Whitmarsh: Last year we had talks with Kimi, I’m a big fan and completely open
27 August, 2013
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that his team has considered luring Kimi Raikkonen back to the team and he is completely open to entering into negotiations with their former driver amid all the speculation regarding the Finn’s future.
Speaking to the official F1 website Whitmarsh was asked if he had considered having Raikkonen back in a McLaren. he answered, “Yes, we have. Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of him. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment, so let’s see what happens.”
“I’m completely open – last year we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn’t happen. This year we’ve had no talks – yet,” said Whitmarsh.
“Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let’s see how he gets on there,” added the team boss.
Raikkonen won nine grands prix as a McLaren driver and was twice runner-up in the F1 world championship in their cars.
McLaren have Jenson Button and Sergio Perez on their books currently, and Whitmarsh is a supporter of both drivers.
Of Button and Perez, Whitmarsh said, “Bear in mind that Checo is still very young – he is ten years younger [than Button].”
“I have to say is that we haven’t given our drivers the car we should have done this year. But they’ve been fantastic ambassadors and I think they deserve another go with us next year,” conceded the McLaren boss.
Button is out of contract, but reportedly on the verge of signing a new three year deal with the Woking outfit.
The Times reports that the team marks 50 years in Formula 1 next week and an announcement that Button’s € 14 million-a-year contract has been renewed could coincide with the celebrations. The deal is likely to be for three years, taking Button to his 36th birthday.
Recently Button told the media, “I feel good here, and I still feel we can achieve so much together. I’ll be here for my future in Formula 1.” (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.