Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen will not be present for the 2010 F1 championship. Raikkonen had been in talks with the McLaren F1 team however these talks appear to have collapsed leading Raikkonen to take a one year sabbatical from the sport.
Raikkonen s manager Steve Robertson confirmed to Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat that Raikkonen s 2010 race-seat hinged on the McLaren talks and if they fell through, Kimi wasn t planning to move to another team. The two sides were unable to come to an agreement therefore Raikkonen chose to take a sabbatical.
It is believed that there were several sticking points in the talks including Raikkonen s wages, how free he was to compete in rallies, and how many sponsorship days he needed to do.
It is currently unclear as to what Raikkonen intends to do during his year out from the sport although many believe he will compete in the World Rally Championship. Raikkonen made his WRC debut earlier this year and impressed many in the industry, despite not finishing the race.
When Raikkonen returns to Formula One, it is clear that he will want to be with a team who have a good shot at winning the title. Red Bull Racing appear to be one of the favourites to take on Raikkonen, particularly given that Mark Webber s contract ends at the end of 2010 and they may be planning to get involved with rallying and therefore start up a relationship with the Finnish driver there.