As Scuderia Ferrari shops around for a potential replacement for 36-year old Kimi Raikkonen, other Formula 1 teams are keeping their cards close to their chest.
Rumors have been swirling in the Formula 1 paddock that Ferrari may be looking to replace Raikkonen rather than renewing the Fin’s contract for 2017. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has been viewed as a potential replacement for Raikkonen, but the team isn’t willing to let him go anytime soon.
“Ricciardo will definitely be with us until 2018,” Red Bull team boss Dr. Helmut Marko told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport in a recent interview. “We have a contract with him.”
On the contrary, the Australian didn’t proclaim his loyalty to Red Bull when asked about his future in Montreal this past weekend, saying he’d be happy anywhere he could fight for a championship title.
“The only place I want to be is somewhere they can say ‘Yep, you can fight for a world title with us’,” Ricciardo said. “That’s all I really want.”
Force India’s Sergio Perez is another name that has been floated as a potential replacement for Raikkonen. The Mexican finished third in Monaco and has scored in the points the last four races in a row, but Force India won’t part ways with him so easily.
“Sergio is ours,” Force India director Otmar Szafnauer said. “If Ferrari want him, they would have to pay us a lot of money.”
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene recently made statements indicating the team may retain Raikkonen for at least another season, saying he’s pleased with the Fin’s performance so far this year.
“We have the ideal pairing, with both (Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen) pushing forward,” Arrivabene said. “What more do we want?”
Creative Commons photo via Christian Ramiro González Verón on Flickr!