Kimi may replace Massa at Ferrari

Kimi may replace Massa at Ferrari

 Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo shunned questions about Kimi Raikkonen on Tuesday amid mounting speculation that the 2007 Formula One champion could be back at Maranello next season. 

"We won't talk about Formula One today," the Italian told reporters at the Frankfurt motor show. "I am trying to convince a driver to come back and am speaking to Schumacher tomorrow," he joked. 

Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, now 44 and fully retired after his comeback with Mercedes ended last year, is most definitely not in the running. Raikkonen, the 33-year-old with the glacial gaze and 'Iceman' tattooed on his forearm, certainly is. 

Paddock whispers after last weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza spoke of a done deal, although Lotus were still hoping to keep their man and Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said no decision had been taken. 

Raikkonen has plenty of supporters among the passionate Ferrari 'tifosi' as the team's first champion of the post-Schumacher era, and last to date, and his return would a break with Ferrari tradition as much as a blast from the past. 

Assuming Alonso does not produce any bombshell of his own and that it is Felipe Massa who is replaced, Ferrari would have a former world number one on both sides of the garage next season for the first time since most fans can remember. 

In the 1950s, team founder Enzo Ferrari had Italian champions Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina racing in his cars together but Montezemolo has spoken out in the past against having "two roosters in the same henhouse". 

Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell were there together in 1990 but the Briton would have to wait until 1992 with Williams before he became a champion. 

Since the arrival of Michael Schumacher in 1996, Ferrari has preferred to be a team with one driver clearly ranked ahead of the other. 

The German notched up five of his seven titles with Ferrari, taking all but 19 of his 91 wins with the Italian team in the decade between 1996 and 2006. 

Britain's Eddie Irvine and Brazilians Rubens Barrichello and Massa managed just 15 wins between them as his team mates over that period. 

While speculation about Massa's future has been a regular occurrence of recent seasons, this time it seems the Brazilian has run out of road. 

He has not won since 2008, when he was overall runner-up, and been on the podium just once this year.