Williams using Raikkonen as pay-driver ‘leverage’?

Reports are gathering steam that Kimi Raikkonen is seriously considering a return to Formula one in 2012 with Williams.

In the Singapore paddock, it is now an established fact that the 2007 world champion – and recent world rally and Nascar driver – was given a detailed tour of the famous team’s Grove headquarters by Adam Parr.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said the visit took place on the Wednesday before Monza. Chairman Parr is not in Singapore this weekend.

The magazine is however sceptical about Williams’ motives: “Raikkonen could be used as leverage for other interested parties,” said the report.

“It could drag another one or two million from their sponsors.”

31-year-old Raikkonen, on the other hand, is apparently serious. “He wants to return to the tracks. And he does not want to put more of his own money into his racing,” said Auto Motor und Sport.

Also reportedly in the running for the 2012 seat alongside Pastor Maldonado are Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi, Giedo van der Garde, Vitaly Petrov and Romain Grosjean.

Auto Motor und Sport insists that, despite the German’s categorical denial, Sutil made a low profile visit to Williams late on the Wednesday before Monza.

It would be good news for Nico Hulkenberg, who after losing his Williams seat in 2010 would almost certainly fill Sutil’s place at Force India.

“There’s a lot of talk and rumours but I just try to concentrate on myself, do my best and watch what happens,” reserve driver Hulkenberg told the Today newspaper in Singapore.


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