McLaren has not set a deadline for Kimi Raikkonen to make up his mind about 2007, according to team bigwig Martin Whitmarsh.
The Woking based squad’s ‘F1 CEO’ revealed in Monte Carlo: ”No — we are concentrating on the races.”
Whitmarsh added: ”We don’t believe it is necessary or useful to set a deadline.”
Raikkonen, 26, is linked strongly with a switch to Ferrari next year, but McLaren have made it clear that – should he want to stay in silver – they favour him over Juan Pablo Montoya as a teammate for incoming Fernando Alonso.
”We are patient people and we will see how it develops,” Whitmarsh continued. ”The most important thing for the team and Kimi are results.”
Mercedes’ competition director Norbert Haug, meanwhile, denied that Raikkonen’s continuing run of mechanical breakdowns in Monte Carlo has damaged McLaren’s prospects of hanging onto the ‘iceman’.
The German told ‘sid’: ”I’m sure he is not jumping up and down with glee (about the result), but he will when he thinks about the speed of his car (at Monaco).
”If we make another step forward with our performance, perhaps he will decide not to leave the team too early.”
McLaren, like many teams, will this week test at Barcelona in Spain.gmmf1dailyf1news.com,/b>