McLaren: Raikkonen could come here

McLaren: Raikkonen could come here

Formula 1

McLaren: Raikkonen could come here

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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Kimi Raikkonen is “determined” to leave Lotus, and has hinted his squad could be tempted to sign the Finn.

Whitmarsh revealed his squad held talks with Raikkonen last year, but they broke down for a number of reasons. While he insists McLaren has not re-engaged with the Finn this year, hinting that his intention is to keep Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, he remains an admirer of Raikkonen’s abilities.

Raikkonen drove for McLaren from 2002-’06 and came close to rejoining in 2010, before the team signed Jenson Button.

Asked if he had ever considered bringing Raikkonen back to McLaren, Whitmarsh told Formula 1’s official website: “Yes, we have. Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let’s see how he gets on there.

“I probably shouldn’t be, but I’m completely open last year we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn’t happen. This year we’ve had no talks yet.

“Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of him. We are not talking to Kimi at the moment, so let’s see what happens in the drivers’ market.”

Asked whether McLaren could approach Raikkonen, or vice versa, Whitmarsh said: “Yes, could be.”

Whitmarsh did reiterate that he believes Button and Perez deserve another season, particularly as the car has failed to meet expectations this year.

“They’ve [Button and Perez] been fantastic ambassadors and I think they deserve another go with us next year,” he added.

Button, whose option for 2014 is yet to be picked up by McLaren, ruled out a switch to Red Bull, telling Britain’s The Times: “It is not going our way at the moment but it will and I am very happy. I feel good here and I feel we can achieve so much together. I think I will be here for the rest of my future in Formula 1.”

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