Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen keen to try World Rallycross
Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen says he would like to try World Rallycross at some point in the future.
The 2007 F1 world champion previously dabbled in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR when he took a sabbatical from grand prix racing in 2010-11.
Rallycross has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, attracting the likes of 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve and Audi DTM ace Mattias Ekstrom to the ranks of the new FIA world championship.
Speaking to reporters during the recent Austrian Grand Prix, Raikkonen said he would be open to sampling this branch of the sport.
"Rallycross would be very nice to try, it looks good fun – similar to rally but against each other," said the Finn.
"Obviously I enjoyed rallying a lot, it’s a very difficult sport and a good challenge.
"I think it’s good to do different things because you always learn something and it’s good fun also."
Raikkonen’s Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso said during the Austrian GP that he plans to race at Le Mans after his F1 career is finished, while Raikkonen, who tested a Peugeot 908 LMP1 car in 2011, said Le Mans would be "on top of the list" of other races for him to do besides F1.
"Obviously I enjoy racing and Le Mans is one of the things that would be on top of the list, because it’s a very famous race," Raikkonen added.
"We have to see what happens in the future, but for sure there is some interest to do that race."
Kimi lo spericolato: cross, motoslitte e un altro mondiale
Raikkonen è un appassionato di velocità a 360°: il prossimo anno il suo team sarà protagonista del Campionato MX1 di motocross e cercherà di strappare il titolo a Tony Cairoli. E anche il neo ferrarista non disdegna le acrobazie in sella.
Kimi Raikkonen è un personaggio che ama la velocità in tutte le sue definizioni. La Formula 1 ovviamente è la punta dell’iceberg, ma in passato il neo pilota della Ferrari ha cercato l’adrenalina anche nei rally, in Nascar, con il motocross e addirittura con le motoslitte,
Nel 2011, Kimi fondò l’Ice 1 Racing, team con cui partecipò al Mondiale WRC in partnership con la Citroen. Tornato in Formula 1, il finlandese decise di puntare sull’altro grande amore, quello del motocross. Guidato dal sette volte iridato in enduro, Kari Tianen, il team ha partecipato all’ultimo campionato del mondo MX1 con il portoghese Rui Gonçalves, che ha totalizzato 240 punti (13° in classifica generale), salendo anche due volte sul podio, e con il francese Xavier Boog.
Dalla prossima stagione però, Raikkonen farà sul serio. Grazie anche all’importante sponsorizzazione della Red Bull, il finlandese alza il tiro. Ice 1 infatti ha ingaggiato il sudafricano Tyla Rattray, già campione del mondo nella classe MX2, e il promettente australiano Todd Waters. I due saranno dotati di moto Husqvarna, una leggenda nel settore, per contendere il titolo al nostro Tony Cairoli.
Lo stesso Kimi non disdegna qualche acrobazia in sella alla moto da cross, come dimostra il video qui sotto, girato lo scorso aprile pochi giorni prima dal Gp di Cina. Chissà se a Maranello avranno inserito nel contratto qualche clausola restrittiva sugli hobby ‘spericolati’ dell’ex iridato…
An enigma known as Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Matias Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion, evokes mixed response from people both inside and outside Formula 1. But, those who have known him closely have nice things to say about him, Jean Todt, The current FIA President has been quoted saying, “He is a genuine and sincere lad.
I have always liked him both as a driver and in terms of the way he is out of the cockpit; always remaining the same in what is the difficult world of Formula 1″. The current Ferrari Team Principle Stefano Domenicali has this to say (some sarcasm mixed with praise), “It has to be said also that Kimi is unbelievable. He’s so focused in his work. Nothing else other than his work”. But, some have questions regarding Kimi’s commitment to give his 100% whenever he races.
In 2010, when Kimi “supposedly” contacted the then Renault Team Principle Eric Boullier for a racing seat, Eric had said, “I would have to speak personally with him first, look him in the eyes to see if I see enough motivation there for him to return to F1. It doesn’t make sense to hire somebody, even a former world champion, if you cannot be sure that his motivation is still 100%. Why should you invest in somebody who leaves you guessing?
So, why does Kimi evoke such mixed response? Let’s take a look at his career in Formula 1 and try to find out.
Kimi started his Formula 1 career in 2001 with Sauber. His signing by the then Sauber Team principle, Peter Sauber came into critisim because of Kimi’s lack of experience, he had only 23 races to his credit at the time of signing the contract. Kimi had primarily raced in junior open-wheel category races.
He won the British Formula Renault winter series of 1999. In 2000, he won seven out of ten events in the Formula Renault UK Championship. But, this wasn’t enough for a F1 Super License, which every driver who wants to enter Formula 1 has to possess.
Nonetheless, he was granted the license, most likely by the lobbying of Peter Sauber who had immense faith in him. Kimi did not let Peter Sauber down, he scored his first championship point in his debut race at Australian Grand Prix in 2001 itself. Is is reportedly said that Kimi was asleep until 30 minutes before the race!
However, Kimi had a fruitful debut season, scoring points in four races and finishing in the top eight eight times. He along with team mate Nick Heidfeld helped Sauber to secure fourth place in the constructors’ championship, Sauber’s best result ever.
In 2002, Kimi joined Mclaren replacing his countrymen and mentor Mika Hakkinen. He would go on and race for Mclaren for four more years until 2006, where each season he was troubled by constant reliability issues with his car. In 2003 he came within two points of winning the World Championship from Schumacher. He lost out mainly due to unreliability of the Mclaren.
Again in 2005, he lost the championship to Alonso from 21 points, Mclaren’s unreliable package again playing the spoilsport. Raikkonen raised the possibility that he might leave McLaren when his contract expired in 2006 if reliability issues were not solved. 2006 continued in the same fashion, where Raikkonen had to retire from 6 races.
The only consolation being that Raikkonen was adjudged “Driver of the Year” from F1 Racing magazine and “International Racing Driver of the Year” from Autosport magazine. Even after facing so many technical problems with his car Raikkonen didn’t loose his focus, each time he was in a favourable position to win the race, he went ahead and won it.
Perhaps, this quality of his led Mclaren Team Principle Ron Dennis to famously call him as the “Iceman” for his steely determination and for his ability to stay cool headed during tense situations. In all he had retired an astounding 31 times out of 88 races during his tenure with Mclaren. This roughly translates to a situation where Raikkonen had to retire once in every three races that he competed! Naturally, in search of a reliable car, Raikkonen switched teams and joined Ferrari in 2007.
Finally in 2007 Raikkonen joined Ferrari replacing the retiring Schumacher on a three year contract. Raikkonen had negotiated a deal with Ferrari with a base salary of $51 million annually which made him the world’s highest salaried star in any team sport. The first season with Ferrari was fantastic for Raikkonen as he beat Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in a scintillating Brazilian Grand Prix to clinch his first Drivers’ World Championship. But the subsequent two years were not as good as Raikkonen would have hoped for.
In 2009 he came under heavy criticism from Ferrari for his passive behaviour, Ferrari felt that Raikkonen was not committed in giving his 100% to achieve the objectives of the team. The best example for this would be the Malaysian Grand Prix, where due to a technical glitch Ferrari called Raikkonen into the pits to try and workout the issue and send him back on track again.
But Raikkonen, being the guy is he is went straight into the garage, took off his race gear, hit the shower, grabbed a coke and an ice cream! In the meanwhile in an uncoordinated effort and a PR person’s nightmare, Ferrari President Luca Di di Montezemolo was addressing the press at the same time stating that they might get Kimi’s car ready for the restart!
While the images of Kimi relaxing in his shorts were rolling over the screen! Ferrari were deeply embarrassed over this incident and by that point had pretty much decided on bringing Alonso into Ferrari for the 2010 season and dumping Raikkonen by paying his contract out (he still had a contract for 2010 with Ferrari).
It is here that, if I may say so, a “grumpy” Kimi Raikkonen came out. He was perceived to be careless, not wanting to be surrounded by reporters, not wanting to give interviews, even when he gave interviews his answers were robotic and monotonous . He even was not comfortable attending the events organized by the sponsors, which is so critical in Formula 1. No one would dare to disappoint the sponsors, but this was Kimi! In short, he just wanted to be left alone!
No one knows why Raikkonen felt this way. So, the “Iceman” we had here was not the one described by Ron Dennis, but was the one who was cold and snobbish, giving the impression that he had lost his desire for the sport. There were reports that Raikkonen had discussions with some teams for a possible race seat for 2010, but nothing really materialized. Later, Raikkonen announced that he will not be taking part in the 2010 season of Formula 1.
Raikkonen then went on to try his luck with Rallying. But fared miserably there. He even competed in NASCAR debuting for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But he couldn’t replicate his success in Formula 1 in any other motorsport.
Finally in 2012, Raikkonen came back to Formula 1 by signing a two year contract with Lotus. Lotus Team Principle Eric Boullier must have felt Raikkonen was really committed this time! (Pun intended, in reference to the quote from him mentioned in the first paragraph). In his come back season, Raikkonen was highly successful, scoring seven podiums including a win in Abu Dhabi. He ended third in the Drivers’ World Championship. 2013 has been even better so far, where Raikkonen achieved the feat of having finished in the points for the 25th consecutive race, breaking Schumacher’s record.
Clearly, Raikkonen has got his “Mojo” back. Whatever was bugging him when he left Formula 1 is not bugging him anymore. Ferrari who forced him out of their team in 2009, welcomed him with open arms with a two year deal, which he accepted gladly, making it a grand home coming of sorts for Raikkonen. However, it will be interesting to see how he cops with Fernando Alonso as his partner at Ferrari in 2014.
We all knew what kind of a person Raikkonen was since he came to Formula 1. It is just that when his form dipped, his bizarre antics were highlighted. Raikkonen is basically a person who comes, does his job to the best of his ability and then just does whatever the hell he wants!
One major example is the Monaco Grand Prix where after he retired from the race, unlike other drivers’ he didn’t head back to the garage to explain what happened, he just simply walked off the track and onto the dock in his full race gear to get on a yacht, then a couple of minutes later was pictured in the hot tub, drinking beer!
To finally conclude, isn’t this “I don’t care!” attitude what attracted us fans towards Raikkonen in the first place? We loved it when he said, “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” to his team over radio. We love his answers in interviews even though it looks as if he’s answering just because he to! He has a personality that’s rare in Formula 1 and draws fans in large numbers. If a popularity contest is conducted among the current drivers’ in Formula 1, Raikkonen may well top it!
Stay the way you are Kimi, we love you that way!
Rally made Raikkonen better F1 driver says Solberg
Kimi Raikkonen’s rallying foray made him a better Formula One driver.
That is the claim of 2003 world rally champion Petter Solberg, who got to know the ‘iceman’ during his two-year F1 sabbatical in 2010 and 2011.
Finn Raikkonen returned to F1 with Lotus last season, impressing the grand prix world yet again after his career had flat-lined in his final two years at Ferrari.
“I know Kimi and I believe that the rally made him a better Formula One driver,” Solberg told the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).
Like many observers, Solberg thinks Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari next year, where he will become current ‘number 1′ Fernando Alonso’s teammate, will be interesting to watch.
“Alonso will certainly not like it,” Solberg said of Raikkonen’s impending move.
“But Kimi is cool,” he added. “He drives the car, and that’s it.”
Former Ferrari boss Cesare Fiorio said last week he would not have signed Raikkonen.
“I admire his talent, but not his lifestyle or his technical work,” he is quoted by Italy’s Tuttosport.
But another former Ferrari boss, the current FIA president Jean Todt, backed the decision taken by the Maranello team’s current chiefs.
“Ferrari is a Formula One institution, and very strong,” he told the Italpress agency, “and I am absolutely certain they will also be at the highest level in the coming years.”
As for signing Raikkonen, “Ferrari has always known how to make the right decisions,” Todt insisted.
Kimi comes back to rallying
Kimi Raikkonen will squeeze in a rally in between the Spanish and Monaco grands prix next month – but sadly he won’t be competing. Or will he?
The 2007 Formula One World Champion – who competed full-time in the WRC from 2010-2011 – will be attending the start of the 15th anniversary Gumball Rally, which starts from Copenhagen on May 18th. After that, we’ll have to wait and see.
The Gumball Rally isn’t quite rallying as we know it: instead it’s all about a load of supercars driving around Europe – a bit like the Carrera Panamericana, but with better parties. As one team’s motto puts it: “we don’t drive fast, we fly low.” But as it’s all on public roads, officially there is no competitive element.
And while Kimi isn’t taking part, he has some very good friends who are: car number 34’s team description is simply: “four crazy Finns.” The Finns in question are the ‘Dudeson brothers’: four Finnish stuntmen with their own TV show, which is broadly the equivalent of Jackass.
The first stage is from Copenhagen to Stockholm, followed by a stage from Stockholm to Helsinki – and rumours keep persisting that car 34 might have an unscheduled guest driver on the opening leg…
Other confirmed drivers for the Gumball include the legend that is David Hasselhoff and a car crewed by members of the band Cypress Hill, as well as professional skier Jon Olsson.
The Gumball 3000 finishes in Monaco, after going via St Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Warsaw and Vienna.
Kimi Räikkönen keen to make ‘fun’ rally return after F1
Kimi Raikkonen is keen to return to rallying "for fun" after his Formula 1 career is over.
The 32-year-old Finn has no plans to walk away from grand prix racing and has impressed on his comeback after two years competing in the World Rally Championship.
But when his time in F1 does come to an end in the future, he wants to try his hand at rallying again.
"I will do it for fun," Raikkonen told AUTOSPORT. "The one reason why I wanted to do it in the first place was to see if I can do it or not.
"I’m a big fan of it and I always thought it was so difficult that I wanted to see what happens.
"I still want to improve in it and try to do well. It’s something that, when I’m a bit older, I can do and have fun with. I will definitely do it when I have more time.
"I enjoy both [rallying and F1]. I would like to do both of them at the same time but because of timetables, schedules and other reasons it’s not possible."
Raikkonen denied the suggestion that his return to F1 was indicative that he has lost interest in rallying.
But Raikkonen did admit that he missed the wheel-to-wheel aspect of racing.
"It’s not that I lost interest in rallying," said Raikkonen. "It’s just that I’ve always raced in my life and when you race against each other it’s different to just doing times.
"I enjoy racing against people. It’s why I came back, to have a fight against others.
"It’s completely different to last year in rallying. When I did NASCAR [in 2011] I enjoyed it a lot and even though it is very different to F1, it’s still racing against each other.
"I had a good time. I kind of missed it [racing]."
Raikkonen and rallying: Why it’s not over yet
It was a cold, crispy day in Andalusia: not a sentence that you read too frequently about a region that is nicknamed ‘the frying pan of Spain’. And suddenly, it got a lot colder: icy cold in fact.
What had caused the chill was the arrival – or to be strictly accurate, the return – of the Iceman. After two years of the World Rally Championship, Kimi Raikkonen was back in Formula 1 – and straight away he topped the timesheets at the very first test in Jerez. In fact, Raikkonen was one of only two drivers to go fastest during two of the 12 days of pre-season testing.
What does this tell you? Firstly that in terms of raw talent, there is no one out there faster than Raikkonen. Secondly, that rallying is an even bigger technical challenge than circuit racing – but one that still prepares you perfectly for the split second demands of F1.
The reasons why Kimi decided not to continue in the WRC this year were largely financial (but born out of economy rather than avarice): in F1 he is earning money – and enough of it – rather than spending in the WRC. In many ways, it’s easier to get a paid drive in F1 than the WRC at the moment, ridiculous as it sounds. But this only underlines the quality of the drivers who make it to the top of the sport.
For Kimi, rallying is very much unfinished business. Far from turning his back on rallying, Kimi is very keen to come back – and he may even do a few events while he is driving in F1. There are no grands prix on during Rally Finland weekend this year after all…
And Kimi, being the free spirit that he is, will only have signed a deal with Lotus (formerly Renault) on his own terms – allowing him to do what he wants, exactly when he wants to, just as he has always done. For a taste of that, people in the UK should watch Top Gear this weekend. It’s the Iceman at his brilliant best, demonstrating that he can be just as quick in a Reasonably Priced Car as he can in a 500,000 Euro World Rally Car.
"I really enjoyed rallying and I know that I always will," he says. "The decision I made to go back to Formula 1 was not because I didn’t like rallying anymore. It’s the biggest challenge that I have ever done. From when I was growing up, I always had a lot of respect for rally drivers. And now, I think that respect is even bigger."
Let’s just be thankful that Kimi turned down the lucrative offer he received to drive in NASCAR, which would have made it practically impossible for him to sit in a rally car at all (because of the 30-plus weekends of racing a year, rather than the oversized burgers).
As it is, we’ve not seen the last of the Iceman yet. Expect him back sooner rather than later…
Räikkönen avrebbe dovuto proseguire nel WRC
Mikko Hirvonen pensa che Kimi Räikkönen avrebbe potuto avere successo nel campionato del mondo rally se avesse perseverato. Il finlandese crede che il suo compatriota avrebbe potuto anche diventare campione del mondo col tempo.
“Nel giro di qualche anno, forse sì”, ha dichiarato Hirvonen al canale finlandese MTV3 durante la preparazione del rally di Montecarlo con Citroen, l’ex squadra di Räikkönen. “Ho parlato con gli ingegneri che si occupavano di Kimi e mi hanno detto che lui era veloce quanto i migliori piloti. Il suo punto debole non era il talento al volante ma piuttosto la stesura delle note. Avrebbe dovuto proseguire”.
Si sa poi cos’è accaduto: Räikkönen ha finalmente scelto di tornare in F1 con la Lotus Renault GP.
Mikko non ha potuto poi risparmiare una battuta quando gli hanno chiesto se userà una vecchia DS3 WRC guidata da Räikkönen nel 2011. “Ah sì? Credete ne sia rimasta qualcuna che non abbia distrutto?” ha scherzato il pilota finlandese.
If Kimi comes back, isn’t that something to celebrate?
"If I owned a team and Kimi Raikkonen was available, I wouldn’t take him on," wrote Jacques Villeneuve in his F1 Racing column back in March. "Why would a team want to take on someone who wasn’t interested in being there?"
He may well want to ask his former boss and fellow columnist Frank Williams. It’s a fact that Kimi’s been to Grove and, as we were working on this month’s cover feature, the word was that Kimi had already discussed the thorny issue of PR days with them – and apparently agreed to do more than he had for any other team. Kimi’s mood seems to have shifted: he’s always had the air of someone who’d only come back with a top team yet now he’s seemingly open to offers from the lower midfield.
Ultimately, most fans would love to have Kimi back. But Villeneuve’s view – which is shared by others – is that Raikkonen’s behaviour was not heroically anti-establishment but disrespectful to fans. Really? When a driver gets out of the car and thanks his sponsors before the people who’ve paid their hard-earned cash to come and watch, isn’t that sort of depressingly corporate behaviour just as disrespectful? If a gifted racing driver who’s fond of the odd choc ice and dressing up as a gorilla while jet-skiing wants to come back, surely we should roll out the red carpet and relish seeing whether he’s still got it on the track. F1 doesn’t need any more robots, but colourful ex-world champions are in short supply.
Kimi charmed by WRC media
The media often get a bad press (which is ironic if you think about it) but Kimi Raikkonen reckons that the way the World Rally Championship is covered is one of the best things about it.
In Formula One, it’s fair to say that Kimi and the media weren’t always the best of friends. Because of that, he’s always been somewhat wary of people twisting his words.
In the WRC though, that’s starting to change. “I got the feeling last year from the start that the people who are involved in the rally media are more interested just in the sport and what is happening on the stages, rather than creating bullshit stories with big headlines outside of it,” said the Iceman. “The F1 journalists write more about other things than the sport sometimes. There’s less of that in rallying, it’s a different way of thinking.”
Whether or not the unparalleled charm of the international WRC press corps is going to be enough to keep Kimi in the world championship remains to be seen, but the former grand prix champion admits that it’s been a lot easier this year compared to 2010.
“It definitely comes more naturally,” he said. “Once you get onto the level where it feels normal and you don’t have to think about it you can push harder and you can improve a lot. Now I don’t have to think about the notes. Compared to last year, it’s completely different.”
The Iceman cometh back
He left F1 at the end of 2009 to try his hand at rallying and even NASCAR trucks. Now, after all the endless speculation, you can hear it exclusively from the man himself: Kimi Raikkonen wants to return. The question is… where to?
Kmi Raikkonen, despite a widespread reputation to the contrary, is not an enigma. In fact, he is one of the most straightforward yet misunderstood characters in motor racing. All he wants to do is win – in the most efficient way possible. What could be more logical than that?
But some people make the mistake of confusing a lack of communication with a lack of motivation when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. What is perceived to be a monosyllabic outlook on life (once prompting paddock magazine The Red Bulletin to produce a photo feature called ‘The 12 moods of Kimi Raikkonen’ – the catch being that all 12 photos were identical) is not even true: Kimi has plenty to say when he believes that there is something worthwhile to say or – more pertinently – something worthwhile to respond to.
The problem with polite conversation is that it’s meaningless. Let’s be honest: nobody is ever really interested in the weather or how your journey was. And this is just the normal world we’re talking about: imagine what it’s like in the rarefied atmosphere of Formula 1 where the air is as rendolent with self-absorption as it is with designer aftershave and there are more hidden agendas than in the cellar of a stationary shop.
So Kimi prefers to maintain a dignified silence about the recent flurry of speculation that has linked him to various Formula 1 teams – although he admits that a move back is possible. But lots of things are possible, including life on Mars, and the truth of the matter is that nothing has been agreed for 2012. Kimi Raikkonen’s diary for next year is blank… for the moment at least.
"For now there’s really nothing and before I have anything 100 per cent confirmed, there’s no point in talking," he points out with his characteristic honesty. Part of the reason why Kimi doesn’t always say very much is because he doesn’t like lying.
The currency of Formula 1 – much to Kimi’s bemusement – is rumour. You have two choices: either play the game, fuel the fire and start the gradual process of disappearing up your own rectum, or stay well out of it. But there is a third option, too: just say what you mean and try to rise above the politicking. However, a problem exists with that as well. Chances are that whatever you say, someone at some point will try to use it against you. The effort would be far better invested in the driving, which of course is the only reason why you’re here in the first place.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Räikkönen is training with full steam
The speculations in the world about the comeback of Kimi Räikkönen to F1-tracks would at least not fall short on the physical side.
Mark Arnall who has for the last nine years taken care of Räikkönen’s physics and wellbeing, knows what F1 demands from the physics and what rally demands from the physics. He assures that Räikkönen is in a good condition.
– In rally you don’t need as intensive training as F1-driving demands. That’s why the programs are slightly different.
– Kimi raced all the time and trained accordingly. Kimi is a sportsman who likes to train and doesn’t try to skip it, Arnall tells ‘suspicious judges’.
– Generally speaking anybody who has sometimes been in the prime of their life, they never have to start from scratch again in order to lift up their physical condition to a higher level.
Arnall knows what he is talking about. He has a wide experience from working with sportsmen from different genres.
– When I was in Surrey University there was also Allan Wells, 100 meter sprinter who won Gold in the Olympics in 1980. When our paths crossed I worked with Allan although he wasn’t running any longer. Allan is not a young man anymore but he is still in excellent condition. If a physical condition has been taken care of the right way, then it’s valuable.
Different driving position, different strain
Räikkönen left F1 two years ago in November 2009.
– The biggest difference between F1- and rally-driving is the driving position and how different muscles are strained, Arnall compares.
– Generally speaking training in F1 compared to rally differs because of it’s intensity. A F1-driver has to always be in a really good stitch. Hence rally is in a certain way easier for the body than F1 is.
– If Kimi would go back to a F1-car, then the biggest work would be the process of strenghtening his neck muscles. He hasn’t had that for two years. His neck muscles aren’t the same as they were during his F1-season.
– However it’s not a question of them not being restored. The situation is the same as when a F1-driver has a three months break between the seasons. When you go back to the winter testing the neck is always sore after the first day. You can’t really train the neck muscles other than by driving. You get those muscles only by driving.
– Endurance, strenght and muscles will come back. Kimi has all along been training with the mindset of someday driving in F1 again. I can assure that he is in a good condition, Arnall emphasizes.
Da Autosprint n.38 del 20/9/2011:
Kimi bis? Meglio di no
Ci sono notizie che forse non sono tali e però si alimentano da sole.Hanno,cioè,un giustificazione logica a prescindere dal fondamento.
Ho letto anche io le indiscrezioni sulla visita di Kimi Raikkonen alla sede della Williams.
Non mi sono stupito.
Se uno prende l’elenco dei campioni del mondo di F1 dal 2000 in poi, nota ovviamente che stanno tutti in pista.
E’ dunque perfettamente normale che qualcuno (ieri la Renault, oggi la Williams) possa pensare al biondino.
La domanda,però, è un’altra.
Cioè:ne vale la pena?
Io non ho cambiato idea, per capirci, a proposito del ritorno del Vecchio Zio. Ero contrario, a fine 2009.
Oggi mi entusiasmo anche io per le prestazioni stile Spa e Monza, ci mancherebbe.
Ma siamo sempre lì.
Stiamo parlando di un Campionissimo che si sbatte per arrivare quinto.Quinto.
Tanto di cappello per la passione,per il talento che non sbiadisce, eccetera. Ma poi? Una volta che ci siamo detti tutto il bello e il buono sul personaggio, non è che stiamo celebrando una sequenza di trionfi.
Per Kimi, secondo me, vale lo stesso discorso.
Che abbia nel Dna il gusto per la velocità, è indubbio. Solo chi ama il volante va a correre nei rally o addirittura con i camioncini della Nascar. E non contano i risultati,così come non aveva senso valutare i piazzamenti di Schumi in superbike.
Dopo di che.
Dopo di che, Raikkonen è uno dei migliori ‘manici’ che abbia avuto modo di vedere all’opera. Nella prima decade del nuovo millennio, è stato uno dei più bravi. E resta mia opinione che se la Ferrari lo avesse tenuto a far coppia con Alonso, beh,nell’ultimo biennio le Rosse avrebbero vinto di più.
Ma ha senso che Kimi si ripresenti ai box senza trovare posto in un top team?
La lezione di Schumi non serve?
Sarà un caso che Prost, nel 1993,sia rientrato con la Williams?
E Lauda, nel 1982, si ripresentò con la McLaren, che stava avviando un ciclo clamoroso.
La Williams del 2012 sarebbe paragonabile?
Oddio, ci sta tutto, nella vita.
Ma un campione del mondo (e che campione del mondo!) non può rischiare di ritrovarsi a lottare, senza sua colpa, con la Hrt. E nemmeno con la Force India, sia pure nel glorioso ricordo di Spa2009…
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Free Mr. Räikkönen is open to all offers
Kimi Räikkönen is known for not living in the past – still the 31-year old racer hasn’t yet grabbed his future either.
At the eve of Germany rally Räikkönen managed to walk around every pitfall when interviewed by Turun Sanomat.
Räikkönen says he is satisfied with his development during the second year in WRC. He has five rallies behind him and five positions on WC-points.
– It has been a little more easier than it was before. We have lost a few positions when we had the tyre puncture in Jordan and crashed into a fence in Jyväskylä. The best is that we have progressed in time from last year, Räikkönen estimates.
How will the development proceed if Räikkönen drives WRC-rallies for the third season?
– Time will tell, he says.
Then how open is Räikkönen’s next year?
– There are no plans.
Then is there something that you at least have ruled out of your options?
– Useless to ask, Räikkönen grins.
You aren’t planning on stopping your driving career, are you?
– I don’t know. It’s useless for you to ask. Even though you would ask me in a hundred different ways, the reply won’t change. When you don’t know it yourself, then there aren’t many others who know either, Räikkönen insists.
Then what would you still want to do – Le Mans 24 hours or perhaps the Dakar-rally?
– It could be really cool to drive Le Mans. But if you are going to drive it, then you also have to drive a few races as a test and the schedules can become tricky. If I would go for example with Peugeot to Le Mans, then I would have to drive at least three test races.
– I haven’t even thought of something like Dakar. It could also be a cool experience but I don’t have any urge to go there. I’m sure it would be very different, although I don’t know since I haven’t been there.
Bonus points an offer in Germany
Lets go back to rally.
A year ago in Germany Räikkönen achieved his first rally merit when being the fastest on the last SS. This year that same 4,37 kilometer long Trier’s Circus Maximus SS will give power stage points to the three fastest.
Räikkönen has been driving with his own Citroen DN3 WRC -car only a day on tarmac when testing. He doesn’t start specifying his expectations.
– There could have been a little more testing. Now we more or less try out things here. We’ll see soon how the rally takes off. There is a small bit of real tarmac too, although the surfaces are mostly somekind of beton.
A track driver’s experience doesn’t help in tarmac rallies.
– There is nothing similar in them. The normal roads are never like a real track, the car is jumping and flying here and there.
An offer from F1 would interest Kimi
It’s easy to determine that Räikkönen would take a F1-challenge if he would be given the right offer.
How much do you follow F1-races?
– Everytime when I’m at home.
What do you think about the multiplied overtakings in GP-races?
– Apparently it’s easier in some races than in others. It depends upon how they decide about where the back wing can be opened. But it has nothing to do with the actual overtakings anymore. All you have to do is move beside and press a button and the one in front of you can’t do a thing.
– I guess they have been trying to take it into the right direction. Maybe it looks more cooler in television but it’s not any real racing.
– The tyre department again is a completely different thing. Those races where the tyre consumption have been decisive, they have been the best competitions, Räikkönen thinks.
Doesn’t it tingle at all to get there and start overtaking?
– It doesn’t change my attitude at all if they overtake there or not. It is always cool when you get to race. That’s all it takes.
Räikkönen is not surprised that Sebastian Vettel’s superiority has evened out a bit during the season.
– Often the situation always evens out every year if someone has been clearly leading in the beginning. And Vettel probably doesn’t even have to win races in order to stay in the lead up until the end.
Race driving still fascinates
– That was the best in those Nascar-races. To just drive alone in a circle was boring but especially in the truck-race the feeling was great. It’s great to race when you have cars all around you. It’s racing all the time. The Nationwide-car didn’t turn anywhere. That’s why it wasn’t as cool as the truck-race was.
Are we going to see Räikkönen in Nascar-races in the future?
– I don’t know. Let’s see. I could go there if I wanted to but like I said I haven’t thought about next year at all.
No Watkins Glen
Räikkönen was expected to go to the States again last weekend for the Watkins Glen’s Nascar-race. Actually they tried to lure the him there very much after one Sprint Cup -driver was injured and his car was offered to Räikkönen.
– I just didn’t want to go there. Besides the race was postponed by a day and I wouldn’t have got here in Germany for recce then, Räikkönen said.
Turun Sanomat, Trier
Räikkönen non ha dubbi su Vettel campione del mondo per la seconda volta
Kimi Raikkonen non ha dubbi circa chi vincerà il Mondiale 2011. Secondo il finlandese, Sebastian Vettel diventerà facilmente campione del mondo per la seconda volta di fila.
Il giovane pilota tedesco è in testa con 85 punti di distacco dal secondo in classifica e rimangono solo otto gare.
“Molto spesso la situazione è bilanciata alla fine della stagione se qualcuno ha dato moltissimo all’inizio della stagione. Vettel probabilmente non avrà nemmeno bisogno di vincere altre gare per stare davanti fino alla fine”.
Raikkonen compirà 32 anni ad Ottobre, ma non ha piani per il 2012 e non sembra voler tornare in Formula Uno.
“Non lo so” ha risposto dopo una serie di domande.
“Anche se lo chiedi in un centinaio di modi diversi, la risposta è quella. Non lo so e se non lo so io, gli altri neppure”.
Come Jacques Villeneuve, Raikkonen ha ammesso di non amare troppo questa F1 nel 2011, con il DRS.
“Non ha niente a che vedere con i sorpassi veri. Tutto quello che puoi fare è avvicinarti e premere un pulsanti ed il pilota davanti non è che possa fare molto”.
“Magari questo sistema va bene per la TV, ma per i piloti non è molto buono”.
Un riassunto della situazione contrattuale di Kimi in chiave 2012 e non solo.
Kimi Räikkönen won’t commit to WRC or NASCAR for 2012
By ANTHONY PEACOCK on 7/31/2011
Ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen might walk away from the World Rally Championship at the end of this season.
The Finn, who turns 32 in October, is competing in the WRC this year with a privately backed team, with nothing like the funding he enjoyed from Red Bull last season. Asked this weekend about his future in motorsports, Raikkonen said he has no firm plans for 2012 in either the WRC or in NASCAR, where he has competed recently.
“We haven’t really given a thought to what’s going to happen next year,” said Raikkonen. “[Or] if we’re going to do anything at all.”
Following his troubled rookie season in the WRC last year, Raikkonen’s pace and consistency have improved considerably in 2011.
Asked about his chances of developing as a rally driver in years to come, Raikkonen said, “There’s never any guarantee about the speed, but obviously experience will help, little by little, depending on the event, to get closer to the leaders. But I can’t say anything really, let’s wait and see what we’re doing next year.”
Raikkonen on July 30 finished ninth on the Rally Finland, maintaining his record of scoring points in all five of the rallies that he has contested so far this year.
Da TS.fi traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Kimi is offered both Nascar-races and cars
Todd Hirschfeld, who takes care of Kimi Räikkönen’s matters in Nascar-circles was for the first time in a rally.
Several Sprint Cup -cars and budget for Räikkönen in Nascar races could be arranged, for example to Watkins Glen’s race in the middle of August. Kimi alone decides what he will do.
Next week Räikkönen will test his Citroen for two days before the next WRC-rally in Germany. It looks like he wouldn’t have Nascar-races planned in the near future.
– I don’t know, let’s see, Räikkönen replied to questions about Nascar-races.
Esibizione in Finlandia con la Citroen per Räikkönen e Loeb il 24/07/2011…
E gara di Kart a Bercy il 10-11 dicembre a Bercy!
Loeb aux côtés de Raikkonen, Ogier et Bourdais à Bercy
La participation de Sébastien Loeb aux ERDF Masters Kart, qui se dérouleront au Palais omnisports de Bercy les 10 et 11 décembre et seront diffusés sur Motors TV, a été confirmée. Le champion WRC rejoint d’autres pilotes de renom, comme Kimi Räikkonen, Sébastien Bourdais, Sébastien Ogier ou Jean-Eric Vergne.
Le pilote Citroën Racing prendra part à l’évènement pour la première fois et a déjà essayé le kart électrique Sodi STX développé pour l’occasion par Sodikart. Cette compétition électrique est une première pour les Masters Kart, qui s’inscrivent dans la lignée des Masters de Karting de Bercy, qui ont vu s’affronter Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna ou Michael Schumacher. Outre les vingt pilotes vedette attendus, la Fédération française de sport automobile amènera les dix meilleurs pilotes internationaux de karting. Les ERDF Masters Kart auront lieu une semaine après la Race of champions, qui ne se déroulera pas à Francfort mais à Düsseldorf car la ville initialement organisatrice accueille ce week-end là un match dans le cadre du championnat allemand de foot.
Ten questions to: Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen, known as ‘The Iceman’, is famous for giving very little away when it comes to interviews. But in the searing heat of Greece we managed to make him melt. A little, at least…
What is your favourite rally?
“There are still some rallies that I haven’t tried yet, so I don’t know. But it’s always nice to go home to Finland, so I’m looking forward to that rally.”
What was your favourite Formula One race?
“I like Spa as it’s a great track but my personal favourite race was Brazil 2007 when I won the championship. It was a crazy race and I just had to go flat-out.”
How tricky was it coming back into the rally car after missing two events?
“That wasn’t so easy because I still don’t have a lot of experience and the last car I drove was a NASCAR truck, which was quite different!”
How’s the NASCAR going?
“It’s good fun actually. It’s another completely different style of driving, but it went quite well and I’m going to do some more later on this year.”
Is rallying still your main priority?
“Yes, rallying is still definitely the main focus. I’m enjoying myself and I think I’m making progress: now we do most of the rest of the season.”
What have you learned most this year?
“That you need experience in rallying to do well and there is no short cut. And also that you need your pace notes to be exactly right. It’s a bit like Formula One: it’s always the last little bit that makes the difference but that last little bit is always the hardest one to find.”
What do you do to relax at weekends?
“Just relax with friends and go on my boat. The boat is perfect as nobody can bother you.”
Who were your heroes in racing and rallying?
“I don’t really have heroes. But looking back in the past, I always liked the character of James Hunt in Formula One and in rallying Tommi Makinen is a really good guy.”
What are the most important things that you pack to go on a rally?
“My computer and my mobile phone so that I can stay in touch with people and watch some videos.”
What’s your favourite vegetable?
“Potatoes. But I eat most things.”
Il manager di Räikkönen svela i suoi piani futuri
Cosa farà da grande Kimi Räikkönen? L’ha svelato a GPUpdate.net questa settimana il suo manager di lungo corso, Steve Robertson. Il finlandese, vincitore di 18 Grand Prix, è attualmente nel mondiale rally con l’ICE 1 Racing e continuerà a farlo nonostante abbia deciso di correre anche alcune gare in Formula NASCAR.
L’ex-Sauber, McLaren e Ferrari ha firmato un accordo con Kyle Busch in aprile per competere nella serie Truck NASCAR e Robertson ha spiegato che, se Räikkönen si troverà a suo agio in quelle corse selezionate in cui parteciperà, il 31enne potrebbe impegnarsi per questa categoria in futuro a tempo pieno.
"Ha un piano per quest’anno, quindi parteciperà ad alcune gare Truck Nascar", ha detto Robertson a GPUpdate.net.
"Ovviamente ha un programma piuttosto importante nel WRC e vuole combinare bene le due categorie, il che non è così facile da fare, ma questo è quello che vuole lui".
"Il suo trasferimento in NASCAR è previsto per il 2012 e il 2013, forse, perchè prima vuole capire se gli piace o meno, in attesa di una decisione definitiva".
Kimi: “Avrei potuto guidare l’intera stagione Nascar se avessi voluto”
- “Avrei potuto guidare l’intera stagione quest’anno se avessi voluto, ma ci sono troppe gare ora per farlo. Guidiamo intanto quelle previste e vediamo cosa succede il prossimo anno”, dice Räikkönen a MTV3.
- “Sarà interessante guidare insieme agli altri. Immagino ci vorrà del tempo per abituarsi al non poter vedere ai lati”, dice Kimi.
- “L’America è piuttosto diversa. Ed è anche un po’ divertente a volte perchè la loro concezione del motorsport è così diversa. Tutto sommato è abbastanza rilassata, sebbene io l’abbia notata solo ora. L’esperienza è stata divertente”, dice Kimi.
Kimi Raikkonen’s move into trucks causes a stir in NASCAR
MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Nelson Piquet Jr. raced a truck Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Juan Pablo Montoya will be slinging a 3,400-pound stock car through its turns Sunday. Kimi Raikkonen will make his NASCAR debut next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Which Formula One driver will be next to race with a roof and fenders?
"It’d be kind of neat if Mr. Schumacher would come over and give it a try," Dale Earnhardt said with a laugh Saturday. "We’d all be thrilled to see that. Whether you thought it was a great (thing) or right or wrong, we’d all be watching.
"It’s neat to see some of those guys have interest in our sport, because there’s definitely such a big difference between what we do in America and what happens in Europe. They have such an appreciation for what they’re doing. We’re very proud of what we do. It’s cool when the two get to check each sport out. It’s nice to see their impression of our sport — often a lot more intricate and impressive to them than they first assumed."
Saturday’s news that Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 champion, has signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports for a limited schedule in the Camping World Truck Series, caused a stir in the Sprint Cup Series as drivers put in perspective what the latest international crossover meant for NASCAR’s reputation.
Raikkonen, a native of Finland who drove for Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari from 2001-09, will be running three to five races, according to his team owner, Kyle Busch. Raikkonen is arriving in America this weekend and will test a truck Monday at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia.
"I have yet to speak to Kimi myself, but apparently there’s an interest with him that he wants to run in NASCAR and he’s been shopping around to quite a few teams, and apparently we won the war," Busch said. "Kimi, from what I understand, was real adamant with wanting to work with me and our teams and put a together a deal.
"I don’t know where the money is coming from. My contract is with Kimi himself. I do know that there’s three sponsors involved, I’ll wait for their press release to see if they announce who they are, but there is money backing him."
Some have expressed surprise that Raikkonen elected to choose Charlotte’s 1.5-mile speedway (Montoya said Friday it wouldn’t be his first choice), and Busch expects the track will be a challenge.
"It’s a big deal for him to be able to fit it in when he can, and Charlotte, they actually picked Charlotte," Busch said. "For whatever reason, they were adamant about Charlotte and running that race. It will be good for him to get his feet wet, and I think if he can run top-20, top-15, that would be a success."
Piquet, who drove in F1 for Renault from 2007-09, is running his rookie season on the truck circuit with Kevin Harvick Inc. Last year, the son of three-time Formula One champ Nelson Piquet ran five races on tracks of 1.5 miles or longer. The Brazilian said Raikkonen was making the right decision to choose Charlotte.
"It’s a track that is much easier to start on than short tracks like (Martinsville)," Piquet Jr. said. "Last year, all my races were at high-speed tracks, and it’s where I felt the best. Once I came to the short tracks, it was very tough for me."
The Miami resident has exchanged emails with Raikkonen and plans to serve as a de-facto welcoming ambassador to the United States — however long that foray might be.
"He’s a bit of a funny guy," Piquet said. "He changes his mind like he changes his underwear. You can never know. Maybe he can stay doing this for one or two years. Maybe he can do three races and get fed up. You never know with Kimi.
"He still has no idea how much fun he’ll have over here. I wish him all the best."
Montoya was the first F1 driver to make a successful full-time transition to NASCAR in 2007, and it seems to have piqued the interest of his former peers. When Montoya made the Chase for the Sprint Cup two years ago, it drew several F1 drivers to racetracks, including Jarno Trulli, Mika Salo and Piquet.
Piquet says he likes racing in America because "everything over here is the way I like. It’s the atmosphere. Everything is so healthy, so comfy, so good. The racing is a real sport. Different from what we’re used to in F1. I think anybody that comes here doesn’t regret coming here.
"(It) always was (an option), but nobody was brave enough to say, ‘Let’s go to NASCAR.’ It’s a whole different culture. All ovals and heavy stock cars. If you ask anyone on the grid, they would love to do a race. But they’re just scared of doing it. They’re scared of taking that whole step of moving to America and being part of this culture and family. Everybody just doesn’t know what’s on the other side of the hill."
Four-time champion Jeff Gordon has been an avid F1 fan for many years. He was stunned by Raikkonen’s move but virtually giddy with anticipation about how it would go. Like many F1 stars, the Finn has a reputation for having an introverted personality that often is quirky. Like former Finnish champion Mika Hakkinen, he is known for giving monosyllabic answers in a dry monotone.
"So many things going through my mind," Gordon said. "I can’t wait for him to come in here and do an interview because the one-word answers you guys are going to get out of those questions is going to be hilarious to watch. I may come in (the media center) for that.
"But I think it says a lot about NASCAR that somebody like him is considering coming here. I admire him for wanting to take the step and go Truck racing and not just jump in a Cup car. I think obviously the word is out there to the best drivers in the world if you think you are just going to come in here and jump in a Cup car and be competitive, you are kidding yourself. I think that’s pretty cool about our sport, and that we’re drawing in this international group of talent. I hope to one day see him in the Cup Series."
In 2009, Raikkonen was listed by Forbes as the second highest-paid athlete in the world. He jumped between some F1 powerhouses during an the sport’s peak earning era. Since leaving Ferrari, he has become an owner-driver in the World Rally Car series. He won his first race last year for ICE 1 Racing.
Raikkonen scored 18 victories and 62 podiums during nine seasons in F1.
"When you are a talent like that, and again, I’ll compare it to Juan Pablo, they both have a tremendous amount of talent, a lot of racing experience, there’s not a whole lot you can tell them because they know how to get into different race cars and adapt," Gordon said. "But I will say is this is one heck of a series and vehicles that are far more challenging than people realize, especially when you come off high downforce cars. I think the rally cars he’s been driving probably give him more experience to come over here to this series than any of his Formula One cars that were driven.
"I’d just tell him (to) be patient, try to stay in the best equipment that he can."
He will be driving for a Toyota team that won the 2010 owners championship in its first season.
"Kyle’s trucks are amazing," Earnhardt said. "You couldn’t ask for better equipment. I think he’ll be fine. It’ll work out great.
"We have great popularity and there’s tons of intrigue. I think it’s natural for any kind of race car driver to want to know what the other half lives like."
Da Autosprint n.50 del 14/12/2010
Kimi’s end of year report
At the end of his first season of World Championship rallying with Red Bull, we caught up with Kimi Räikkönen to find out his best memories. There are lots of things that will stick in his mind forever from this year – including sand, public transport, shopping centres and the Pope. Eclectic enough for you? Then read on…
Kimi, how has this year been for you?
On balance, it’s been pretty much as I expected. There have been good bits and bad bits, and on the whole it’s been really tough with a lot of learning. In some ways it reminds me of the very first years when I was starting out in racing: it was a little bit the same feeling.
What was your favourite rally of the year?
That’s a tough one, a really tough one as all the rallies were so different. But actually I liked Bulgaria as straight away we were in the top four there and it was nice to fight closer to the front, which is not something that we were really expecting to do. Britain was a good rally too: not so much for the result but for the stages.
Was the Rally of Spain, where you crashed in the shakedown, the biggest disappointment of the year?
Yes I suppose so, but actually it’s not something that I’ve really thought about much since it happened because there’s no point. It’s over, it’s history and there’s no point in imagining what might have been. That’s how I’ve always dealt with things and I’m not going to change now.
Did you ever think about going back to Formula One next year?
Of course I thought about it, because you think about everything. But I never really thought seriously about it, because actually I didn’t miss Formula One at all this season. Before the start of this year I thought it would be interesting to see if I missed it at all and in fact I didn’t.
So does that mean that you are staying in rallying next year?
It means that I’d like to. But for the moment we haven’t got a deal sorted.
What are the moments you are going to remember most, apart from just driving the car?
There were lots of things that happened that I think everyone in our team will remember. In Jordan we scored our first points and ended up covered in sand. In Turkey, there was the problem with the ash cloud and all our team had to go home to France by coach for three days. We drove a go-kart in a shopping mall in Japan; then in Portugal we did this road show in Faro, where we had almost the same number of people that had come to see the Pope the week before. So there are lots of funny memories.
Have you improved as a driver this year?
For sure. Rallying is a lot harder than F1: certainly for me. If you can drive on some of the roads we did this year, you can drive anywhere…
Kimi Raikkonen, grande “ex” che fa ancora discutere
Raikkonen, parliamone. Essì perchè il biondino di poche parole e dal piede pesante su una cosa sicuramente è il migliore, la capacità di non mettere d’accordo nessuno. A quasi un anno dal suo (provvisorio?) ritiro dal Circus Kimi fa ancora parlare tanto di sè e non per le sue prove nel mondiale Rally ma per il suo valore e le sue qualità su pista, perchè in fondo Raikkonen ai nostri occhi è e resterà sempre un pilota di Formula 1.
Proviamo ad addentrarci in un’analisi quanto più oggettiva possibile del driver finnico, analisi che probabilmente ai più risulterà sbagliata, data la soggettività intrinseca di alcuni “giudizi di valore”.
Uno degli aneddotti più belli e allo stesso tempo più significativi su Kimi lo racconta spesso Peter Sauber, ovvero colui che lo ha lanciato in F1 quando nel 2001 gli affidò il secondo sedile dell’allora Sauber-Ferrari “Quando girò nei test per noi Raikkonen era in ballottaggio con Bernoldi fortemente supportato dalla Red Bull, scelsi Kimi perchè mi impressionò la sua personalità oltre che la velocità, sembrava fosse un veterano, dirigeva la squadra come se facesse quel lavoro da sempre eppure era un ragazzo che aveva alle spalle soltanto 24 gare in F.Renault”. Raikkonen a ventun anni era un predestinato con le stimmate del campione, e infatti un anno dopo, ad appena ventidue, quando ventidue erano pochi, sedeva sulla McLaren Mercedes per raccogliere l’eredità di un suo idolo di gioventù, Mika Hakkinen.
Kimi Raikkonen ha uno stile di guida tutto suo, inconfondibile, figlio di una sensibilità fuori dal comune acquisita facendo scorribande sul ghiaccio con le auto nella sua Finlandia fin da ragazzino. Guida sempre impiccata, al limite, sfruttando tutto l’asfalto a disposizione con traiettorie però impeccabili, precise, chirurgiche. I suoi camera car? Spettacolo per gli amanti della guida pulita, meno per chi ama i re del sovrasterzo; Raikkonen infatti ha sempre chiesto auto dal comportamento neutro che non si inserissero bruscamente con l’anteriore. Frenare dritto, uscire forte, nessuna gomma spiattelata in frenata, mai piede sul gas o controsterzi, soltanto “semplicemente” le ruote sempre al posto giusto nel momento giusto.
Parlando dei difetti i detrattori lo hanno sempre accusato di non dialogare con la squadra, di non motivarla abbastanza e di non essere un grande collaudatore. Un fulmine di guerra, ma non uno sviluppatore di monoposto e nemmeno un leader carismatico. E queste sono doti che a volte distinguono i bravi piloti dai campioni. Per di più in un 2005 corso da dio ma con troppi motori in fumo Raikkonen ha dovuto sopportare anche i commenti di chi lo ha bollato come uno scassamacchine ubriacone, come se “messa al bando del berillo” e “vita privata” fossero cose sconosciute quando si parlava di lui.
E’ vero, Raikkonen antidivo taciturno per eccellenza, non avrebbe mai potuto avere il trasporto emotivo sulla squadra e il temperamento di gente come Hakkinen e Schumacher o l’impeto comunicativo e la capacità di essere leader a 360° di Alonso, gran rivale dal quale ha ricevuto sempre attestati di stima, o l’impatto mediatico di Hamilton ma se parliamo di “manico puro” un posto nell’Olimpo dei piloti al fianco di questi e di altri grandi del passato forse gli spetta.
Sorpassi da funambolo, progressioni in gara sulle quali ha costruito un titolo mondiale, specialista in giri veloci e soprattutto professore a Spa; dove gli altri si laureano, lui ha tenuto lezione. Un titolo mondiale, 157 gp, 18 vittorie, 16 pole, 35 giri veloci, tutto ciò non è bastato a far si che tutti lo reputassero un campione assoluto. Fa discutere Raikkonen, troppo apatico a volte, spesso apparso distaccato e disinteressato a ciò che lo circondava, il divorzio dalla Ferrari, squadra in cui si è trovato bene, è stato brusco, amaro, forse inaspettato; Kimi ha pagato un anno incolore a causa di una totale mancanza di feeling con una vettura, la F2008, che non ha mai sentito “sua”.
Niente davvero può spiegare a fondo il mistero Iceman, la domande sono le solite: gran pilota o fuoriclasse? Pesa più la tecnica o bisogna mettere sulla bilancia più aspetti quali velocità, carattere, attitudine al lavoro di squadra, capacità di dialogo? Discutiamone, proviamo a capire cosa per la F1 è stato, è oppure sarà Kimi Raikkonen ma una cosa è certa; se molti lo amano e qualcuno lo rimpiange ancora significa che la sua lealtà, la sua educazuione e il suo talento hanno fatto comunque breccia nel cuore di molti appassionati…
Steve Robertson ha confermato a MTV3 di essere in trattativa per il suo protetto per un contratto nei rally anche per la prossima stagione. Il ritorno in F1 è un’opzione chiusa, almeno per quanto riguarda il 2011.
- “Non stiamo più cercando posti in F1. Kimi sembra essere più concentrato nei rally in questo momento”, ha detto Robertson.
Dunque Kimi ha chiuso con la F1?
- “Mai dire mai, ma al momento lo sguardo non è rivolto alla F1”, ha dichiarato Robertson.
- “Nulla è stato ancora deciso. Ve lo diremo quando avremo qualcosa da annunciare. Al momento nulla è stato firmato. Stiamo negoziando con diversi team ma non posso entrare più nel dettaglio”, ha concluso Robertson.
Raikkonen rules out F1 return in 2011
Kimi Raikkonen’s management team has confirmed that the Finn is no longer looking at Formula 1 race options for next season, as the World Rally Championship is where he wants to stay in 2011.
Speaking to Finnish television station MTV3, Steve Roberston admitted Raikkonen wants to remain where he is.
"We’re no longer looking at opportunities in F1. Kimi seems to be focused on rallying at the moment," said Robertson.
He refused to rule out a longer-term return to Formula 1 or racing for the 30-year old, adding: "Never say never, but right now our eye is not on F1.
"Nothing’s been decided yet [for the WRC]. We’ll let you know when there is something to say. At the moment nothing has been signed. We’re talking to several teams."
In recent days, there has been increased speculation that Citroen will find a solution to keep Raikkonen in its Junior team with the 2007 F1 world champion taking money from a personal sponsorship deal from Red Bull, which is expected to be considerably lower than the £5m he is rumoured to have been paid by the Austrian firm this season.
Beyond Citroen, Mini remains an option for Raikkonen, but the limited programme of 2011 events and the high level of car development would not suit his experience or desire to be driving all the time at the moment.
A seat alongside Ken Block at the Monster Ford World Rally Team is another option, but there are funding issues for the American-based outfit.
Block admitted running with Raikkonen would offer great potential exposure for both Monster and DC Shoes, but he added a decision on a potential second driver may not be taken until early next year.
The final option for Raikkonen is a season away from rallying, with a possible return when there is likely to be more manufacturer interest in 2012.
Raikkonen weighs up 2011 options
Former Grand Prix Champion Kimi Raikkonen has to choose between a number of options for 2011 – both within rallying and Formula One.
Raikkonen has shown encouraging progress throughout his debut season in the World Rally Championship with Red Bull and the Citroen Junior Team, but his best result of the year so far remains fifth place on the Rally of Turkey back in April.
Now Raikkonen has been linked with other options for next year, both in rallying and Formula One. Neither Raikkonen nor Red Bull are ruling out an extension to the Finn’s one-year WRC deal with the Citroen Junior Team, although Red Bull’s plans are fluid pending confirmation of its sponsorship agreement with Citroen.
One intriguing possibility is for Raikkonen to switch energy drinks allegiance and move to the Monster World Rally Team alongside Ken Block next year in a Ford Fiesta WRC. Raikkonen and Block have struck up a good rapport, and Monster bosses believe that the maverick Raikkonen would fit their brand image perfectly.
Raikkonen has also had an approach from MINI, although his drive there would be a commercial deal – which could again be linked to Red Bull.
Renault’s Formula One team is additionally in discussion with the 30-year-old about his services for next year, with the French squad being Raikkonen’s only realistic option on the F1 grid next year.
Finally, a third possibility exists of Raikkonen either taking a sabbatical or retiring from motorsport totally – as he considered at this time last year when his future was uncertain.
Nonetheless the Finn says that he is no hurry to make up his mind – and that his preferred option would be to stay in the World Rally Championship. “I’m enjoying it so far, but I’ve not made up my mind what I’m doing yet,” said Raikkonen. “Quite soon I hope I will know but there is no rush.”
Da Autosprint del 21 settembre 2010:
[…] Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström claim 10th, having made solid progress all day. […]
After more than a month without driving the Citroën C4 WRC on gravel, Kimi Räikkönen got off to a cautious start. With the help of the Citroën Junior Team technicians, the Finn tried to find various different set-ups that would help him to make progress. His engineer, Cédric Mazenq, explained: “During midday service, we changed the front differential, adjusted the ride height, modified the spring rates and altered a few other settings. In the afternoon, Kimi felt a lot more comfortable. As there was no specific test for this rally, we needed this half-day to find some settings best suited to his driving style.”
Kimi Räikkönen managed to decrease his gap to the frontrunners over the second passage through the stages in the afternoon. In particular, he improved his time over the 27.76-kilometre Sikot stage by a whole 28.2 seconds. “The team did a great job at service,” commented Kimi.
“I still have a lot to learn before I can go quickly on these roads. The progress we have made this afternoon means that we will be able to start the second day with confidence.”
[…] Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: “The team did a really good job on Kimi’s C4 WRC. He was able to show his capabilities much better on the second loop of stages, with a car that gave him more confidence.
Tommi Mäkinen a proposito del futuro di Kimi:
Mäkinen expects Räikkönen to stay in rallying
Tommi Makinen believes Kimi Raikkonen won’t turn his back on the World Rally Championship until he has emulated some of the success he achieved in Formula One.
Raikkonen has yet to confirm his plans for 2011 with a return to Grand Prix racing still a possibility for the Finn.
Makinen, who advised Raikkonen during the 2007 F1 champion’s transition to rallying, said: “Kimi is the kind of guy who wants to make success and find the best performance from himself. I’m sure he is the guy who is not giving up. That’s why I’m pretty sure he won’t jump out of rally yet.”
The four-time world rally champion added: “It would be nice to see him of course. I haven’t discussed it with him so I don’t know what he is thinking but he seems to be happy.”
Raikkonen said there was “a good chance” he would still be in F1 next season.