Dove vuoi andare, Kimi–22/08/2013
Da SkyF1 ITA:
Red Bull insists Kimi Raikkonen still a 2014 candidate
Kimi Raikkonen remains on Red Bull’s shortlist for a 2014 Formula 1 seat, team principal Christian Horner has revealed.
In a surprise twist to the ongoing intrigue surrounding the identity of Sebastian Vettel’s new team-mate, Horner arrived in Belgium on Thursday to claim that his outfit was still some way away from making a decision.
And although Raikkonen’s management team had insisted that its talks with Red Bull were over, Horner said that the team had not dismissed the Finn yet.
"Nothing is fixed yet," said Horner. "We said we would take the summer to mull things over, but there is no commitment yet.
"I wouldn’t rule anything out at the moment. Until we finalise who is going to take the second seat, there is nothing much to say."
When asked by AUTOSPORT why Raikkonen’s management believed the Red Bull door was closed, Horner said: "You’d have to ask Steve [Robertson]. I have only seen the comments.
"We haven’t made any commitment to our second seat, and when we do you will be the first to know."
He added: "Kimi is very much his own man. I think at the end of the day I am sure he will do what is best for him.
"We are in a fortunate position where there is an awful lot of interest in the seat and we have got a bit of time until we need to make any firm commitments, so we will use the time to evaluate the market fully."
When pushed to clarify whether Raikkonen was off the list of contenders, he said: "It’s up to him. We want to make the right decision and we will take the appropriate time to make that decision."
MORE THAN TWO OPTIONS?
While Red Bull had initially suggested in the wake of Mark Webber’s call to leave Formula 1 that its choice was between Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo, Horner suggested that other possibilities could now be on the table.
He further intimated in Belgium that the list of choices was bigger than he had initially suspected.
"You have to make sure you consider all the options and there are more options than you could possibly think," he said.
Fernando Alonso emerged as in Hungary, after Red Bull sources revealed it was made aware in a meeting with Alonso’s agent that the Spaniard could be available for 2014 despite previously being believed to be firmly under contract at Ferrari.
AUTOSPORT has learned that Red Bull was not the only team to have been alerted in Hungary to the possibility that Alonso could be a free agent for 2014 under certain circumstances.
When asked in Belgium if Alonso was still in contention, Horner said: "You will have to ask Fernando. I think he has got a contract with Ferrari."
He added: "We will take the time to carefully consider our options which is what we have been doing, and when we have got something to say we will say it."
Alonso’s manager Flavio Briatore has made it clear since Hungary, however, that the Spaniard is intent on remaining at Ferrari and has no interest in a Red Bull seat.
RICCIARDO NOT A DONE DEAL
Although Ricciardo has done an impressive job for Toro Rosso, and did well in a test for Red Bull at Silverstone, Horner played down talk that he was a shoe-in for the seat.
"Daniel has done a very good job in the test he has done for us, and the recent races he has done for Toro Rosso," he said.
"But that doesn’t mean it is a foregone conclusion. It is an important decision for us and we want to take the time to make the right decision and consider all the options.
"We are in a fortunate position where there are a lot of drivers who would like to be in that car."
Horner expects an announcement about Red Bull’s 2014 driver plans to be made around the time of the Italian Grand Prix.
