Williams: Hiring Raikkonen depends on money

By on Friday, November 11, 2011

Raikkonen: Many people in F1 are hoping he returns

Sir Frank Williams, team founder of Williams, has confirmed in an interview with Finnish television broadcaster MTV3 that the team is interested in hiring Kimi Raikkonen, if the price is right.

Negotiations have taken place between the Williams team and Raikkonen. "It's no secret that we have a strong interest in Kimi," said Frank Williams.

"We are negotiating about money with Kimi, which is normal in business. It might fail but we are negotiating," said Frank Williams to MTV3.

When asked if there was a realistic possibility of reaching an agreement with Raikkonen, he said, "I'm just saying that it is possible."

While he was employed by Ferrari, it was estimated that Raikkonen received up to 51 million dollars annually. Williams is unable to afford anything close to that amount.

Despite this, many drivers and team principals in Formula One are hoping that Raikkonen will return to F1.

Michael Schumacher believes it would be good for F1 if Kimi Raikkonen does make a return, saying: "I would be very happy to see him back. We have had some very good times, and I look forward to some on-track and off-track occasions! It will be good."

"I have no idea whether that is happening or not," said Team Lotus's Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen. "If Kimi decides to come back, I think the main difference for me will be that the parties after the races will be a little bit better."

Stefano Domenicali, team principal at Ferrari while Raikkonen was there in 2008-2009 said, "Kimi is a talented driver, one of the fastest and our latest WDC. It would be great if he would come back."

During the Friday press conference at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh also advised Frank Williams to sign Raikkonen. "Try and sign him. Kimi, we all know he is quick. I think people underestimate how intelligent he can be. I hope that he is hungry. I am sure he hasn't lost the capability to thrill us in Formula One so I think it would be fantastic for Formula One. I wouldn't ordinarily presume to advise Sir Frank who he should sign but I think it would be exciting if he did."

Frank Williams, at the same press conference, said it was "not clear exactly" who would be in his cars next year. "I am sure Pastor (Maldonado) will be in one car. Rubens (Barrichello) maybe, we haven't really made up our minds what we want to do before we talk to Rubens," he added.

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