July 31, 2013

Ferrari plan a return to Le Mans, Kimi In red and other fun summer rumors.

The summer break does not mean magazines and web sites shut down and, with little real news to report, there is much space for rumor and speculation.  Here is a quick roundup of the most entertain bits floating around.

Ferrari back at Le Mans?

Ferrari planning a return to Le Mans LMP1

This would of course be awesome for endurance racing and, with the return of Porsche to the top category would mean a return to the glory days of the series when Ferrari fought with other top manufacturers for top class honors at the French classic.

Ferrari would be able to utilize the same hybrid turbo engines as in F1 and would be able to take advantage of its wind tunnel, now underutilized because of F1 resource limitation rules.    Ferrari would also compete directly with top manufactures, Audi, Porsche, Toyota, perhaps Honda and Nissan as opposed to "Soft drink manufacturers" as Luca di Montezemolo likes to refer to Red Bull.

Of course, if you are a regular reader you are well familiar with Ferrari's periodic threats to leave F1 used as a bargaining tool for better deals and the cost of a full competitive LMP1 program would surely be a stretch.

Kimi in Red

Kimi Raikkonen back in red.

According to the German Bild, Ferrari have topped Red Bull's offer to the Finn of $15M plus bonuses plus sponsorship for his motocross and hockey teams.

Why would Ferrari make an offer to the driver it dumped with one year left on his contract in order to grab Fernando Alonso?    Well,  fans would love to see it but this is more likely Ferrari shooting back after the Red Bull rumors which now seem to have been, clumsily, orchestrated by team Alonso.   Nobody is untouchable is the message from Maranello.
Reality though is that unless Lotus can come up with cash to pay Raikkonen, he will be Vettel's teammate in 2014.

Bibendum and the amazing Karin Wilzig
Michelin wants back in F1

Pirelli have yet to finalize their agreement with Formula One beyond the current season and the French tire giant, who left the series after the 2006 season, had expressed an interest in bidding for the contract.

A tire war, with Michelin competing with Pirelli on track, is unlikely as it would distract from the new 2014 spec "eco" engines, very much the pet project of FIA president Jean Todt.     While it would not be impossible for Michelin to prepare tires for 2014 F1 season even at this relatively late date (Pirelli made all new tires for the German GP in 3 days),  Bibendum's team has said in the past said it it would like to get rid of F1 high sidewall balloon tires in favor of something that looks more like a consumer product. and that would require major design changes to the cars.
While not out of the question, figure this rumor to be more of a pressure tool on Pirelli in the short term.


  1. This one here is much more fun: Hamilton Senior in talks with Montezemolo:


  2. Fernando and kimi would be great

  3. If Ferrari were really smart they would do whatever it takes to get Kimi back. Unfortunately the obstacle is not Kimi but Montezemolo.


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