The Raikkonen plot thickens

Motorsport.com - The rumor mill now is now in full swing with regard to the future or rising F1 star, Kimi Raikkonen, after team owner Peter Sauber's comments in an interview with Italian TV. Sauber was quoted as saying that he was about to...

Motorsport.com - The rumor mill now is now in full swing with regard to the future or rising F1 star, Kimi Raikkonen, after team owner Peter Sauber's comments in an interview with Italian TV.

Sauber was quoted as saying that he was about to begin negotiations with McLaren regarding the young Finn's contract, but the interviewer, Ettore Giovanelli, is now backtracking on some of the comments in an interview with a leading Finnish newspaper, Turun Sanomat..

"Sauber told RAI that he was proud of [Kimi]," Giovanelli said, "especially after the critique he received in the preseason. He said that he knew that other teams would like to recruit Kimi, but that doesn't mean that he was destined to lose him."

"Sauber named McLaren as one of the teams interested in Raikkonen," Giovanelli stated, "but he also said that [...] he wants a great deal in return in order to let him go."

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Guardian reported that Ron Dennis may be willing to pay up to UKP 5 million ($8 million) to secure the young Finn's contract. The plan would be to use him as a test driver in 2002, and to promote him to the race team the following year.

The Swiss tabloid, Blick, went one step further, and suggested that Mika Hakkinen would retire at the end of this season, were McLaren to purchase his young countryman's contract.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Sauber , McLaren