Former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has dropped the clearest hint yet that he will not be returning to the grand prix grid either next season or indeed ever – arguing that whilst the opportunity is there, the desire crucially isn't.
The opportunity, ostensibly, would come from Renault, with the Enstone-based outfit understood to be eager indeed to secure World Rally Championship-convert Raikkonen's services for F1 2011, keen to place the Finn alongside Robert Kubica – in many observers' eyes, the star of the campaign to-date – in what would indisputably represent one of the strongest line-ups in the sport.
However, having departed the scene at the end of last season – released by Ferrari a year before his contract was due to expire, and unable to come to any kind of financial agreement with erstwhile employer McLaren-Mercedes – Raikkonen does not appear overly enthusiastic about the prospect of returning, particularly now that he is well-ensconced at the Citroën Junior Team and improving with every outing in the WRC [see separate story – click here
], with an excellent fifth place on the Rally of Turkey back in April a notable highlight.
Rumours have persisted that a grand prix comeback – given that his foray into rallying was originally billed merely as a sabbatical – may be on the cards and that F1 remains unfinished business for the 30-year-old, but despite acknowledging that he likely could
return if he so wished, he concedes that he simply doesn't want to.
“I would have the opportunity to go [back to F1],” the 18-time grand prix-winner told MTV3 Germany
, “but I think I've seen off that career.”