Italian print media loses patience with Raikkonen

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In Italy, Formula One is huge as is its representation in the daily print media. The main focus is the Italian obsession with Ferrari though at times Maranello and the newspaper barons play games with each other.

Newspapers claim scoops via ‘sources in Maranello’ which over time prove to be equally un-reliable as reliable.

That said, the connection between the Ferrari and the Angelli families times gives the Turin based publication – La Stampa – a natural advantage and the edge over others.

Whether the focus should be on the lack of performance in general from the Ferrari team, is debateable; however, the print media have Kimi the sacapegoat in their cross hairs.

Over the weekend, the Corriere dello Sport has released stories stating that the Maranello team will therefore not exercise the 2016 ‘option’ to extend Raikkonen’s existing contract. This option expires on 31st July, and so announcement is expected after then.

Corriere dello Sport correspondent Fulvio Solms backs the apparent decision to oust Raikkonen. “Kimi did not fit with the last two Ferrari cars,” he told Speed Week. “He did not fit with the new team management. Sometimes he seems not to fit even with himself.”

This is bad news for Raikkonen, its as though Maranello has sent him a message, though it would be more absolute were it penned in La Stampa.

The same newspaper reports that Valtteri Bottas has agreed a 12m euro a year contract with Maranello starting from 2016 and Williams’ demands of double digit million compensation to allow their driver who is under contract for 2016 to leave – has been met.

This is a surprise move by Ferrari given that since the last 6 racers of 2014, Felipe Massa is growing stronger in the battle of the inter Williams pairing. It appears Valtteri Bottas has been put under considerable pressure by the former Ferrari driver and at times has been found wanting. Surely this is not what Ferrari intended.

Luca de Montezemolo revealed this weekend, that Ferrari had taken the decision under his leadership to replace Raikkoinen with Bianchi, prior to the tragic events in Suzuka last October. “He was a member of the Ferrari family and was the driver we had picked for the future – once the collaboration with Raikkonen was over”.

Nico Hulkenberg was Ferrari’s other option, though his dalliance with WEC may have counted against him with Ferrari.

Hulkenberg confirms there are a number of teams interested in acquiring his services for 2016, so maybe Bottas has turned red and the domino effect on driver recruitment is beginning.

Further, having battled through the season with little money and a modified 2014 car, Force India are now well placed to consolidate 5th position and even challenge Red Bull who are just 23 points ahead for fourth.

However, this tale is about the death knell for the F1 career that belonged to Kimi Raikkonen. Surely the iceman will retire whilst ‘at the top’, rather than slide off to drive a midfield car?

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27 responses to “Italian print media loses patience with Raikkonen

  1. I don’t understand Ferrari’s obsession of always sticking with drivers who have already established themselves. Having a top flight driver in your top seat is always fine, but why not give a young and promising driver the second seat?

    Having said that, I can’t blame Ferrari for hiring Raikkonen. Arguably, Raikkonen was the most brilliant driver of 2012-2013 seasons. He single-handedly, broke the conventional thinking that only the top three teams can reach the podium, won two GPs, stood on the podium almost every weekend, and remained formally in the title fights for quite a long time. So why did he under-perform against Alonso or Vettel? For one, he is probably not as good as either one of them. And finally, Ferrari is probably too used to operating as “one driver team”.

  2. Bottas is a good talent but I doubt he’ll match Vettel. If you accept that the top 5 drivers are Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Rosberg, you needed Ric at Ferrari to give some more excitement for next year.

  3. It would appear that Kimi is OUT at Ferrari. I’m giving that a 90% confidence level.

    I can’t see Ferrari taking Massa back, or Massa being willing to return, given how he’s been treated.

  4. So Ferrari, much like most of Italy (and Europe by extension) doesn’t seem to learn from History. Did Ferrari go through something AWFULLY SIMILAR a few years ago with a Finish driver named, oh, Kimi Raikkonen. Ferrari, you aren’t supposed to remake the same mistakes over and over. Here is an old American adage “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”

  5. Why do people think that putting extra pressure on a driver helps?
    I don’t blame the media, but I do blame Montezemolo who needs to backstab Kimi over Jules’ grave and I do blame Arrivabene for not sticking to his original story – which already wasn’t that motivating to start with.

