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DATE News (chronologically)
06/30/10
f1
Renault courts MasterCard and Raikkonen  UPDATE (GMM)  Renault could be set to push for Kimi Raikkonen to become Robert Kubica's future teammate.

It is now widely expected that the Finn, who left his Ferrari contract one year early to race in the world rally championship this year, is not keen to return to formula one as early as 2011.

But according to Finland's Turun Sanomat, Renault might be courting as a possible sponsor the American credit card multinational MasterCard.

Citing paddock rumors, the report said MasterCard would be interested in the deal "if Raikkonen would drive as Robert Kubica's teammate".

But 30-year-old Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson reportedly denied that even exploratory talks with Renault have been held.

MasterCard sponsored Lola's stillborn F1 effort in 1997, and the Jordan team in 1998-2001.

06/29/10 Renault owner Gerard Lopez is reportedly so optimistic about the French squad's future that he could lure Kimi Raikkonen out of F1 retirement.

According to Autosport, Robert Kubica - who has been linked with moves to several teams in the past few weeks - is close to committing to Renault as the team are set to secure a "major title sponsorship deal" in the near future.

With Kubica's future sorted out, Lopez is ready to turn his attention to Raikkonen.

'Autosport understands that the team is so bullish about its financial prospects that team owner Gerard Lopez has informed senior figures inside the team that he may sound out Kimi Raikkonen in the next few months about whether the Finn is interested in a return to F1 with Renault.

'Kubica has insisted that he is not spending too much time worrying about his future at the moment - with it certain he will remain next season - but the financial platform going forward will be key to him opting for a single year deal or committing himself beyond that.'

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