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Raikkonen could walk away from Formula One

Last updated on: October 01, 2009 16:35 IST

Kimi Raikkonen has suggested he could walk away from Formula One after losing his place at Ferrari to Spain's Fernando Alonso.

"So far I have not really talked too much about what I will do next as I still have time to make my decision and I will let you know when I have," the 2007 world champion said at the Japanese Grand Prix on Thursday.

"For the moment, I haven't decided what I want to do next, whether I want to continue racing or not.

"I had a contract for next year, but now I don't, so that changes things. So maybe I race, maybe I do not," added the Finn.

Ferrari announced on Wednesday that Renault's double world champion Alonso would be joining the team next year and Raikkonen leaving, despite having a contract for 2010.

Raikkonen suggested that commercial issues had played a part in his departure, with Spanish bank Santander arriving as a major Ferrari backer.

"You can ask them (the team) but of course in F1 even if you have a contract there is always a lot of money involved and there can always be different options in life and that's what happened," he said.

"There's not just one reason for the whole thing."

The Finn has been strongly linked in the paddock rumour mill to a return to McLaren, the Mercedes-powered team he left at the end of 2006. However, McLaren sources said nothing had been agreed.

Raikkonen told reporters he had always had a good relationship with McLaren, whose second driver is Finland's Heikki Kovalainen at present, and recognised that partnering current champion Lewis Hamilton was a possibility.

"If I do decide to stay in Formula One, I wouldn't go to any of the small teams, where I would not have the chance to fight for the championship," he said.

"If I race next year, that would be my goal, otherwise there is no reason to be in Formula One. I achieved what I wanted, but if I race, then of course I want to win more races and championship titles."

The Finn has also taken part in a round of the world rally championship this year and that could be another avenue to explore.

"There's a chance to do that, but there's as much of a chance that I continue in Formula One," he said. "I will decide before the start of next year for sure."

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