Silly Season Latest: Back to the future as Raikkonen to swap teams with Alonso

Renault driver Fernando Alonso with Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen in 2009

Renault driver Fernando Alonso with Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen in 2009

As the Formula 1 paddock emptied at Monza, silly season speculation raged with one block buster piece of news seemingly moving into the realm of fact: Kimi Raikkonen is returning to Ferrari in 2014 and Fernando Alonso could well return to the Enstone outfit with whom he won three of his world titles.

The news was being confidently reported by broadcasters, including Germany’s RTL, the major daily Bild, and even perhaps the most respected correspondent in the paddock, Auto Motor und Sport’s Michael Schmidt.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo will reportedly inform Felipe Massa that his services are no longer required in a personal meeting at Maranello on Wednesday.

It would go some way to explaining the Italian team’s current ‘number 1′ driver Fernando Alonso’s foul mood and outbursts of recent days and weeks.

Bild reported that the long delay in the actual signing of Raikkonen’s deal is because part of his management team, David Robertson, is in hospital in the US with cancer.

Fernando Alonso leads  Kimi Raikkonen during the Italian GP

Fernando Alonso leads Kimi Raikkonen during the Italian GP

In the meantime, Spaniard Alonso has pushed hard for the status-quo, openly arguing that Massa should stay put. It appears that he has not won the day.

Der Spiegel claims to even know who will pay Raikkonen’s approximately €20 million salary – partly the Alonso-linked Spanish bank Santander, and partly team sponsor Shell.

“Let’s see what happens,” Massa told the Italian broadcaster RAI on Sunday. “Yes, this race was important for my future, but it doesn’t mean that my only future can be (wearing) red.”

He is also quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: “He (Montezemolo) will not announce anything without talking to me, for sure. I love Ferrari. But the other teams also know what I can do.”

Finn Raikkonen, as per usual, was also giving little away at Monza, “I don’t know anything yet. Once I know, I’ll tell you.”

Indeed, once the news becomes official, the really explosive speculation may begin.

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen on the podium in Melbourne earlier in the year

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen on the podium in Melbourne earlier in the year

The German dailies Bild and Welt already report that Alonso is so unhappy with Raikkonen’s arrival that he could jump ship to fill the Finn’s place at Lotus. That move actually might not be as unlikely as it sounds.

Bild newspaper said it could coincide with a ramping up of works Renault support for the Enstone based team, backed fully by the French carmaker’s chairman Carlos Ghosn.

When asked about that potentially explosive news, Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said: “If Fernando knocks on my door, I will answer it. I just hope that I can pay for it!”

He is also quoted by Formula 1news.ru: “We are trying to establish a relationship with Renault and Total, which is important from a technical standpoint but it also may help on the financial side.”

Switzerland’s Blick newspaper reported that Nico Hulkenberg will definitely not be staying at Sauber next year. The German has been linked with Massa’s Ferrari seat, but he might also be a candidate to replace Raikkonen at Lotus.

“We all have plans and backup plans,” said Boullier.

When asked simply ‘Kimi or Nico?’ the Frenchman answered: “Good question.”

  • Tamburello_1994

    Kimi to Ferrari – Maybe. The Alonso part of this leaves many questions unanswered.

    If (and that’s a big “if”) this turns out to be true, Then Ferrari has just wasted the last four years, with absolutely nothing to show for it.

    Colossal, Epic failure that Alonso would have to go back to Lotus (Renault) that’s cash strapped, and somewhat triumphant (“I told you so” moment) for Kimi returning to Maranello. I would give my left (lug) nut to see that.

    Going from Ferrari to Lotus is a demotion no matter how you look at it. How can you be the best driver in the world when you drive for a second tier team? Moreover, If you couldn’t win a title with Ferrari, How do you think that gets done at Lotus?

    And what about Fernando’s contract? That’s 90 million I’m sure he wants. Not gonna get that driving a Lotus. Or does he go on a three year gardening leave?

  • the fan

    these stories are just worthy of a movee… btw, it says alonso won 3 of his titles in renault. thats just 2 actually. care to proof read your stories editor?

    i highly doubt the alonso to renault move, whats the purpose of this? because they cant afford 2 top drivers in the team? how about putting them both in the same team and restructuring the entire leadership of Scuderia Ferrari. they can try that instead.

  • diwant

    returning to Ferrari in 2014 and Fernando Alonso could well return to the Enstone outfit with whom he won three of his world titles.

    THREE WORLD TITLES??

