Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen will take a sabbatical from Formula One next year, according to his manager.
Raikkonen said last month that, in the wake of being released from his Ferrari contract, his only option to remain in F1 was with McLaren - because he wanted to be guaranteed a top-line grand prix car.
However, amid increasing speculation that Jenson Button is on his way to the British team, Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson has revealed that discussions with McLaren have come to an end.
"The options in F1 were with McLaren next season or not at all," Robertson was quoted as saying by respected Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, which has close links with the Raikkonen camp. "Kimi and McLaren were unable to reach an agreement, so he will not drive at the F1 level - at least not next year.
"A gap year means nothing for Kimi. He is more interested in fighting for wins and the world championship. F1 will miss Kimi. He worked hard over the summer - doing things in a Ferrari that only the best drivers are capable of."
Autosport.com is reporting that Raikkonen's negotiations with McLaren failed due to a difference of opinion about wages, the number of sponsorship appearance days he should do, or about how free he was to do rallies.