Kimi Raikkonen has ruled out making a return to Formula 1 with Renault next year, despite being linked with the team for several weeks
The Finn had been in contact with the French car manufacturer after the Belgian Grand Prix in August, and Renault chiefs were considering putting a deal together with the former champion if he could prove he was motivated for a comeback.
However, even before talks between the two parties got serious, Raikkonen has made it clear he is not interested in what Renault has to offer - and has expressed some unhappiness that the team has talked up its link with him.
Speaking to Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, Raikkonen said: "I am very disappointed with how they have used my name for their own marketing. I have never even seriously considered driving for Renault, and I can assure you that I am 100 per cent sure that I will not drive for Renault next season."
Only this week, Renault team principal Eric Boullier said his outfit had been encouraged by the fact that Raikkonen had been in touch with it.
When asked by the official Formula 1 website if it was flattering that Raikkonen had been in contact, Boullier: "Yes, it is because it shows that the work we've done this season is noticed and that we are considered a challenger for the championship in the future."
Raikkonen's decision not to pursue the Renault option now makes it almost certain that Vitaly Petrov will be retained by the team - although the Russian still needs to show improved form to guarantee his slot with the outfit.
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
In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge
Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?
OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation
OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history
Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead