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'Disappointed' Raikkonen: I never seriously considered Renault

The 'will he, won't he' Kimi Raikkonen/Renault saga has taken an entirely new - and ostensibly terminal - twist, with the 2007 F1 World Champion lambasting the team for 'using' his name for its own 'marketing' benefit
An angry Kimi Raikkonen has hit out at Renault, revealing his 'disappointment' at the manner in which he contends the Enstone-based outfit has exploited his name for publicity purposes in recent weeks, and bluntly asserting that he 'never seriously considered' racing for the former F1 World Champions in 2011.

The motorsport media has been abuzz recently with rumours that the 2007 title-winner could be on the verge of rejoining the grand prix grid next season with Renault, with team principal Eric Boullier conceding only this week that it was 'flattering' for the Oxfordshire-based concern to have elicited interest from a driver of Raikkonen's calibre [see separate story – click here].

Both Boullier and team owner Gérard Lopez have repeatedly hinted that – subject to ascertaining the real reason behind his motivation to return – the Finn is a strong candidate to replace Vitaly Petrov alongside Robert Kubica next year, but personally speaking out for the first time since all the speculation has been swirling, the famously taciturn Raikkonen has admonished Renault for very publicly perpetuating something that as far as he was concerned was never a viable option.

“I am very disappointed with the way they have used my name for their marketing,” the 18-time grand prix-winner turned Citroën Junior Team World Rally Championship star told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, explaining that his management contacted Renault once 'weeks ago and that is all'. “I have never seriously considered driving for Renault, and I can assure you 100 per cent that I will not be driving for them next year.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
31.01.2010 Valencia, Spain Gerard Lopez (FRA) Genii Capital, Renault F1 Team - Renault F1 Team Launch
Friday Practice 1, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team
Saturday Practice, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 2, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen
Fernando Alonso arrives in style to officially open the museum complex devoted to his racing career
Nico Rosberg - Mercedes W06
daniel ricciardo (aus), red bull, F1 Austria test [Credit: XPB]
Marco Wittmann (GER), Toro Rosso, F1 Austria test [Credit: XPB]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren-Honda MP4-30
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Nico Rosberg - Mercedes W06
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Darth Maximus - Unregistered

October 06, 2010 10:36 AM

Hats off to the Iceman. Not many people would have had the guts to be so frank, and not being bothered about shutting a possible door back into F1. It's clear, that Kimi is a man for himself and he would only be interested if the opportunity is truly right for him. Way to go!

Jim - Unregistered

October 06, 2010 10:18 AM

Heres my take on it. Manager: I'm going to contact Renault and see about getting you back into F1. Kimi: Sure ok. Manager: Well it wont hurt to inquire right? Kimi: Sure ok.

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