'Raikkonen signs one-year Ferrari deal'

Wednesday 11-September-2013 08:26

Kimi Raikkonen has reportedly signed a one-year deal with Ferrari, but he has an option to extend it.

Felipe Massa's confirmation on Tuesday evening that he will leave the Italian stable at the end of the season has paved the way for the Finn to rejoin the team he left in 2009.

BBC Sport reports that the 33-year-old, whose contract with Lotus runs out at the end of the season, "signed a one-year deal with an option for 2015" and Ferrari will make an announcement imminently.

Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo made light of the issue on Tuesday when he was asked about his 2014 line-up at the Frankfurt motor show.

"We won't talk about Formula One today," he said. "I am trying to convince a driver to come back and am speaking to Schumacher tomorrow," he joked.

Raikkonen is set to partner double World Champion Fernando Alonso in 2014, giving the team one of the strongest line-ups in the Formula One grid.

The Maranello squad have in the past opted for one clear number one driver, but it is a change in strategy for them as they look to win their first Championship since Raikkonen was victorious in 2007.

Brazilian Massa started his long association with Ferrari back in 2003 as a test driver before getting a race seat with Sauber. However, he returned to Maranello in 2006 to partner Michael Schumacher and then helped Raikkonen to secure the title a year later.

He himself came within mere seconds of winning the Championship in 2008 when he was pipped to the title by Lewis Hamilton in the final race of the season at Interlagos.

However, his career suffered a major setback in 2009 when he was ruled out for most of the season after being struck on the head by a piece of debris. Since returning in 2010, he has failed to match team-mate Alonso.

"From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari," Massa announced on Twitter.

He added: "For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the Championship which remains my greatest objective!"

Related link
Massa confirms Ferrari exit

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