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.
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit
Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.
Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.
On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.
One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.
After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.
The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.
Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.
“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”
Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.
“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”
But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.
“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.
“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”
Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.
“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.
“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”
The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.