• Sep 14, 2010

Kimi contemplates getting back on the horse after a year's hiatus

What's the matter, four world champions on the same grid not enough for you? Well next year could bring even more, if the latest reports pan out.

In addition to world champions Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher duking it out on circuits around the world this season – never mind the prospects for current championship front-runner Mark Webber – reports are now intensifying that 2007 champ Kimi Raikkonen could be back in F1 as soon as next season.

The Finnish driver known as Tom Kazansky "Ice Man" bolted from single-seaters at the end of last season when Ferrari paid him big bucks to vacate his seat for Alonso, shocking the world of motorsports with an impromptu switch to the World Rally Championship instead of driving for an inferior F1 team. Kimi said he'd only return to grand prix racing if and when he could get behind the wheel of a competitive car, preferring to play in the dirt and gravel if not. But based on its performance at this year's Belgian Grand Prix (scoring a podium and a points finish), Raikkonen now seems convinced that Renault could provide him with such a car, and has approached the team in pursuit of a seat alongside Robert Kubica for next season.

So what's holding up the deal? Apparently Renault is waiting to see if its current #2 driver Vitaly Petrov can improve his form enough to retain his seat. That's right: they'd rather have a rookie than a proven world champion. Petrov's home country of Russia, you see, is a vital market for Renault, and the commercial benefits and potential he brings to the team could be worth more to the French automaker than winning a world championship. Sigh.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Juha Sorri/AFP/Getty]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Renault holding onto Petrov over Raikkonen makes a lot of sense. He hasn't done too bad this year (name me a rookie who has done better under the current testing ban), he's actually got a future as opposed to Kimi who's in the last 3rd of his career at least, and he's cheaper. Weren't Team Renault struggling for funding as recently as this preseason?
        • 4 Years Ago
        While I agree Petrov is not horrible, he probably needs a little more soak but there are many rookies who has done better with the current testing ban. Hulkenberg and Kobayashi are doing better in arguably worse cars. If Renault ends up picking Petrov over Kimi, it's definitely for the money Petrov contributes.

        Personally, I'd like to see Kimi vs Kubica at Renault, it'd be epic. I reckon Kimi will also push Kubica to be a better driver too!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well it does not sould like Renault will be russian into any decisions. :-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't care where he ends up. Let the guy back on the grid. F1 needs more colorful characters on and off the track. Entertainment factor goes up 2x if they put Raikkonen and Sato back on the grid. Chaos and daring moves. We need more of it in F1.
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is probably just posturing so RB will give him Marks seat next year
        • 4 Years Ago
        Weber is already signed for next year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        that would be interesting as hell.


        so just for that, I want to see it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Renault are a brillaint team and very competitive. Kubica is a fantastic driver and should be at a top team, if him and Kimi were at Renault i'd say they could take them to the big time fighting for the championship.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is the rest of the world so wrapped up in this largely uninteresting sport? Russians are really going to buy Renaults based on F1 performance? Really? Watching the Italian Grand Prix, it's pretty sad when the only excitement is seeing if a team can work a pit stop so their man can pass the guy ahead of them in the pits. Color me unimpressed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would love to see Cypher Group (or whatever the next iteration of a potential US F1 team will be) put Kimi alongside Jonathan Summerton. As sweet as F1 is now, I can't imagine how much more amazing it will be if/when there is a competitive team from the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How's that rally thing working out?
    • Load More Comments