Reports are doing the rounds in the Monaco paddock claiming that Ferrari veteran Kimi Raikkonen will turn his back on Formula 1 at the end of the year and return to World Rally Championship (WRC) with Toyota in 2019.
Raikkonen, who was Ferrari’s last F1 World Champion in 2007, is reportedly keen to move on after a Formula 1 career that began at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, but feels he has unfinished business in the world of rallying where he tried his hand during his sabbatical in 2009 and now has an itch to return.
Word in rally circles is that the Finn has had talks with regards to a 2019 WRC campaign with Toyota whose rally boss Tommi Mäkinen would not be averse to having the Ferrari star driving a 380 bhp Yaris WRC.
Makinen is at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, hosted on Raikkonen’s private yacht.
Insiders revealed that the Finn has long since opted to ditch Formula 1 and change to WRC, a plan that has apparently been in place for some time now, although Ferrari do not officially know about these developments.
While it is well known that, at Maranello, Raikkonen’s future beyond this year has not yet been decided and thus uncertain, however, it appears the Finn has decided for them because he wants to return to the WRC where he spent a couple of years (2010-2011) with Citroen but with little success.
Ilta-Sanomat were the first to run the report followed by Auto Motor und Sport who published a similar story – claiming it to be exclusive – but have since removed the report.