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Could Ferrari's Finn make a shock return to McLaren?

With the political rows that have dominated this Formula 1 season more or less over apart from a few late skirmishes, attention in Valencia has turned to the driver market.

The key move this season is Fernando Alonso's prospective switch to Ferrari. This has not been officially confirmed yet, but it is considered a given. And it will trigger a series of swaps that will significantly change the look of the F1 grid next season.

Among the top teams, only Red Bull are not changing their line-up and there are attractive seats available at Ferrari, McLaren and Brawn.
In the wake of Alonso's move, the key men in the market place are Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica.

Assuming Jenson Button stays at Brawn - which is not 100% certain, but looks very likely - they are the A-listers who will be top of most teams' shopping list.

The driver market is always complicated - but the injury suffered by Felipe Massa has made it more Byzantine than usual this summer.

Ferrari have actually got themselves into a bit of a pickle. Alonso's arrival means they have three of the top drivers in F1 for next season and only two cars to put them in, as both Felipe Massa and Raikkonen are under contract until the end of 2010.

They intended to partner Alonso with Massa, but the Brazilian has a fractured skull following his accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Although he is expected to make a full recovery, in terms of living a normal life, it is impossible to know right now whether he will be able to race in F1 again, even if Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello and Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley, probably the two people closest to him in the paddock, are optimistic.

Massa is talking about an emotional return for the Brazilian Grand Prix in October, but many feel that may well be over-optimistic, even allowing for the traditionally astonishing powers of recovery of F1 drivers.

And if Massa cannot drive until after the end of the season - which means he might not be able to do so until January, because of the testing restrictions in December - that makes getting rid of Raikkonen less immediately appealing.

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