F1 silly season enters full swing as Austrian GP draws closer
While this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring is most likely to be dominated at the front by the Mercedes-Benz duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, eyes continue to follow the interesting subplot concerning who will pilot Ferrari's second car next season.
Kimi Raikkonen, who won Ferrari's last World Championship in 2007, appears to be on the ropes — Ferrari's president Sergio Marchionne recently telling the Italian media that the Finnish driver needs to improve if he wants to retain his spot in the team.
"It is up to him. Kimi's time with Ferrari will depend on his performance. He has to show he deserves to stay here, otherwise I think he won't want to continue here as well," Marchionne told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Among those rumoured to be eying up the spot is Australia's Daniel Ricciardo, following his 2016 frustrations with his Red Bull squad. But the driver is adamant that he will stay at his current team until at least 2018.
"I can confidently say now that I will still be here in 2017," he told AP.
"When I was asked in Canada, I said the only reason I would look elsewhere would be to fight for a world title. There's never been any contact [from Ferrari], but I guess, even if I am under contract, I'm a driver that's probably considered by some teams."
Ricciardo, Vettel, Hamilton, and the balance of the field are expected to have to chase Rosberg this weekend -- the series leader on course to win his third Austrian GP in a row.