Category Archives: Kimi Raikkonen

McLaren in the News – 20th November 2009

Mercedes war with McLaren over Jenson Button switch @ Mirror.co.uk Motorsport
Friday 20th November
Mercedes last night declared war on McLaren over Jenson Button’s switch.

The bad blood between the two teams spilled over less than 24 hours after his £12million move to Woking.

Furious at being dumped for McLaren, the Brackleybased operation has refused to allow Button to start work for his new bosses until after Christmas.(read more…)

New challenge drove Jenson @ Sky Sports Formula 1
Friday 20th November
Jenson Button insists that the challenge of driving with and against Lewis Hamilton as McLaren team-mates was the main reason behind his switch from Brawn.

Button left the team he won the World Championship with in order to move to Woking-based McLaren and complete a stellar all-British line-up with the last two F1 world champions at the same team.

A lot has been said after Button’s decision, with Brawn boss Nick Fry still feeling some bitterness at what he sees as a lack of loyalty from the driver towards a team that gave him a title-winning car. (read more…)

Hamilton/Button would be ‘excellent’ lineup – Massa @ MSN Formula One
Friday 20th November
Experts and pundits are questioning the wisdom of Jenson Button’s reportedly likely move from Brawn/Mercedes to McLaren for 2010.

Sir Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard have advised their British countryman to stay put rather than accept a bigger-money offer from McLaren, where 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton is regarded the unofficial number 1 driver.

The Daily Telegraph said Button, 29, has been assured equal billing, but Martin Brundle – who drove for the team in 1994 – told BBC radio on Tuesday: “In the past they (McLaren) have had a history of really being able to only fully support one driver.” (read more…)

McLaren races back into the black thanks to Hamilton F1 win @ Evening Standard Business
Friday 20th November
Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One world championship victory last year drove his McLaren team from the red to a £14 million pre-tax profit according to its accounts to 31 December 2008.

It comes as good news for the outfit after Mercedes said on Monday that it is selling its 40% stake in McLaren to the team’s co-owners and investing in rival Brawn GP, which took the F1 title this year.

Mercedes is said to be annoyed at the scandals which have dogged McLaren over the past two years. In April the team was given a suspended three-race ban for misleading officials and in 2007 it was fined $100 million. (read more…)

Jenson Button will be pushed by Lewis Hamilton @ Mirror.co.uk Motorsport
Friday 20th November
Now Jenson Button has joined Lewis Hamilton at McLaren we have the prospect of two young Brits in the same car driving at speeds of up to 220mph, and for once the police won’t be in hot pursuit.

Button has been forced out of Brawn because Mercedes are taking over, and they want a wholly German team, preferably with blond hair, blue eyes and jackboots. After his world title win Button said to them: “Show me the money.” They replied: “Show me your papers.”

Button was so anxious to escape the German camp there were fears he’d end up on a motorbike wrapped in barbed wire. Last week he was spotted at McLaren HQ, where it’s rumoured playboy Button demanded the same pay as Hamilton, the same status as driver, and the same Pussycat Doll. (read more…)

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, In the news..., Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Mercedes GP

Kimi Raikkonen out of Formula 1 in 2010, Jenson Button to McLaren now just a formality

Kimi Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson has announced that the Finnish ex World Champion will be taking a sabbatical in 2010 after talks with McLaren broke down. Robertson was quoted as saying:

Kimi and McLaren were unable to reach an agreement, so he will not drive at the F1 level – at least not next year.

A gap year means nothing for Kimi. He is more interested in fighting for wins and the world championship. F1 will miss Kimi. He worked hard over the summer – doing things in a Ferrari that only the best drivers are capable of.

With the recent Mercedes acquisition of 75% of Brawn GP and the rumours of them wanting an all German team of Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg, it was looking more and more likely that Jenson Button would be signing for McLaren, leaving Kimi Raikkonen without a competitive option in 2010.

For Kimi Raikkonen to have pulled have out of talks with McLaren is surely a clear indication that the official signing of Jenson Button is all but a formality now and will be happening sooner rather than later, possibly even today.

With an eye on the World Rally Championship in 2010, it’ll be interesting to see what Kimi Raikkonen’s options are for Formula 1 in 2011 and whether a race seat for a top team will be open to fight for.

For some great comments about the Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button situation I urge everyone to read the comments left by one of our valued readers here.

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, Mercedes GP, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg

The world reports Jenson Button has signed for McLaren, good for Mclaren but bad for Mercedes GP?

The latest news sweeping the online world is that Jenson Button has signed a 3 year deal with McLaren worth £6 million a year. I must stress that at this time this is not confirmed, but heavily suspected to be true. After yesterday’s news of Mercedes buying into Brawn GP, Jenson Button moving to McLaren seems more likely than ever. The signing of Jenson Button will save McLaren a fair few millions of pounds a year than if they’d signed Kimi Raikkonen.

