Lauda: Ferrari should sign Raikkonen, drop Massa

Lauda: Ferrari should sign Raikkonen, drop Massa

copyright octaneNiki Lauda has encouraged Ferrari to sign Kimi Raikkonen for 2014, believing that he would be able to annoy star driver Fernando Alonso.

Raikkonen is thought to be looking for a move away from Lotus due to the ongoing financial problems at the team, but after talks with Red Bull over Mark Webber’s vacant seat in 2014 broke down, the Finn is thought to be considering a move to Ferrari. For Lauda, the move would make sense for both Raikkonen and the team.

“He could give the team a boost, as Lewis Hamilton has done at Mercedes,” Lauda explained to Bild. “And he would be in a position to annoy Alonso.

“If I was Luca di Montezemolo, I would pick Kimi.”

Raikkonen drove for Ferrari between 2007 and 2009, winning the world championship during his debut season with the team. However, their relationship soured towards the end of his time at Maranello, with Raikkonen eventually walking away from F1 at the end of 2009 and spending two years rallying. The Finn returned in 2012 with Lotus, and he has won two races during his time with the team. However, he confirmed in Belgium that the financial situation was “not as it should be,” suggesting that a move away from the team is being sought after.

If Ferrari did take Lauda’s advice, it would bring to an end Felipe Massa’s eight-season spell with the team. The Brazilian’s indifferent form of late has placed added pressure for Ferrari to make a change, and Raikkonen could be the option that creates one of the strongest driver pairings in recent years.

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.

Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, Driven Magazine and the Bahrain Mirror, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".