Kimi out, Bottas in at Ferrari?

Things have not gone well for
Scuderia Ferrari driver
Kimi Räikkönen since he returned to the team in 2014. After a pair of strong seasons for
Lotus that saw him finish third and fifth, the Finn ended last season in 12th, 106 points behind his teammate, Spaniard
Fernando Alonso.

His 2015 fortunes have improved – he currently sits in fourth, only a spot behind teammate
Sebastian Vettel – but he’s been remarkably inconsistent, struggling with the SF15-T, a car that was specifically designed to work with his driving style. He only has a single podium this season, was forced to retire in
Australia after a bad pitstop, and he crashed out of the most recent round in Austria. Clearly, Kimi should just stay away from races starting in «Austr.»

That advice may have come too late, though, as
rumors are bubbling up that
Ferrari may be swapping its Finns, dropping Räikkönen for his young countryman,
Valtteri Bottas.
Fox News, citing a report from Germany’s Bild, claims
Ferrari has made an offer to Bottas’ current team,
Williams, to secure his services. It doesn’t sound like the British team will give him up all that easily, though.

According to Fox, Williams enjoys a contractual «option» on the 25-year-old Finn’s contract for next season, and that Ferrari would need to buy that contract out to steal him away.
Bild claims the Italians have offered $4.4 million, but Williams’ second-in-command, Claire Williams, wants nearly four times that. Ferrari has, rejected that figure, allegedly and unsurprisingly.

Should the two sides come to a compromise, German and
Sahara Force India driver
Nico Hulkenberg seems to be the popular choice to take the open Williams seat, Fox is reporting. It’s unclear where Räikkönen would end up next. And with that, we consider the
2015 Formula 1 silly season officially open.

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