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Italian media stokes Bottas to Ferrari speculation

NEWS STORY
17/07/2015

With the 'circus' on an unexpected break following the cancellation of the German Grand Prix, and the resultant lack of real news, speculation over driver moves for 2016 has become the order of the day.

Naturally, following a number of strong performances from Valtteri Bottas, the Williams driver is at the centre of the speculation, along with countryman Kimi Raikkonen, who is under increasing pressure at Ferrari.

Whilst the 59 point gap to his teammate isn't entirely his fault, it must be said that Raikkonen (a Pitpass favourite, it has to be admitted) hasn't really helped himself, the Finn making a number of silly mistakes both in qualifying and in the races.

Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, though seemingly appearing to cut the Finn a certain amount of slack, will be under pressure from above, and with Sebastian Vettel having made it to the podium six times this year – once as a winner - the Italian will need to justify why Raikkonen has only made one visit, especially as the 2015 package is clearly superior to its predecessor.

Bottas has long been linked with Ferrari, but in recent days the speculation has increased with Corriere dello Sport today claiming that the Italian team has paid its Grove rivals €12m (Ģ8.3m) to release the Finn from his current contract which runs out at the end of 2016. At the same time, the Maranello outfit's option on Raikkonen for 2016 runs out at the end of this month.

Mischievously adding to the fun and games, Didier Coton, who manages Bottas, took to Twitter. "Man, what a morning!" he tweeted. "The heat wave has reached lots of countries especially Italy. Let's turn on the air conditioning and keep cool."

Raikkonen has said that Ferrari will be his last team in F1 which suggests that if he is dropped the Finn will leave the sport. Whilst impressive at Lotus on his return to F1 in 2012, winning the Australian Grand Prix in his second year back, and finishing the year third overall, he has never really convinced back at the team with which he won the title in 2007.

Without doubt, Raikkonen and Bottas are the key to the 2016 driver merry go round, and once the future of either is known we can anticipate some frenzied movement elsewhere.

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1. Posted by Yeyox02, 20/07/2015 22:42

"Letīs put the feet on the ground.
It is clear that Ferrari has not a good car so they have gotten some podiums because of the mistakes of others and certain circunstances. The question is : Why Ferrari and italian media are putting so much pressure on Kimi if they know that the Ferrari car is bad.
If Ferrari had a super car - a real winner car - and Kimi was making many mistakes and losing races, it would be right the call to fire him but the Ferrari car is bad so I see no reason to fire him. When Kimi was racing a very bad car at Lotus he got very good results so what is the difference? The difference is that at Lotus he was racing and at Ferrari everything is a matter of politics.
Ferrari and Italian media ousted Felipe Massa, Ferrari and Italian media ousted Fernando Alonso, Ferrari and Italian media ousted Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari and Italian media ousted Marco Mattiacci, Ferrari and Italian media ousted Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari ousted valuable technical staff- ie. Marmorini, Ferrari and italian media will oust Kimi Raikkonnen but the problems are there and will be there. Who is wrong, Ferrari and italian media or the drivers. I think the answer is pretty clear. Who is in line to be ousted by Ferrai and Italian media? Arrivabene? Arrivabene is not an engineer, he is like a bad priest or like a bad philosopher or like a bad motivator. We can see how he is mismanaging the situation with Kimi. Very bad.
The day Ferrari accepts that they have serious internal problems that day things will start improving no matter who are the drivers.
Another thing is clear: Ferrari cannot be managed by italians. When Ferrari was a real power, a French (Jean Todt), a Briton (Ross Brawn) and a German (Michael Schumacher) were at the helm; That was a mortal team.
"

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