Ferrari recently announced that Fernando Alonso will be Felipe Massa's partner next season and going forward.
Not many people will likely be sending Ferrari Christmas cards this year because of their decision to release the "Iceman," Kimi Raikkonen (I definitely am not sending them a card because of this stupid decision).
Michael Schumacher seems to have welcomed the decision, though, saying he is "excited" about it. I was sent an update about this move on my Facebook page that I'll relay to all of you later.
Valentino Rossi (yes, that bloke who keeps winning Moto GP Driver Championship crowns year in and year out and then tests for Ferrari in the off-season) has actually claimed that the "Iceman" (or "The Flying Finn" as he's also known) was a slow driver. So much for his nickname, apparently, as according to the "Doctor" or "Donkey" (whichever you prefer), he'd be more aptly nicknamed the "Slow Flying Finn."
The point being there is divided opinion as to whether it was a good or bad move on Ferrari's part releasing Kimi. Most of my friends here on B/R mostly feel it was a mistake for Ferrari to let him go a year early.
Conversely, Fernando Alonso is quite the hated figure. Most people I've talked to oppose his arrival at Ferrari. The fact he disrupted the Rookie Year for the Next Big Thing in F1, coupled with the fact he destroyed a happy sendoff for Michael Schumacher by keeping him from winning an 8th Drivers' Championship are reasons enough for him being hated. It's clear why I'm not exactly a fan of his.
However, looking at it from the perspective of F1 racing in general, this is the best thing that could have happened.
Michael Schumacher was a two-time champion when he moved to the "Electronic Junk" Ferrari from his high-flying Bennetton. The rest, of course, is history. Fernando is a two-time champion as well, and is currently at his sizzling best. Add to that the fact Ferrari will be hungry next year to win the "Expanded" F1 (although the challenge will be the same since the newbies will only make the numbers for the first season) and you can see why.
Also, Ferrari will be better prepared next year as they won't have any of the Massa/Lewis battles to take care of in the face of the complete rule changes this time around. Add to that the fact Massa is returning with a point to prove and the F1 Transfer Merry-Go-Round and it could be a very exciting year.
McLaren, with LewHam (they call him that on SportsCenter), and perhaps Kimi, might be planning on crashing the Ferrari party, though.
That brings us back around to the "Iceman." Raikkonen, the sport's highest paid driver (I actually prefer the term 'racer') is without a team. Seems Kimi may be the fastest man on the track, but is stoic off of it.
Mates, if you feel he is going to remain in the F1 world I think you need to rethink that view. I feel he is all set to do a bunk from F1 because I don't see any big-named team lining up for him (unless you call Toyota a big-named team).
Toyota hasn't even won a race yet, still...Schumi raced there even though his first name was Ralf.
In regard to McLaren, I would think they've had enough of having too many No. 1 drivers. Even if Kimi wouldn't exactly jibe with others like Alonso he wouldn't like you short-changing him in favor of Lew Hamilton.
Williams also isn't a big-named team anymore, and Brawn won't exactly be great next year. Red Bull is done in my opinion, as is Force India (funny that I should mention Force India since I'm Indian). Well, I think you get it. Simply put, Kimi, in my view, is leaving F1 next year because there just isn't any big-named team to sign him.
One sidenote to explain why I believe Brawn won't exactly be a great team next year: In order for them to be great, Mercedes would have to make them their primary team; a status McLaren currently occupies. If that were to happen, though, then we would see Brawn up against Ferrari and McLaren.
However, as McLaren currently has a contract with Mercedes, we won't be seeing this till possibly later. So, till and if Mercedes decides to rescind that contract we won't be seeing Brawns hogging the limelight.