Hopes that Kimi Raikkonen could yet stay in F1 have been rekindled after his manager downgraded his announcement that the Finn would be taking a sabbatical next year and reports emerged claiming that the former Ferrari driver is in talks with Mercedes.
According to one report originating in Brazil, Raikkonen has in fact already secured a deal with the team for a 2010 drive. That seems unlikely given that Jenson Button’s departure was only confirmed this week, but it would be no surprise if the newly-formed Mercedes Grand Prix are considering Raikkonen – or if Raikkonen is considering making a deal.
Having announced earlier in the week that his client would be taking a sabbatical, Steve Robertson, the Finn’s long-time manager, has hinted at a u-turn by acknowledging that “you could never say 100 per cent.”
Pressed on the possibility of Raikkonen joining Mercedes in an interview with Autosport, Robertson confirmed: “This is Formula 1. If they can offer, or convince us, that they can provide Kimi an opportunity that Kimi is happy with, and that we are happy with, and he feels he can win races and the championship then never say never. There is always a possibility.”