The very best rumor/hope of the Silly Season — Kimi Raikkonen’s signing with Ford in WRC and doing a few turns around some NASCAR circuits — appears to be on the life support.
Autosport is reporting that, although there were serious discussions between Raikkonen’s management and Ford, Kimi is all set to re-sign with Citroen and remain a part of its junior team for the 2011 rally season.
Bum. And. Er.
Here’s what Autosport is saying:
Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of committing his future to Citroen in the World Rally Championship, AUTOSPORT has learned, with an announcement expected within the next few weeks.
The former Formula 1 world champion has been the subject of intense speculation over recent months – with the Finn having been linked with a return to grand prix racing or a switch to Ford in the WRC at various points over the year.
However, his interest in Renault cooled when he got annoyed that details of his contact were leaked to the press as the Enstone-based team held back on deciding what to do with Vitaly Petrov.
Most recently, Raikkonen’s talks with Ford were understood to have reached an advanced stage about him joining up with Ken Block in the Monster-sponsored team.
It appears that Kimi is willing to stick in the junior team so he can build on what he learned during his rookie round of the WRC world.
And it does sound like Kimi knows he needs to figure it all out. His review of his season at his official website — it’s in the “news” section but not cut-and-pasteable, as I’ve complained before — suggests he did about as well as he thinks anyone should have expected him to given the all-new car and all-new circuits.
Maybe he’s legitimately eying a run for the title in 2012? I still think he’d prove himself a stud if he could add a WRC title to his Formula 1 championship. (And then how about an overall Le Mans victory?)
But… for now, cancel those NASCAR plans. When will I get to wear my Kimi Ferrari hat again?