2 August 2013
Ferrari more worried about performance than drivers
Ferrari insists that its focus is more on improving the performance of the F138 than it is on looking to change its driver line-up.
Ferrari has said that it wants no part of the rumours linking Kimi Raikkonen to a return to Maranello, insisting that it has enough on its plate trying to make the F138 competitive again.
The car, which carried Fernando Alonso to victories in China and Spain earlier in the season, is now struggling to compete, not only with pacesetter Red Bull, but also Lotus and Mercedes, which appear to have taken a step forward in recent races.
While the Scuderia ponders its mechanical woes, however, the rumour mill is reaching top speed with regards to its seats for next season, with speculation that Fernando Alonso is being tempted by the vacancy at Red Bull being countered by suggestions that Raikkonen could once again ride the Prancing Horse.
The short shrift given to the Alonso story by Flavio Briatore and others, however, is matched by Ferrari's own contempt for the Raikkonen rumour, which it dismissed almost as soon as it had surfaced in the German media.
A Ferrari spokesman told German news agency DPA that the team 'had no interest in the driver market right now', while new communications chief Renato Bisignani has told Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo that the rumours are 'typical fantasy'.
"There is not the slightest foundation to the story," he claimed, "When the German journalists called us about [Raikkonen], we officially denied it. Instead, we are united in this moment of loss of competitiveness and confident about returning to better ways."
Raikkonen's previous tenure at Ferrari ended, allegedly in acrimony, after Fernando Alonso arrived with backing from Santander. The Finn duly took two years out of F1 to indulge his love of rallying on the WRC stage, before returning with Lotus last season. Despite that, however, there are some who could see him rekindling his relationship with the Scuderia if the opportunity arose.
"I could very well imagine Kimi back at Ferrari," driver-turned-commentator Marc Surer admitted, "It was because of Alonso's sponsor that Kimi had to leave."
While the world debates the merits of a Raikkonen-Alonso pairing, or whether indeed, Alonso is headed for Red Bull and therefore opens up a team leader role for the Finn, Ferrari remains more concerned about its performance on track.
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