Marchionne: Kimi is not involved and we will defend him

Kimi Raikkonen heads to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix knowing that his team and the big boss are behind him amid sexual allegations made against the Ferrari driver by a Montreal woman, Cassandra Talula Dias-Greizis.

Ferrari chief Sergio Marchionne told reporters, attending FCA Capital Markets Day in Balocco, that Raikkonen had the full backing of the Italian team, “We have responded with a statement. From our own investigation we know that he was not involved so we can only support his defence.”

Raikkonen is out of contract at the end of the season and, despite rumours of a rally project, he is keen to remain for another year driving for the team with whom he won the F1 world title with in 2007.

Furthermore, Marchionne denied that the saga has any relevance to the Finn’s future with Ferrari, “There are two things perfectly disconnected. I repeat: we have done our internal checks and we know that Kimi is not involved. We are ready to defend him.”

With regards to 2019, Raikkonen has the support of Sebastian Vettel as in the Finn he has a driver who he can own and thus retain his status as the outright number one in the team. A management style that prevailed and worked extremely well during the mighty Michael Schumacher era.

Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene is a big supporter of Raikkonen who slots into the team plan with apparently little complaining by the 20 times grand prix winner.

However, his last win was at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, and he has yet to win since his return to Ferrari.

It is likely that Arrivabene will lobby to keep the equilibrium as it is, with the balance of power tilted towards Vettel – in other words, harmony and continuity – at which point Marchionne may agree or alternatively prefer to light a fuse and up the ante by signing Daniel Ricciardo to partner Vettel.

Big Question: What way will Marchionne go: Kimi or Daniel?