Kimi Raikkonen to take sabbatical in 2010 as McLaren talks end

2010 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen is running out of options for 2010

Kimi Raikkonen is running out of options for 2010

Kimi Raikkonen will not drive for McLaren in 2010.

Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat negotiations between the two parties had ended. An undisclosed source confirmed the story.

There are still many places available for 2010 but few of them in teams that are likely to be competitive enough to attract the 2007 champion.

His best bet for a drive could be the new Mercedes Grand Prix team – if it is indeed not looking for two German drivers next year.

And there’s no room at championship runners-up Red Bull unless contracts are broken.

With Raikkonen no longer in line for a McLaren drive it adds more credence to the rumours that Jenson Button is about to be announced as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate.

Is this the end of the road for Raikkonen in F1? Might he take a seat with a lesser team to guarantee he’ll stay in the sport? Or will he just go rallying instead?

Update: According to Autosport Raikkonen will take a sabbatical in 2010. But will he return in 2011? We’re still waiting for Mika Hakkinen to return from his 2002 ‘sabbatical’…

Read more: 2010 F1 drivers and teams

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180 comments on Kimi Raikkonen to take sabbatical in 2010 as McLaren talks end

  1. sumedh said on 18th November 2009, 1:34

    Kimi was not my favorite driver. But he was without doubt one of the most talented drivers on the grid. Formula One will be undoubtedly poorer without him on the grid.

    But Kimi is the architect of his own demise. He consistently under-performed for a really long period. For a person demanding Schumacher-esque salaries, being beaten by Massa looked bad on his resume. Combine this under-performance with the economic recession and cost cutting, Kimi became even more unattractive to other teams.

  2. Pengo said on 18th November 2009, 1:46

    Kimi, like Frank Sinatra said, always did it his way.

  3. f1rocks said on 18th November 2009, 2:10

    Watch out Webber – Kimi will take your seat in 2011! It’s a shame I’m a Webber fan.

    • steph said on 18th November 2009, 9:55

      I’m not sure if Kimi will come back. If he doesn’t then after Webber’s seat will be Kubica or Massa depening on who gets the Ferrari deal.

  4. wasiF1 said on 18th November 2009, 2:10

    If he is gone then he won’t come back,so his only option is Mercedes,but as his salary is too much will you keep him or Button in your team.

  5. Toby Bushby said on 18th November 2009, 2:22

    What I don’t get is the assumption that Button is heading to McLaren next season to be in a winning car. Also, why Raikkonen is being bagged for his salary demands, yet Button wouldn’t accept Brawn’s offer, and that’s ok.

    For starters, I don’t believe that McLaren won the WDC or the WCC this year. I do believe however, that McLaren’s biggest supporter has just left them for the team that did win the WDC and WCC this year.

    This is potentially the kind of catastrophic event that can send a team into a multi-year slump. Ask Williams what happened when Renault and BMW left them, and McLaren after Honda. I know that Merc will still supply engines, but it’s all the other stuff (including cash) that McLaren will miss, added to the fact that Ron Dennis isn’t running the F1 team anymore, plus the factory team hardly wants it’s customer to outdo it in the Championship (think Red Bull).

    I think that Button may be making the wrong decision – again. I also personally hope that Mercedes GP kicks the snot out of McLaren next season, which would show Button the error of his greed.

    As an aside – what does this mean for Force India?

  6. Terry Fabulous said on 18th November 2009, 2:40

    Yes F1 is going to really miss the guy who was slower then Massa and tried to do as little as possible for his sponsors and fans while being paid millions.

    Tragic really.

    • One bad season doesn’t undo 8 great seasons. David Coulthard beat Mika Hakkinen in 2001, but would anybody say he anywhere near as talented as Hakkinen?

      (sorry for the double post)

      • Terry Fabulous said on 18th November 2009, 4:50

        Gday Kovy

        Kimi was paid like Schumacher and didn’t deliver anything like what the German did.

        And besides, it looks like his fans are going to miss him more then he misses F1.

    • Patrickl said on 18th November 2009, 21:24

      He wasn’t slower than Massa either.

      He scored less points in 2008 yes.

      • Terry Fabulous said on 19th November 2009, 2:05

        Yeah I was being a bit cute there. Sometimes he was faster then Felipe and sometimes slower


        He was paid a huge amount of money and underdelivered on and off the track.

