We won’t have Kimi Raikkonen to kick around in Formula 1 next season.
The former world champion’s management team says it has ruled out any F1 option in 2011, although the door for a future return is still open.
Yeah, whatever. Does anyone seriously think after a two-year hiatus that a team will take a flyer on Kimi? It’s a crap shoot enough as is, I’m afraid — and remember, I’m more or less a Kimi fan.*
Here’s the skinny, via Autosport:
Speaking to Finnish television station MTV3, Steve Roberston admitted Raikkonen wants to remain where he is.
“We’re no longer looking at opportunities in F1. Kimi seems to be focused on rallying at the moment,” said Robertson.
He refused to rule out a longer-term return to Formula 1 or racing for the 30-year old, adding: “Never say never, but right now our eye is not on F1.
Well, at least we’ll have him in WRC again, right? Not so fast, people.
“Nothing’s been decided yet [for the WRC]. We’ll let you know when there is something to say. At the moment nothing has been signed. We’re talking to several teams.”
Well, what the?! Who the? I mean… c’mon people. What could be the issue? Oh… right. I bet I know. Let’s see.
In recent days, there has been increased speculation that Citroen will find a solution to keep Raikkonen in its Junior team with the 2007 F1 world champion taking money from a personal sponsorship deal from Red Bull, which is expected to be considerably lower than the Â£5m he is rumoured to have been paid by the Austrian firm this season.
Money! Tarnashins! (I’ve I spelled that anywhere near right?)
OK, Autosport. You’ve got my Saturday off to a lousy start. Are you going to throw me and other Kimi fans any kind of a bone?
Beyond Citroen, Mini remains an option for Raikkonen, but the limited programme of 2011 events and the high level of car development would not suit his experience or desire to be driving all the time at the moment.
A seat alongside Ken Block at the Monster Ford World Rally Team is another option, but there are funding issues for the American-based outfit.
Block admitted running with Raikkonen would offer great potential exposure for both Monster and DC Shoes, but he added a decision on a potential second driver may not be taken until early next year.
Boo-yah! There you go. And you all thought I was crazy with my Kimi in a Mini rants. (I know, ain’t gonna happen.)
Are there any options out there you think might work for the Kimster?
* Note: I’m on the record as being pretty ambivalent about the current crop of F1 drivers. I might give Paul di Resta a look if he makes the jump, which Allan McNish this weekend is saying he thinks will happen next year.