F1 2010: Might Just Be Without Kimi
Last week has been entertaining; with the splitting of long-term partners Mclaren and Mercedes to the birth of Mercedes Grand Prix to the speculations of the driver market and to of course the much pending drives for the current and former World Champions – Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.
While Jenson is still contemplating his moves between McLaren and Mercedes GP – Kimi’s management has created some bit of controversy by stating that Kimi is taking a sabbatical from Formula1 in 2010.
The 2007 World Champ was relieved of his Ferrari duties earlier last month when the Italian racing giants decided to hire the services of twin-World Champ Fernando Alonso 2010 onwards.
While much is left to speculation over Kimi’s early replacement by Ferrari, his attitude and commitment towards the sport was put to question. While his driver fees were not a factor for Ferrari, the Ice Man attitude didn’t go down too well with his Italian employers.
However, over the past few months Kimi’s management were desperately attempting to get him a drive either with his former employers Mclaren, who were keen on replacing an under-performing Heikki Kovalainen or with Brawn GP, where the Williams-headed Rubens had created vacancy – logically, the only two teams that had an empty cockpit and a chance of giving him a competitive car for 2010.
Kimi’s demands of a high driver fee and to rally mid-season were some of the reasons that kept top teams away from signing him. However, the Ice Man preferred to take a sabbatical from Formula1 rather than give-in to his demands and fill in the grid next season. Also, he was adamant to only drive for a team that would give him a shot at next year’s title and rightfully so.
Whether a sabbatical would actually work for him only time will tell, but it surely didn’t for his compatriot Finn Mika Hakkinen in the early 2000s. However, Formula1’s loss could just be Le Mans and WRC’s gain – giving Kimi’s dying urge to continue doing what he does best – race!
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