Toyota - Kimi Wants Too Much Money

Toyota's chances of signing Kimi Raikkonen for the 2010 Formula One season have taken another blow on Tuesday, after team president John Howett revealed that the sum of money the Finn is asking is way bigger than what Toyota can afford.

Although they have been known, in recent years, as one of Formula One's biggest spending team, the Japanese manufacturer this year decided to take a dramatic turn in F1 expenditures. The reason was, of course, the worldwide economic crisis, that almost made them leave the series in the mid-season.

While deciding to stick around for a little longer – now that they seemed to be on the right track in terms of F1 results – Toyota also chose to do a complete facelift of their drivers' lineup. However, with some of the highest ranked drivers already booked for 2010 – Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica – and Raikkonen almost impossible to touch, the Cologne based outfit might have to reconsider their strategy once again.

He gave us back a figure that is much too high. He says he has two options, so we are going to wait,” confirmed Howett, according to Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell. In addition, the Toyota team principal insisted that his team will not update their offer, as this is the best deal they can bring to the table given their budget for the 2010 season.

According to the GMM news agency “it is believed that Raikkonen will receive about 25 million euros from Ferrari for agreeing to end his 2010 contract, while his management is asking about the same amount from both McLaren and Toyota.

In the meantime, McLaren seems to have already put in place a backup plan in case Raikkonen chooses Cologne over Woking. According to recent reports, Nick Heidfeld is seen as a potential replacement for Heikki Kovalainen in 2010.
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