Citroen’s World Rally Championship boss has confirmed that former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen – one of a host of drivers rumoured to be in line to replace the injured Robert Kubica at Renault – is free to make a return to Formula 1 if he wishes to do so.

Neither the Finn nor his management have yet responded to rumours linking the former Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari driver with the newly-vacant seat Renault.

After his first full season of competing in the World Rally Championship, Räikkönen recently confirmed that he would participate in a second season, piloting a Citroen DS3 under his ‘Ice 1’ entry.

Kimi Raikkonen “He has rented a car from us and drives with his own sponsors,” Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel told RMC Sport. “If he wants to leave, I couldn’t say anything because he is a client.”

He added: “I suppose there may be considerable pressure from Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and the whole world of F1 who want to see him come back because he is still an emblematic driver for the sport.”

But Quesnel remains generally sceptical of any suggestion that the 31-year-old would return to F1, adding that any offer would need to be “very convincing” to tempt Räikkönen back to the championship.

[Original image via Flickr]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.