Montezemolo will not confirm Raikkonen

Luca di Montezemolo has refused to confirm that Kimi Raikkonen will be driving for Ferrari next season. The Ferrari president, the most significant spokesperson for the team, said that although Felipe Massa was guaranteed his berth, the second seat was not yet confirmed.

“We will have a Brazilian driver (Massa) because he deserves another chance given that, thank God, he is fine,” said di Montezemolo.

“Otherwise, we are mulling the best choice but we still have time. We will decide in a few weeks.”

Although it has long been suspected Raikkonen would leave the team, the Finn’s resolute comment that he had a contract for next season – added to Massa’s enforced absence and Kimi’s emergence as de facto team leader – had made the story more complicated.

Fernando Alonso is widely thought to have a deal with Ferrari but it is still unclear when that would begin – 2010, or 2011. In recent days rumours have gained momentum that Raikkonen would leave for McLaren for next season as long as Ferrari paid him his 2010 salary as a golden handshake.

If this is the case it would certainly provide di Montezemolo with something to mull over. Losing Raikkonen is likely to be the expensive option, although money has never been a particular obstacle to Maranello.