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Renault eyeing Raikkonen to replace Petrov?

Despite having seen the Red Bull Racing door slam shut in his face, former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen could yet be thrown a lifeline for a return to top flight competition in 2011, it seems - with Renault
Renault is evaluating the possibility of replacing inconsistent rookie Vitaly Petrov with former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen in 2011, sources suggest – with Force India ace Adrian Sutil allegedly also in the running should the Finn prove unattainable.

Raikkonen is currently competing in his maiden campaign in the World Rally Championship with the Citroën Junior Team, having been released by Ferrari last year and having proven unable to agree terms with either former employers McLaren-Mercedes or reigning double world champions Mercedes Grand Prix.

Opinion is divided as to whether the 18-time grand prix-winner has gone for good or is sticking to his original plan of merely taking a sabbatical from the top flight to indulge his second love of rallying, but the recent confirmation that Red Bull Racing will retain both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber next year looked to have closed the door. Red Bull was previously viewed by many as his most likely destination should he return, as the Citroën Junior Team is similarly sponsored by the Austrian energy drink.

Now, however, authoritative Italian magazine Autosprint has reported that Renault is interested in bringing Raikkonen back in 2011 – and in fact the 30-year-old was previously linked with the Enstone-based outfit last September [see separate story – click here]. It is claimed that the Eric Boullier-led concern is not altogether convinced by Petrov, the first Russian ever to compete in F1 but a driver who has generally struggled in qualifying and proven erratic – if extremely rapid on occasion – come the races.

To-date, the man dubbed the 'Vyborg Rocket' has notched up a mere six points from the opening eight grands prix of the 2010 campaign, compared to the 73 tallied by team-mate Robert Kubica. The 25-year-old's sole points-scoring finish to-date has been seventh place in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. It is understood that Renault will only renew Petrov's contract should he score 25 per cent of the points total of Kubica; he currently sits at 8.2 per cent.



Related Pictures

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Saturday Practice, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Wednesday, Paddock
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
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