So, the cat’s out of the bag.
Ferrari top gun, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, said yesterday at an academic ceremony in Italy (of all places) that the Scuderia is going to have to choose between Kimi Raikkonen or Fernando Alonso to partner Felipe Massa in 2010.
The rumours have been around for awhile but Ferrari was officially mum until a student (not a reporter, a student) asked di Montezemolo who would be driving for him next year.
"You mean will it be a Spanish or Finnish driver?” said The Boss. “Within a few weeks, we will make our decisions."
That’s how they tell F1 drivers their services are no longer required. They don’t tell them to their face, or to their manager’s face; they drop the bomb in the media.
Back in the Sixties, before North American industrial relations departments became “human resources” and everybody got all touchy-feely, this is how one of the Big Three automakers would fire a manager: when he reported for work in the morning, and walked into his office, everything would have been taken out of the drawers and left on top of his desk.
In F1, a driver’s car would be “late” getting to the circuit – sometimes by as much as a day.
The message back then to the car company manager and the F1 driver was: “Get lost.”
And when he answered that student’s question in Italy yesterday, that’s exactly what Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was saying to Kimi Raikkonen.