Grapevine: Dennis Rubbishes Kimi Ferrari Link

McLaren's team boss Ron Dennis on Saturday dismissed talk that Kimi Raikkonen could be on his way to Ferrari at the end of the 2006 Formula One season

Grapevine: Dennis Rubbishes Kimi Ferrari Link

"Why don't you guys believe Kimi?" an exasperated Dennis asked reporters before Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. "I don't understand it."

Raikkonen, whose deal with McLaren runs out at the end of next season, denied that he would be replacing seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher at Ferrari earlier this week.

But rumours still persist.

"He's told me, his management has told me, and Kimi told a press conference, with no strings, no puppeteering from me, that he hasn't signed a contract with Ferrari," said Dennis.

"It's as simple as that. But the only person who can tell you he has not signed a document with Ferrari is Kimi. I can't. I haven't a clue what he's signed.

"If lots of people are not telling me the truth and if something occurs in the future, I will look at it clinically and analytically."

McLaren's team chief blamed the media for the persistent questions over Raikkonen's future.

"Anybody can put anything on a website and it's considered fact," said Dennis. "Something that's a rumour becomes a fact. But it's certainly not that at the moment."

Raikkonen will finish this season runner-up to Spain's Fernando Alonso, the second time the Finn has narrowly missed out on the drivers' world title.

Dominant Driver

He has won six races, the same as Alonso, but Raikkonen is rated by many as the sport's dominant driver despite losing out on the title.

He was pipped to the 2003 title by just two points by Schumacher.

Poor reliability earlier in the season hampered the 25-year-old's season in 2005 but McLaren have won the last five Grands Prix.

The team are two points ahead of Renault in the Constructors' Championship with only Suzuka and Shanghai left.

"When you look at pace, performance, where we're going, reliability, how many races we've won in the last few races, it's a pretty good place to be as a racing driver, whoever you are," said Dennis.

Mercedes motorsport head Norbert Haug concurred.

"I cannot see top drivers signing for reasons of getting a bigger retainer or whatever," he said. "At the end of the day you want to win. There is a lot of potential in this team and Kimi knows it."

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