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Mercedes GP wanted Raikkonen, reveals manager

Mercedes Grand Prix was too late in its efforts to secure the services of 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen for next season, the Finn's manager Steve Robertson reveals...
Mercedes Grand Prix did try to sign 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen for 2010, the Finn's manager has revealed – but the former Brawn GP outfit moved too late to secure his services, as he was already committed to a rallying switch.

Raikkonen will compete for the Citroën Junior World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship (WRC) next year, after being ejected from his Ferrari seat in favour of fellow title-winner Fernando Alonso. Subsequent negotiations regarding a possible return to former employers McLaren-Mercedes ultimately foundered over a failure to reach satisfactory financial terms.

There was also some talk of a move to Mercedes alongside Nico Rosberg and in place of McLaren-bound 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button, and the Stuttgart manufacturer's motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug did little to conceal his admiration for the 18-time grand prix-winner. It now appears that such speculation was not entirely idle.

“Mercedes wanted to have Kimi,” Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, adding that 'The Iceman' had turned down other offers in F1 – ostensibly including one from recent departee Toyota – in favour of scratching his rallying itch, “but by this time he had already decided to go to the WRC. Kimi doesn't change his mind.”

As the Espoo native now prepares to make his Citroën bow on the Arctic Lapland Rally in January – a fortnight ahead of the start of the 2010 WRC campaign in Sweden [see separate story – click here] – Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has corroborated that a concerted rallying effort was always on Raikkonen's agenda.

“Kimi was speaking about it with me already years ago,” the Italian told Autosprint magazine. “He always wanted to do rallies at world championship level.”

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danile matthews - Unregistered

December 11, 2009 2:50 AM

formula 1 will miss kimi raikkonen he is a proper racer and will fight for wins as long as the cars is capable of winning gps and championships i will no longer watch formula one and will follow kimi into rallying go kimi **** ferrari and **** f1 !!!!

Alan D - Unregistered

December 10, 2009 10:42 PM

A point for fastest lap? Why not give points for artistic impression as well then? Its a race, about who gets over the line first. I don't care who does the fastest lap in the race, or who started on pole, only what order they finish in. With a point for fastest lap you'd get the silly situation of cars which are out of the points making sure they saved the brakes, pitting with five laps to go when they are low on fuel, just to put on fresh tyres and then gun it for the last five laps to see if they could get the bonus point. People moaned because Hamilton was "only fifth" when he clinched his WDC. Imagine if he'd clinched it by coming 19th but with a bonus point for fastest lap.

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