Kimi Raikkonen has reiterated his belief that it would be a waste of time to sign for any team other than McLaren next season, explaining he is only interested in fighting for the title in 2010.
Although talks between the Finn and McLaren appear to have stalled over financial terms and other contractual issues, like the number of sponsor appearances, Raikkonen has made it clear he is not interested in signing for anybody else.
"There is no point to go to other teams where you cannot win," said Raikkonen, who has also had an offer from Toyota. "They [McLaren] are the only team that can offer you a good car to be in a position to fight for the championship."
McLaren has been linked with Jenson Button and Nick Heidfeld in recent days, but it is believed that Raikkonen is still top of its list of candidates to partner Lewis Hamilton next year.
Rumors linking other drivers with the team certainly do McLaren little harm in showing Raikkonen that the team has plenty of other options for next year if the Finn is not willing to bring down his financial demands.
Raikkonen's decision to either do a deal with McLaren or potentially take a sabbatical from F1 next season means that Toyota will now have to look elsewhere for a lead driver next year.
The Japanese manufacturer had hoped to do a deal with Robert Kubica before the Pole committed to Renault, and it subsequently set its sights on Raikkonen – who now also appears to have rejected its overtures.
Toyota F1 president John Howett said that Raikkonen's decision meant the team was now clear on what it was going to do - although he would not elaborate on what that plan was.
"We tried to get Robert, but he decided that Renault was more interesting," Howett told AUTOSPORT. "We are interested in Kimi although he has indicated that we hadn't had contact and he is only interested in McLaren. Obviously from our side, if that is the situation it is fairly clear in which direction we want to go in.
"Even two or three years ago we indicated that we would like Kimi and, if he was available, we would be interested. We've put forward what we felt was an offer that we could sustain regardless of the budget situation, and so far it was obviously not appealing enough. So fine."