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September 15, 2009

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Uncertainty over Raikkonen, Barrichello's future

FERRARI refused to offer any reassurance about Kimi Raikkonen's future after he took a lucky third place in the team's home Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Raikkonen stood on the podium for the fourth race in a row at Monza after McLaren's outgoing world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed on the last lap.

"We got third place a little bit on a gift but it doesn't matter. It all counts, good points for us," said the Finn, without any great enthusiasm after a race dominated by the Brawns.

"It is a bit disappointing to drive as well as you can every lap, not really making any mistakes, and still finish quite far away from the first two."

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali was asked directly by a Finnish reporter whether he could state categorically that the 2007 champion would still be driving a Ferrari next season.

The Finn is widely expected to be replaced by Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso despite having a year remaining on his contract.

"I think that as we said, we don't want to discuss this now because I don't think it is correct," said Domenicali. "As you know, Kimi has a contract with us next year and this is what we can say now.

"We are happy about the performance of Kimi because obviously he is driving very well.

"The team is very happy with the way he is performing, above all in the second part of the season."

Also, Rubens Barrichello's Formula One future remains uncertain despite the Brazilian winning two of the last three races and challenging Brawn teammate Jenson Button for the world title.

Asked whether the 37-year-old had done enough to keep his place for next year, Brawn chief executive Nick Fry refused to give any firm commitment.

"We'll see. We're very much concentrating on each race now and they are both doing a brilliant job and lets leave it at that for the moment," he told reporters.

Team principal Ross Brawn, who worked with Barrichello at Ferrari, offered a glimmer of hope for the oldest driver on the starting grid when he was asked if there was any reason to suspect there would be a different line-up in 2010.

"Not really. No. They're both doing a fantastic job," he said.

Pressed on the issue, he added: "It's still to be decided. We're working on it.

"We've other things we have to sort out, and then the drivers will come after that."


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