Kimi Raikkonen's move to McLaren as replacement for Mika Hakkinen in 2002 surprised many in the Monza paddock when it was announced yesterday [Friday], as the young Finn was expected to be Michael Schumacher's successor.

Ever since he burst onto the Formula One scene in Melbourne earlier this year, Raikkonen has been touted as a future Ferrari driver, perhaps replacing Rubens Barrichello at the end of the Brazilian's contract and then being groomed to take over from Schumacher when the German eventually steps down.

Now, however, Raikkonen will be lining up for the Scuderia's biggest rival of recent years, replacing the man who presented Schumacher with his biggest challenges. Was this a slip-up by the normally efficient, nay ruthless, Ferrari management?

"We never had contractual plans with any of our partners' drivers," team director Jean Todt told a press conference at the Italian GP, "We have supplied - against a financial contribution - engines to Peter Sauber for a few years, and to the Prost team since the beginning of this year, but, in this particular case, there was direct agreement between Peter Sauber and Raikkonen's future team.

"Maybe we could have fought if we wanted to, but we would have had to have to given a financial contribution [to Sauber] or [provided] our engines free of charge, which is not what we can do. That's it."

Both Schumacher and Barrichello have re-signed with Ferrari for next year.


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