Felipe Massa leaves Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen set to move in

Updated: 11 September 2013 08:19 IST

Raikkonen won the world title with Ferrari in 2007, the first of three years he spent partnering Massa at the Italian team.

Felipe Massa leaves Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen set to move in

Rome:

Felipe Massa announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he will no longer be driving for Ferrari next year.


The BBC later claimed Kimi Raikkonen would be replacing him and returning to team he left in 2009.

Raikkonen won the world title with Ferrari in 2007, the first of three years he spent partnering Massa at the Italian team.

"From 2014 i will no longer be driving for Ferrari," said Brazilian Massa on his official @Felipe1Massa account.

"I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together.

"Thank you also to my wife and all of my family, to my fans and all my Sponsors. From each one of you I have always received a great support!

"Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari for the remaining 7 races."

Talk in the paddock has been raging for several weeks about who will be Ferrari's second driver next year alongside two-time former world champion with Renault, Fernando Alonso.

The BBC claimed a deal was agreed Monday that will see Raikkonen return to the team where he won his only world title.

His success in 2007 was the last time Ferrari won a world title, after which British duo Jenson Button, in a Brawn, and Lewis Hamilton, in a McLaren, claimed the championship before Red Bull's Sebatian Vettel began his three-year domination.

Raikkonen left F1 in 2009, moving to the World Rally Championship, and was replaced at the Italian team by Alonso.

The flying Finn won nine Grand Prix with Ferrari, having also won nine during a five-year spell at McLaren, where he twice finished runner-up, in 2003 behind Michael Schumacher and then in 2005 to Alonso.

After a stint in NASCAR he returned to F1 in 2012 with Lotus, where he has won two Grand Prix.

Massa says he wants to remain in F1 but has yet to find a drive for 2014.

"For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the Championship which remains my greatest objective!" he said.

Massa has spent eight years with Ferrari since joining from Sauber in 2006.

In 2008 he came within a couple of bends of winning the world title, only for Lewis Hamilton to snatch it by overtaking Timo Glock two corners from the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

It was Massa's best season in a Ferrari and the only time he challenged for the title, although he finished third in 2006 and fourth in 2007.

His 2009 season ended in July's Hungarian Grand Prix when he suffered a horror injury in a crash in qualifying after being hit on the head by a suspension spring that had fallen from compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn.

Massa suffered a head injury that was initially thought to be life-threatening but he recovered and was driving for Ferrari again in 2010.

He has won 11 races in his Ferrari career, the last coming in 2008.



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