Date: 23rd September 2011 at 1:58pm
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Could 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen be entertaining the thought of returning to F1?

The Finnish driver who left the sport at the end of 2009 had been trying his hand at rallying with little success and reports in the paddock suggest that the former McLaren and Ferrari driver could be set for a return with the Williams team.

The BBC believe that the 32-year-old has already held talks with the team and that would indicate that the driver known as the Iceman (not for famously eating an ice lolly in the Ferrari garage, but for his cool persona) could be set to replace Rubens Barrichello and line-up alongside Pastor Maldonado in 2012.

The Venezuelan driver brings in a huge amount of sponsorship money [reportedly between £21 million and £30 million] to the team through Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, so the obvious choice to drop would be fan favourite Rubens Barrichello.

But the Brazilian driver refused to comment on speculation when he was asked about the rumours.

‘Right now is a big time for rumours and there is no point,’ he told Autosport Magazine.

‘My Twitter is going crazy with people asking things.

‘Whatever people say about me is not true, so I cannot rely on other information about other drivers. Whenever I meet with my family, they ask me crazy things that they read in the press. To say something now will make more fuss.

‘But definitely I want to be racing next year. That’s my point. I feel better prepared than at any other time.’


Neither the Williams team or Kimi Raikkonen have commented directly on the reported meeting, which appears to have taken place prior to the Italian Grand Prix at the Williams factory.

Speculation has also linked Williams with making a move for another sponsor-backed driver to sit alongside Maldonado and BBC Radio 5 Live commentator David Croft speculated during Friday’s Free Practice 1 that it could be Bruno Senna who is currently driving for Renault, while others have suggested Force India’s Adrian Sutil or Dutch GP2 racer Giedo van der Garde.

The point is that at this stage everyone is guessing, no-one knows whether Kimi’s motivated enough to make a return. His motivation was a clear issue during his time at Ferrari after he won the drivers title and what would he offer a mid-pack team if he isn’t motivated other than an increase in ice cream sales?

 

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