|© AP Photo/Toru Takahashi
With Ferrari reported to be preparing to rope in James Allison, who left his post as technical director of Lotus on Wednesday, it could be likely that the Italian team may be setting up to tempt Kimi Raikkonen back to Maranello.
The Finn’s contract with Lotus expires at the end of the current season and has given no clear indication yet whether he would stay with the Enstone-based outfit or even Formula 1 beyond 2013.
There have been concerns whether Lotus has the necessary budget to keep up in the development battle and provide Raikkonen, currently second in the standings, a car to fight for the title through the course of the season.
Red Bull had admitted that the 2007 world champion was a candidate to replace Mark Webber next year, should the Australian decide to call it quits, suggesting that the Finnish driver was open to switch teams.
Raikkonen was also rumoured to have been a candidate last year to replace Felipe Massa in 2013, with the 33-year-old saying “you never know what can happen in the future” when asked if he would consider returning to Ferrari.
Autosport revealed on Thursday that Allison was “closing in on a move to join Ferrari in a senior technical position” with the two parties believed to be “working towards an agreement”.
Allison was with Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, when the team won five drivers’ and constructors’ championship in a row with Michael Schumacher.
Former Formula 1 driver and now television pundit Martin Brundle said on Twitter that “Kimi won't be pleased” with Allison leaving Lotus.
“Key tech personnel changes as important as top driver moves,” Brundle explained.
Fernando Alonso has a contract with Ferrari until the end of 2016, while teammate Massa had his contract extended by only a year last season.
Ferrari hasn’t won a constructors’ championship since 2008 and a drivers’ title since 2007, when Raikkonen clinched the crown, forcing the team to strengthen its technical department in an attempt to get back at the top.
It may possible that Raikkonen could follow Allison, who has been much sought after by rival teams, to Ferrari to give himself a shot to fight in what could be his second title.