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Raikkonen now all but set to replace Massa at Ferrari in 2014

Sep 10, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Race Getty Images

Felipe Massa has told the world he will not return to Ferrari in 2014. That leaves one very likely replacement at the Scuderia, in the form of Kimi Raikkonen.

According to a BBC report, Raikkonen’s deal with Ferrari was “said to be completed on Monday.” That would see Raikkonen back at the team where he won the 2007 Formula One World Championship, but was dismissed after the 2009 season for Fernando Alonso.

Raikkonen reportedly was paid handsomely by the team to leave following that troubled 2009 campaign, a year in which the Ferrari F60 was arguably one of the worst cars the team has produced in the last 20 years. Even still, Raikkonen was able to take it to victory at Spa-Francorchamps after a race-long battle with Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella – a result that helped slot Fisichella into Ferrari as Massa’s injury replacement.

The Finn took a two-year sabbatical in 2010 and 2011 before returning to F1 with Lotus. Raikkonen has won twice on his return, Abu Dhabi a year ago and the season-opener at Melbourne this year. Notably, he completed a record run of 27 consecutive points-scoring finishes from Bahrain 2012 through Hungary 2013 before retiring at Spa due to a visor tear-off issue.

The Lotus has not been the fastest car on the grid this year but has done well on its tires. While Raikkonen staying there would better keep the team in contention, he’s weighing his options as a free agent because technical director James Allison has left for Ferrari and the team itself is rumored to be having financial difficulties.

Assuming Raikkonen now goes to Ferrari, the Scuderia would have two World Champions in its stable with Fernando Alonso in the second seat. The BBC suggests Nico Hulkenberg would move into Lotus, then, to replace Raikkonen.

Kimi may well know what he’s doing; he’s been linked to the team already and three-time World Champion Niki Lauda has encouraged Ferrari to pull the trigger. Alonso said he’d be satisfied with anyone.

If he rejoins the Scuderia as is rumored, then the pressure will be on them to build a car worthy of its two talents in the driver’s seat.

  1. ajfoster88 - Sep 10, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    With two drivers able to wring more out of the car than should be possible, Ferrari should suddenly retake its old form.

  2. indycar02 - Sep 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Y E S !… now i cant wait for 2014. massa to join helio (indycar) at penske?..

    • indycarseries500 - Sep 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      I don’t see Rog running three.

      IndyCar is always a possibility but I think his loyalty to Ferrari will most likey be “rewarded” with a Sauber drive or GT ride in WEC. Maybe even be a part of the rumored Ferrari prototype team if that’s true.

  3. f1waybetterthannascar - Sep 10, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Hulkenburg deserves the seat at Ferrari I think and Kimi should stay put at Lotus

  4. armchairhotshoe - Sep 10, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Am I the only person who thinks this will end badly? I can’t imagine Kimi would knowingly enter into a designated #2 slot with any team. I hope ol’ Luca has his skeletons buried DEEP in his closet. We know what happened last time Alonso had a world champion caliber teammate.

  5. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Sep 10, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Kimi strikes me as a driver who cares not a whip about who’s one or two in the garage. A fast car with reliability and I’d take him against anyone.

    • armchairhotshoe - Sep 10, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      And what happens the first time he hears, “Fernando is faster than you.”?

      • indycarseries500 - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        “Leave me alone, I know what to do”

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