Mike Stevens | Nov 15, 2011

Kimi Raikkonen has taken yet another step towards signing with the Williams team for 2012.

At the end of an intense weekend of speculation regarding the 2007 world champion's possible return to F1, Finn Raikkonen's managers duly appeared in the Abu Dhabi paddock.

The appearance of managers Steve and David Robertson was all the more notable given Raikkonen's participation thousands of miles away in the Welsh rally.

And Turun Sanomat newspaper reports that they watched the grand prix from within Williams' hospitality area.

The signs are growing stronger every day that 32-year-old Raikkonen is definitely motivated to return to the sport that gave him 18 wins between 2001 and 2009.

Sir Frank Williams finally confirmed to the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 on Sunday that his Oxfordshire based team "has strong interest" in housing Raikkonen next year.

"Obviously, anyone worth his salt in any business will argue about the price of things," he grinned, "so there is an argument going on, which of course is quite normal.

"I must choose my words carefully by saying only that it (Raikkonen coming to Williams) is possible."

And team co-founder Patrick Head confirmed in Abu Dhabi that Williams' interest in the former McLaren and Ferrari driver is not new.

"We were interested in Kimi when he drove for Sauber," the Briton is quoted as saying. "We proposed to our then partner BMW to make him an offer but they thought it was too much money."

(GMM)

 

Only Three Can Win Without Best Car - de la Rosa

Only three current F1 drivers can win Grands Prix without sitting in the best car.

That is the claim of McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who hailed Lewis Hamilton's return from poor form to win the Abu Dhabi GP on Sunday.

"I had the feeling he always had a few tenths in his pocket, and his pace on the hard tyres was very strong," the veteran Spaniard is quoted by EFE news agency.

"For me, Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso are the only drivers who can win Grands Prix without having the best car on the grid," added de la Rosa.

A happy Hamilton said after winning on Sunday that beating his old nemesis Fernando Alonso made the victory feel even more special.

"I think it was one of my best races. I said that to myself as I slowed down, just being able to hold off one of the best drivers in the world throughout the race is something that is very, very tough to do," said the Briton.

Alonso's second place, meanwhile, means the Ferrari driver has now collected a trophy from every circuit he has ever raced on in formula one.

"I have them from all the circuits that I have raced on in formula one... so now I have completed all the circuits," he said. "So, (I'm) happy."

(GMM)

 

Vettel More Keen On Trophies Than Prize Money

Sebastian Vettel has revealed one of his greatest joys is receiving a "nice trophy" on the F1 podium.

Also a collector of his numerous winning helmet livery designs, the back-to-back world champion admitted on Monday that taking home a new "cup" from a GP is better than mere money.

"I could give up anything, but not the trophies," said the 24-year-old, who in his 80 F1 races has won 21 times and stood on 35 podiums.

"When you've put everything into it for two hours, whether you are rewarded with a big or a small cheque really doesn't matter - but a nice cup makes a difference," he told SID news agency.

"When I stand up there (on the podium), I know life for me could not get much better."

Next month in India, Vettel will once again be presented with the official drivers' championship trophy - and it's the one that the German is not allowed to keep.

The only way to keep looking at his name on the most important cup of all, then, is to keep the championships rolling.

"I have to give it back (eventually)," said Vettel, "so it would be great to have it for several years... Michael (Schumacher) had it for five in a row.

"My ultimate goal has always been to be Formula One world champion, and now no matter what happens in the future, it can't be taken from me."

(GMM)

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