Raikkonen has a 2014 Ferrari contract in his pocket

Kimi Raikkonen won the 2007 F1 world championship as a Ferrari driver

Kimi Raikkonen won the 2007 F1 World Championship as a Ferrari driver

The Formula 1 world is now reportedly only waiting for the announcement that Kimi Raikkonen will partner Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in 2014, ousting Felipe Massa from the legendary team, but at the same time giving birth to what could be the most volatile driver partnership since the Senna-Prost era.

“It’s done,” wrote well connected Autosprint correspondent Alberto Antonini. “Kimi Raikkonen has a Ferrari contract in his pocket.”

It is explosive and significant news, because – at least on paper – Alonso alongside the Finn is arguably the best driver duo on the grid, but there could be a downside.

“If it works, the constructors’ title will be harder for us,” Red Bull’s Helmut Marko told Bild newspaper. “Or they could tear each other apart. Wait and see.”

Kimi: Fernando I don't know how to break this to you...

Kimi: ‘Fernando I don’t know how to break this to you…’

Indeed, Spaniard Alonso has made clear his strong desire to continue to be partnered by the Brazilian Felipe Massa.

“I have a great respect for Felipe,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Globo. “He is a great professional and works very hard on the race weekends but also in the simulator.

“If the team decides to keep him, I’ll be happy,” added Alonso.

So thats there where the problem may lie. Having already flirted with Red Bull, the latest rumours are linking Alonso with a shock switch to McLaren or even Lotus.

“To be honest, we have several plans,” said Lotus team boss Eric Boullier, facing up to the prospect of probably losing Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso with Felipe Massa during a Ferrari sponsor photo shoot

Fernando Alonso with Felipe Massa during a Ferrari / Shell Oil photo shoot

“After Ferrari fills their vacancy, our seat will be the most coveted. So we can afford to see what happens.”

The leading candidate to replace Raikkonen at Lotus is the German Nico Hulkenberg, who put his CV in the limelight with a top performance at Monza. But the experienced Massa could be another option.

“Ferrari is a super team; it’s difficult to find another like it,” the Ferrari driver said. “So it’s important to look at all the options.”

Raikkonen replaced Michael Schumacher at the Maranello squad in 2007, and promptly won the world title for the team in his first season. In the process he won nine races for the team.

At the end of 2009 he received a substantial pay out to leave the team and make way for Alonso. Thereafter Raikkonen took a three year sabbatical, during which he dabbled with WRC and NASCAR, before returning to F1 with Lotus at the start of 2012. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tamburello_1994

    I guess “boozed up” Kimi wasn’t lying. Back to Maranello. Wow.

    Your move, Fernando.

  • Coming home

    Where did Alonso win his two WDC? Where did Alonso go when things didn’t work out for him at McLaren in 2007? Where will he go if things don’t go his way in 2014?

    Where else but Lotus (the Renault of 2005-2006 & 2008-2009).

  • pfft

    What’s the issue. Kimi will occasionally best alonso when the car us perfect, but otherwise he’ll just splutter around and collect points. He’s a defender, not a fighter. He loses interest easily. He is super fast on his day…. and when sober. He lucked into a championship when Ron Dennis decided to bitchfight with alonso.

  • the fan

    fernando moving to renault just because kimi has arrived will just be idiotic… if he cant win in a Ferrari then how much more in a lotus? i know how much he wants to be a no 1 driver in the team but having a better car is still what he wants more than anything else. why the hell would he wish for a red bull car that has sebastian vettel in the team if he cant give up his interest in being the no 1 driver. id bet he still wants to be in that Red Bull but of course it would never happen til marko is running the show there

  • realf1fan

    I hope it happens Alonso v Kimi and if it does then i will give Alonso the edge as he is better allround driver, but this is Kimi and he wont give up and I’m a hundred % sure Ferrari are not asking him to be a number two driver.

    Best quali — Alonso

    Getting the best out of a car — Alonso

    Best racer —- Alonso

    best temperament —– Kimi

    Best team player —– Kimi

    most aggressive —— alonso

    Smartest driver ———– same

    Criticising Ferrari without getting sacked Alonso

    It’s got to be the most complete driver for me.

    I think Kimi’s arrival will make Ferrari the best driver line up on paper and will most probably bring Ferrari the WCC.

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    This simply makes no sense at all. Alonso left McLaren cause he didn’t want a strong team-mate anymore, preferring 2 almost-sabbatical years in Renault, and then claiming Ferrari to sack Kimi for him to arrive. Ferrari don’t want 2 drivers at par since Schumacher’s time, and repeatedly criticized teams who doesn’t act like this. Kimi is probably not happy to go back to the team that preferred Alonso to him, and beside the driver who forced him out of F1.
    Practically, they all are reported to do the thing they don’t want to do. If it is true, they are fools.

  • F1 Neutral

    @pfft I agree that Kimi was fortunate in 2007, but he deserved to be called a world champion at some point. So close in 2003.

