Ferrari says only Massa secure for 2010 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ferrari says only Massa secure for 2010

F1 | ITV Sport

Ferrari says only Massa secure for 2010

Wednesday, 23 September 2009 16:54

Ferrari has admitted for the first time that Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t have a guaranteed seat at the team for next season – Luca di Montezemolo saying it is still deciding who will partner the returning Felipe Massa.

Although Raikkonen last year penned a 12-month extension to his initial three-year deal with the team to take him through to the end of next season, speculation has been rife for months that the Italian squad is keen to move him aside to make way for Fernando Alonso.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali only served to increase the uncertainty surrounding the Finn’s future following the last grand prix at Monza when he refused to confirm whether he will drive for the team in 2010 when asked directly by journalists.

But speaking in Italy on Wednesday, its president Di Montezemolo finally publicly admitted that Raikkonen isn’t assured of retaining his seat at the Scuderia into a fourth season.

The Italian said that only Massa would definitely be driving one of its cars in 2010 – the team having confirmed several weeks ago that it expects the Brazilian to return to 100% fitness for the start of the new season following the head injuries he sustained in his Hungarian GP accident in July.

"We will have a Brazilian driver because he deserves another chance given that, thank God, he is fine,” Reuters quotes di Montezemolo as saying.

“Otherwise, we are mulling the best choice but we still have time.

“We will decide in a few weeks.”

With other teams’ driver moves likely to be made once Alonso and Raikkonen’s destinations are officially known, Ferrari’s plans therefore hold the key to the market.

Media reports in recent weeks have linked the in-form Raikkonen with moves to championship-leader Brawn, Renault and even a shock return to McLaren, the team he joined Ferrari from in 2007.

Double world champion Alonso, meanwhile, is believed to have had a 2011 Ferrari deal in place for some time, with the possibility that he could join a year earlier if there is room in its line-up.

Should Raikkonen remain at Maranello, then it is unclear whether Alonso will commit to Renault for another year with the team having recently been engulfed in the race-fixing scandal which resulted in the demise of his team boss and personal manager Flavio Briatore.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 04:18 AM
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Raikkonen insists he is committed to Ferrari

Finnish driver and former world champion Kimi Raikkonen insists he is committed to Ferrari in 2010 as speculation mounts that the Finn will be dumped in favour of Spain's Fernando Alonso.

SINGAPORE (AFP) - – Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen insists he is committed to Ferrari in 2010 as speculation mounts that the Finn will be dumped in favour of Spain's Fernando Alonso.

Media reports in Italy and Britain this week have quoted Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo as saying he would retain injured Brazilian Felipe Massa next year but had yet to decide who would be his partner.

Renault's Alonso has long been linked with a switch to Ferrari, with Di Montezemolo admitting at the Italian Grand Prix that he was interested in hiring the double world champion at some point in the future.

Raikonnen said he had a Ferrari contract for 2010 and planned to honour it.

"I always can only repeat that I have a contract -- and that has not changed," he told Formula One's official website.

"If they want to talk with me, we need to sit down to talk. I am fully committed, as otherwise I would not have signed the contract in the first place."

Earlier this week, Di Montezemolo was quoted by Italy's La Stampa as saying Ferrari was considering a straight choice between Alonso and Raikkonen as Massa's team-mate.

"A Spanish or a Finnish driver? We'll take some decisions within a few weeks," he said.

"What's certain is that we'll have a Brazilian driver who deserves another chance, because thank God he is fine now. As for the rest, we are pondering over the best choice."

Massa was in a horrific accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July when he was struck at high speed by a spring that flew off Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car, causing severe head injuries.

Giancarlo Fisichella was drafted in from Force India to take Massa's place temporarily and will be Ferrari's test driver next year.

Raikkonen has been linked with former team McLaren or championship leaders Brawn for next year, but so has Williams' Nico Rosberg.

Germany's Rosberg said here Thursday that he would love to team up with his good friend Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

"I was team-mates with Lewis in go-karts. We had a great time at the time, so I would enjoy being team-mates with Lewis again in the future," he said.

Hamilton added: "I know that a lot's been said, I dont know whats going to happen, but obviously weve got a great relationship. At the moment Im very happy with how things are in the team but we have to see what happens."

Heikki Kovalainen currently partners Hamilton but the Finn has endured a difficult season with just one podium finish when he came second at the European Grand Prix.

Raikkonen insists he is committed to Ferrari - Yahoo! Singapore News
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