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Raikkonen not ruling out F1 return

Kimi Raikkonen has refused to rule out replacing the injured Robert Kubica at Renault.

Having launched his own world rally entry Ice1 for 2011, the 2007 world champion is already in Sweden for the season opener.

Moreover, after negotiations with Renault broke down spectacularly mid last season, Renault team boss Eric Boullier dismissed the latest rumours about Raikkonen as “pure speculation”.

“We spoke to Kimi last year,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.  “He told us that he would rather stay in rallying.  So he was no longer considered after that.”

Nick Heidfeld is trying out for the seat at the Jerez test this week, with Boullier naming Pedro de la Rosa and Vitantonio Liuzzi as the secondary candidates.

But when asked if he is set to shock the F1 world with a return to F1 in the short-term, 31-year-old Raikkonen was quoted by Finnish broadcaster MTV3: “That’s hard to say.”