Kimi offered $143m Renault deal

UPDATE (GMM) Flavio Briatore has rubbished reports that he is lining up Kimi Raikkonen as a replacement for Fernando Alonso at the Renault outfit next year.

The Italian team principal, although insisting that a 'top driver' will steer a blue and yellow car in 2007, was quoted as telling Welt am Sonntag: ''(The rumors are) complete nonsense.''

Briatore also told the newspaper that he understood why world champion and protégé Alonso decided to head for McLaren for a new challenge.

05/10/06 (GMM) Renault is making a last-minute dash to secure the services of 'iceman' Kimi Raikkonen, according to press reports.

Although the 26-year-old was previously linked more strongly with McLaren or Ferrari for 2007 and beyond, Germany's 'Auto Motor Und Sport' magazine reveals this week that Kimi secretly met with Flavio Briatore at the Nurburgring.

Reportedly, the Renault principal offered Raikkonen – under contract to McLaren but possibly already with a pre-agreement Ferrari deal – an incredible $143 million for four years, or nearly $36m a year.

Kimi was disappointed with the pace of his McLaren last Sunday at the Nurburgring, saying: ''It's not what we want.

''We're just too slow.''

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