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Renault flattered by Raikkonen's interest

Vitaly Petrov's future in more doubt as Renault says it is 'flattered' by interest from Kimi Raikkonen
Renault team principal Eric Boullier says that the team is 'flattered' that Kimi Raikkonen has expressed an interest in securing a drive for the 2011 F1 season – although he admits that any talk that a deal to sign the Finn is premature.

Raikkonen is looking at Renault as a possible route back onto the F1 grid if he elects to bring an end to his WRC adventure after just one season, with the Regie being the most competitive option left on the grid for the new campaign.

However, while pleased to see that the work that has gone on within the Enstone-based team has been noticed by drivers looking for a seat, Boullier insisted that any possible deal would be dependent on Raikkonen showing he was serious about making a comeback.

“It shows that the work we've done this season is noticed and that we are considered a challenger for the championship in the future,” Boullier told F1.com when asked if Raikkonen's interest was flattering. “Regarding Kimi, I would have to speak personally with him first, look him in the eyes to see if I see enough motivation there for him to return to Formula One. It doesn't make sense to hire somebody - even a former world champion - if you cannot be sure that his motivation is still one hundred percent. Why should you invest in somebody who leaves you guessing?”

While Raikkonen has expressed an interest in Renault, current driver Vitaly Petrov could yet retain his drive alongside Robert Kubica after a season where the Russian has shown glimpses of his potential – albeit alongside a series of rookie errors.

With four races remaining, Boullier said it was important for Petrov to show that he is worthy of a second year with the team and insisted that it would be performance that would dictate if he was retained and not the commercial benefits he brings from the Eastern European market.

“I know that a Russian driver would be appreciated and Russia holds a huge potential for all companies present in Formula One,” Boullier continued. “However, for us the performance of a driver is still the first criteria - and then the passport. Performance clearly wins over marketing potential because if a driver doesn't deliver then the marketing potential is also limited. You must never put the cart before the horse, or at least we don't.

“Vitaly has to show us in the four remaining races that he is the man we can hand over our second cockpit to in 2011 to follow our self-defined goal. If he fails to convince us he will not drive our car. If he satisfies us we will keep him.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Saturday Practice, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Saturday Practice, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
25.07.2014- Press conference, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team
25.07.2014- Press conference, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director.
25.07.2014- Press conference, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India, Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Marco Mattiacci (ITA) Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9

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lambo - Unregistered

October 05, 2010 1:00 PM

kimi is old school driver.the only thing that he doesn't like is too much media attention on him. as bernie said it's cultural difference between kimi and ferrari.kimi doesn't speak much.ferrari misunderstood this and said kimi doesn't help in chassis development.martin whitmarsh also said kimi has been misunderstood.ferrari think alonso will develop the car like schumi did.time will tell.mclaren and kimi are perfect match .mclaren knew exactly how to work with kimi.i too wanted him back in mclaren but sadly it didn't happen.it's now renault turn if they also do the same mistakes then red bull or mclaren will grab him surely. kimi raikkonen rules.f1 without kimi is like monaco without yatches.

lamborghini - Unregistered

October 05, 2010 12:37 PM

i sincerely hope renault don't make mistakes that ferrari did.kimi is called iceman for a reason.he doesn't cry or blame someone when he loses nor does he laugh like idiot when he wins.he is always the same.unflappable.don't go by his face or his activities.consider his driving talent.in that he is second to none.he had awful 2008 because cunning schumi during testing with engineers had made the car suitable to massa's(his brother) style.2009 ferrari was awful.inspite of that he won in the toughest race.current ferrari managers are the most idiotic people on paddock.they can't even pass a team order properly,what the hell will they judge kimi's motivation.ferrari will pay a huge price for their blunders.mclaren wanted kimi so badly but compramised on button.what the hell is petrov saying.he says "why would renault want kimi and not me".petrov you are not even qualified to say the word kimi raikkonen.kimi is a driver with unmatched talent.if mclaren were reliable between 2002-06 as they



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