Raikkonen welcome back says Ecclestone
31 October, 2011
Oct.31 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he would welcome Kimi Raikkonen back to Formula 1.
The 2007 world champion, having driven mainly in world rally but also Nascar-style racing since leaving Ferrari two years ago, is being strongly linked with a comeback with the Williams team.
New reports, including in the major Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, claim the 32-year-old has been training hard for the past four months to get back into shape for F1.
“It would be nice to see him do it,” F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Finnish broadcaster MTV3. “I am not sure if he is serious about it.”
Throughout the Indian grand prix weekend, Williams chairman Adam Parr batted away the Raikkonen speculation.
But he finally relented on Sunday in a television interview with the BBC. “From what we can all see, he (Raikkonen) is very hungry to come back,” said Parr, as Williams reportedly contemplates pairing Raikkonen with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.
“And I think having a world champion in your midst of course energises people.” Contrary to recent speculation, Helsingin Sanomat said Williams does not need to secure new sponsors to sign Raikkonen.
“We need to get the best driver lineup for next year,” said Parr.