Martin Brundle Q&A: The Sky pundit gives his views on Kimi Raikkonen's potential move to Ferrari
Finn expected to return to the Scuderia in 2014
By William Esler
Last Updated: 11/09/13 12:15pm
Ferrari look set to announce Raikkonen as a driver for next season.
Martin Brundle: "I think this is probably what we were expecting to happen. A lot of people are expecting Kimi Raikkonen to return to Ferrari next year and Felipe Massa has confirmed he absolutely isn't driving there next year and Nico Hulkenberg would be their other choice.
"But as we learned with Lewis Hamilton last year in Singapore everyone was sure and McLaren were sure that he was staying and he ended up going to Mercedes - which has proved to be a very smart move.
"I think that they can assure Raikkonen that they have the resources, they have the budget, James Allison has gone there from the Lotus team and I think whilst he would have been delighted to have stayed at Lotus - and I am sure they will trying to keep him right up until the last minute as he is very comfortable in that team and he is the star driver and it would be easier for him to stay there and be the master of his own destiny, rather than walking into Fernando Alonso's backyard given that he was rather kicked out of there a year early when Alonso turned up.
"I don't think Alonso will be too happy to see Kimi there - he would rather have a compliant Massa in the other car doing a reasonable job and not getting in his way too much."
Ferrari have traditionally had a number one and number two driver, but Raikkonen won't want to be number two.
MB: "No he won't but he will go about it in his own way. We heard a radio message [in Germany 2010] 'Fernando is faster than you' - Kimi is not going to move out of the way, he is going to radio back and say 'why is he behind me then if he is faster' with a few expletives along the way.
"It will certainly put Alonso on his toes and it will be the strongest line-up in Formula 1, assuming that is what they announce and I think it will be must watch television with those two head-to-head. They go about their business in such different ways, it will be fascinating to see how they work together. But we have such huge changes to the car in 2014, the first half of the season will just be about understanding the new power packs."
If the news is confirmed by Ferrari later on this afternoon, then surely that will be one of the strongest line-ups.
MB: "There is no doubt about that. At the moment people would say Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is the strongest combo, but there are four truly great drivers in F1 that you have to have in your car and they are Hamilton, Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen in no particular order - and Ferrari would have two of those four which is very impressive.
"We know they have the resources, let's hope they have the power and reliability to keep those two happy with the 2014 engine."
Felipe Massa announced last night that he would be leaving Ferrari via Twitter. There are rumours he could be going to Lotus - can you shed any light on this.
MB: "He said in an interview over the weekend that if he is not at Ferrari he will look at some other opportunities. It is not out of the question that he could return to Sauber - they are Ferrari-powered of course and they could facilitate that - and it is not out of the question that he could go to Lotus, or he could be out of F1 altogether.
"I am sad because he is a friend of mine and I like him - he has had a tough time and things haven't always worked out for him from having the title in his hands for a few seconds in 2008 to getting hit on the head by a piece of suspension in 2009 that set him back heavily.
"But Ferrari had to make a change frankly and if they had continued with the same pairing again it would have looked weak appeared as if they had run out of ideas. It is now a question of if we can see Felipe in another car and I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up in another Formula 1 car."