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Horner: No room at the Red Bull inn for Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen will not be a Red Bull Racing driver in F1 2010, insists Christian Horner - who assures that Mark Webber will continue to partner Sebastian Vettel at the energy drinks-backed outfit
There is no room at the inn for former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen at Red Bull Racing in 2010 – that is the emphatic assurance of Christian Horner, who has bluntly rebuffed any notions that two-time grand prix-winner Mark Webber could be side-shifted to 'junior' outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso next year.

In the wake of the belated confirmation that Fernando Alonso is to switch from Renault to Ferrari next season in Raikkonen's place, the 2007 title-winner was immediately linked with a whole raft of teams, from McLaren-Mercedes to Toyota and Renault to Red Bull.

The rumours linking the Finn to the latter intensified in the wake of comments made by Webber in support of disgraced former Renault F1 managing director – and his personal manager – Flavio Briatore following the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing into 'Singapore-gate', with the ruling banning the flamboyant Italian from any FIA-sanctioned form of motorsport indefinitely, driver management included.

Those remarks – to the effect that he does not wish to be managed by anybody else – are understood to have been poorly received by the Australian's employers, with suggestions that he could even be moved aside to make way for Raikkonen – and whilst Webber has a contract in-place for 2010, in F1 contracts are rarely worth the paper they are written on, and it has been pointed out that the fun and party-loving Raikkonen would be a perfect fit with Red Bull's young, vibrant image.

It has conversely been mused, however, that talk linking Raikkonen to the energy drinks-backed concern could simply be a bargaining tool in his negotiations with McLaren – widely believed to be his favoured destination for next year, if only satisfactory financial terms can be reached – and RBR team principal Horner is adamant that neither German and Brazilian Grand Prix winner Webber nor current team-mate Sebastian Vettel will be going anywhere.

“That's a rumour that does not exist within our team,” the Englishman is quoted as having said by F1SA. “We all know where we stand with Mark next year, and he does too. He's a great team player [and] we're very happy with his performance, so there is no doubt that Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will be our race drivers next year.”

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Christian Horner (GBR) Team Red Bull F1, Team Boss  Australian Formula One Grand Prix, 01-02/04/06, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
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Red Bull R13, car launch, [Credit: Red Bull]
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Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
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Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Davis - Unregistered

October 20, 2009 6:21 PM

I think all the team bosses would like Raikkonen given the chance. He is low maintenance and super talented. All the talk about him lacking motivation is just down to how he comes across talking in his second language and the fact he's laid back and doesn't engage in all the political crap you get from the Webbers and Alonsos. Webber is a total hypocrite, always quick to accuse other drivers of being wreckless, but one of the worst offenders himself as with ruining Kimi's race in Brazil. But Kimi is a class act and just gets on with things and makes the best of every situation.. A team bosses dream.

huvet - Unregistered

October 20, 2009 2:56 PM

'Kimi is very talented, but as a loose cannon, he's worse in his way than Alonso is in his' Pray tell when Kimi has dissed his team mates, dissed his team manager, tried to blackmail his team manager or been involved in any scandals? Luca will rue the day he got rid of Kimi for Alonso, it's clear Massa already has no time for FA. Back on thread, how many times have we heard a team manager say 'There is no room in our team for...' only for a seat to magically appear for...

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