Kimi has not asked for McLaren release

Mon, 4 December 2006, 08:19

Kimi Raikkonen has not requested an early release from his McLaren contract, the team’s boss Ron Dennis says.

While world champion Fernando Alonso is pushing hard to secure a test debut in the remaining days of 2006, Dennis revealed to the Spanish press that departing Raikkonen appears content to sit out the two December tests.

“From our perspective, Kimi did not request that he be able to test for Ferrari before the end of the year,” the newspaper Diario As quoted the Briton as saying.

1998 and 1999 world champion Mika Hakkinen, meanwhile – having tested for McLaren last week – backed Spaniard Alonso’s eagerness to test for his new team as soon as possible.

“The new tyres are radically different,” the Finn said, “so each lap is crucial at the moment.

“It would be a pity if Fernando could not test before the debut of the new car in January.”

However, Raikkonen’s Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa rejected the suggestion that Kimi will be disadvantaged by sitting out the upcoming tests at Jerez.

The Brazilian said in Sao Paulo: “Kimi is a great driver who will learn very quickly.

“To know the people and the car already is an advantage, but if you can feel good with your team and your car then you can immediately go well.”


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