Jenson Button – soon to be driving the #1 car for McLaren?
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I’ve had some feedback which suggests that I have been unfair when talking about Jenson Button and that he has far more fire in his belly than I have given him credit for. Admittedly my judgement of Jenson Button is only based on the past few seasons where before last season he was almost non-existent, and last year I was pretty unimpressed despite him winning the World Championship. I’m more than willing to be proven wrong and if I am, and this move to McLaren is actually happening, then that’ll mean more championship points for the team I love and more positive blogging to be done!

I can’t help thinking that Mercedes GP are making a mistake in letting Jenson Button go, because as much as I don’t see his apparent driving skills, he’s a better proposition than either Nick Heidlfeld or Nico Rosberg. The former is consistent but unspectacular and the latter is a wiz in qualifying but never seems to translate that to podium finishes. It’s all very well Mercedes wanting an all German line up of drivers but shouldn’t the potential to succeed be the bigger factor in signing a driver?

Mercedes have said they will announce their drivers for 2010 in the next week or so, but if Jesnon Button is announced as a McLaren driver before then I think Mercedes will be forced into bringing their announcement forward – it would be as obvious as the Ferrari signing of Fernando Alonso earlier in the year.

As for Kimi Raikkonen, well this leaves him taking that money spinning sabbatical that he has spoken about. He has maintained that he will only drive for the right team and with no competitive drive options left one can only assume that the 2007 world champion will not be on the grid in Bahrain next March.

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Filed under Bahrain, Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Grand Prix, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, Mercedes GP, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg

Mercedes buy into Brawn GP and McLaren announce long term deal with Mercedes

As most expected, earlier today Mercedes bought into Brawn GP, a 75% share is the believed holding. McLaren have dismissed rumours of a McLaren engine, at least in the next few years, by releasing this statement:

McLaren and Mercedes-Benz are delighted to announce a realigned long-term strategic alliance.

The agreement covers the next six Formula 1 seasons (2010-15) and also provides mechanisms whereby the partnership may continue beyond 2015.

Read the full release over at the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes website.

McLaren have bought back the 40% share that Mercedes owned.

The question of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen and who, or if, they will drive for next year has not been answered. What is only speculation so far, seems to be leaning more and more in the direction of Jenson Button driving for McLaren in 2010 with the all German team of Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld at Brawn GP.

On the their official F1 Twitter feed McLaren have just tweeted the following:

Ron Dennis made an inspiring speech to the whole company today, discussing the long-term strategy for the entire McLaren Group.

I’ll be looking forward to a return to the red and white livery if that does indeed happen.

Forever in the news, McLaren, Mercedes and Brawn GP are at least making this off season an exciting one so far. The next few weeks, and possibly months, of driver roulette will ensure the 2010 season will be here in no time.

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg

If Jenson Button comes to McLaren, he brings the #1 with him!

All eyes and ears this morning are on the Mercedes announcement which is due to start in a matter of minutes. It is expected that they will announce their involvement with Brawn GP, and how this will affect their current partnership with McLaren.

There are also rumours flying around that Brawn GP, along with Mercedes, are set to announce an all German driving team consisting of Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg. The current thinking here is that Jenson Button will go to McLaren and Kimi Raikkonen will take a sabbatical.

If Jenson Button does indeed come to McLaren he’ll be driving the Number 1 car! This would be an intriguing situation given that Lewis Hamilton is seen as the number 1 driver at McLaren!

Things have certainly moved on from what seemed only to be fantasy booking on the part of the newspapers a few weeks to a reality that is more and more likely to see a McLaren F1 team next year consisting of the last 2 world champions, who both happen to be British!

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg

Jenson Button visits McLaren HQ – looking for a seat in 2010?

As reported by BBC F1, Jenson Button visited McLaren headquarters this week, and sent the rumour mill reeling once again. There was talk a couple of weeks ago of Jenson Button joining Lewis Hamilton at McLaren but this was quickly dismissed by Brawn GP who said he was all but signed with them for the 2010 season.

Jenson Button still hasn’t signed with Brawn GP, with many citing money as the reason why. It could also be that Jenson Button doesn’t have faith in the Brawn GP car which didn’t have the same edge at the end of the 2009 season as it did for the first 6 races. Seeing how much the McLaren MP4-24 improved over the second half of the season and how much money and knowledge the team will pump into the McLaren MP4-25, there is a good chance that Jenson Button sees McLaren as the team to give him a championship winning car next year, more so than Brawn GP.

Rivals in Brazil in 2009 – team mates at McLaren in 2010?
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Kimi Raikkonen has been the man linked with that second seat McLaren for weeks, even months, but now Jenson Button is possibly back in the picture, could the ice cool Finn by third choice for only 2 places? Having an all British line-up, back to back championship winning Brits at that, seems on the surface to be a dream scenario for McLaren. For a team that have become more of a brand than possibly even Ferrari, at least in Formula 1, this would get them unprecedented publicity. They would also have 2 drivers who interact well with the general public, something Kimi Raikkonen has never been keen to be involved in.

