Since Ferrari officially announced that Fernando Alonso would be racing for them in 2010, Kimi Raikkonen has been at the center of the driver market “fault line” that is set to completely reshape F1 next season. Speculation had him driving for the Woking based McLaren squad whom he had previous success. Instead, Kimi has chose that he will do nothing in 2010 outside of maybe making a couple more appearances in the ape suit.
The 2007 Finnish world champion will take a sabbatical from Formula 1 racing during 2010 after talks with McLaren broke down due to asking price. Raikkonen who was paid a very handsome amount to leave Ferrari in favor of Alonso will actually stand to make more money doing nothing than he would have actually participating. Ferrari paid in the area of 15 million for the Finn to not race in 2010, which was actually more than what McLaren was willing to offer. Raikkonen firmly believes that he is entitled to amounts paid to the likes of Alonso and Hamilton, but I don’t think he has really reflected on his performance over the last couple seasons. I would not pay him a dime over what Button made last season due to his lazy work ethic. Raikkonen has stated he only gets in the car to drive and then washes his hands of the team after the race. Unfortunately for Kimi, F1 and most major motorsport series do not operate under that model.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Kimi. Many speculate that he will head to the WRC, however the Red Bull F1 team may have a vacancy at the end of next season that could see him back in F1 with a winning car and a some what realistic chance to fight for the title. F1 will miss Kimi this next season, but unfortunately it is time for most drivers on the grid to realize that during these tough economic times that not everyone is willing to pay.