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DATE News (chronologically)
10/01/09
f1
Alonso-Raikkonen swap in the works?  UPDATE #5 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today.  Kimi Raikkonen's manager has confirmed that McLaren is interested in signing up the Finn for 2010.

"Several teams are interested in Kimi and are talking with him," Steve Robertson is quoted as saying by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.

"McLaren is one of his options," he added.

Ferrari on Thursday denied rumors that Santander, the team's new major Spanish sponsor, was the powerful force behind the push to sign Fernando Alonso at all costs.

But team boss Stefano Domenicali told reporters that Alonso's "main characteristic" is his leadership ability, and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo referred to "personality".

"Kimi is the type of person that shows little emotion, he keeps everything inside.  These things don't help with the exchange of information inside the team," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

10/01/09 Kimi Raikkonen fans might see the Finn in Formula 1 next season but there is also the possibility they will see him quit the sport if a top team doesn't come with a good offer. Raikkonen revealed he has yet to make a decision on his future in Formula 1. "Maybe I will race, maybe not," Raikkonen was quoted by The Guardian. "My only aim, if I am going to race next year, is to have a car that can win the championship. Otherwise there is no point."

Paddock rumors link Raikkonen with his former team McLaren as current McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen will see his contract come to an end at the end of this season. Raikkonen said about his former team McLaren: "I don't have any bad things to say about them. We always had a good relationship. It's a chance, but so far I have not thought much about these things."

Maybe a switch to rally racing could be an option for the Finn. "There is a chance, but there is a chance to do Formula One. I don't know what will happen. I will decide at some point - before the start of next year," he said.

09/25/09 (GMM)  The signs are increasing on almost a daily basis that Kimi Raikkonen is set to vacate his Ferrari cockpit after November's 2009 season finale.

The Finn remains under contract for the 2010 season, but it is well known that the Italian team would prefer Fernando Alonso to be Felipe Massa's teammate next year.

Previously, when asked about the rumors, 29-year-old Raikkonen would wearily refer only to his 2010 contract, and even the headline of an interview with F1's official website on Thursday insisted that Kimi is "fully committed to Ferrari for 2010".

But to the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 on the same day, Raikkonen acknowledged that the agreement alone "does not mean that I will drive next year for Ferrari".

"Perhaps they want to talk about something," he added.

Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson added: "Kimi has a contract with Ferrari, but as everyone knows, contracts can be broken.

"We are talking with Ferrari but we are also listening out for other offers," he admitted.  "At the moment we do not know 100 per cent that Kimi will stay with Ferrari."

Moreover, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo now rarely mentions the name of the team's Finnish driver, and on Thursday the Italian came tantalizingly close to letting the cat out of the bag.

Speaking with Spanish reporters at an event in Madrid, he said in a video posted on the website of the sports newspaper Marca: "We are very happy about having so many fans in Spain, and next year, with Alonso..."

Montezemolo stopped himself, laughed, and pointed a finger at the similarly-amused ranks of pressmen.

Later, he said: "I can confirm that Massa will be the first driver, and the third driver will be Giancarlo Fisichella.

"After Singapore, Stefano Domenicali and I will meet and decide who will be (in the) second car.  Soon we will make the announcement," said Montezemolo.

09/20/09 (GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has signed an "outline agreement" to kick off a second tenure with the McLaren team beginning in 2010, the Mirror newspaper reported on Sunday.

The British newspaper said the 29-year-old Finn, who raced with the Woking based outfit between 2002 and 2006, must first reach an agreement with Ferrari, with whom he is under contract for one more season.

The Mirror cited "paddock sources" in claiming that Raikkonen is prepared to vacate his contracted Ferrari seat in 2010, but only if the famous Italian outfit pays "all of his 2010 ... salary".

The newspaper estimated Raikkonen's 2010 Ferrari contract at nearly $49m USD.

The report also said the news ties in with Nico Rosberg's link with Brawn and the Brackley team's burgeoning relationship with Mercedes-Benz.

The German manufacturer Mercedes was said to be pushing for Rosberg to replace Heikki Kovalainen at McLaren, but may now have resolved to push the German driver to Brawn and increase its involvement with the Ross Brawn-led outfit.

09/06/09 Renault have reportedly held talks with Kimi Raikkonen regarding the Finn coming on board as Fernando Alonso's replacement.

With Alonso reportedly off to Ferrari, Raikkonen has already made it clear that if he's without a job at Ferrari he will look to other teams for a 2010 race-seat.

And one of those teams could be Renault with reports in the French media claiming that a deal with mobile phone company Nokia could see Raikkonen make a straight swap with Alonso.

Although the 2007 World Champion is rumored to have already said no to one offer from Renault, the Anglo/French squad could yet persuade him with the help of Finnish company Nokia. PlanetF1

09/02/09 Renault is understood to have held discussions with 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen regarding a potential switch to the French outfit next year - in a move that could at the same time earn the Régie a title sponsorship deal with mobile phone company Nokia.

Rumors circulating in France suggest that Raikkonen - who looks set to be out of a drive at Ferrari in 2010 in favor of current Renault incumbent Fernando Alonso, should the Scuderia manage to successfully negotiate the Finn's 25 million euros (£21.9m) pay-off for terminating his existing contract a year early could do what would be effectively a straight swap with his fellow former title-winner.

However, it is believed that the 29-year-old has already refused an offer of a 45m euros (£39.5m), multi-year agreement - but it is also claimed that Nokia might join the Enstone-based operation regardless. Crash.net / Eurosport

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