“I am very disappointed with the way they have used my name for their marketing. I have never seriously considered driving for Renault, and I can assure you 100 per cent that I will not be driving for them next year,” said Raikkonen in an interview in Finnish with Turun Sanomat newspaper.
The 30-year old Finn did not deny the initial talks between his management and the Enstone based organization, but insisted it happened weeks ago and that only a single contact occurred between the two parties.
Last week, Renault's boss Eric Boullier confirmed Raikkonen's interest in joining the team, saying that he and his organization are flattered by the 2007 F1 champion's intentions. However, the Frenchman stressed the importance of a private conversation with the Finn, as he needed to better evaluate his desire and commitment to start over again in the series.
Asked if Raikkonen's interest means a lot to him, Boullier told the media “yes it is, because it shows that the work we've done this season is noticed and that we are considered a challenger for the championship in the future.”
For the time being, only Robert Kubica has a secured spot in the Renault F1 lineup next year, as the team is yet to decide on a second driver. Vitaly Petrov is also in the running for that vacant seat, along with other experienced racers such as Timo Glock, Nick Heidfeld or Adrian Sutil.