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Williams shareholder confirms Raikkonen talks

Rubens Barrichello’s Formula One future looks increasingly uncertain after a major Williams shareholder said the team were talking to 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen about a possible comeback to the world championship.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2011 23:43 IST
HT Correspondent

Rubens Barrichello’s Formula One future looks increasingly uncertain after a major Williams shareholder said the team were talking to 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen about a possible comeback to the world championship.

Austrian Christian ‘Toto’ Wolff told the Kronen Zeitung that the Finn, who won his title with Ferrari, was one of several names on their list of possible drivers for next season.

“We are in conversation with Raikkonen,” he said. “But he is only one of several options.”

Former champions Williams, enduring their worst season in Formula One with five points from 17 races, have said nothing officially about any contacts with the 32-year-old ‘Iceman’ despite mounting media speculation. Asked at the recent Indian Grand Prix whether Raikkonen might return to race for Williams next year, team chairman Adam Parr refused to be drawn.

“Our race drivers are Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello and if, and when, that changes we will make an appropriate announcement,” he said.

Three F1 teams to get new names
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has confirmed that three Formula One teams — Team Lotus, Renault and Virgin Racing — will be changing their names for the 2012 season .

Team Lotus, which has India’s Karun Chandhok as its reserve driver, will now be called the Caterham F1 team. The team has a Malaysian owner in Tony Fernandes who also owns English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers.

The Britain-based Renault team will become Lotus, with their full name remaining Lotus Renault GP. Richard Branson’s Virgin Racing will become Marussia F1 team.

Ferrari unhappy with F1 regulations
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo expressed his displeasure at Formula One’s current technical regulations that he saw as restrictive and overly dependent on aerodynamics.

Montezemolo was quoted by autosport.com as he went further to criticize the strict limits on testing and teams being restricted to building just two cars as he hinted that

Ferrari would not remain in F1 if their participation didn’t translate to technology transfer to road cars.

The Italian later denied that the comments were meant as a threat on Ferrari’s official website (www.ferrari.com).

This is not the first time that Ferrari has used its position as F1’s most famous team to oppose the regulations in F1. Along with Red Bull and Renault, the Italian marque threatened to leave

F1 in 2009 if the FIA went ahead with its $60 million budget caps.

In 1986, they built and unveiled a car meant to race in the American Indycar series as a threat to leave F1 if the FIA went ahead with making the use of V-8 engines mandatory.