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DATE News (chronologically)
12/21/05
f1
Raikkonen to Ferrari  UPDATE #7 We are bumping this rumor up to 'strong' today. Kimi Raikkonen's future lies in Maranello, formula one supremo Bernie Ecclestone thinks. As the specialized press continue to grapple with the implications of Fernando Alonso's surprise McLaren switch for 2007, the 75-year-old boss chimed in by saying: ''Yes, I think (Kimi) will go to Ferrari.''

Some sources inside F1's inner sanctum report that monosyllabic Raikkonen, the 26-year-old Finn, may even have signed some sort of pre-agreement for a '07 move to Michael Schumacher's scarlet camp.

Bernie said Raikkonen in a Ferrari is 'in the interests' of both the former title-winning team, and the talented driver.

Ecclestone also told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper: ''But it's not certain it'll end up this way, because if Schumacher carries on beyond 2006 ... Raikkonen will have to find another place.''

12/19/05 With news that Alonso is moving to McLaren, either Raikkonen or Montoya are on their way out.  We now await Ferrari's announcement that Kimi has joined their team effective 2007.  We believe Dennis will keep Montoya because he knows Montoya is the faster driver now that he has settled into the team.

10/21/05 Former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan says in his November column for F1 Racing magazine that Kimi's McLaren teammate Juan Pablo Montoya is more likely to switch to the Ferrari team than the Finn.

"I don't know who peddled the rumor about Kimi going to Ferrari, but I don't believe it for a second," he said. "He was made for McLaren and they gave him his best chance. The Kimi-to-Ferrari story is backfiring just like the Valentino Rossi spin. If I was a gambler I'd actually put money on Montoya going to Ferrari, not Raikkonen."

"There aren't many better at wheel-to-wheel combat than Juan Pablo, and in Brazil he showed that he still has it. JPM may have a temper on him but the flipside is his friendly demeanor – he smiles when he wins. In fact his distinctive personality doesn't really seem to suit McLaren's style."

10/15/05 "I have heard the rumors and want to say that I have definitely not signed anything with Ferrari," Raikkonen told Bild daily. "I want to be in the fastest car and as a young boy my dream was to join McLaren Mercedes because of Mika Hakkinen. I am here now and extremely happy to be so. It is even possible that I will stay at the team forever if both parties continue to be successful."

10/06/05 Kimi Raikkonen has danced around rumors that he'll be off to Ferrari at the end of next year. The former 2005 championship challenger and Finn's McLaren contract runs out in 2006, and speculation says his signature may already be on a $40m a year scarlet deal for 2007.

''I have a contract next year and I'm happy with the team,'' Raikkonen, 25, said at Suzuka for the penultimate grand prix of the season. For sure the car will be good next year and I don't see any reason to go elsewhere. Ok, after next year, we'll see, but I'm happy to stay.''

Kimi, whose paddock nickname is 'Iceman', reckons losing the title to Michael Schumacher in 2003 hurt more than the more recent loss to Fernando Alonso.

He explained: ''That one was close, so it was more painful. This one, we realized quite a long time ago that it would be very difficult to catch them, so - unfortunately - it wasn't such a big thing.''

10/03/05 It gained momentum when Kimi Raikkonen reportedly turned down an 84-million offer to renew his McLaren-Mercedes contract for three years, and has now got yet another boost with a story on this week’s Autosport magazine claiming that Kimi will be Michael Schumacher’s replacement at Ferrari in 2007.

"I'm not going to comment on speculation," Ferrari boss Jean Todt told Autosport. "Next year, we will have Michael (Schumacher) with Felipe Massa and then we will see what is happening in 2007, but nobody will push us to say something before we want to say something." More at SPEEDTV.com Former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan says in his November column for F1 Racing magazine that Kimi's McLaren teammate Juan Pablo Montoya is more likely to switch to the Ferrari team than the Finn.

"I don't know who peddled the rumor about Kimi going to Ferrari, but I don't believe it for a second," he said. "He was made for McLaren and they gave him his best chance. The Kimi-to-Ferrari story is backfiring just like the Valentino Rossi spin. If I was a gambler I'd actually put money on Montoya going to Ferrari, not Raikkonen."

"There aren't many better at wheel-to-wheel combat than Juan Pablo, and in Brazil he showed that he still has it. JPM may have a temper on him but the flipside is his friendly demeanor – he smiles when he wins. In fact his distinctive personality doesn't really seem to suit McLaren's style."

10/02/05 Kimi Raikkonen has agreed a deal to join champions Ferrari at the end of next season, according to a leading Formula One source. The Finn has sorted out the finer points of a contract worth close to a staggering £22million. And that could end the glorious career at Ferrari of seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher. Raikkonen has narrowly missed out on the world title twice with McLaren in the last three years. In 2003 he was beaten to the sport's ultimate prize by Schumacher by two points. And last Sunday in Brazil the frustrated Finn saw the title slip between his fingers again. Despite a superior McLaren car and roaring Mercedes V10 engine, a string of problems and plain bad luck have torpedoed his chances race after race.

I have been told: "This is not about money.

"McLaren and Mercedes are big companies and can afford to match, or better, anything Ferrari is offering. They value Kimi highly. It is just down to what he wants to do."

The knock-on effect could trigger the end of Schumacher's brilliant career at Ferrari. Zzzz

Team boss Jean Todt wants to pair the Finn and the German to create the strongest force in Formula One.

But the former world champion has yet to make up his mind whether to re-sign when his contract expires at the end of 2006.

Ferrari cannot afford to wait around. Top-class drivers such as Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Webber and Jenson Button are rarely available at the right time. More at Daily Mirror

10/02/05 Reports have once again surfaced which link current McLaren ace, Kimi Raikkonen, with a move to rivals Ferrari to replace their number one, Michael Schumacher. The Sunday Mirror newspaper is reporting that Raikkonen will join Ferrari, at the end of the 2006 season, for a contract worth £22million. What is not clear though is the role of seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher. Schumacher has yet to finalize a contract past the 2006 season and Ferrari seem unwilling to wait for his decision and so have made the move to secure Raikkonen. Raikkonen has come close to the World title on two occasions but has yet to lift the title. Reports say that if the Finnish driver was to leave McLaren it would not be for the money but rather because it would be what he believes to be best for him. "This is not about money. McLaren and Mercedes are big companies and can afford to match, or better, anything Ferrari is offering. They value Kimi highly. It is just down to what he wants to do." A source told The Sunday Mirror. Schumacher has never played second fiddle to any teammate and it looks likely that if Raikkonen does in fact move to the Scuderia it will be to replace the German.

Although McLaren claims to not have a No. 1 and No 2 driver, the team is largely based around Raikkonen who has been with the team longer than Juan Montoya. If Raikkonen leaves Montoya, who we think is really the faster of the two drivers, will get become the team’s senior driver and will likely challenge for the World Title.

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