Kimi Raikkonen to sit out 2010 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen is set to sit out the 2010 Formula One season after talks with McLaren apparently broke down.

Speaking to Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper, Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson revealed “The options in F1 were with McLaren next season or not at all. Kimi and McLaren were unable to reach an agreement, so he will not drive at the F1 level – at least not next year.”

He added: “Kimi still exudes passion. A gap year does not mean anything in that respect. He is more interested in fighting for wins and the world championship.

“F1 will miss Kimi. He worked hard over the summer – doing things in a Ferrari that only the best drivers are capable of.”

It is thought the talks broke down after disagreements about money, sponsorship duties and Raikkonen’s desire to take part in other sports outside of Formula One.

Earlier this year Raikkonen took part in Rally Finland with the blessing of Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo, but it is thought that McLaren would rather their drivers only compete in Formula One.

With the Formula One door shut on Raikkonen it looks set that he will head to the World Rally Championship, perhaps with backing from Red Bull, which would set him up in a good position to return to Formula One in 2011 when Mark Webber’s contract at Red Bull Racing expires.

NASCAR has been mentioned as another option for the Finn.