    Shame that the spygate scandal got McLaren a constructors exclusion in 07, but strange that the drivers weren’t automatically excluded too. For the sake of TV figures I have always believed that Lewis was made to throw the title in China. His tyres were visibly white but he stayed out. It was convenient that Kimi won by a single point in the end, but how stupid would F1 have looked if Lewis had won in a banned car?

  • hillside

    who will tow FA now?

  • fools

    I rather have Kimi then Massa. They will get along fine. Regardless if Kimi is number 2 driver he will get a better car. Better team and a paycheck on time!
    Alonso and Kimi relationship is fine. There is no tension. Massa hasn’t brought any results at all. Ferrari engineers can be boosted by Kimi arrival with all respects to Alonso. This may boost Alonso more also having a stronger teammate.

    Ferrari needs to be in contention for the WDC and they are not getting anything from Massa although they respect him. But enough is enough and Ferrari need results and Alonso cant do everything!

    Excited none the less.

    Alonso for the 2013 WDC

  • Empee

    @real LOTUS is the GREEN one: “Alonso left McLaren cause he didn’t want a strong team-mate anymore. . .”

    I’m inclined to agree, but assuming Fernando wants to bail, where can he go that actually has a shot at the WDC/WCC? Renault’s average performance is no better than Ferrari’s and never will be unless they’re willing to invest in the team again. Not to mention that Romain Grosjean is trying to prove he belongs after two rough entries into the sport, a potentially bad attribute in a purported number two. McLaren is staffed, Red Bull is staffed, and Mercedes is staffed for at least the next 1-2 seasons.

  • Butterfly

    Felipe just announced on Twitter he’s leaving Ferrari at the end of the year.

  • aberracus

    Maybe, Alonso is prepared to demonstrate everyone that he doesn’t need a subservient 2nd driver as team mate, and also to demonstrate he is better than Kimi in the same car.

    I Think Alonso is much more mature now.

    Lets wait and see, but i would rather have Hulk in Ferrari, he got more future,

  • the fan

    if I were alonso, I would take this an opportunity to raise his legacy to another level. being able to beat a team mate that is on par with his skills. I remember in 2005 when they are fighting for the title and kimi missing out just because mclaren wasnt reliable enough. this is good for ferrari, i just hope their garbage policy of having a no 1 and 2 will go with Felipe as well

  • Ukwhite

    Not convinced the move is good. Sounds a sign of desperation, Ferrari badly wanting the championship.

    Financially, Kimi got what he wanted, prestige wise that will be a failure. Alonso is better than him. For many Kimi is gonna be a notch down, he proves he us just a mortal.

    Did Ferrari good taking Kimi? Debatable. If Seb continues to have the upper hand on Alonso supposedly remaining #1 based on results versus Kimi, if Daniel keeps close to Kimi let’s say 4 or 5 place, still RB will be the champions. This mission can be even easier if Alonso is going to have hard time handling a different team status with Kimi playing a different role than poor Massa.

  • Ukwhite

    Ferrari should have taken without any question, Hulk: cheaper, hungrier than Kimi for success, easier to cool and contain him to play a supporting role for Alonso without being a underdog as Massa, younger with hopes for longer term…. Hulk is the future, it is a matter of time and a bit of chance to get in a good car.

  • the fan

    ukwhite…

    i look at it this way… Luca wanted kimi to let Fernando know he cant have his ways all the time in the team. Alonso has too much power in that team and kimi’s arrival would signal that the team is bigger than him. having hulk in there would mean you got a driver that is a level higher than massa but certainly not up to alonso’s skill YET. will this partnership pay off? cant tell but this is interesting.

  • Ukwhite

    The fan: you may be right, it looks a reasonable hypotesis. If I were the big guy and still wanted Alonso, I would have brought Hulk and fully supported him, open intra-team competition. The signal would have been the same. I’m a Kimi fan, hardly waiting to see what is going to happen. Doubt Ferrari will their goal. It is not only Domenicali, it is a bit Luca too when talking about quality management

  • Wolf 9

    The dream team. Only a dream since Ferrari with its present form will not, and can never beat Newey’s consistent genius input. If the engineering doesn’t improve for the coming generation of F1, Kimi is not going to add much to the team & unfairly it might bring him down & lose interest. I do feel sorry for Massa that the inconsistency of Ferrari brought him down. Perhaps age & the accident might have played some role, but diffidently not to the extent where he ended up lately. Alonso is always pushing the car beyond its limits and always inches away from destroying his races…unjust & luck cant be mixed…its a losing card.

    Perhaps Kimi & Alonso might have a better chance for the constructors. Both drivers are experienced & wise enough not to clash. Luca doesn’t have a black heart like Ron, hoping Luca manages both fair & square. Kimi has to maintain his coolness & Alonso has to remember & always accept that even him is beatable. Best of luck KIMI

  • David L

    The season is not over yet, but i cannot see Massa helping Fernando out any more, and this news probably explains why Massa was’nt so good at the tow last week !

  • alii

    lets go Ferrari lets wenner

  • alii

    for you babe I worked so hard