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GP Week : Issue 63
S THE latest rumours over the potential 2010 F1 driver line-ups were doing the rounds in Monza, with some interesting names being linked to some surprising teams. Top of the list is the very strong and persistent rumour that Kimi Raikkonen will make a surprise return to McLaren next season, to partner Lewis Hamilton. Such an idea is not out of the realms of possibility, as with former CEO Ron Dennis no longer playing a role with the McLaren F1 Team, one of the major obstacles in any potential return has already been overcome. Until recently the name most widely linked to the second McLaren seat had been that of Nico Rosberg, thanks in no small part to his German nationality pleasing McLaren partner Mercedes. With the news this week, however, that Mercedes is interested in taking a 75 percent stake in the championship- leading BrawnGP team, Rosberg is now being strongly linked with a move there to partner Jenson Button. Current Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello appears to have a fight on his hands to stay in F1 next season, regardless of whether he wins the championship, with his most likely destination believed to be Williams to partner newly-crowned GP2 Series champion Nico Hulkenberg, although departing McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen is also being spoken of to partner the German young gun at Williams. The driver market remains in flux, however, and until we have a clearer idea over Felipe Massa's expected return date for Ferrari, and a decision over the future of Fernando Alonso, we do not expect any major announcements to take place. Raikkonen back to McLaren? 6