Kimi Räikkönen will not appear on next season’s grid after 9 years in Formula 1, according to his manager.
Having been encouraged to leave Ferrari in order to make way for Fernando Alonso, the Finn’s only serious option was believed to be McLaren although this avenue has now seemingly hit a dead-end following protracted negotiations as his team demanded an extraordinary salary for its star driver.
"The option in Formula One was to be at McLaren or nothing," driver Manager Steve Robertson told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. "Kimi and McLaren were unable to come to an agreement, so he will not drive in Formula One, at least not in 2010."
With the Mercedes GP team – formerly Brawn – unwilling to pay any driver too high an amount of money and McLaren’s limit unlikely to be as high as that of Ferrari, Räikkönen will earn more by not racing next season, as Ferrari must pay off the remaining year of prematurely terminated contract.
"Kimi only wants to be in a team where he can fight for the World Championship
and be paid a champion’s salary," Robertson continued. "F1 will miss him, I’m sure. He fought hard this summer at Ferrari to develop the car and was able to improve it."
There was plenty of scope to look at other teams if he was prepared to take a considerable pay cut. The management team was simply too greedy, as we have said countless times!
With the 2007 Champion’s discussions at McLaren coming to an end, it has now ostensibly paved the way for current title holder Jenson Button to team up with predecessor Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.
Expect an announcement very soon…!