Kimi Raikkonen has insisted that there have been no developments in his future despite speculation linking him to Felipe Massa’s seat at Ferrari for next season.
The Finn is currently lying second in the drivers’ championship with Lotus, but financial problems have thrown his future with the team into doubt. Raikkonen openly admitted that things could be better at Lotus.
“It’s not as it should [be], but hopefully those things get sorted quickly,” the Finn explained.
He also revealed that talks with Red Bull had broken down due to a lack of communication from the world champions, stating that they would be better placed to go into further detail over the matter.
“I have no answer from them, and you have to really ask from them what they will do. I don’t know any better than you guys.
“We haven’t heard really anything for a while so that’s not the ideal situation.”
Besides Red Bull, Raikkonen has been linked to both Ferrari and McLaren in recent days, but he again reinforced that these were merely rumors and he was still assessing his options for next season.
“There’s always options open, but I don’t know. I have nothing to say until there is something sorted and for sure we will tell you when we know.
“There’s a lot of talk that I’m supposed to go to McLaren, Ferrari one day, Lotus next day.”
Raikkonen’s future largely hinges on Red Bull’s decision over the second seat at the team. The Finn’s manager revealed this week that he was no longer a consideration, suggesting that Daniel Ricciardo was poised to join the team, but reports yesterday suggest that the team is yet to make a final decision. A driver of Raikkonen’s calibre will be attractive to any team, but quite whether they can accommodate the Finn is another matter.
Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.
McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.
The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.
“I think he would have,” Brown said.
“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.
“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”
Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.
After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.
“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.
“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.
“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”