x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Ferrari coy about Kimi Raikkonen return to the Formula One team

Team principal Stefano Domenicali says no decision has yet been made on driver line-up for 2014.

Kimi Raikkonen left Ferrari at the end of the 2009 season. Valdrin Xhemaj / EPA
Kimi Raikkonen left Ferrari at the end of the 2009 season. Valdrin Xhemaj / EPA

Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team principal, is adamant no decision has yet been made on his driver line-up for 2014 despite growing rumours Kimi Raikkonen has agreed to return, perhaps in place of Felipe Massa.

The Monza paddock over the course of the Italian Grand Prix weekend was awash with speculation, notably with regard to Ferrari and the futures of both their drivers.

Luca Di Montezemolo, the Ferrari president, added fuel to the fire during his visit by refusing to dismiss the prospect of re-hiring Raikkonen.

The 33-year-old Finn left Ferrari at the end of 2009 despite having a year remaining on his contract at the time, which was paid off as the team brought in Fernando Alonso.

Out of contract with Lotus at the end of the season and after failing to receive the assurances he has been seeking with regard to their financial and technical future, it has left Raikkonen fair game.

After missing out on the vacancy at Red Bull, which has since been offered to Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari now appear poised to form their own super team with Raikkonen partnering Fernando Alonso.

Dismissing persistent gossip a deal had been done, Domenicali said: "The fact we have not decided yet means we are putting on the table all the elements.

"And the fact we are not taking a decision from an emotional point of view is because we want to give consideration to everything.

"This is why we will announce and say something on that as soon as we have finalised our discussions because it is not an easy decision for us.

"This is something we want to take at an appropriate time in order to make sure we take the best decision for our team."

Eric Boullier, the Lotus team principal is meanwhile still doing all he can in his bid to convince Raikkonen to stay, but appreciates there is nothing he can do should his current driver want to rejoin Ferrari.

"I am very hopeful within a week I can have answers to the reassurances he is asking for," said Boullier.

"From that point on we can move very fast when it comes to talking about next year and trying to find a successful solution.

"It would be nice to close it by Singapore [the grand prix at the end of next week]. That is realistic. It should be realistic.

"But in the end if he wants to go to Ferrari he will go to Ferrari, and that's it."


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