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Right, so at long last it’s finally official, Alonso joins Ferrari, Massa stays, so Ferrari is complete, right? Wrong. Here’s what readers of P1Mag already know for a fact.


As already reported in P1Mag months ago, Ferrari is heading a motion by FOTA to allow teams to enter a third car. This will be decided by the FIA World Council on the 23rd of October. Not only Ferrari is waiting to hear from them. Most teams, with exception of McLaren maybe, are already considering this option for 2010. Smaller teams like Force India and Toro Rosso are keen to see this happen as well as there are currently enough good drivers in GP2 with substantial backing to be catered for.

However, there’s a contract in place between Ferrari and Räikkönen that cannot be cut in half that easily. Kim i’s manager, David Robertson, has made it clear to Ferrari that they will insist in the contract being fulfilled, if not by Kimi driving for the Scuderia, at least his retainer has to be paid 100%.

Apparently Ferrari believes that a clause in their driver’s contracts would allow them to pay-off the 2007 World Champion to leave. The difference between the two figures seems to be some 10 Million dollars and so for the moment there seems to be an impasse. That’s the reason why there’s no McLaren announcement so far, despite a mutual agreement in place.

However, to my knowledge the situation is such that the agreement with McLaren is a bilateral declaration of intent to work together as soon as Kimi is free to do so. And right now, according to the Finn and his management, he’s not. They insist that they got a valid contract for 2010 with Ferrari for Kimi to drive for the Scuderia.

What happens if the FOTA motion for three car teams is rejected by the World Council? Other than someone – and you know who that would be – getting in the way just for the sake of not allowing anyone from FOTA their will, I don’t see it happing. But if it does get rejected, it’s going to be Ferrari with a problem to solve.

Why the odd timing to get Alonso in now, might ask? And why get rid of Kimi and keep Massa? Firstly Kimi has certainly opened up quite a bit at Ferrari, but he’s still seen as a bit too laid back, if not stoic, in his approach. More importantly: Despite being hugely popular among race fans around the globe, neither Kimi nor Massa attract new business.

The only driver in activity capable of attracting multi-million sponsorship deals is… Fernando Alonso. Santanderat Ferrari is proof of that, Mutua Madrilena and Telefonica are said to be following suit. So Luca di Montezemolo’s plan was to swap one fast guy for the other and getting the 25 million a year retainer paid by Santander and with further sponsorship rolling in, the Scuderia is heading for a financially brighter future.

Next question: Why not kick Massa and keep Kimi? Simply said: Massa will be the perfect number two driver, even if not officially declared as such, and only costs half of Kimi’s salary. So you see, from a financial point of view it makes perfect sense.

So let’s wait for the 23rd of October, I’m pretty sure there will be announcements all over the place after that date.

P.S.
Updates on this story HERE

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13 thoughts on “What about Kimi?

  1. “Next question: Why not kick Massa and keep Kimi? Simply said: Massa will be the perfect number two driver (…) So you see, from a financial point of view it makes perfect sense.”

    3 years ago, I agreed with this explanation when Kimi was anounced with his huge salary. Now I’m not so sure. Perhaps, I can’t see Alonso in equal terms ina a team after 2007…

    “(…) even if not officially declared as such, and only costs half of Kimi’s salary.”

    Old movie, huh?

    The disappoint­ment of Kimi’s farewell is enough to make him leave F1?

  2. Why should he? He brought Ferrari back into top 3 in the Constructor’s championship all alone, scoring five podiums in six races with a lousy car. Does that sound like someone about to give up the job he loves?

  3. Well, he is doing a great job. Spa was Kimi in his best form, no doubt. I asked it because he didn’t cover his disappoint­ment, according to Autosport’ report.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/79082

    And he enjoyed a lot his participation at rally. Well, I hope for his return to McLaren, would be (or will be?) fantastic.

    PS: I’m joing the club of “P1 Magazin in English, please!”

    Regards.

  4. You know, in F1 it’s not about what people say, more importantly it’s what the won’t say. You got to read between the lines. He can’t say “yipiee, I’m off to McLaren because they got the better tech department”, if his lawyers are still insisting he did everything right an cannot be fired, right…?

  5. In the past I’d probably agree with you about Massa being the 2nd driver of the team… but I guess I’d be wrong.

    Massa has shown that he is a very good driver, who has learnt from his mistakes, and won’t accept the condition of being the 2nd driver.

    And I’m pretty sure you don’t agree with me! Right!?

    Take care!

  6. I’m sorry, but i will need to write in portuguese.

    Acho que foi uma falta de gratidão e caráter dos italianos. Se os 3 carros não vingarem para o ano que vem, será vexatório para a Ferrari. O Raikkonen deu para a Ferrari dois títulos mundiais de construtores, um de pilotos, 9 vitórias, muitas voltas mais rápidas em corridas, e muito dinheiro para a equipe. Se dependesse do Massa, a Ferrari não teria ganho nada disso!
    Uma vergonha, pelo menos é o que penso.
    Abraços Mario,e desculpe-me novamente por escrever em português.

  7. @ Eduardo: I respect your opinion.

    @ Gustavo: With tons of money playing the major role, who cares for moral standards…?

  8. Not that I’m aware of. As far as I know the final contract with McLaren is being finalized right now.

  9. Mario,

    How do you explain, from your personal point of view, Kimi’s recent raise in form, seemingly coinciding with Felipe’s absence from Ferrari?

    Pure coincidence? Or is there a hidden reason to it (like per example the 2 drivers pushing to develop the car in different directions, or Ferrari giving precedence to Felipe over Kimi, or simply Kimi “waking up” a little bit because the team now relies squarely on his shoulders)?

    The fact is, Kimi had not seem so good in months/years. What do you think?

    Danke / Obrigado! =)

  10. I think Kimi plays with rallying just for fun, he would be contesting far more rallies for experience, it’s so vital there. But I would love to see him in WRC if he’s too bored with F1, WRC needs a star like Kimi or Vale and his last rally was impressive! Though he failed to impress on tarmac!?

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