Mike Stevens | Jun 16, 2010

There might still be opportunities for Kimi Raikkonen to return to Formula One in 2011.

The Finn is currently driving full-time in the World Rally Championship, having ended his F1 Ferrari contract one year early and also failing to agree to terms for a switch to McLaren.

A Red Bull seat for next year had been touted, but the energy drinks-owned company has instead secured its current line-up for 2011 of Sebastian Vettel alongside Mark Webber.

However, Italy's Autosprint reports that Renault might be an option for 30-year-old Raikkonen.

The magazine says majority team owner Gerard Lopez wants to replace Vitaly Petrov with Raikkonen for 2011, to be the highly-rated Pole Robert Kubica's new teammate.

Fellow former Ferrari race winner Jean Alesi, however, is impressed with what Raikkonen has achieved so far in rallying.

"Imagine what it means for a driver to start anew in a discipline the exact opposite of what he has always done.

"For that, for his courage to challenge himself in such a way, I admire him," he said.

Autosprint also reports that Renault might have its eye on Adrian Sutil, the long time Force India driver who often admits he would like to finally step into a top team.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull Plans 2012 Seat For Buemi

Sebastien Buemi is on course for a seat with Red Bull in 2012, according to the Swiss newspaper Blick.

This would be a turnabout of fortune for the 21-year-old. Last weekend, Dr Helmut Marko, head of the energy drinks company's driver programme, was quoted as suggesting that if the youngster does not up his game, he could lose his seat with the junior team Toro Rosso.

But Buemi then had an impressive weekend in Montreal, finishing in the points, overtaking Michael Schumacher and even leading a lap of the race.

Blick reports that the 'plan' at Red Bull's Salzburg headquarters is to field Buemi alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2012.

After Montreal, Marko said: "That is the Buemi that we want to see. Aggressive, controlled and super-fast, even with a broken exhaust."

And Buemi's Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost added: "Buemi has his best times still ahead of him. He knows that with us he is in good hands, with no unnecessary pressure."

(GMM)

 

Sauber's de la Rosa 'Available' For Rival F1 Teams

Pedro de la Rosa has revealed he is 'available' for employment by Formula One teams.

After a long stint away from the grid as McLaren's test and reserve driver, the 39-year-old Spaniard this year returned to racing with Sauber.

But his season has been difficult at the wheel of the usually uncompetitive and unreliable C29 car, while also dogged by constant suggestions that he is set to be ousted.

More bad luck followed de la Rosa to Canada last weekend, where after qualifying just 17th he was punted out at the first corner by Vitaly Petrov before his Ferrari engine failed.

"No matter how bad it's been, it's better than testing," he later said during an interview with the BBC.

Despite the setbacks, de la Rosa insists he has "fully" enjoyed his return to formula one, but indicated that his career is now in doubt.

"I feel young. For the future, if anyone wants me, I am available," he revealed.

"I am usable, even if I have to go back testing or as a reserve driver, because I have had another year in formula one racing it will extend my career, simple as that."

The once-promising rookie Kamui Kobayashi is also under the spotlight at Sauber, especially given his first-lap crash into Montreal's famous 'Wall of Champions'.

"As is often the case in Canada, it was easy to score championship points today, however, we didn't collect them," angry team boss Peter Sauber said.

"We lost one car which was in tenth at the end of lap one through an over-optimistic move, and the second one through an engine failure."

(GMM)

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