Raikkonen To Return With Red Bull in 2011?

Rhys WilliamsContributor IFebruary 22, 2010

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 19:  Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing drives during winter testing at the Circuito De Jerez on February 19, 2010 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen has already reportedly made a deal to return to Formula 1 in 2011, before the first race of 2010 has even taken place.

German publication Bild is claiming that Webber allegedly wants to step down at the end of this season, leaving the door wide open for Raikkonen.

If Webber was to step down, then Kimi would be the obvious choice for Red Bull and vice-versa. They want an experienced champion in the car and he wants a competitive, laid-back team.

However, the credibility of these reports has to be questioned. Why would Webber, who is currently in the form of his life, want to step down from a potentially championship winning team?

At 33 Webber is far from over the hill, as a certain Michael Schumacher is proving. If he does leave it would almost certainly be because he was pushed, rather than him jumping.

If Kimi was to join Red Bull then it would certainly be a smooth transition. Red Bull already sponsors Raikkonen and they have also helped fund his foray into the World Rally Championship.

He also has a working relationship with Adrian Newey from his McLaren days, and I’m sure he would jump at the chance to drive another Newey creation.

It is also no secret that Raikkonen is good friends with current Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, and if he has agreed to drive next season, Vettel would likely have played a part in that decision.

If this deal is the real thing we could be looking at a potential five world champions on next year’s grid, or even six if Villeneuve returns with Stefan Grand Prix, which would surely be good news for F1. However, things may not look so rosy for Mark Webber fans.