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F1: Raikkonen Makes First Official Visit To Scuderia Ferrari Headquarters Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Dec, 19 2013 | 0 Comments

Kimi Raikkonen has made his first appearance since undergoing back surgery a month ago.

The Finn, who sat out the last two races of his Lotus career, made a visit to Ferrari's Maranello headquarters on Tuesday, where he met up with his new race engineer, Antonio Spagnolo.

Italy's Autosprint said Andrea Stella will remain Fernando Alonso's engineer in 2014, which means former Massa engineer Rob Smedley is almost certainly headed to Williams.

It will be a tough gig for Italian Spagnolo, with 2007 world champion Raikkonen famous for his radio impatience during grands prix -- his 'Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing' spiel is now legendary in F1 circles.

With Raikkonen replacing the Williams-bound Felipe Massa, it has been a period of significant change at Ferrari.

Also arriving from Lotus, James Allison is now Ferrari's clear new technical director, relegating fellow Briton Fry to being in charge simply of trackside operations, according to Italy's Autosprint.

And Allison said Ferrari's recent work on updating its wind tunnel and simulator technologies will pay off.

"Now we can say we have moved on from being maybe the fourth or fifth team in terms of the tools we have, to once again being at the cutting edge and everything is in place to open up a new Ferrari era," he said.

Autosprint said Ferrari will officially launch its 2014 engine, the all-new turbo V6, on Thursday.

(GMM)

 

Lotus admits Raikkonen still owed money

Kimi Raikkonen has still not received all of the money he is owed by Lotus.

Towards the end of the season, and just before he set off for back surgery that meant he missed the last two races of 2013, the Finn revealed he has not been paid "one euro" by the Enstone based team this year.

Raikkonen said he almost called a halt to his Lotus career before the race in Abu Dhabi, saying at the time: "I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having."

But then he missed Austin and Brazil, ostensibly only because of his back surgery.

Team owner Gerard Lopez, whose Lotus outfit has been waiting for a crucial buy-in deal by the investment group Quantum, has now revealed that Raikkonen is in fact still owed some money.

Asked if Lotus has paid the Ferrari-bound Finn in full, he is quoted by Finland's MTV3: "Not entirely.

"Some of it, yes, we reached an agreement on the payment in Abu Dhabi," added Lopez.

It has been reported that Lotus remains deeply in debt, with some employees and suppliers going unpaid.

Lopez acknowledged: "There have been delays. But the amounts that I have heard (in the media) are completely ridiculous.

"I will not go into detail, other than to say that the amounts we owe are not big. We will pay, just as we always have done," he added.

(GMM)

 

Dennis would not block Alonso's McLaren return

McLaren supremo Ron Dennis has suggested he would not step in to prevent Fernando Alonso from returning to the British team.

With the Woking based team looking ahead to its new era with works Honda power from 2015, boss Martin Whitmarsh has made no secret of his desire to see Alonso at the wheel.

But when Dennis was still on the pitwall in 2007, he and Alonso fell out spectacularly, with the two-time world champion splitting from the team after just a single, tumultuous season alongside Lewis Hamilton.

So with Alonso showing signs of being unhappy at Ferrari this year, and now paired with Kimi Raikkonen for 2014 reportedly against his wishes, the 32-year-old might be looking for a new team for 2015 and beyond.

Dennis, 66, while no longer in charge of F1 matters, remains the McLaren Group chairman, although reportedly with a non-executive status at present.

When asked specifically about Alonso, Dennis told the BBC: "One has to recognise the first objective of any grand prix team is to win races.

"Whatever obstacles sit between a team wanting to win and winning, be it engineering, fiscal or human issues, you resolve them. You never say never," he added.

(GMM)

 

Sutil has seat fitting in 2014 Sauber

After spending his entire career to date with Force India, Adrian Sutil on Wednesday began his next F1 chapter.

"Look who we found getting comfortable in his seat," the Swiss team Sauber said on Twitter, adding a photo of German Sutil, 30, at the wheel of the 2014 car.

Sutil, who began his career in 2007 with Force India's former guise Spyker, was at Sauber's Hinwil headquarters for a seat fitting in the new C33, which has already passed the FIA's static and dynamic crash tests.

It is not Sutil's first visit to Hinwil. Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said he actually visited "at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure".

"Although I have known for a while where I wanted to go," Sutil added, "in the end the negotiations took a bit longer than planned."

And he told F1's official website this week: "I felt that it was time for a change and we worked hard for it for months to make it happen."

(GMM)

 
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