Neither Kimi Raikkonen nor Ferrari asked McLaren-Mercedes to release the Finn from the final days of his 2006 contract so that he could make a Fernando Alonso-style test debut for his new team late last year.
That is the insistence of Norbert Haug, competition director for Mercedes-Benz, amid reports that McLaren – who enjoyed Alonso’s early Renault release in late December – should have extended a similar favour to Ferrari.
“Ferrari never asked us to prematurely release Kimi,” Haug told the news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst.
McLaren has been on the working end of some rare Raikkonen criticism this week, as the 27-year-old attended his first official media engagement for Ferrari.
Raikkonen, who drove for McLaren between 2002 and 2006, was reportedly returning fire at comments made by Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh, but Haug refused to be drawn into the melee and instead wondered if Kimi had been “provoked” by mischievous reporters.