2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen will return to F1 in 2012, Photo Courtesy of EmilGh

 

We had perhaps assumed that over the weekend when it was confirmed that talks between Williams and Raikkonen had fallen through that that was it and Raikonnen would do another season in the WRC. Tuesday though and it is confirmed that Raikonnen has in fact signed for Louts Renalut, how long they have been in talks is as yet unclear.

One thing this means is that a crowded driver’s market is going to become more crowded. Lotus Renault had a good choice of drivers I would have thought with Petrov, Senna and Grosjean; at some point they need a stable driver line-up though and so maybe they want a proven driver in at least one seat: which begs the question why did they replace Heidfeld with Senna for the end of the season?

This also makes it more likely that Kubica won’t at any point be returning to Lotus Renault, maybe they already knew that. If Kubica is going to Ferrari then this would explain why Ferrari have let Massa keep his seat for next season, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him kicked out as soon as Kubica is ready. Ferrari must hope if this is the case that Kubica isn’t damaged goods in the way Massa has been since his accident. Whether Massa’s form is down to a head injury, time out or something else we may never know, Kubica of course doesn’t have a head injury to worry about though. Having said that I had thought that Perez looked likely to go to Ferrari in 2013 but that was mainly conjecture.

Raikkonen’s move also makes it more likely that Barichello will gert another season, Williams need an experienced driver and the next most experienced driver who will be available is Buemi unless Sutil finds himself without a seat at Force India. To be fair Buemi despite not being seen as an experienced driver may have enough experience (three full seasons) to get himself a seat next year, maybe even in place of Trulli at ex Team Louts now Caterham.

So despite the lack of seats and wasted talent such as Hulkenberg, Senna and Grosjean potentially having to wait in the wings, experienced drivers are actually in short supply on the drivers market then; maybe that is why Raikkonen has found it so easy to come back. If Caterham for example did want to replace Trulli with an experienced driver they will have to hope that Sutil or Buemi will be available, Liuzzi could be available but I’m not sure anyone would want him and beyond that Anthony Davidson might be the only other option if you could entice him away from Le Mans. Or there’s always Villeneuve!

November 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm by admin
Category: F1 News
Tags: Barrichello, drivers market, f1 drivers, Ferrari, Kimi, Kubica, Lotus, lotus-Renault, Massa, Raikkonen, Williams