F1

Kovalainen eyes winter rally as McLaren contract expires

Heikki Kovalainen has given yet another major hint that Sunday will be his last Grand Prix at the wheel of a McLaren. The Finn has confirmed he is set to make his debut in a professional rally this winter -- an activity forbidden by contract...

Heikki Kovalainen has given yet another major hint that Sunday will be his last Grand Prix at the wheel of a McLaren.

The Finn has confirmed he is set to make his debut in a professional rally this winter -- an activity forbidden by contract as he drove in Formula One for the British team in 2008 and 2009.

Kovalainen, 28, told the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper that he was jealous to see his countryman Kimi Raikkonen allowed to participate in rallies while employed by Ferrari.

"In my next contract I will make sure that as well as Formula One I am allowed to drive rallies," he said in Abu Dhabi.

Kovalainen, strongly linked with a move to Toyota next year, said he has not decided which rally to contest this winter, but a frontrunner is Finland's Arctic Lapland Rally.

It is scheduled to take place in late January, after his McLaren contract runs out.

Raikkonen contested the rally last winter and Kovalainen attended as a spectator.

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