Formula 1

Rumours beginning to swirl over Kimi Ralkkonen's future

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We've now reached the half way point in this Formula One season, and the speculation that comes with "silly season" is starting to build up.

One of the biggest rumours gaining momentum ahead of the 2016 season concerns Kimi Raikkonen's seat at Scuderia Ferrari.

The seat under the ice cool Finn is getting hotter for each race, and no wonder. His performances have been nowhere near expectations.

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In his first stint with Ferrari he managed his only world championship before he retired in 2009 and he hasn't been able to return to the glory days since his comeback in three years ago.

So far he has managed 131 points since his return to Ferrari. Only 21 more points than he earned in his entire first season with the manufacturer.

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And the fair share of bad performances hasn't gone unnoticed. With rumours now surfacing that Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo are fighting for the chance to replace Raikkonen.

But a rumour is just a rumour, so what is there to back up a potential farewell to Kimi Raikkonen?

Well, first there are the previously mentioned performances. Then the relationship with new boss Maurizio Arrivabene. Back in June, Arrivabene joked about Kimi's performances in qualifying and said that he should do some more "homework".

The jokes from Arrivabene didn't amuse Raikkonen in any way responding with:

"I know already where we need to improve and do not need to be told."

So there might be a conflict threatening to erupt between Arrivabene and Raikkonen.

Then there is the age and motivation. He lacked motivation towards the end of his first F1 stint, and that might hit again.

He's been driving F1 since 2001 on and off with Sauber, McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari, so his time might have come to be replaced by some young and interesting new talents.

Perhaps his time is over, just like Barrichello, Coulthard, Fisichella and Montoya from Raikkonen's previous era. The hints from the Ferrari team, is that a decision will not be made until the summer break.

"Our goal now is to focus on the car, the driver issue can wait," said Arrivabene.

"In the summer break, you take a summer break. You go swimming, climbing, mountain biking – otherwise it is not a break, it is work!”

So we'll have to wait until after the summer to find out what the future holds for Kimi Raikkonen. 

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Formula 1

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