  • Saša

    What is wrong with people. Alonso and Kimi in same team is best way to develop new car for new era. People forget what is coming next year.
    Mercedes have best duo at the moment. Red Bull, we will see. Ferrari have not. Lotus, I don’t think they can pay for it.
    New engine, new rules, I bet that not Red Bull but Mercedes will be asked next year who is number one. With that in mind, Ferrari must take some action.
    And best one is to get Kimi back.
    If they keep Felipe (who is good but not as good as Kimi), they are lost. And I don’t think Nico will do much better than Felipe.
    Ferrari simply have not so good car, and that thing can be driven good only by a racer like Alonso, Kimi and Luis. No one else.

    Maybe I am all wrong, but that is what I think.

  • hillside

    even this site is under FA’s Santander payroll? three WDC really?lol

    we’ll have to wait for like another 20 years for that miracle to happen

  • Sian

    I highly doubt Ferrari would have a completely new line up next year, if Fernando goes then they’d keep Felipe. Fernando really wants to Felipe to stay so if they want to keep Fernando they have to keep him happy with how annoyed he as been at the team lately. Really don’t see Kimi and Fernando at Ferrari as they know Fernando would kick off and that is the last thing the team want.

  • adam

    ferrari have wasted at least the last 5years in f1, no designers, no working wind tunnel, they must all go to the same school as the ducati engineers, WE DO THIS our way, they take no advice, because they say it ok. alonso and kimi should not be looking at ferrari futures unless. they have given up on racing, thus just chasing the money, shame but thats the i see this situation

  • Pauli H

    50-60 million deal for two years is not done in a couple of days. I think that Kimi’s Ferrari contract was finalized in July. Alonso’s loyalty to Ferrari is in question and that’s why Ferrari is having discussions with Alonso, Massa and Hulkengerg about the second seat.

  • lawl

    Three world titles?

    Did Butterfly become editor for gp247?

    lol.

  • Butterfly

    lawl:

    No, you retard. :-)

  • el vicepresidente

    Bla Bla Bla Bla,you people need to consider all the possibilityes,
    there is a lot of money out there,you can buy your seat,2014 is a new era.Think who is out there and you will be surprise,is scary,but is the truth,they use the same manager and this manager has a lot of influences.
    Two Alpha dog in the same team NO WAY, NO CAN DO,FORGERET
    Alonzo and Ferrari need somebody,that do whether they want and the only way to fid that is locking to the SA,or stay whit Massa

  • el vicepresidente

    whatever they want

  • =El Presidente=

    i would like to make sure, that i don’t have anything to do with ‘el vicepresidente’ ..

    He is not my ‘vice presidente’ xD

  • Red Bull Cheats

    If there had been a FEW points difference in the title race last year and 2010 then Fernando would be 4 x WDC and Vettel 1 x WDC. Ferrari and Alonso have been in the title hunt at the last race for 2 of the last 3 years. Hardly nothing achieved.

  • Faceman

    Do it Kimi. FCUK Luca and his syphilis addled brain and classless management.

    Yes, i do think I could do a better job!

  • the fan

    announcement is on the way, kimi returns!

  • Tamburello_1994

    Breaking news from espnf1:

    “Ferrari prepares to announce signing of Raikkonen.”

  • el vicepresidente

    Kimi and Alonzo same team? No F….ing way
    Kimi maybe last chance to Mc Laren and Button to Lotus
    Alonzo team mate =SURPRISE a BIG ONE or Massa one more year
    Lotus need money a lot of money Grojean will go and Pastor will have the seat at lotus,with Kimi or with Button.Grojean remember this name,

    AND PRESIDENTE YOU MUST BE A MEXICAN OR VENEZUELAN I AM YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE EDUCATE Y PIENSA

  • Tamburello_1994

    . . . . From planet f1:

    ‘Ferrari set to confirm Kimi’

    Lots a smoke with this story. . . . .

  • Tamburello_1994

    Hearing the wait is on Fernando – If he’s stays or goes.

    McLaren or Lotus. (or Ferrari)

    Crash f1 reports:

    ‘Have you heard? It’s done. They’re telling Felipe on Wednesday, and announcing Kimi on .’

    WOW!!!!

  • the fan

    tamburello… i guess fernando will stay on board. the only thing to watch for here is how will Ferrari implement their new policy of having no no 2 driver in the field. im happy that they will adapt this system as their current policy of having only 1 driver is a massive failure

  • Tamburello_1994

    I agree fan.

    Just can’t see Fernando leaving 90 million on the table.

    Either way – Ferrari has it’s bases covered.

    Felipe is talking to Monisha K. right about now.

  • the fan

    the next logical step for Ferrari is to fire stefano dominicalli and nicolas tombazis