McLaren considered signing Kimi Raikkonen in 2012, says team principal Martin Whitmarsh, but there have been no talks - so far - with their former driver since last season.
Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion with Ferrari who is now with Lotus, is at the heart of paddock gossip with the driver market thrown into ferment by Mark Webber's decision to leave champion Red Bull for sports-car racing.
Lotus says it’s confident it can persuade him to stay once a new investment deal is secured but Raikkonen has been linked to Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren in media speculation.
“Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of his.”
Asked in an interview whether McLaren had ever considered getting Raikkonen back, Whitmarsh replied:
“Yes, we have. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment so let's see what happens.
“Last year we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn't happen,” added the team boss. “This year we've had no talks - yet.”
McLaren signed young Mexican Sergio Perez from Sauber in 2012 as a replacement for 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton once the Briton had decided to move to Mercedes.
Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion for Brawn GP, is their other driver and has been with the Woking team since 2010.
Raikkonen drove for McLaren from 2002 to 2006, when Ron Dennis was team principal, and won nine races as well as finishing second overall in 2003 and 2005.
Button and Perez are expected to stay at McLaren in 2014, despite a miserable season with neither yet to finish higher than fifth, although Button told reporters at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix that he did not yet have a signed deal.
Asked whether having two world champions on board, as McLaren did in 2012 with Hamilton and Button, might get more “positive media mileage”, Whitmarsh agreed that might be the case.
“Yes, it might do,” he replied. “We'll see. We are not talking to Kimi at the moment so let's see what happens in the driver market.
“I think one thing I have to say is that we haven't given our drivers the car we should have done this year. But they've been fantastic ambassadors and I think they deserve another go with us next year.”
Button told reporters before Sunday's race at Spa that he was happy at McLaren and expected to see out his Formula One future with the team.
McLaren will celebrate 50 years in Formula One at Monza next week and a contract renewal could come at the same time. - Reuters