Kimi Raikkonen has revealed that his only real opportunity to remain in Formula 1 next year is to complete a deal with McLaren.
The Finn is a free agent after this season, having agreed an early end to his contract with Ferrari, yet he has not yet firmed up his plans for 2010. He has been linked with moves to both McLaren and Toyota next year – but he revealed ahead of Abu Dhabi that there was only one real chance for him if he was going to remain in F1.
"Toyota has not even been discussed," Raikkonen told Finnish television station MTV3. "If I want to drive [F1] cars, then McLaren in the only option. I should know the situation in the next few days."
Raikkonen said in the official FIA press conference in Abu Dhabi that there were other options for him outside of F1 – including rallying or even a sabbatical.
"Basically, I have a few different options and we will see what is the best one overall and then make my decision," he said.
When asked specifically about rallying, Raikkonen said: "It is definitely one of them, but I mean it is not just Formula 1 and rallying. There are other things I could do and we will see what happens."
Speaking about the possibility of taking a sabbatical, Raikkonen said: "I can if I want. I can do whatever I want, but like I said before, I haven't made my decision what I want to do yet."
Raikkonen's decision not to pursue an offer from Toyota leaves the Japanese manufacturer facing increasing difficulties to try and find a top-line driver for 2010, with Robert Kubica also having rejected its overtures to sign a deal with Renault.
The team is understood to have offered both Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock deals for next year, but it is looking likely that both will leave – Trulli potentially for Lotus, with Glock closing in on a deal with Renault.
McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen could be one option for Toyota, with Force India's Adrian Sutil also being linked in connection with the team. Japanese Kamui Kobayashi will also put himself firmly in the frame if he impresses again this weekend, following an encouraging debut in Brazil.