Kimi Raikkonen has ruled out making a return to Formula 1 with Renault next year, despite being linked with the team for several weeks.
The Finn had been in contact with the French car manufacturer after the Belgian Grand Prix in August, and Renault chiefs were considering putting a deal together with the former champion if he could prove he was motivated for a comeback. However, Raikkonen now claims he is not interested in what Renault has to offer – and expressed some unhappiness that team officials spoke publicly about prospects of his joining the team.
Speaking to Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, Raikkonen said: "I am very disappointed with how they have used my name for their own marketing. I have never even seriously considered driving for Renault, and I can assure you that I am 100 percent sure that I will not drive for Renault next season."
Earlier this week, Renault team principal Eric Boullier said his team had been encouraged by the fact that Raikkonen had been in touch with it, claiming that his interest was flattering to Renault.
Raikkonen's decision not to pursue the Renault option now makes it almost certain that Vitaly Petrov will be retained by the team, although the Russian still needs to show improved form to guarantee his seat.