From left to right: Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali and Felipe MassaEnlarge Photo
Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa has confirmed via Twitter and Instagram that he will leave the team at the end of the current season and that he hopes another team will pick him up for the 2014 season. His replacement will be none other than current Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen.
Räikkönen, of course, won the 2007 World Championship with Ferrari but eventually quit in 2009, despite having one more year remaining on his contract. He will now race alongside current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso starting in 2014 and has signed on for at least two years.
“I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” Räikkönen said in a statement. "I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.
“I can’t wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves," he added.
There were rumors Alonso may switch to Räikkönen’s current team, Lotus, at the behest of Renault (Alonso won both his World Championships with Renault, which remains a key sponsor of the Lotus team). However, those rumors look to have been quashed today as Ferrari has confirmed that Alonso has signed on for another two years with the squad as well.
Massa joined Ferrari in 2006 as the team-mate of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher (prior to that he raced for Sauber). In 2009, during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Brazilian’s helmet was struck by a flying suspension spring that detached from a car driven by Rubens Barrichello. Despite sustaining serious injury, Massa was back racing for Ferrari the next season. He’s had 11 wins during his career and 36 podium finishes. It's not clear where he will end up.
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