“The option in Formula One was to be at McLaren or nothing. Kimi and McLaren were unable to come to an agreement, so he will not drive in Formula One, at least not in 2010. Kimi only wants to be in a team where he can fight for the World Championship, F1 will miss him, I’m sure. He fought hard this summer at Ferrari to develop the car and was able to improve it.”
Kimi’s only other perceivable option is to sign with the new Mercedes team with Jenson Button leaving the former Brawn GP to join McLaren. Reports in the Finnish media suggest a deal is highly probable, while Robertson has denied such a link:
“I have not held talks with Brawn. I feel they will run two German drivers next year, now that Mercedes are involved.”
It would also seem unlikely Mercedes would be willing to pay Raikkonen’s asking price, when Ross Brawn was reluctant to up the salary of Jenson Button, who is considerably less expensive than Raikkonen.
It would thus seem Kimi will take at least a year away from Formula 1 and enjoy the pay out on his contract with Ferrari and certainly numerous rallies. Whether he will return in 2011 is exceptionally uncertain as he will no doubt demand a championship capable car which may not be available. Raikkonen’s sabbatical may even follow that of fellow Finn Mika Hakkinen’s 2001 break which was followed soon by a full retirement.