user icon

'Important for Raikkonen to get strong start to 2016'

  • Published on 17 Mar 2016 15:45
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Kimi Raikkonen's manager has admitted 2016 will be a crucial year for the 2007 world champion. Most pundits are predicting that, if Ferrari is able to match Mercedes' might this season, it could be a three-way battle between the silver-clad drivers and Sebastian Vettel.

Indeed, Vettel's teammate Raikkonen has struggled during his current tenure at Ferrari, where he shared the team first with Fernando Alonso in 2014. So it appears that a gaggle of up-and-coming drivers are targeting the 36-year-old's place for 2017.

Nico Hulkenberg, however, makes clear he is not among them. "No," he told Auto Bild clearly when asked if he came close to moving to Ferrari for 2016. "And since I am both the driver and the manager, I always knew what was going on. I have renewed my contract with Force India until the end of 2017 and so I am firmly in this saddle."

But a trio of Hulkenberg's rivals probably have grander aspirations. One of them is Romain Grosjean, who some believe switched from Lotus to Haas in order to take one step closer to Ferrari. Another is Daniel Ricciardo, who is out of contract at Red Bull late this year. "I'm really confident and hopeful that he'll land that Ferrari seat next year," Alan Jones', Australia's last world champion of 1980, told the Australian grand prix podcast.

A problem for Ricciardo, however, is that he beat Ferrari number 1 Vettel at Red Bull in 2014. "Would Sebastian want Daniel in the same team at Ferrari?" former F1 driver David Coulthard wondered to AAP news agency on Thursday. "He knows how that went when they were together at Red Bull."

Indeed, it was Valtteri Bottas who came closest to moving to Ferrari for 2016, but may ultimately have been told by the Italian team to spend one more year honing his talent at Williams. "I'm still a big fan of Valtteri's," Williams technical boss Pat Symonds told the Finnish news agency STT. "He is very good and our mission is to give him a winning car."

So with all that younger talent champing at the bit, the pressure is on Raikkonen to shine in 2016. "Kimi seems to be very happy with the new car," manager Steve Robertson told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. "We both know how important it would be for him to get a strong start to this season. If Kimi can do that, he can fight for the world championship," he added. (GMM)

Replies (1)

Login to reply
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    It's the same for all drivers, you can go on and on and on about these things...
    They will have to show it on track, let their driving talk for them.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2016 - 18:39

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 182
  • Podiums 0
  • Grand Prix 170
  • Country ES
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (40)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, ES
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar