F1

Citroen says Raikkonen free to make F1 return

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Kimi Raikkonen can pull out of the 2011 world rally championship to return to F1 if he wants to. That is the claim of Citroen's rally chief Olivier Quesnel, amid reports the 2007 world champion is now contractually committed to rallying for...

Kimi Raikkonen can pull out of the 2011 world rally championship to return to F1 if he wants to.

That is the claim of Citroen's rally chief Olivier Quesnel, amid reports the 2007 world champion is now contractually committed to rallying for this season.

The Finn and his management have not yet responded to multiple attempts by the Formula One media to confirm rumours that Raikkonen, 31, is a candidate to replace the injured Robert Kubica at Renault this year.

After making his full-time world rally debut with Citroen last year, the former McLaren and Ferrari driver has announced he will drive a Citroen DS3 under the Ice 1 entry in 2011.

"If he wants to leave, I couldn't say anything because he is a client," Quesnel told RMC Sport.

"He has rented a car from us and drives with his own sponsors," added the Citroen boss.

"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."

However, Quesnel indicated that he doesn't think Raikkonen is too keen to go back to F1.

"If he is taking phone calls, they would have to be very convincing to get him back there," he said.

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