Speculation was running rife in the Monza paddock on Italian Grand Prix race day, and the buzzword was ‘Wednesday’ when Ferrari is allegedly about to announce their driver line-up.
The big talking point was whether Kimi Raikkonen in fact agreed a 2014 deal to rejoin Ferrari next year on the Wednesday of last week, or whether the Italian team will announce it formally on the coming Wednesday.
Perhaps both are true. Perhaps neither. The fact is Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo revealed that the 2014 driver decision would be made shortly after the race in Italy.
“We will think of this immediately after Monza because we wanted to arrive at this weekend without any strange pressure,” he told reporters after qualifying at Ferrari’s home Italian Grand Prix.
“We will take any decision in the next days and we haven’t taken any kind of a decision yet. We haven’t signed any contract with anybody, we will talk with (Felipe) Massa and then we have our opinion and then we will decide,” Montezemolo added while refusing to rule out Hulkenberg or Raikkonen.
Felipe Massa will be hoping the latter is true, but he admitted on Sunday that a cloud does hang over his Formula 1 future.
“We’re still discussing it,” he said of his talks with Ferrari about next year.
“This race was important, not only for the contract with Ferrari but to show other teams what I’m able to do,” Massa, who finished fourth on Sunday, told the BBC.
Another driver hoping Ferrari’s 2014 deliberations involve him is Hulkenberg, who had a sensational weekend at Monza for struggling Ferrari-powered Sauber – qualifying third and finishing fifth.
On the possibility of joining Ferrari, the German said: “It’s definitely something I wouldn’t deny which I’m definitely interested in — it’s a no-brainer.
“There has been lots of talk but at some point the talking has to stop and the decisions will be made,” added Hulkenberg.