Cover Image for Ferrari sponsors were ready to pay $25 Million to McLaren to give Kimi Raikkonen F1 seat

Ferrari sponsors were ready to pay $25 Million to McLaren to give Kimi Raikkonen F1 seat

Tanish Chachra
|Sat Aug 13 2022

Ferrari sponsors Santander were ready to pay $25 Million to McLaren to propel them to hire Kimi Raikkonen in the F1 team back in 2010.

n 2010, Ferrari planned to separate with Kimi Raikkonen. The Maranello-based team wanted to replace him with Fernando Alonso, who was at the peak of his career.

Meanwhile, Ferrari decided to buy him out of his contract, and if Raikkonen had got another F1 seat in 2010, he would have got $10 million compensation from them.

But if he had failed to get one, he would have got $17 million compensation. Raikkonen’s entourage sincerely tried to find a viable option for the Iceman without any greed for Ferrari’s money.

There were talks of him going to McLaren. However, more players involved in the picture wanted Raikkonen away from Ferrari. According to Germany’s Sport Bild, Ferrari’s sponsors Santander also tried to lobby for Raikkonen’s move to McLaren.

The Spanish bank was so keen to make room for Alonso at Ferrari that they offered McLaren $25 million if they could give a seat to Raikkonen.

McLaren lowballed with Kimi Raikkonen

Meanwhile, McLaren didn’t play it fairly with the Iceman. They tried to lowball with him and offered only a $5 million per year contract. Raikkonen outright rejected this offer and found taking a sabbatical from F1 more beneficial.

The Finnish race driver had offers from other teams like Toyota and Honda. But he waited for McLaren to come up with something better. Though, the British team went with Jenson Button, ending Raikkonen’s will to race in 2010.

Raikkonen returned to F1 with Lotus in 2012. The Finnish, upon his return, was so good that it nearly bankrupted them, as the bonuses’ clauses seemed unrealistic. Still, Raikkonen majorly aced with his car, and Lotus owed him massive money.

This financial conflict drifted Raikkonen away from them. This followed a return to Ferrari in 2014, where he served them for the next five years until Charles Leclerc replaced him in 2019.

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