Renault and Pirelli interested in Raikkonen
30 June, 2010
Jun.30 (GMM) Renault could be set to push for Kimi Raikkonen to become Robert Kubica’s future teammate.
Kimi currently enjoying his rallying with Citroen
It is now widely expected that the Finn, who left his Ferrari contract one year early to race in the world rally championship this year, is not keen to return to formula one as early as 2011.
But according to Finland’s Turun Sanomat, Renault might be courting as a possible sponsor the American credit card multinational MasterCard.
Citing paddock rumours, the report said MasterCard would be interested in the deal “if Raikkonen would drive as Robert Kubica’s teammate”.
But 30-year-old Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson reportedly denied that even exploratory talks with Renault have been held.
Jordan featured Mastercard backing in 1998
MasterCard sponsored Lola’s stillborn F1 effort in 1997, and the Jordan team in 1998-2001.
In a seperate development Raikkonen could be asked to test formula one tyres for the sport’s new exclusive supplier Pirelli.
It has emerged that the Italian company will supply two sets of tyres to each team at a special Abu Dhabi test immediately after November’s season finale.
But Pirelli is also keen to do some testing before then, and – after initially running with a GP2 car – is considering using either an old BMW or Toyota car.
As for the driver, Nick Heidfeld had been touted, but this might have handed an unfair advantage to Mercedes.
Maybe the Pirelli girsl would entice Kimi to do a spot of F1 tyre testing
According to Finland’s Turun Sanomat, Pirelli’s racing boss Paul Hembery proposed in Valencia that Finn Raikkonen could be an option.
The 2007 world champion left Ferrari at the end of last year and currently drives full-time in the Pirelli-shod world rally championship.
“I don’t know whether Kimi Raikkonen would be interested,” Hembery is quoted as saying.
The 18 grand prix winner’s manager Steve Robertson said: “Currently, Kimi is totally focused on what he is doing.
“But if Pirelli approaches us, of course we will discuss it. Then, it would depend on whether Kimi is interested in this sort of challenge, and how it would fit into his schedule,” he added.