Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Raikkonen can put victory hopes on ice


By Abhishek Takle

Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Formula One after a two-year hiatus has enthused media, fans and rivals alike. But the question remains — does the Iceman’s comeback mean a cooling of double world champion Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of being red-hot favourite again next year?

Almost certainly not. Raikkonen’s return is certainly a good thing for Formula One. For the first time ever, the sport will see six world champions line up on the starting grid.

Known for his often monosyllabic approach to the media and love of a good party away from the racetrack, the return of the steely-eyed Finn will add another welcome storyline.

But don’t expect him to win a second world title.

For one, Raikkonen makes his return with what will be called the Lotus team next year. While a solid midfield team of late in their Renault guise, they haven’t won a race since 2008 when Fernando Alonso was driving for them.

Button to McLaren – the real deal or just pretend?


buttonJenson Button’s eye-catching visit to McLaren on Friday is of obvious benefit to both parties, whatever the reality behind the headlines.

If a deal is done, the new Formula One champion gets the bigger salary that Brawn are reluctant or unable to pay as well as a potentially winning car for next season.

The worst kept secret is finally out…Alonso moves to Ferrari


In the world of Formula One, it is very hard to keep a secret.

We’ve known for months that Fernando Alonso would be replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, a move confirmed on Wednesday.

Insiders also reckoned he had signed a deal a while back, which Alonso himself has revealed, although he said it was originally for 2011.

Fisichella is the right man for Ferrari


Giancarlo Fisichella and Ferrari would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, as well as good box office for Monza next week.

The little Roman gets to live out the dream he thought would never come true while Ferrari get a driver who is demonstrably quick as well as being a safe and completely loyal pair of hands.

Tiger still tops … in pay

tiger1 Tiger Woods not only remains the highest-paid athlete according to Forbes magazine for the eighth straight year, his total compensation is more than double the next highest total. Talk about lapping the field!

Despite eight months on the shelf due to knee surgery and the end of his sponsor deal with General Motors, Woods still made $110 million over the past 12 months, Forbes said.