If Kimi Raikkonen returns in 2012, the Finn’s first Formula One boss Peter Sauber hopes he has a fast Williams to drive.
Many paddock observers recall the 32-year-old’s last F1 season in 2009, when he struggled with the uncompetitive Ferrari and at the end of the year turned down opportunities with other teams in favour of a rallying foray. Now, some believe he wants to come back to the sport in 2012 because he faces the prospect of being paid to drive for the first time since leaving F1.
“Obviously, anyone worth his salt in any business will argue about the price of things,” smiled Sir Frank Williams in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, “so there is an argument going on, which of course is quite normal.”
Sauber, who gave Raikkonen his debut in 2001, told Blick newspaper he welcomes the news the Finn is thinking about coming back.
“But he needs to be motivated,” said the Swiss, “and Kimi will only be motivated if he’s in a top car.”
Williams has had a dire 2011 season, but for next season the team will be counting on former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan and Renault engines.
Asked if the new pieces to the puzzle will solve Williams’ problems over the winter, chairman Adam Parr announced confidently: “Yes.
“I feel very energised about where we are at the moment because the people here are just stunning, without exception.”