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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Raikkonen 'set for Ferrari move'
Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen has failed to win a race for McLaren this season
Renault boss Flavio Briatore claims long-time target Kimi Raikkonen has agreed to join Ferrari next season as a replacement for Michael Schumacher.

Briatore had been chasing the McLaren driver to take over from world champion Fernando Alonso for the 2007 campaign.

But he says Raikkonen will partner Felipe Massa at Ferrari, a move that has been widely expected for some time.

"Kimi chose to sign this pre-contract with Ferrari. Good luck. We will try to beat him next year," said Briatore.

"You try to do whatever you think is the best. For me Raikkonen was committed very early with Ferrari and the fact, we believe, next year he is driving for Ferrari with Massa takes away that option.

"We tried for Raikkonen but that was not possible.

People keep saying Kovalainen has no experience but this is utter rubbish

Flavio Briatore

"For me the dream was Fernando and Kimi but what is not possible is not possible."

Ferrari will announce their 2007 driver line-up after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

After missing out on Raikkonen, Briatore decided to promote rookie Heikki Kovalainen to take Alonso's drive - a move he has fiercely defended.

Briatore could have signed Juan Pablo Montoya, who is leaving McLaren for Nascar, but opted to sign the Finn who has been testing for the team since 2004 and is their back-up driver this season.

"With Fernando leaving we looked away and felt we needed new blood to beat what exists in Formula One," added Briatore.

"People keep saying Kovalainen has no experience but this is utter rubbish - Montoya had experience but he is not in Formula One anymore.

"We had the possibility to take a name driver, Montoya was available but we are not looking for a name."



SEE ALSO
Ferrari set blistering Monza pace
08 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Schumi is fully focused - Alonso
07 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Briatore to reduce Renault role
07 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Kovalainen to take Alonso's drive
06 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Renault keen on signing Raikkonen
19 Jul 06 |  Formula One
Raikkonen keeps his options open
04 May 06 |  Formula One
Raikkonen 'to replace Schumacher'
03 Sep 05 |  Formula One


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