        By the second race next year he will be forgotten.

      • Terry Fabulous said on 19th November 2009, 2:10

        Actually Patrickl are you saying that because of all of his fastest laps?

        Because I find that is why he is so frustrating. He is obviously fast but only on his terms when he wants it. WHERE IS THE HUNGER!!!!!

  7. manatcna said on 18th November 2009, 2:42

    Kimi who?

    • One bad season doesn’t undo 8 great seasons. David Coulthard beat Mika Hakkinen in 2001, but would anybody say he anywhere near as talented as Hakkinen?

      • Kovy, there r 2 things… talent and attitude. Kimi is talented no doubt but somehow he doesnt show enough for someone to be interested in him.
        Manufacturer teams are pulling out and this stubborn was still sticking to his unreasonable demands. F1 is a team sport and everyone got to contribute in its revival. On one hand they are talkin abt the cost cutting, driver’s salary are alos paid by teams only.
        He should have taken MClaren’s offer and should have tried to win WDC and then he could have reinstated his price tag….
        Bye Bye KImi, F1 doesnt need a guy like u

  8. Hakki said on 18th November 2009, 4:15

    Alonso > Kimi
    Kimi > Massa
    Kimi > Button
    Button > Massa

    Above is who I want to see driving more next season.
    (Sorry, Massa is a good driver but he is not charismatic enough to be a top team driver.)

    If Massa had not got injured, who would have lose the seat?

    • steph said on 18th November 2009, 9:58

      Kimi. I doubt Ferrari are that sentimental. This is f1 and business. Besides LdM once said Kimi and Alonso pairing would be a bad idea. You give Kimi charisma rating and not Massa? :P I’m joking. I know it’s all personal taste and I’m a Kimi fan. I care more about damn good driving than charisma however.

  9. wat the hell is this ?

    create a new thread and then post this nonsense

  10. It is no good for him, and it would be pretty much where his F1 career ends. Hard to accept, I’ll miss him on the grid. Practically, if he has plans to return in 2011, he can’t make it to Mclaren (They did keep Heikki for years, so no matter what they’ll hold Button for 3 yrs if he signs), neither to Mercedes. Does he havve plans to replace webber at RBR in 2011??? lol… Forgive me, I can’t help thinking! :) Let me keep the hopes up for 2011, but deep inside me, I still want him on the 2010 grid.

  11. MikeH said on 18th November 2009, 7:39

    Money talks, Kimi walks…

    Why don’t they just put Webber into McLaren and Kimi into Red Bull for 2010? Would be the best option, would really like to see Mark against Lewis.

  12. verstappen said on 18th November 2009, 8:31

    What if Button stays at Brawn / mercedes?
    Heidfeld to McLaren?
    Heikki to stay?
    somehow this is not over I think (maybe wishfull)

  13. if Button goes to Mclaren, what number would Brawn/Mercedes and Williams car bear ?

    • There was a little debate about the numbers Mercedes would have if Button joined McLaren in this article

      Sorry I don’t know how to link to a particular section of a webpage, but I would say it is about a quarter of the way down in the same thread as the debate on Heidfeld.

      Usually Brawn/Mercedes would have numbers 3 & 4, as after the team with the World Champion the numbers are awarded based on the Constructors Championship, which is what I personally think but I don’t know the details of the relevant rules.

      Some think that because of the Mercedes takeover it will be classed as a new team and will be at the end of the pitlane with the other new teams with car numbers in the 20s. But may depend on how the takeover is classed as some F1 team takeovers this decade have meant that the new team inherit what would have been the old teams numbers but Brawn this year were classed as a completely new team so had numbers 22 & 23.

  14. HounslowBusGarage said on 18th November 2009, 8:56

    I think this is appalling news.
    Kimi started to see through all the hype and the cr*p of F1 years ago and made a decision to get as much out of the business as he possibly could, while he could – and why not? Everybody else was doing it, so why shouldn’t a driver?
    So now he’s off to do something less show-biz oriented, but undoubtedly more satisfying; and good luck to him.
    But it still leaves us with the discomforting fact that one of the best drivers is leaving while some other idiots at the back of the grid will continue to hold on to their seats through good PR, national connections and hassling management.
    F1 is the loser.

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