Following his departure from Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen made it clear that it will either be McLaren in 2010 for him or nothing. According to Raikkonen’s manager the talks with McLaren have collapsed and Kimi will be left without F1 drive next season. This is what Steve Robertson had to say to Finnish papers Turun Sanomat:
“The options in F1 were with McLaren next season or not at all. Kimi and McLaren were unable to reach an agreement, so he will not drive at the F1 level – at least not next year.
A gap year means nothing for Kimi. He is more interested in fighting for wins and the world championship. F1 will miss Kimi. He worked hard over the summer – doing things in a Ferrari that only the best drivers are capable of.”
Kimi Raikkonen entered F1 in 2001 with Sauber only to move to McLaren in 2002. He went on to win 9 races with the Woking team. His best championship result in McLaren was 2nd place in 2005. In 2007 Raikkonen moved to Ferrari. He won his debut race in the red car in Australia and went on to win the title in his debut season with the team. In total he has won 9 races with Ferrari, the last one in Belgium this year. Here are few images from Raikkonen’s 3 years with Ferrari.
Unless Mercedes and McLaren have some shocking scenario hidden in their sleeves it now leaves three drivers – Button, Rosberg and Heidfeld to divide the 3 Mercedes powered seats (1 in McLaren and 2 in Brawn) between them (with Rosberg expected to race for Mercedes Grand Prix).
Here are 2 interesting facts:
1) When Raikkonen joined McLaren in 2002 he replaced his compatriot Mika Hakkinen who also went on a sabbatical. That sabbatical never ended, Hakkinenen never raced in F1 again.
2) When Raikkonen joined McLaren in 2002 he was selected ahead of Nick Heidfeld. Heidfeld is likely to be the driver who may benefit the most from Raikkonen’s failure to reach an agreement with McLaren for 2010 …
Photos: Shell Motorsports