Renault is understood to have held discussions with 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen regarding a potential switch to the French outfit next year – in a move that could at the same time earn the Régie a title sponsorship deal with mobile 'phone company Nokia.
Rumours circulating in France suggest that Raikkonen – who looks set to be out of a drive at Ferrari in 2010 in favour of current Renault incumbent Fernando Alonso, should the Scuderia manage to successfully negotiate the Finn's €25 million pay-off for terminating his existing contract a year early – could do what would be effectively a straight swap with his fellow former title-winner.
However, it is believed that the 29-year-old has already refused an offer of a €45 million, multi-year agreement – but it is also claimed that Nokia might join the Enstone-based operation regardless. Renault is seeking a new chief backer after Dutch banking organisation ING announced earlier this year that it will not be renewing its deal with the team.
Nokia – which is also Finnish – last appeared in the top flight when it sponsored Tyrrell back in 1995, with a home-grown driver on-board in the shape of Raikkonen's countryman Mika Salo.
There remain whispers inside the F1 paddock that Alonso could be announced as a Ferrari driver in 2010 during the weekend of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in just over a week's time.