Hamilton Sr: Lewis is keen on Kimi deal

LEWIS HAMILTON&rsquo;S father has rubbished suggestions the British driver does not want Kimi Raikkonen to join him at McLaren.<br /><br />Raikkonen is tipped to move to McLaren next season, having been released by Ferrari with a year left on his contract.<br /><br />Reports had suggested Lewis Hamilton was opposed to the move, but his dad Anthony Hamilton insists the pair of former world champions would make ideal colleagues.<br /><br />&ldquo;First of all I must say that neither Lewis nor I have any influence on the driver situation at McLaren,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But if world championships are needed, then Kimi is also needed by the team, in my opinion. Kimi is the best driver who is available. Lewis and Kimi would surely goad each other in the best way to improve their performances.&rdquo;<br /><br />Raikkonen&rsquo;s arrival at McLaren would mean him replacing fellow Finn Heikki Kovalainen. Anthony Hamilton said his son would not want his current team-mate to leave, but hinted he would prefer to race alongside Kovalainen&rsquo;s more illustrious compatriot. <br /><br />&ldquo;If I myself made the choice between Kimi or Heikki, I would take Kimi but I&rsquo;m not against Heikki continuing,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;We have always liked Heikki. He is a shining team-mate who does his work well. Kimi, however, is such a cool type. In my option he is the best driver that could join Lewis at McLaren next season.&rdquo;<br /><br />Raikkonen, 30, was released after three years at Ferrari to make way for the arrival of Fernando Alonso. <br /><br />Last month he said McLaren were the only team he would consider joining, but he appears in no hurry to sign another deal.<br /><br />The 2007 drivers&rsquo; champion has stressed he will only join a team that can challenge for the title, while the terms of his severance from Ferrari could be influential. <br /><br />According to reports he will earn &pound;15m, or a year&rsquo;s salary, by taking a sabbatical, while McLaren&rsquo;s offer, plus half a year&rsquo;s pay from Ferrari, would only bring home &pound;13.5m.