Kimi Raikkonen seems to have a bit of an unconventional relationship with the notion of contracts. The Finnish driver kept McLaren on the leash while negotiating his departure to Ferrari, then left Ferrari after he was offered a big cash payment to vacate his Formula One seat. After one season in the World Rally Championship, reports began surfacing in the motorsport press that he was negotiating a return to F1 with Renault, only to pull out again. The on-again, off-again rumors have prompted much speculation about the former F1 World Champion's plans for the near future, but now it appears the Finn has found a way to avoid contracts altogether.
Having confirmed his challenge for the season-opening Rally Sweden only days ago, just ahead of the registration deadline, reports now indicate that Raikkonen has launched his own WRC team for 2011. He'll be driving the new Citroën DS3 WRC under the ICE 1 team banner, an apparent reference to his Kilmer-tastic nickname of "Ice-Man". The team is reportedly financed entirely from Raikkonen's own considerable pool of sponsors. An interesting development for the World Rally Championship to be sure, and we'll be watching to see if Kimi can improve on the promising, if lackluster performance from his debut season.
[Source: ESPN | Image: Massimo Bettiol/Getty]