Ferrari sources have reacted swiftly to extinguish mounting speculation surrounding the future of Kimi Raikkonen, as the latest edition of the sport’s notorious ‘silly season’ gets going in Montreal.
Swirling around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve paddock are whispers that, having comprehensively failed to match Fernando Alonso’s pace in the first third of 2014, Raikkonen could be axed, for a second time, by Ferrari.
That move would be an echo of Raikkonen’s last Maranello exit, when the fabled Italian team had to pay the Finn millions to end his 2010 contract with Maranello.
Likewise in 2014, Raikkonen is firmly under contract not only for this year, but also 2015, when he is expected to be paid some $30 million whether he races or not.
“Ferrari will not fire Kimi a second time,” a Ferrari source told Sport Bild.
Recalling the amount of money it cost Ferrari to oust Raikkonen in 2009, the source added: “Ferrari doesn’t want to do that again.”
A driver manager also told Sport Bild, “It would cost Ferrari up to $30 million because he has a contract until 2015 with an option for another year.”
Word from the Raikkonen camp is that no matter what happens he is unlikely to remain in Formula 1 beyond the end of next year.
Instead Ferrari appear to sympathise with Raikkonen’s plight, as he struggles to come to terms with the below par Ferrari F14T. The team has added David Lloyd to The Iceman’s engineering arsenal which also includes Antonio Spagnolo.
Lloyd previously worked with Raikkonen during his championship winning year with the Maranello outfit, He and the Finn had a good relationship with in 2007. (GP247-GMM)