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Hungarian GP: Kimi's last chance to shine?

2015-07-23 07:53

FINAL CHANCE? Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen is under pressure to perform at the 2015 Hungarian GP or lose his seat at Maranello. Image: AFP/Patrik Stollarz

HUNGARORING, Hungary - A big topic of conversation in the Hungaroring paddock for this weekend's Hungary GP (July 25-26 2015) will be the future of Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen.

Some Italian media believe Ferrari has already chosen his successor, fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas, having agreed a multi-million buyout of his Williams contract.

But the well-connected insider Leo Turrini insists: "There is no signed agreement with Bottas."

HUNGARY GP THE FINAL STRAW

Indeed, the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport believes the 2015 Hungarian GP - reportedly the last race before Raikkonen's 2016 'option' runs out - is actually Raikkonen's last chance to shine.

The Italian daily reads: "The (Hungarian) GP is historically a crossroads in the driver market and for Ferrari, now is the time to decide who will be next to Sebastian Vettel in 2016."

READ: Ferrari duo under fire ahead of Hungary

Correspondent Andrea Cremonesi thinks it's time for the 2007 world champion to go.

Cremonesi said: "Kimi must be replaced, for the simple reason that he has not been able to match his team mate in the last two years.

"(Fernando) Alonso destroyed him, and next to Vettel he is not doing much better."

Ferrari technical boss James Allison does not agree with that, insisting that in terms of pace. Allison said: "There is no difference between him (Raikkonen) and Sebastian."

VETTEL 'UNTOUCHABLE'

Allison told Italy's Autosprint: "The difference is that Sebastian never - or almost never - makes mistakes."

Finally, the Portuguese-language Diario Motorsport reports that if Williams driver (Valtteri) Bottas does move to Ferrari, he will not be replaced by Sauber driver Felipe Nasr.

A Williams switch for Nasr, whose potential team mate would be Felipe Massa, would mean an all-Brazilian line-up for the British team, which "for commercial reasons" has been ruled out.

Secondly, the publication claims Sauber has a firm two-year contract in place with Nasr's major backer: Banco do Brasil.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 season. Fresh reports every day.


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