JUNE 19, 2015
Kimi loses cool amid pay-cut reports
Kimi Raikkonen lost his ice-cool on Thursday amid reports Ferrari is asking him to take a pay-cut.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims the Maranello marque is interested in retaining the Finn for 2016 but only if his EUR 12 million retainer is dropped by 25 per cent.
And the report said Ferrari is proposing to stimulate better performances from the 2007 world champion by, instead, improving the points-based bonus money on offer.
Amusingly, Raikkonen identified the author of the story whilst speaking to reporters in Austria on Thursday, demanding of him: "Have you seen my contract?
"No? So you just come up with bullsh*t?"
35-year-old Raikkonen did, however, confirm that unless he stays at Ferrari next year, he will quit F1.
"If I'm not with Ferrari, I'm not with any team, it's as simple as that," he said. "I like the direction and the atmosphere of the team, but you (reporters) seem to worry about it more than I do."
Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa on Thursday said he knows what it feels like to arrive at a circuit only to face a barrage of questioning about his future.
"I feel bad for Kimi. I know how much pressure he has on him -- I should know, I've been there," he is quoted by Italy's Autosprint.
Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo are already strongly linked with Raikkonen's potentially-vacant 2016 seat.
But now, new Le Mans winner Nico Hulkenberg has also joined the fray.
"Sure, it gives me an extra boost," the German smiled to Bild newspaper, when asked if his Porsche-powered triumph helped his bid for a better seat.
"My contract with Force India expires at the end of this year, so I am open," Hulkenberg added.