Raikkonen bids for 2011 Renault seat

Kimi Raikkonen is making a fresh bid to return to Formula 1 next year after approaching the Renault team for a drive in 2011, AUTOSPORT can reveal

Raikkonen bids for 2011 Renault seat

Although it had looked likely that Raikkonen would remain in the World Rally Championship next year after his switch of discipline for this season, AUTOSPORT has learned that Raikkonen has renewed his interest in getting back to grand prix racing.

Sources have revealed that in the wake of Renault's impressive form at the Belgian Grand Prix, Raikkonen approached the French car manufacturer with the intent of putting a deal together.

It is not clear, however, whether Raikkonen spoke to Renault himself or if it was done through his management team.

Raikkonen has always insisted that he would only come back to F1 if he was in a competitive car - and that is something that Renault now appears to be able to offer him.

But despite Raikkonen's credentials, Renault is in no rush to advance talks with him - and it is still holding on for current driver Vitaly Petrov to prove he can deliver what the team is demanding of him.

Renault team principal Eric Boullier confirmed that Raikkonen had approached the team - and is in contention for a seat alongside Robert Kubica in 2011.

"It is true that the summer has passed and we have had more and more requests - and the guy you mentioned [Raikkonen] is on the radar now," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

"He is on the radar because he contacted us."

Boullier has long said that the team will keep Petrov next year if the Russian can improve his consistency throughout a whole race weekend - and not make silly errors like his spin in qualifying in Spa and blocking Timo Glock in qualifying at Monza.

When asked what Petrov had to do to convince Renault that he is a better option than Raikkonen, Boullier said: "He is not very far away to be honest.

"It is still very complicated for him to have a complete weekend and be faultless, and that is where he needs to work and focus on, and develop clearly his commitment and dedication."

One of the attractions of Petrov is the commercial possibilities he opens up in Russia, and Boullier said Renault would have to change its approach if it decided to take the Raikkonen route.

"It would be a different strategy for the team," he said. "And that is not a question of personality or having a world championship title - it will cost me more if he is world champion than if he is not. It is not a question of this - it is a different strategy.

"You work differently if you have a rookie - and in supporting him - than if you have two experienced drivers. So it is different.

"We need to think about it. But the priority is Vitaly, and to see how he will develop. If we are convinced then we will keep him definitely. This is the first option.

But there are several other options, and one of them is Kimi."

Boullier said he expected a decision on Renault's 2011 driver line-up to be made before the end of the season.

shares
comments
Stat Attack: Italy (post-race)
Previous article

Stat Attack: Italy (post-race)

Next article

Grapevine: Paddock Life: Monza edition

Grapevine: Paddock Life: Monza edition
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022