SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
Experts doubt Raikkonen set for Ferrari return
Well-known paddock personalities doubt feverish speculation Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of signing to return to Ferrari next year.
It is rumoured the Finn is now poised to agree the deal, but triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart said at Monza: "I don't see how the management could be considering having Kimi in the same team as Fernando Alonso.
"For one thing, Alonso would not like it," he added.
Stewart, however, might not be speaking absolutely objectively, as he is a consultant for Lotus team owner Genii.
And Lotus is pushing hard to convince the Finn to stay.
But even former Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello expresses doubts about the Alonso-Raikkonen lineup.
"It's hard to imagine Ferrari making a change like that, with continuity being so critical," said the Brazilian.
He might be referring to the radical incoming rules for 2014, but Barrichello also insisted Alonso-Raikkonen would be a change in Ferrari's long policy of having a clear 'number 1'.
"With Alonso and Raikkonen, you wouldn't have that," he told Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
Another former F1 driver, Luciano Burti, agreed in Monza: "I wouldn't bet on Kimi being at Ferrari with Alonso.
"I see everything depending on what Felipe (Massa) manages to do here and in Singapore. In formula one, your most recent results count the most," he said.
One candidate linked recently with a possible move to Ferrari next year is Jenson Button, but it appears the Briton is fully committed to McLaren for now.
"Well, he doesn't seem very worried about his future, does he?" team boss Martin Whitmarsh told the Italiaracing publication at Monza.
"He is a great ambassador for us and a great driver. In principle both parties are in agreement and the right time will come for an official announcement," he added.
Button also ruled out moving to Ferrari.
"Ferrari will always be an option for me," the 2009 world champion is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace, "but there have been no serious discussions.
"So there is definitely no chance to go there this time. I believe they will continue with Fernando and Felipe.
"But I did hear an interesting rumour today," said Button. "Someone told me about Fernando going to McLaren.
"I don't know if it will happen -- he didn't exactly leave McLaren in a good way (in 2007)," he added. "But let's wait and see."
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