[…]Sulle voci di un eventuale ritorno di Raikkonen a Maranello, è stato chiesto se Fernando, nel caso la cosa si verificasse, possa temere il sorgere di qualche difficoltà all’interno del team con la presenza di due “prime guide”. Il pilota spagnolo ha spiegato che tale concetto non esiste all’interno della Scuderia. “Quando io e Felipe andiamo in Australia per la prima gara, siamo entrambi uguali, entrambi con la stessa monoposto. Solo verso la fine della stagione, se ci sono nuove parti disponibili per una sola vettura, allora vanno al pilota che ha più punti in classifica. Ho avuto la fortuna che negli ultimi anni sia stato io”. Alonso ha poi sottolineato che, quando Felipe era in squadra con il pilota finlandese, è stato proprio il brasiliano ad avere la meglio nella parte finale della stagione 2008. “Chiunque guiderà per la Ferrari il prossimo anno, dobbiamo migliorare la vettura, perché due piloti che hanno la monoposto più veloce hanno maggiori possibilità. E non ho timore di chi ci sarà in squadra, a patto che sia un pilota capace di lavorare il più duramente possibile per portare la Ferrari in prima posizione”.“La pausa estiva coincide con l’inizio delle indiscrezioni e non mi piace quando si parla di possibili compagni di squadra. Se facessi un commento sarebbe innanzitutto una mancanza di rispetto nei confronti di Felipe”, ha proseguito Fernando. “Abbiamo fatto quattro anni insieme, con un grande lavoro di squadra. Con tutti i miei compagni, c’è stato questo senso di un buon lavoro di squadra. Anche alla McLaren, dove il problema non era con il mio compagno di team, ma nel modo in cui la situazione era gestita. Quindi l’anno prossimo, se sarà con o senza Felipe, faremo del nostro meglio per lavorare tutti insieme”. –[…]
Q: (Kate Walker – GP Week) Sebastian, I’ve been bothering you for the past few races asking about the prospect of racing against Kimi in the same car and you were quite positive and enthusiastic about the challenge. How does it feel now that you know that prospective challenge has been taken away and that you might be racing somebody entirely different? Are you looking forward to it?
Sebastian Vettel: Well, first of all, I didn’t know how realistic it was or not. Obviously I’ve learned similar to most of us from the press that as it looks, it’s not the case (that Kimi will be my teammate). For sure I’m talking with the team, but as I’ve said many times, it’s not my decision and also I don’t want to get too involved. As I’ve said, I think Kimi would have been nice in many ways. Now it’s not happening so it doesn’t make much sense to talk about that but who knows? He’s still young, I’m still young so I don’t know. A lot of things can still happen. Never say never but probably for next year it’s not going to happen.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Sebastian, there are rumours about Kimi that he might go back to Ferrari. Do you think that he and Fernando could be a more threatening couple for you, or would you prefer him to stay at Lotus?
SV: I don’t know. I get along quite well with Kimi so I would be happy in a way if he finds a spot where he’s happy. I think he has a good seat at the moment with Lotus but if he can improve then I would be happy for him. I think Kimi is very straightforward, you don’t get any bullshit with him and politics so in that regard I don’t know how realistic it is for him to return to Ferrari. Obviously he has been there and then Fernando came and Kimi left to go rallying. I think he’s very uncomplicated.
Q: (Luke Smith – NBC Sports) Romain, there are rumours of Kimi Raikkonen leaving the team at the end of the season; do you enjoy the prospect of potentially leading Lotus next season, in potentially a World Championship-leading car?
Romain Grosjean: Well, I always say that losing Kimi would be a loss for the team, he’s very good, he’s a World Champion, it’s good to have him as a teammate. We push each other to the limit but if he leaves then we still have to do the job and to try to win races and score a lot of points. So at the moment I think we have a good way of working together but yeah, if he leaves then I would be more than happy to get the deal and try to keep Lotus where it is or still improve
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Romain, talking about Kimi, one thing that his manager said is that it depends a lot on Lotus whether he can stay or not, from what Lotus can offer technically and also financially. I think this is also something that interests you; have you spoken with Boullier and with Lopez, what do you know about next year? Do you feel secure about this?
RG: Well, I was a bit busy the last few weeks to be honest. I didn’t have much time to make phone calls. I feel very happy with the team. It’s no secret that I would like to stay there. I think we are on a good progression. There’s a lot of talk about Kimi but to be honest, at the moment I am just trying to focus on the way back and having the races that we’ve had in the last two Grands Prix and doing a good job.