Mattiacci: Kimi has not told us he wants to quit

Kimi Raikkonen with Marco Mattiacci

Kimi Raikkonen with Marco Mattiacci

Formula 1′s silly season gathered steam at the Silverstone test this week, where Ferrari junior and Marussia racer Jules Bianchi is stepping in for the injured Kimi Raikkonen who has had a a torrid return to the Maranello outfit, spurring speculation that he may be on his way out.

Asked if he feels ready even for a race seat in red, Frenchman Bianchi, who is a Ferrari protege, told Britain’s Sky: “Of course. I am in Formula 1 so I feel ready for everything.”

Team boss Marco Mattiacci, however, denies that Raikkonen – who has struggled to keep up with Fernando Alonso in 2014 – is close to the exit at Maranello.

But the Finn did say ahead of the British Grand Prix that he is likely to retire at the end of his current Ferrari contract.

Is Kimi Raikkonen preparing to walk away from F1 again?

Is Kimi Raikkonen preparing to walk away from F1 again?

“Kimi has not told us that he wants to quit Formula 1,” Mattiacci insists, according to Speed Week. “He answered a question by saying he doesn’t know what he’ll do.

“My point is that I am working with Kimi to get him to his best form, and not thinking about what will happen in 2016.”

At the very same time, Spaniard Alonso is not at Silverstone this week, but at Maranello. La Gazzetta dello Sport speculated that part of the reason for his visit could be to discuss a new offer to extend his deal until 2019.

In reality, Alonso is working hard in the driver simulator, ensuring that the correlation between the sophisticated facility and the real Formula 1 car is right.

Indeed, simulator driver Pedro de la Rosa was in the cockpit of the Ferrari F14T at Silverstone on Tuesday. (GMM)