• Nov 18th 2009 at 10:01AM
  • 6
The times they are a-changin' in Maranello. As if the departures of Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt over the past few years wasn't enough to shake things up for the Scuderia, a new round of change-ups is looming on the horizon.

First up is Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 World Champion who Ferrari is paying to vacate his seat in order to make room for Fernando Alonso. Following earlier reports that Kimi would stand to make more by sitting out next season, the Finnish driver's manager has reportedly announced that he'll be taking a sabbatical. This, after negotiations with McLaren broke down over such issues as salary, promotional obligations and freedom to drive the occasional rally. Raikkonen's repeatedly reiterated that he's only interested in a winning team, and could take the year to hone his rally skills instead. A tie-in with Red Bull could provide him with a WRC drive and a return to F1 for 2011.

Meanwhile, Kimi's predecessor, Michael Schumacher, is reportedly changing his role with the team as well. For the past couple of seasons, Schumi has served as a special adviser to the Scuderia, often showing his smiling mug on the pit wall at various grand prix events. But while the seven-time World Champion has signed on for another three years to help with the development of future Ferrari road cars, his F1 role with the team has apparently ended. In an effort to sort out why Schumi won't be active with the team any longer, speculation has escalated that Michael could reunite with Ross Brawn and return to the cockpit as a driver for the newly christened Mercedes Grand Prix team, while others suggest he could join his former boss Jean Todt with a role in the FIA.

Finally, Luca di Montezemolo is eying a change in his role as well. The chairman isn't leaving his post as head of either Ferrari or parent company Fiat, but he has announced that he's likely to step down as head of the Formula One Teams Association. The representative body was formed to negotiate on the teams' behalf with the FIA and Formula One Management, but with Montezemolo's longtime underling Todt now heading the FIA, many have been citing a potential conflict of interest. For his part, Montezemolo says he wants to concentrate on his job as chairman of the Italian automakers. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Sources: Autosport and Autocar | Image: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is no way in hell that Schumi will race for a Mercedes outfit that would most probably give Ferrari a run for its money next season. My guess would be a move to a more prominent role in the FIA alongside Jean Todt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Schumacher doesn't seem the type to be sentimental. I think he'd love to compete against the team that pretty much forced him out of the driver's seat 3 years ago. Add in Ross Brawn, and a German engine, and that would be a tantalizing opportunity for him. The lack of real testing time would make it difficult for him to get back on pace, though. (I can't be alone in thinking that was the real reason for him not filling in for Massa this year, can I?)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, I can't see MS driving for Brawn/MB GP.

        But what I really can't understand is how RedBull, Brawn/MB, and McLaren have passed on Kimi. He would make great co-driver for Vettel or Rosberg and he would really push Hamilton. I think Hamilton was dreading have him for a teammate because he knows how fast he is.

        I understand Kimi comes across as not the most motivated guy, but he is very quick and knows how to win, and because Ferrari is still paying him you can get him at a discount.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Schumacher pretty much launched is career in the Sauber Mercedes, so there is a relationship between both. Being german, it would make perfect sense to relate him with Mercedes F1 efforts. In terms of marketing it would be amazing for them. Maybe there is enough money involved to break is long-time relationship with Ferrari.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks like the GOATs of racing are finally trying to race for their home country. Rossi is eyeing a drive for Ducati and if this is true Schumi would race for a Mercedes powered team.
      • 5 Years Ago
      schui is ready, i just watched him race the best in the world in karts. hes ready.
    Share This Photo X