Nov.10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) He says a deal is not done, but Kimi Raikkonen has finally admitted talking to Williams about possibly returning to formula one next year.
Amid intensifying speculation about the 2007 world champion’s plans, Williams co-owner Toto Wolff confirmed last week that the talks with former McLaren and Ferrari race winner Raikkonen about next season are “serious”.
Ahead of the last world rally round of 2011 in Wales, Raikkonen on Wednesday finally admitted the same.
“We have been talking with them (Williams),” the 32-year-old is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat, “but I do not have any agreement in any direction.
“Nothing has changed,” added Raikkonen, referring to the last time he insisted he is not sure what he is going to do next year.
After leaving F1 at the end of 2009, Raikkonen has raced almost full time in world rally, also dabbling in the world of NASCAR.
“It’s been fun and, compared to where I started, I have developed a lot,” he said, referring to rallying.
“I wasn’t expecting anything even though I always try to go as fast as I could. Sometimes the results were good, sometimes not so good.”
With Michael Schumacher having struggled to readjust after a three-year sabbatical, Raikkonen played down the challenge of coming back to F1.
“It is the thing I have done most of my life. Much more challenging would be to try to do something else,” he said.
And the winner of 18 grands prix also does not think F1 has changed too much since 2009.
“From what you can see on TV, no. The main difference is the tyres,” he said.
Kaj Lindstrom, Raikkonen’s recent co-driver, would like to see the Finn keep rallying.
“He will make his own decision but it would be interesting to see how far he can go in the rally,” he said. “The only way to develop is to drive.
“I said at the start that this is a four-year project if you want to get to the top,” added Lindstrom.