Formula 1 silly season speculation: who goes where?

By Gareth Llewellyn

michael scumacher

Recent speculation has linked championship leader Mark Webber with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari seat, with the Brazilian taking Webber’s seat at Red Bull.

Other variations included Robert Kubica taking the second Ferrari seat alongside Fernando Alonso, while early season speculation suggested one of the Red Bull drivers could make way for former Ferrari man Kimi Raikkonen, who left F1 last season to try his hand in a rally car.

But like the scorching temperatures experienced across Britain earlier this month, the speculation has also been rained on with Ferrari this week confirming that Massa will remain alongside Alonso, while Webber has been rewarded for his consistency in the best car on the grid this season with a new deal all but signed.

Vettel can also expect to remain at Red Bull, which leaves no seat for Kimi Raikkonen should he wish to return to F1. The possibility of a move to Mercedes GP as a replacement for Michael Schumacher, however, does remain.

When it emerged that Raikkonen was being released by Ferrari, he was McLaren’s first choice to partner Lewis Hamilton. At the same time, Red Bull and Brawn/Mercedes were also interested, although Red Bull’s Christian Horner denied interest.

Mercedes went on to sign Nico Rosberg, and more significantly Schumacher, but unlike Red Bull still put out a statement saying they would love to sign Raikkonen.

With McLaren likely to stick with their line-up of Hamilton and Jenson Button, and Red Bull with Webber and Vettel, it gives more weight to the possibility of Raikkonen racing with Mercedes in 2011 on two conditions: 1) they pay him enough 2) they give him a car capable of winning races and challenging for the world championship.

If Schumacher does leave at the end of this season and Mercedes do not sign him, we might not see Raikkonen back in F1 which would be a shame indeed.

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