Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed that he is likely to combine outings in both Formula One and rallying next season - provided he finds a new home in the top flight after leaving Ferrari.
The Finn, world champion just two years ago with the Scuderia, will be replaced by Fernando Alonso in 2010 and has yet to find a new ride, despite being linked to a number of teams, including former employer McLaren. However, wherever he does end up - and it may not even be in F1 - Raikkonen insists that he will be out on the stages as well as the track.
"It's going to be in the contract that I'm allowed to do [rallying]," he claimed to journalists in Abu Dhabi, where he will line up for Ferrari for the last time, "It's not going to hurt you - any kind of driving is always going to give you some experience, so I don't see what's the issue. It's been working well this year so, as long as it doesn't disturb what you're doing in F1 or whatever you do, I don't see that there's any problem."
Despite claiming that his future is 'definitely going to be F1', Raikkonen also intimated that he was exploring other options outside of the top flight, and dismissed the various rumours about potential destinations for 2010.
"Basically, I have a few different options and we will see what is the best one overall and then make my decision," he maintained, "[Rallying] is definitely one of them, but I mean it is not just F1 and rallying. There are other things I could do and we will see what happens. I can [take a sabbatical] if I want. I can do whatever I want, but like I said before, I haven't made my decision what I want to do yet.
"It is not any different than a few races ago. I don't have a contract [with Ferrari] any more, it is the last race [with them], and we will try to make a good result. Then we will see what happens in the future.
"Toyota has not even been discussed,” Finland's MTV3
quoted him as saying prior to the weekend, “If I want to drive [in F1], then McLaren is the only option. I should know the situation in the next few days.”
Despite Ferrari having struggled to match the likes of Brawn and Red Bull Racing this season, the Finn believes that he has done enough - particularly in the second half of the season - to justify interest in his services next year.
"I think we had a good second half," he confirmed, "The car is definitely not the fastest, but we found a pretty good way of working with the car and getting the best out of it. It has been more normal to drive than for a long time and, once you get something that you have a good feeling with, then usually you get good results.
"The bigger teams, or the better teams who have been faster this year, should have done better - better cars, better results and better points overall in the last part - but they haven't and I think we did pretty well."