Kimi to be ‘free agent’ at end of July

Tue, 18 July 2006, 05:06

Renault is pulling out all the stops to ensure that either Fernando Alonso or Kimi Raikkonen resides a blue and yellow F1 car next year.

Complimenting renewed speculation that Flavio Briatore is trying to woo McLaren’s Finn, was a story at Magny Cours that the Renault principal also made enquiries as to whether Alonso’s silver contract might also be undone.

A Renault spokesman called the rumour ‘absolute nonsense’, but Bild am Sonntag newspaper insists that 26-year-old Raikkonen will be a free agent as of the last day of July.

The newspaper said Kimi is presently bound to the terms of a $4.4m Ferrari pre-agreement — and that the money has already changed hands.

But ‘Bild am Sonntag’ reports that the agreement runs out at the end of this month, whereafter Raikkonen could simply pay Ferrari back and drive for whomever he wants in 2007.

Renault president Alain Dassas, meanwhile, was quoted as saying by ‘Welt’ newspaper: ”We are ready to pay the usual market price for a good driver.”

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