What Happens When the Rumors Are True
12:53pm EST — According to an official press release by Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen will not be driving for the Italian team in 2010, and, confirming year-long rumors, Fernando Alonso will be replacing him with a contract through 2012. “We are very proud to welcome to our team another winning driver, who has demonstrated his amazing talent by winning two world championships in his career to date,” said team principal Stefano Domenicali Wednesday. Alonso himself said that “We already had an agreement this summer starting in 2011, but then, the last days, the picture changed and we decided to anticipate my arrival in Maranello by one year,” most likely a response to the Felipe Massa Hungaroring incident and McLaren’s reputed wooing of the Finn back to replace lackluster Heikki Kovalainen. Raikkonen himself is quoted as saying, “I am very sad to be leaving a team with which I have spent three fantastic years, during which time I won plenty of races.” With this 2010 contract finally official, the driver’s contract market can begin to take shape. It is rumored that Robert Kubica will replace Alonso at Renault, with Romain Grosjean keeping his seat (after replacing fired Nelson Piquet, Jr.). Raikkonen will likely move to McLaren and drive with Lewis Hamilton for that team. While Kovalainen will be at loose ends for a contract, there are four new teams to the grid who need an experienced driver. Expect further 2010 driver’s developments soon, and for the rest of the year.
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