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“I’m a big fan of Raikkonen” – Whitmarsh

Aug 27, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Race Getty Images

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh admits he’s a big fan of Kimi Raikkonen but hasn’t spoken to him so far this year about returning to McLaren.

Asked if he had considered bringing his former driver back Whitmarsh told the official F1 site: “Yes, we have.”

“Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of him. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment, so let’s see what happens.”

Whitmarsh believes Raikkonen is keen to leave Lotus but thinks his options are running out: “Obviously Kimi is determined to go somewhere else and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let’s see how he gets on there.”

“Last year we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn’t happen,” Whitmarsh added. “This year we’ve had no talks – yet.”

Raikkonen drove for McLaren between 2002 and 2006, winning nine races and finishing runner-up in the 2003 and 2005 drivers’ championships.

Over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend Jenson Button revealed McLaren were yet to take up an option on his services for 2014. Raikkonen has been linked to Ferrari and Red Bull, but the latter seem increasingly likely to take Daniel Ricciardo next year, as Mark Webber indicated at Spa.

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