    And still.
    I don’t see why they should rush in another driver. Even buying him from Williams. In a year there are lots of other options (like Ricciardo) and I don’t think a Ferrari newbie will really perform better than Kimi.

  6. Still makes no sense to me, why sign someone who at best is only match for someone who we can work out is pretty much Kimi’s equal. Unless like I said before it’s partly political, Ferrari management get to be seen to be doing something about Kimi, with no fear of upsetting their star signing and embarrassing the the management.

  7. I will give it Kimi, he is always consistent, ’07 and ’12/’13 seasons aside, he has consistently underperformed, glimmers of brilliance, spread out by periods of mentally ‘checking out’.
    There is a fine line brilliance and arrogance, we all draw it in a different place.
    Kimi is incredibly ‘Marmite’, love or hate, but never indifferent…….

  8. Best payback ever. Easily the greatest naturally gifted driver of a generation, should have more WDC’s than Alonso if it wasnt for those pathetic mercedes engines of the early 2000’s. Took it to Schumacher race after race and proved who was the best.
    He has a bulletproof contract so if Ferrari try to get rid of him before the end of the year it will cost them dearly, all of his adversaries are gone, one of his good friends is in, and if there was ever a true man who didnt care what the public thought about him, its kimi. He owes Ferrari nothing and good on him if he under performs for the rest of the season.
    Also, re-up’d on all the first Ferrari stint money lost in his divorce. My only hero. You will be missed.

    • I enjoyed this comment immensely.

      Thought that enjoyment, I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes…

      “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

      I look forward to more.

      • *”Through”; not “thought”. My excuse is in my moniker.

        • I’d like love for you to highlight a fact I ignored, I look forward to it.

          • May I start with the falsehoods that you’ve paraded as facts first? That would help my argument… then it would be easier for me to point to the facts that are subsequently ignored.

          • Go for it, but while your pointing them out, use some facts.

          • Great. Ok, where to begin. How about the most blatant falsehoods paraded as facts.

            1: “Easily the greatest naturally gifted driver of a generation”

            2: “should have more WDC’s than Alonso if it wasnt for those pathetic mercedes engines of the early 2000’s”

            3: “Took it to Schumacher race after race and proved who was the best.”

            These statements really need nothing further by me… they’re laughable, at best. Deluded, at worst. Fanboi’ish in the extreme. But we don’t stop there in your comment that’s packed full of delicious false-fact goodness.

            4: “He has a bulletproof contract so if Ferrari try to get rid of him before the end of the year it will cost them dearly”

            Aside from the fact you can’t know this, this point of “Bulletproof” and “cost them (Ferrari) dearly” is also amusing.

            The other statements re: divorce financial losses being topped up, owing Ferrari nothing, deliberately installing his friends etc, they can slide – even though once again, there’s no basis for you to possibly know this.

            It’s all guessing, which is fine. Most of us here are guessing, but your parading these statements as supporting fact to reach conclusions.

            Ok, so those are – more or less – the falsehoods. Now to my original reply, quoting Aldous Huxley and the implied ignored facts…

            The facts you ignore are implicit in the propagation of the falsehoods.

            Ignored facts regarding above point 1; Where is there any empirical evidence, or credible analytics, to not only suggest Kimi is the most “naturally talented”, but BY FAR the most naturally talented of his generation? What’s the concept of “naturally talented” anyway? Is there “unnaturally talented”? If we assume, perhaps you mean a great feel for the car, excelling in the wet etc, then this ignores the mountain of factual evidence and winning records of Schumacher in the wet, totally dominating; of Hamilton having well documented extraordinary late braking feel and outrageous one-lap qualifying pace; of Alonso driving terrible cars to places they shouldn’t be. These evidence based facts are ignored to sustain your falsehood.

