Raikkonen Could Take Profitable Sabbatical in 2010

Kimi Raikkonen might be better off not racing in Formula One next season, at least from a financial standpoint. The Finnish driver willingly parted ways with Ferrari a few weeks ago in order to leave a spot open for Fernando Alonso, receiving in exchange a compensatory sum of money.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the 2007 Formula One champion was promissed 17 million euros by Ferrari in case he doesn't land a seat in the sport next year, and 10 million euros if he does. Having said that, most of the teams that are looking to sign Raikkonen for the upcoming season cannot stop from thinking Kimi is already a rich man in 2010 to begin with.

As underlined by Ross Brawn earlier this week, the Finn's managers act like this compensation doesn't even exist, and this may cause the former Ferrari-an to take a sabbatical in 2010. He told the media, prior to the Abu Dhabi finale, that McLaren Mercedes is the only team he'd sign for next year, as he wants a title winning car and nothing less.

However, the officials from Woking don't seem to share the positive feelings towards the 30-year old driver, as they are only prepared to give up 5 million euros from their accounts for Raikkonen's 2010 paycheck. Therefore, the Finn would only earn an overall 15 million euros, as compared to 17 million he would get if sidelined for the entire season.

While expecting such a decision from Raikkonen – it's not like they don't know the Finn from their past relationship – McLaren seem to have already come up with a B plan. In case Kimi doesn't agree to the deal, Nick Heidfeld seems ready to take the job, as he was characterized by team principal Martin Whitmarsh as one of the most underrated drivers in the F1 roster.
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