Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Friday news round-up

Kimi Raikkonen has denied ever negotiating with the Toyota team over a drive next season. The Finn, who yesterday revealed his preference to rejoin McLaren insisted that he had never spoken to the Japanese Manufacturer about becoming their driver.

“It wouldn’t make sense to change to any other team,” Raikkonen told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. “With Toyota there was nothing, although they said that we negotiated. We didn’t speak with them; that was only what they said.”

Raikkonen also said that he would have no worries lining up alongside Lewis Hamilton at McLaren and that the British driver would not be a factor in his decision.

“Hamilton does not have anything to do with my decision,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me who drives the other car.”

After announcing that they will be powered by Cosworth next season, Williams took another step towards revealing their driver line-up with Rubens Barrichello expected to partner Nico Hulkenburg.

“In one week we will know more for sure,” said Barrichello, “At the moment there are more important things than the announcement of my contract for the coming year,”

Amidst the news, current Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima has admitted that his Formula One future is not secure.

“All I can say is we are talking with some new teams and some current teams.” the Japanese driver told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Meanwhile Sport Bild has claimed that Timo Glock will sign a contract with Renault next season, partnering Robert Kubica, although this was denied by his manager.

In other news USF1, due to enter Formula One next season, has said it will house its European operations at Spain’s Motorland Aragon technology park and circuit.

Finally the future of the British Grand Prix remains in the balance after Bernie Ecclestone revealed that he has issued the BRDC with a final take-it-or-leave-it offer.

Although the F1 supremo admitted that he would be “very upset” if there wasn’t a British Grand Prix in 2010, he made it clear that he would not offer Silverstone another deal.

“We’ve been negotiating for too long,” Ecclestone told BBC Sport.

“That deal is better than anybody else’s deal anyway so if they don’t like it, it’s OK.”

The revelation comes days after UK Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, reportably contacted Ecclestone and stressed the event’s importance Britain.

“I stressed to him the importance of Formula One and the British Grand Prix to the UK,” he told The Times.

“This (the GP) is a very British institution and every effort must be made to keep the race in the UK,

“Bernie reassured me he was doing everything possible to maintain the British Grand Prix in the UK.”

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