Renault willing to meet with Raikkonen

Renault team principal Eric Boullier wants to meet face-to-face with Kimi Raikkonen to get a better understanding of how keen the Finn is to return to Formula 1, as the French manufacturer continues evaluating slotting him in alongside Robert Kubica in 2011

Renault willing to meet with Raikkonen

As AUTOSPORT revealed after the Italian Grand Prix, Raikkonen and Renault made contact earlier this month to discuss the possibility of a tie-up for next year - with such a deal having been off the cards earlier this year.

And although Renault has made no secret of the fact that current driver Vitaly Petrov can still retain his seat if he shows signs of improvement, the outfit is still weighing up the pros and cons of taking Raikkonen.

But before it will consider entering serious negotiations with Raikkonen and his management team, Boullier has said he wants to know for sure that the former world champion is fully motivated for a comeback.

And to do that, Boullier thinks he must meet Raikkonen face-to-face so he can see for himself whether there is a genuine hunger to find F1 success with Renault.

"It is definitely getting closer to when we will make a decision," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "But we really want to consider all of the options.

"I decided to tell some drivers that we will not carry on discussions with them, so we know wait and see - but Kimi remains one of our scenarios.

"I have said many times that I want to meet with him first before we do anything more. I want to understand more about his wish to come back."

With Petrov having made another qualifying mistake in Singapore, after spinning out of Q2 and damaging his car, Boullier admitted that he had not yet seen enough to convince him the Russian is the right man for his team in 2011.

"It is still frustrating because he keeps doing mistakes," explained Boullier. "We put a lot of pressure on him and definitely he was not on the pace on Friday but he was there on Saturday.

"He qualified 13th with a crash in Q2, so it was a strange situation. The race could have been good, but he opened up a little bit too much the door and [Nico] Hulkenberg did a kamikaze move on him. It is racing, and it was unfortunate."

When asked whether the decision on Petrov rested on commercial factors or performance, Boullier said: "It is definitely not a money issue. It is only the understanding for him to fit in F1 - and for us to give as much support as we need to give him to make sure he could be, shall I say, a decent second driver to score points next year.

"If Robert is fighting like now for fifth position and Petrov can finish seventh or eighth then that is fine. This is what we expect from a young driver. And it means his learning curve is still improving. If he is already at the limit, then it is a different matter."

shares
comments
One side of the Lotus squabble
Previous article

One side of the Lotus squabble

Next article

F1 teams reach new cost-saving deal

F1 teams reach new cost-saving deal
Load comments
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021