There remains one important question – could Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton co-exist in the same team? Many believe Lewis Hamilton has been the number one driver within McLaren ever since his debut season, even when his ream mate at the time was the previous season’s champion Fernando Alonso. Would we see both drivers given the same attention and chances as each other, as is the ruling of the FIA, officially anyway.

This could of course all just be games by Jenson Button to get the Brawn GP he wants and believes he rightfully deserves. If there is even the slightest chance that Jenson Button could be offered a seat at McLaren for 2010, that could be an offer far to sweet to resist.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Jenson Button, and last year did little to change that, his drive in Abu Dhabi being a lone bright spot. Do I want to see him at McLaren? I think it would make things interesting and as long as the car is 100% I think he’d do very well. However, that’s where the problem with Jenson Button lies. Unlike Lewis Hamilton who fights tooth and nail no matter how bad his car is, Jenson Button seems to fall to pieces driving a car he’s not 100% satisfied with.

Maybe we are all reading more into this than is actually there, after all Kimi Raikkonen has visited the McLaren headquarters and more recently his managers have too.

At this point I’m nor sure who I’d prefer to see partnering Lewis Hamilton in 2010, neither Button nor Raikkonen excite me a great deal. I’d much prefer to someone like Robert Kubica join McLaren, someone who’s hungry, talented and willing to drive his heart out for the team.

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Robert Kubica

Kimi Raikkonen will only race for the right team in 2010 – surely the only option is McLaren?

On his official website Kimi Raikkonen said:

I am very motivated to win races and a championship again and will only remain in Formula One if I can race for a team that can give me a car to fight at the front. Let’s wait and see what happen.

Let’s look at this realistically, who are the teams set to compete in Formula 1 in 2010 that will be fighting for the Championship:

Red Bull
If it hadn’t been for Brawn GP’s fairytale start to the 2009 season then Red Bull would have beena good bet to win the Drivers Championship with Sebastian Vettel and probably the Constructors Championship with Mark Weber as his team mate. Vettel and Weber are two of just a handful of drivers that are confirmed for 2010. this means that although Red Bull could enter next season in Formula 1 as the favourites, there is no room for Kimi Raikkonen in 2010.

Brawn GP
They had a fantastic head start coming into the 2009 season and built up an unassailable lead in the first 6 races of the season thanks to the developments they made to the car while under the Honda badge and at the sacrifice to their 2008 season. While nobody expects to see such dominance in 2010, they will still be one of the teams fighting it out at the front of the grid.

While the 2 race seats at Brawn GP are still unconfirmed, we’re all just waiting for Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg to be confirmed. As much as the UK press like to try their hand at fantasy booking an all British driver team at McLaren, it isn’t going to be happening. What this means is no race seat for Kimi Raikkonen at Brawn GP in 2010.

Ferrari
While 2009 was quite a poor season, at least in terms of the previous successes of Ferrari, you wouldn’t bet against them coming back strongly in 2010 and they in fact started working on their 2010 car towards the end of the 2009 season.

Ferrari has been Kimi Raikkonen’s home for the past 3 seasons, and where he won the Drivers Championship in 2007 while finishing 3rd and 6th in 2008 and 2009 respectively. However, the least surprising move in Formula 1 saw Ferrari sign Fernando Alonso for the 2010 season, who along with the returning Felipe Massa makes up their Driving team for next season. Once again, no room for Raikkonen in 2010.

McLaren
Like Ferrari, McLaren had a bad start to 2009 but by the middle of the season they seemed to be catching up and by the end of he season Lewis Hamilton had scored more points than any other driver in the 2nd half of the season. Ironically it was Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari who had scored the second most points in that same period. Martin Whitmarsh has said that the McLaren will be faster in 2010 so we can expect the MP4-25 to be battling Red Bull, Brawn GP and Ferrari for the big points next season.

Hamilton and Raikkonen – competitors in 2007, team mates in 2010?
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No disrespect to any of the other teams, but it would seem that if Kimi Raikkonen does indeed what to drive next season and be competitive, then McLaren is his only choice. It’s recently been said that Raikkonen could earn more by not driving next year than if he were to drive with McLaren. The figures being banded around are €17 million if he takes 2010 off and €15 million if he accepts the offer to drive for McLaren. In the world of McLaren the minimum €2 million pounds extra they’d need to offer Raikkonen to match his sabbatical earnings seems like a drop in the ocean, but then why should they offer him more?

It could be argued that if money is the only thing motivating Kimi Raikkonen is he really the right choice for the team and should McLaren look elsewhere to fill that second seat. I discussed the 2010 driver options here, and to be honest, even a money motivated Kimi Raikkonen could be McLaren’s best option for 2010 to get the most points possible. That is unless Renault do indeed quit Formula 1 in which case I’d get Robert Kubica into that second seat quicker than you can say ‘enjoy your ice cream Kimi’!

All will no doubt be revealed soon and I won’t be at all surprised to see Kimi Raikkonen announced as McLaren’s second river for 2010 – for how much is anyone’s guess.

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Filed under Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Weber, McLaren, Nico Rosberg, Red Bull, Renault, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel