As he pushed for victory on Sunday, rumours Kimi Raikkonen is back on Ferrari’s radar continued to swirl and flourish in the Hungaroring paddock. The rumour was given life by team boss Stefano Domenicali, when to Finnish broadcaster MTV3 he said Ferrari’s number one Fernando Alonso and the team’s departed 2007 world champion share “a lot of similarities”.
“The talk in the paddock this weekend is that Felipe (Massa) has already lost his drive for next season,” Martin Brundle said on British television Sky.
A team ‘insider’ had earlier been quoted by the Sunday Times newspaper as saying Ferrari sees Finn, 32, as a better alternative than some of the others on the list to replace Massa.
The source said many of the names – reportedly including Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta, Heikki Kovalainen and even Kamui Kobayashi and Pastor Maldonado – would not necessarily be better than Massa.
“Kimi would be a very good solution,” he said. “Fast, experienced, unpolitical and out of contract at the end of the year. Fernando would have no problem having Kimi as his teammate.”
The BBC’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson, however, quoted what he described as an ‘unimpeachable source’ who said the rumour is simply “rubbish”. And even the Times’ ‘insider’ admitted there is a major stumbling block. That obstacle, according to British columnist Mark Hughes, is surely Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
The fabled marque’s all-powerful Montezemolo and Raikkonen are said to have fallen out badly when Raikkonen was dropped at the end of 2009, pushing him into world rallying. So while Montezemolo is reportedly “resistant to the idea” of Raikkonen coming back, the driver is said to have “vowed never to work with Montezemolo again”, Hughes said.
Raikkonen, after finishing one second behind winner Lewis Hamilton in Hungary, said on Sunday: “I always said that I have no bad feelings and I had a good time with the team.
“You never know what happens in the future and I am happy where I am.”