A rumour has circulated in the Hungarian paddock last weekend, that Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen, who won the world championship for Ferrari in 2007, is on the verge of returning to Maranello. This, of course, is utter rubbish.
I´m really not quite sure where the rumour originated from, but as always, a comment here or there can suddenly erupt to ‘breaking news’ stories. One idea is that Kimi has been asked if he is to stay with Lotus for another season, and knowing Kimi´s usual stance towards the media, his response is in the region of ‘let´s see, shall we?’ This is apparently enough these days to spark the rumour that of course he is returning to Ferrari.
Another explanation is that some guy called another guy, who has a friend who kows someone at Ferrari. And this guy overheard a conversation in the break room, where some of the staff perhapsmade a wishlist of drivers they would like to have racing for them.
When you read the articles, and there are a lot of them, they tell the same story. “As crazy as it seems” tends to be a good start on some articles, and the reporter doing it, should really stop right there and think it through. Yes it is crazy. Very much so. Remember that Kimi was paid a hefty sum of money not to race in the 2010 season, and Kim later admitted that the relationship between him and Ferrari could have been better. However, Kiimi also said that he has no bad feelings about anything.
Naturally the teams are looking at which driver is doing good, and who is progressing and there can be no doubt that Kimi Raikkonen´s return to the sport, has been a real boost to F1. He is fifth in the championship, has scored points in all races bar one, China, has visited the podium five times already and with 116 points he is only one single point away from Lewis Hamilton´s fourth place, six points from Sebastian Vettel´s third place and eighth from Mark Webber in second.
Teams have a list of drivers they would like, and this season that list is growing bigger for every race. And why? Unpredictability. The first seven races featured seven different race winners, including Pastor Maldonado. For some people that is enough to put his name on the list, despite the fact that he has only scored points in two races out of eleven, where as Bruno Senna has scored points in six events, and is only a handful of points away from Maldonado. Just to compare.
The list includes Nico Hulkenberg, Paul Di Resta, Sergio Perez, and just for good measure I´ll throw in Felipe Massa as well, along with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, both have been linked with a move to Ferrari. Heikki Kovalainen is another name whi pops up, the talented Finn is dragging a car which weighs the same as Belgium around the circuits, and Mark Webber admitted to be taling to Ferrrai, before signing for another year with Red Bull. SO that´s almost half the entire field.
So what does Kimi himself say to all this commotion?
After his stunning performance on Sunday in Hungary, The Telegraph insisted that this was enough of a boost for Kimi to ‘hint’ that Ferrari is not off the table. Here is what Kimi said:
“I always said that I had no bad feelings against Ferrari,” Raikkonen said. “When I had my time with the team I won my championship there. Things could maybe have happened in a nicer way at the end but life goes on.
“I am happy where I am now but you never know what happens in the future.”
So can we stop this now?