Renault will shortly distribute a joint press release confirming the extension of Flavio Briatore’s contract and a sensational deal to snatch Kimi Raikkonen from the clutches of both Ferrari and McLaren.
The Finn’s manager, Steve Robertson, spent twenty minutes – from 3.20pm to 3.50pm – in the Renault motor home at Magny Cours on Friday, as he met with Briatore.
26-year-old Raikkonen’s almost certain agreement to race for the blue and yellow team in 2007 follows renewed paddock speculation that Michael Schumacher will definitely race beyond ’06.
Kimi’s camp was having none of the latest paddock whispering, however, with Robertson’s father – David – telling the Guardian: ”There is no ink dry on any contract for Kimi and any team anywhere for next year.
”There is not even one written in pencil.”
Briatore, meanwhile, is understood to have now informed carmaker Renault’s upper management that he will continue to lead the Enstone based team, but only for one more season.