OCTOBER 25, 2011
Raikkonen talk gathers strength
The word on the street is that Kimi Raikkonen is now favourite to join Pastor Maldonado at Williams next year.
The 2007 world champion and his advisors are known to have had talks with Williams some time ago but the Finn's return is believed to hinge on a sponsorship deal that will bring income to the team and pay Raikkonen a decent salary.
It has emerged that the team's attempts to pull off the Raikkonen coup are linked to backing from the Qatar National Bank as a major sponsor.
The Brazilian media, with Rubens Barrichello's interests close at heart, are monitoring the situation carefully and revealed at the weekend that Frank Williams has recently spent time personally in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Williams, of course, already has business interests in Qatar but many will remember that it was backing from that part of the world that launched the team on its route to the top more than 30 years ago.