Time For Ferrari To Cut Their Kimi Losses

Friday 11-July-2014 11:00

There appears to be a sense of déjà vu for Ferrari and their fans since the return of Kimi Raikkonen, and with the Finn already looking like he has one foot out of the door, perhaps it's once again time for the team to cut their losses early.

One of the best drivers in F1? Check. Unable to match his team-mate? Check. Appearing to be losing interest? Check. All but certain to be moving on? Check.

The 2007 World Champion is once again displaying the signs of someone who would rather not be in F1.

Sure the F14T is not up to scratch to challenge for the title, sure the car is perhaps more suited to Fernando Alonso as he helped to develop it and sure next year's car is likely to fit his style a bit better.

Raikkonen, though, has form for not having his head in the game when the going gets tough. There were plenty of denials from his camp during the 2009 season that he didn't really lose interest, but it will be remembered that he appeared to be in the same boat during the final few months of his Lotus stint.

Having signed a contract for 2014 with Ferrari, his form took a dip with his Enstone team-mate Romain Grosjean outshining him. Heck, he even arrived late for the Abu Dhabi GP. Of course there were mitigating circumstances like not getting paid, but once bitten, twice shy.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has never been shy of making the big decisions as he proved in 2009 when he got rid of the Finn to bring in Fernando Alonso to partner Felipe Massa.

Raikkonen has already admitted he will "probably stop" once his contract with Ferrari runs out after the 2015 season, but perhaps the time has once come again for di Montezemolo to pull the plug early.

And perhaps now is the time for Ferrari to look long-term with Jules Bianchi. The Frenchman has done all he can at Marussia to prove he deserves a shot at a bigger team. One as big as Ferrari? Not everyone can handle the pressure at such a legendary stable at a young age, but he has earned his stripes as a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and won't be coming in from the cold.

With Raikkonen out of the door after 2015, they will need a replacement and two-time World Champion Alonso will be 36 by the time his current deal runs out in 2016. Why not bed in a youngster for two seasons with a world-class driver like Alonso. Let him learn from one of the best on the grid and by the time the Spaniard leaves he will have had two years in the seat. Perhaps then they can go hunting for the signature of another big name in F1 like Sebastian Vettel.

McLaren and Red Bull have proved in recent years with Lewis Hamilton, Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo that's it's not always a bad thing to bring in a "kid" that you have nurtured. They are the ones who know they have to prove themselves and by doing so they often push their more illustrious team-mates to better things.

Shahida Jacobs

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