Scuderia Ferrari is back in the position of re-creating the ‘Michael Schumacher’ zone they once left behind. Only this time it’s with another great, Sebastian Vettel. The four time world champion has yet to show another win, but with four podiums he claims his position as the Prancing Horse’ number one driver. That was the plan all along. The second driver? He is the one and only “Iceman”, Kimi Raikkonen. Unfortunatly, he is living up to his nickname while his teammate is on fire. He hasn’t showed a satisfying result since his podium in Bahrain.
Over the weekend of the Austrian Grand Prix, Kimi caused the only incident of the race. The rear of his car went ‘radical’, slamming into Fernando Alonso and eventually putting the McLaren Spaniard on top of Kimi’s car.
Both drivers’ race started and finished on the first lap. This was Raikkonen’s second retirement of the season with the other having been Australia. The news this week has been rife with rumours questioning the Iceman’s future. His contract is up at the end of this year. What will Ferrari gain if they let go of number seven? Ferrari has offered a deal to Valtteri Bottas already. But in my opinion, Kimi is the best second driver a team like Scuderia Ferrari can have.
Forgetting his two retirements, Kimi has a solid place at Ferrari. He is currently fourth in points, below his teammate, which is where he should be. The only time he finished outside the top five was in Montreal. If you were to compare results to last season, he was right with Ferrari. Remember the whole team was no where near the pace they are today. Valtteri Bottas would not be so much as an improvement as a step backwards. Sure he is one of the best of the younger drivers. Bottas as holds one of the best seats in the house at Williams. Technical Boss Pat Symonds does not approve of such a proposal, “it would be a pity if he leaves the team. I know he feels comfortable here, and he is an important part of the team.”
What does Bottas have going for him? He will be the most sought after Formula 1 driver by the end of the season. If he were to make the jump to Ferrari next season, he would still be a competitor for the top of the standings. He’s fifth in the driver standings at the moment but moving to Ferrari would automatically allow him to climb the ladder. I understand Bottas would fit well at Scuderia Ferrari, but Kimi just has the experience under his belt.
It won’t be long until Valtteri Bottas makes a decision to stay or leave Williams. The season is nearly halfway over with F1 returning to the United Kingdom at Silverstone this weekend. Last season the Finnish driver scored a podium, while Raikkonen did not finish the race. Hopefully this year he can prove to his team that he deserves his seat. If Raikkonen can’t hold off Bottas, the Williams driver will overtake his place in the points. Only five points separate the two for the fourth slot.
This weekend won’t decide the state of either drivers’ future, but every race from here on out counts. For right now, either driver will fight for the position they think they deserve.
If the Iceman can’t make Hell freeze over, then expect a shake up in the Ferrari garage in 2016.