Jun.30 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Kimi Raikkonen does not agree that his future at Ferrari is in his own hands.
“Raikkonen’s fate is in his hands,” Italian media have quoted team boss Maurizio Arrivabene as saying, amid swirling speculation about the Finn.
Some sources have reported that Raikkonen, 35, has been given only another couple of races to post the sort of results that show he “deserves” to be retained beyond 2015.
But others believe the Maranello team, now strongly linked with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas for 2016, has already decided to move on.
“I think it’s time for a change, except if Kimi manages to win the next five or six races,” David Coulthard, Raikkonen’s former teammate at McLaren, is quoted by Speed Week.
“I am not anti-Kimi,” he insisted, “but I know from personal experience how frustrating it is when you realise that you are simply not getting better.
“If I had to choose, I would take one of the younger guys,” said Coulthard.
Raikkonen agrees that the only party with a decision to make is Ferrari.
“Things are not always in our hands,” he told the British broadcaster Sky at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the weekend.
“They have a contract (and) it’s up to them, either sign it or not sign it,” Raikkonen added.
Arrivabene insists that a decision has not yet been taken, but it is believed Ferrari will make a call long before the 2016 contract ‘option’ formally expires at the end of July.
Until then, the team’s new star driver, and Raikkonen’s personal friend Sebastian Vettel is making clear he wants the Finn to stay, notwithstanding the criticism.
“I have seen in the latest couple of races there has been an ebb and flow,” the German was quoted as saying at a Ferrari event in Budapest at the weekend.
“It is the nature of formula one that heavy criticism follows. I myself had four great years and then one season (2014) in which many things went wrong, including some mistakes from my side.
“And of course, there were immediately critics. But things change quickly in this sport. I think Kimi knows who he is, what he does and what he wants,” Vettel added.