Raikkonen told to be “smart”

Norbert HaugMercedes’ Norbert Haug has told Kimi Raikkonen that staying at McLaren would be the “smart” thing to do. But that is not as self-evident for Raikkonen as it might be for Haug.

In 88 races for McLaren Raikkonen has beenforced to retire from 21 of them because of car failure. And that doesn’t include the three races he had last year that were ruined before they began by engine failure in qualifying.

Many of Raikkonen’s high-profile retirements have been engine failures: Nurburgring ’03, Bahrain ’04, and those qualifying blow-ups in ’05. No wonder he’s of a mind to ditch Mercedes.

The ‘smart’ option for Raikkonen would surely be a team which has a championship-contending car and needs a number one driver. Step forward Renault.

Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher, Bahrain 2006But, speaking as a fan, I’d most like to see Raikkonen up against Fernando Alonso at McLaren, or on equal terms with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari. Though the latter would be undoubtedly be especially exciting, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

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