Ferrari denies Raikkonen negotiations

Ferrari have rubbished rumours linking Kimi Raikkonen to the team for next year, saying they have made no moves to clarify their 2013 driver line-up.

Raikkonen, who won the 2007 World Championship and is Ferrari’s most recent champion, left the team at the end of 2009 but has been linked to a Ferrari comeback as a replacement for Felipe Massa.

Despite Massa recently admitting he needed to improve his results if he wished to be at Ferrari in 2014, Ferrari say they have their eyes set on this year’s championship battle.

“Right now, we’re really not giving any thought to the driver-market situation,” a Ferrari spokesperson said to BBC F1.

“Drivers are not a problem for us even if we were to change Felipe.”

Raikkonen’s relationship with the Italian manufacturer was strained after the team bought-out his contract after three years with the squad.

Raikkonen was defeated by then-team-mate Massa after his championship-winning year and again had fewer points in 2009 when the Brazilian suffered his season-ending crash during that year’s Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Following an unsuccessful two years sampling the World Rally Championship and NASCAR, the Finn returned to F1 with Lotus in 2012.

Six podiums and a victory in his comeback year secured him third in the championship at the season’s end, but the team and drivers rarely showed the pace necessary to mount a serious championship challenge.

Victory at this year’s Australian Grand Prix promised Raikkonen a strong opportunity to fight for the crown in 2013.

Five more podiums over the next nine races have put him second in the championship, 38 points behind current championship-leader Sebastian Vettel.

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