH for the 19th time this season, has out-qualified and out-raced his teammate NAZZUH”

  36. Kimi’s popularity doesn’t earn him a drive. he is still a great driver and one of the best. nothing can change that. he isn’t in decline, as he requires a great front end and unless Ferrari can give him that do not blame him for his driving problems. Kimi loves F1 but doesn’t need it. so I doubt he cares about being replaced.

  37. Think that Verne should have had a year to try a Ferrari…..then if it didn’t work out..( and I personally think he is as good as Bottas )…they could have gone for Bottas…saving the buyout clause in his Williams contract…….and Kimi will not quit F1 just yet….there are teams that can pay him on a points scored basis…as in Lotus (eventually)

  38. ferrari want the fastest drivers possible. they are ferrari! Kimi has lost his touch, it’s an easy decision.

    1. ferrari want the fastest drivers possible

      Then why are they looking at Bottas? :)

  39. Interesting report, but keep in mind that Raikkonen and members of the Italian media have been exchanging unfriendly remarks on an escalating basis. Kimi has rather vocally responded (for him) to some of the previous stories and it is not doubtful that some in the press would like to provoke him further if possible. Kimi rubbishes and they write more stuff. Seems likely they would like to wag the dog with Ferrari too trying to push Kimi out.

    So, Kimi could be on his way out at Ferrari, if that decision has even been arrived at yet. I’m sure Ferrari are exploring all possibilities. Meanwhile the silly season is in full swing swirling around Mr. Raikkonen.

  40. It’s a shame that Hulk won’t replace Bottas. Money talks much louder than talent in this world.

  41. I’m not glad to this.

  42. If I’m Kimi…and if this story is true, then I’m going to park my Ferrari at turn one for the rest of the season.

  43. News report that Bianchi passed away..

  44. I see Jules Bianchi has passed away. RIP Jules.

  45. I’ve just read that Jules has died.

  46. So sad to here the news about Jules Bianchi, we should be sitting here now contemplating whether he should get the Ferrari drive, which I am pretty sure he would have, such a talent lost at a young age. This just highlights the fact that no sport is 100% safe and that more may need to be done to stop this happening again. I am sure everyone’s thoughts are with his family. #ForzaJules

  47. As above, we should have all been talking about Bianchi rather than Bottas in thw Ferrari seat for next year. RIP Jules, thank you for being a beacon of hope and forging your own path through the mad circus f1 has become.

  48. Finally Mr whiner is leaving. Too arrogant and self confident, a pure waste of money! I hope Hulk can get the seat, he deserves it but then again, two Germans in Maranello? Nasr a good option too, he has talent and can be on the footsteps of Barrichello and Massa!

  49. Corrado (@)
    18th July 2015, 20:59

    I feel sorry for him in a way, but it seems to be a certain thing that RAI is out from Ferrari after 2015!

  50. It’s not good idea…

  51. its time for him to return home ,mclaren.

  52. Corriere dello Sport, they seem to know everything… Very reliable news source. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/08/19/raikkonen-to-stay-at-ferrari-in-2016/

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