Kimi Räikkönen is still not ruling out, or ruling in, committing to either the World Rally Championship or a return to Formula 1 in 2011.
The 2007 World Champion walked away from a glittering F1 career to pursue a career in rallying with the Red Bull sponsored Citroen Junior squad, and he has been at the centre of much speculation in the F1 ‘silly season’ driver market rumours.
Currently lying eleventh in the Drivers’ Championship standings with a best finish to-date of fifth at the Turkish Rally, Räikkönen’s contract with the team is for this season only, prompting speculation that he might be one of many candidates to join Robert Kubica at Renault next season.
But a recent interview with Turun Sanomat has revealed that Räikkönen has denied switching to rallying due to a lack of opportunities in F1. This comes in direct contrast with many reports at that time citing Räikkönen’s dissatisfaction with the retainers that top teams with available seats were prepared to offer him, including the likes of McLaren and Mercedes GP.
“It’s not that I had no offers [in F1],” he said. “If I had wanted to be there now, I am sure I would have been driving.
no one was going to pay me enough there was nothing sensible, so I chose something else.”
Asked if he would continue in rallying or look at a return to F1, Kimi was cagey with his answer.
“We will see. There are still a number of things to be done and it may be that nothing happens,” he replied.
[Original image via Sutton Images]