            Ignored facts regarding above point 2; Alonso (05 campaign) and Schumacher (03 campaign) had misfortune too in the years Raikkonen challenged for the title with McLaren. Taking these into account, Raikkonen’s misfortunes are not a prevailing factor in his losses of those WDC’s. To sustain your veiw that Raikkonen should have more WDC’s than Alonso is to ignore this.

            Ignored facts regarding above point 3; the record books don’t reflect that at all. “Race after race”? Again I’m not sure which record books your referencing, other than one in an alternate universe.

            Ignored facts regarding 4; again, given you can’t know this, you’re ignoring the fact that, time and again, F1 contracts (Ferrari’s in particular) mean nothing.

            So, all in all, that’s the a snapshot of why I enjoyed the original comment so much; and why I was reminded of the following quote.

            “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

            I sincerely do look forward to more. I enjoy your comments greatly.

          • I suppose that’s a wise move… save some face while there’s still some to be saved. 😀

  9. We’ll soon see if Ferrari has lost patience with Kimi or just the Italian press.
    If I were running the show I’d keep him on another year for the sake of stability in order to focus on car development, providing the engineering team on good with him.
    Why pay millions to buy Bottas out of Williams? Line him up for the following year, let Kimi stay whilst he and pal Vettel help build a competitive car.
    But I don’t run Ferrari. Never have. Never will.

  10. If Williams can tease Hulk away, they may end up stronger with some extra millions in the bank too. Hulk’s contract is ending after this season, so unless a bigger spot opens up for him, it seems an easy choice.

  11. In all this will Kimi go or stay drama, there’s one other major story being overlooked and that is, James Allison has yet to be offered a new contract with Ferrari as well.

    Read somewhere recently that the Italian media are also skeptical as to whether or not he can build a car that can dethrone Mercedes. He currently has a year remaining on his contract and a new one will be offered based on how the current car develops throughout this season and in 2016.

    Unfortunately I can’t find the damn article.

  12. Well here we go again, silly season starts with a with a bang. The Italian media has never been backward at coming forward when it either involves football/Ferrari/or a nice body. Kimi has had a tough time these last couple of years and even I have questioned his commitment to the firm,he just seems to be missing those last couple of %points to really shine. I questioned Ferrari when they rehired him as a younger driver would have made more sense but to be fair to Kimi he did bring in consistent points even with a difficult car. I did hope that this year’s charger would have brought him back to the top but again those last few points are missing from his edge. Now is the time he needs to finish,he is with a top team and the clouds are gathering and realistically once fingers are pointed in Ferrari your days are numbered. He needs to settle with his family and just become a great Dad rather than risking it all for a few extra £.Now that leaves us with who to replace him with..Pastor? Roman? Sergio?.. Not a lot of choice out there and really I would not pick one of the mid field drivers at the moment. Ferrari are in a bind so why not push the boat out and bring in a smooth driver,one who can play the team game and still hold his head high,I am talking about button but maybe he is just too old 😉 so I am torn again..I don’t know the answer so I say..Pastor for the drive..if only for the giggle factor and entertainment.

    • Wouldn’t mind seeing Button end up in a Ferrari, think Vettel would have his hands full with him, or i’d be happy if he spent his last couple of seasons at Williams. Think the way Ron has treated Jenson is pretty poor.

      • Fully agree, Ron and co really did a number with Jenson. He is in my mind one of the smoothest drivers I have seen and appears to have no ego baggage. In a way Ferrari missed out when Honda folded shop but button did well and gained his WDC which realistically he would not have got at Ferrari that year. Love him or hate him,he just brings home a car and really looks after brakes.just look at the Canada drive,he held every possible position in the race,kept his head and just got the job done.I can think of only a handful of drivers that could have done that drive that day and two where on that same track in that race. He needs a good drive to finish his career and I can think of no better team to end your tender with,if I was advising Jenson then I would say..drive for free if it means you can take the seat(money from shirt sales and such will cover the cost lol) the two pieces just fit together.

  13. I don’t know the Italian press, but i get the impression that they are hate and venom when Ferrari is losing, sweetness and hallelujas when winning, and pretty much all the time willing to print what Ferrari suggests they might ought to print.

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