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. WRC will now benefit to some extent from the ‘Lance factor’ wrcfanatic.co.uk? I’ll be following WRC too for sure now where I could take it or leave it before.

  2. Well, I will be watching a lot more WRC next year then, that’s for sure. It is F1’s loss to not have Kimi, not the other way around. The sport is so much dominated by politics and need to maintain a certain image that I am not sure Kimi will ever want to race in F1 again. He is a simple, straight-forward person, a brilliant driver and F1 could use more people like him.

  3. Well, a brazilian journalist called Lito Cavalcanti said that Kimi Raikkonen will be at Mercedes in the next season:

    http://globoesporte.globo.com/Esportes/Noticias/Formula_1/0,,MUL1384006-15011,00.html

  4. raikkonen goes to mercedes, obvious

  5. Icthyes said on 18th November 2009, 20:28

    Bets of luck to Kimi, I hope he now goes to the WRC – there’s a sport in need of revitalising – and does Le Mans, like he was reportedly planning to but apparently McLaren would have blocked.

    But I won’t miss him; the “real” Kimi of old has been gone for a while now, with only occasional flashes of form that were frighteningly coincidental with losing a strong team-mate and suddenly having to fight for his place at the team. At his best, he’d the the third best driver out there, but would his best ever come back?

  6. Lady Snowcat said on 18th November 2009, 21:00

    A very very sad day…

    There was only one driver like Kimi on the grid and that’s why we followed him…

    Brave and fearless… unfortunately Ferrari never managed to give him an understeery car to suit his style but never a complaint or cross word…

    I wanted Kimi at Macca because I believe the engineers there could have given Kimi a car for Kimi rather than an understeery lump suited to a completely different style….. and I’d like his last F1 season to properly reflect his natural talent…

    Perhaps he’ll get back with Adrian Newey at Red Bull next year and perhaps that was always the plan…. and Macca wanted him for longer than a year… I can only hope… and go rallying…

  7. rikhart said on 18th November 2009, 22:43

    There are news going around that Kimi is very close to landing a Mercedes GP deal!

    There is still hope :)

  8. Sad, really gonna miss him, fingers crossed for 2011.

  9. The Limit said on 19th November 2009, 3:30

    @ Theo.

    In the defence of this site, I don’t think this site has been negative towards Kimi Raikkonen in any way. In referance to Lewis Hamilton and the events in Melbourne this year, the F1 Fanatic site was very critical of Hamilton and the behaviour of McLaren. Importantly, and Keith touched on this topic recently, the events in March highlighted terrible flaws in FIA regulations and rules that have still gone unchanged. In essence, there is nothing to stop a simular case reoccuring in the future, and in that, this site criticised and rightly so.
    I have been on this site for nearly two years, and every time we debate about Hamilton or McLaren we always witness a large amount of bloggers who clearly dislike Lewis. Alot of them, mark my words, are as English as pie and mash, so I don’t buy completely into your argument.
    The certain negative aspect directed against Kimi is the disappointment among many at how his F1 career has appeared to come to a premature end. Raikkonen, as we all know, is one of this sport’s most naturally gifted drivers, and at the same time one of its most traditional thinkers. In other words, he is not corporate hungry or politically motivated. He does not care, or seem to, for drivers meetings or what new rules the FIA are introducing. As Niki Lauda said back in 2007, Raikkonen would have been quite at home in the turbo era or even earlier, when more emphasis was on racing as opposed to posing and supposed ‘substance’ in interviews.

  10. sadan said on 19th November 2009, 4:49

    I think the ferrari hasn`t been the best team for Kimi,,that`s why he hasn`t been able to win back to back championship,ferrari are still preparing cars that suits michael schumacher,Nonetheless,i hope kimi deserves to be in the F1,

    • rahul said on 30th January 2010, 16:06

      Common mate,
      when kimi joined Ferrari he was unanimeous choice of John Tond and schumi,he deserves to be in F1? of course.he is 1 of the best

  11. I’m sure Kimi has bucket loads of talent as we keep on being told, but clearly his ego and money get in the way. Seems he is not confident enough and does not have the commitment to do as other driver in the past have done and join a middling team to build them into race winning teams. Therefore my only conclusion is that it is all about money and ego…

  12. Kimi needs to get off the fence and decide if he is a rally driver or an F1 driver. There is NO TEAM that will allow him to race rally part time in the middle of an F1 season, or after. Especially considering the cash they pay out.

    And if he truly wants to race and win additional F1 championships then he needs to support HIS TEAM (regardless of where he drives) in the same manner he expects the team to support him. Do the sponsorship appearances, and whatever else is required.

    Why are some of the most talented people in the world simultaneously the most childish? Baffling.

  13. rahul said on 30th January 2010, 16:02

    Iam deeply hurt by the news that Kimi is not racing in 2010. I dont know what he has in his mind but i really badly hope to see him 2011 onwards

  14. Mark said on 8th March 2010, 20:19

    What I loved about Kimi was that he posed a threat to all of these racers I dislike. Alonso, Hamilton, Webber, Kubica, Fisi, and now Schumi again… It was great to have Kimi there to put them in their place – at least from time to time. Now Vettel is the only hope. But I foresee a very boring season – I’ll probably stop watching midway unless Vettel or possibly Hulkenberg/Rosberg make a run for it.

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