Raikkonen adamant on McLaren option

Kimi Raikkonen has reiterated his belief that it would be a waste of time to sign for any team other than McLaren next season, explaining he is only interested in fighting for the title in 2010

Raikkonen adamant on McLaren option

Although talks between the Finn and McLaren appear to have stalled over financial terms and other contractual issues, like the number of sponsor appearances, Raikkonen has made it clear he is not interested in signing for anybody else.

"There is no point to go to other teams where you cannot win," said Raikkonen, who has also had an offer from Toyota. "They [McLaren] are the only team that can offer you a good car to be in a position to fight for the championship."

McLaren has been linked with Jenson Button and Nick Heidfeld in recent days, but it is believed that Raikkonen is still top of its list of candidates to partner Lewis Hamilton next year.

Rumours linking other drivers with the team certainly do McLaren little harm in showing Raikkonen that the team has plenty of other options for next year if the Finn is not willing to bring down his financial demands.

Raikkonen's decision to either do a deal with McLaren or potentially take a sabbatical from F1 next season means that Toyota will now have to look elsewhere for a lead driver next year.

The Japanese manufacturer had hoped to do a deal with Robert Kubica before the Pole committed to Renault, and it subsequently set its sights on Raikkonen - who now also appears to have rejected its overtures.

Toyota F1 president John Howett said that Raikkonen's decision meant the team was now clear on what it was going to do - although he would not elaborate on what that plan was.

"We tried to get Robert but he decided that Renault was more interesting," Howett told AUTOSPORT. "We are interested in Kimi although he has indicated that we hadn't had contact and he is only interested in McLaren. Obviously from our side, if that is the situation it is fairly clear in which direction we want to go in.

"Even two or three years ago we indicated that we would like Kimi and, if he was available, we would be interested. We've put forward what we felt was an offer that we could sustain regardless of the budget situation, and so far it was obviously not appealing enough. So fine."

shares
comments
Button fastest in final Abu Dhabi practice

Previous article

Button fastest in final Abu Dhabi practice

Next article

Silverstone closing in on GP deal

Silverstone closing in on GP deal
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021