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Raikkonen has approached Renault - Boullier

ESPNF1 Staff
September 14, 2010 « Toro Rosso hoping to race F-duct in Singapore | »

Kimi Raikkonen has approached Renault about returning to Formula One next year, according to a report on Autosport.com.

The 2007 world champion is currently competing in the World Rally Championship but Renault team principal Eric Boullier confirmed to the website that "he is on the radar [for 2011] because he contacted us".

Raikkonen has been linked to a Renault drive all summer but said in August that he would "probably never return to Formula One". However, his current Red Bull-backed contract with Citroen in the WRC is set to expire at the end of the season, leaving him free to pursue other options.

Boullier indicated that he had received several offers from drivers as Renault's results improved over the season, but was still weighing up his options. Raikkonen has made clear on several occasions that he will only return to F1 with a team that can be competitive.

With Kubica confirmed at Renault until 2012, Raikkonen would replace under-pressure rookie Vitaly Petrov. Boullier has said recently that Petrov's future is in his own hands but, after crashing in qualifying in Belgium and receiving a five-place grid penalty for blocking at Monza, an extension of his contract is far from certain.

French publication Auto Plus has reported that Petrov could be offloaded to Lotus, set to use Renault engines next year, to make way for Raikkonen.

"I will be in F1 in 2011," said Petrov. "Hopefully, when I come here next year I won't need to learn anything."

Virgin's Timo Glock and Force India's Adrian Sutil have also been linked to Renault over the course of the season.