McLaren drivers consider their options

McLaren drivers consider their options

One of many of the hot topics of debate recently has been the future of McLaren drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya since the team announced it had signed current champion Fernando Alonso for 2007. Raikkonen has been linked with Ferrari...

One of many of the hot topics of debate recently has been the future of McLaren drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya since the team announced it had signed current champion Fernando Alonso for 2007. Raikkonen has been linked with Ferrari but the Finn insists that he has not done a deal with anyone and has hinted that staying with McLaren may be his best option.

McLaren media breakfast at the Ritz Hotel: Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen pose with guests.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Team boss Ron Dennis is willing to let the Finn consider McLaren's performance early in the season before making a decision. "Kimi specifically wanted to evaluate the car and the engine in the opening few races," Dennis told ITV.

"There has been a lot of speculation about whether he has signed a contract or not, which is frustrating for him, for me, for his management -- all of whom have repeatedly said that that is not the case and that he has chosen to ask the team if we are prepared to give him that opportunity to evaluate the car."

However, Dennis is keeping his own options open and won't wait forever for Raikkonen to make his mind up. "We gave him that opportunity but that doesn't mean to say that if a different opportunity comes up for McLaren then we are not going to take advantage of it."

Montoya, meanwhile, is leaving no stone unturned while he contemplates his future. "I'm talking to everybody," said the Colombian. "I'm talking to all the teams including McLaren. I'm talking to Ron (Dennis) a lot about next year and I'm talking to a few other people."

Montoya claimed he was not "pissed off" about McLaren signing Alonso and said he is looking out for his own long-term future the same as the Renault driver was. "You know I think you need to make a decision about what's going to the best choice in the long-term," he remarked.

"You can't focus on this year or next year, you need to look into the future and say what is going to be your best choice and then make your decision -- I think Fernando did that and I'll do the same."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren