Renault has finally admitted its interest in hiring Kimi Raikkonen for 2007.
The team’s F1 president, Alain Dassas, told the French press at Magny Cours that the Finn – who is also eyeing the affection of McLaren and Ferrari – would be an ideal replacement for departing world champion Fernando Alonso.
He said: ”It is no secret that we are in discussions with Kimi Raikkonen — indeed, it is one of our priorities.
”It would be very satisfying to reach an agreement with him because we would have signed one of the great young drivers of the moment.”
Dassas also confirmed that Raikkonen’s countryman, Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen, is a candidate for the seat, but admitted that signing a rookie to a title-contending drive ‘is a risk’.
”In an era that demands such fast results this could be a problem for a newcomer,” the Frenchman conceded.
The news coincides with Renault principal Flavio Briatore’s suggestion that Mark Webber is not in the running.
He told La Gazzetta dello Sport that the Australian is going to ‘stay at Williams’ in 2007.gmmf1 dailyf1news.com