• 2012 season

Barrichello and Sutil unmoved by Raikkonen news

ESPNF1 Staff
November 30, 2011 « Raikkonen will need time - Vettel | 'We convinced Kimi to come back' - Boullier »
Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil both have uncertain futures in Formula One © Sutton Images

Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil insist the news that Kimi Raikkonen has signed for Renault will not have a big impact on their own futures in Formula One.

The decision to sign Raikkonen leaves one less seat open on next year's grid and could also be the catalyst for other teams to name their drivers. The Renault drive was arguably the most desirable on the grid, and now that it has gone the options open to the other drivers should be more straightforward - although there is a chance another drive could come up if Vitlay Petrov's 2012 race contract is broken.

Sutil, whose seat at Force India looks under threat from Nico Hulkenberg, had been linked to Renault and he is still believed to be in the running for a place at Williams. Barrichello's best option is stay at Williams but his chances of securing a drive are looking increasingly slim.

"I am not reading anything this week since there's so much gossip," Brazil's Globo quoted Barrichello as saying. "My wife called me to say 'Just so you know, Kimi has signed (for Renault)'. I think it caught many people by surprise and me as well, but I have always said that my best chance is Williams. So my situation remains the same.

"I'm happy with what is happening to me. I appreciate the friendship of Felipe but I want to be there next year, so this time I am listening only to [Michael] Schumacher!"

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann said he had seen the Raikkonen news coming and that it would not impact his driver's negotiations.

"Since I guessed it already, it does not directly affect our future," he told DPA news agency.

However, Sutil and Barrichello face competition for a drive at Williams from test driver Valtteri Bottas, who drove for the team at the Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi.

"I think the team wanted to see what I could really do on the track," Bottas told Turun Sanomat. "I don't know whether they were looking for next year, or for the year after. It was really interesting to find out about the car and important for myself too and I noticed that I could do it quite well. If the call comes or not, I really cannot say."