Rain and Samba
I counted that I have followed the Brasilian Grand Prix -races from the paddock for 15 times already. While writing this, it rains outside once again.
I have a lot of good Finnish memories from Brazil.
The only time when Mika Häkkinen won three races in a row was in Brazil 1998.
Häkkinen wiped his nose in Finland’s flag and it was, to some, seen as almost a sacrilege.
The most memorable day on the Interlagos track was, of course, 21.10.2007. There, Kimi scored one point more than Lewis Hamilton and incredibly, won the WDC that year.
I was the only reporter invited to Ferrari’s championship party. There, we danced the Samba so much that I will probably remember it for the rest of my life.
This weekend Räikkönen is only a memory at the F1-paddock. Of course, they wish Kimi would be back soon. People from both Lotus and Ferrari have every now and then asked me how Kimi is doing.
Everything is good, his spirit is high, but the final inspection by his doctor will tell when Räikkönen can start training flat out again. According to an expert, it should be possible for Kimi to start training five weeks after the surgery.
Turun Sanomat, Sao Paulo
Kimi Räikkönen and Minttu: Shouting argument!
Kimi Räikkönen and Minttu Virtanen got into a shouting argument. The dispute started when the duo was out celebrating her birthday in VIP-restaurant Teatteri last Saturday 16.11.2013.
- It was Minttu’s birthday and the gang was there celebrating it, Seiska was told.
In the middle of the night Kimi and Minttu got into an argument.
- The argument escalated into shouting, because of which Kimi decided to leave the restaurant. In the end Minttu stayed there celebrating her birthday without Kimi.
Kimi was in a back surgery last Thursday and according to Lotus the surgery went well.
Kimi Raikkonen to miss rest of 2013 F1 season for back surgery
Kimi Raikkonen is to miss the final two races of the 2013 Formula 1 season after electing to undergo back surgery next week.
The Finn had been at the centre of a pay dispute with his Lotus bosses in Abu Dhabi last weekend, but it appeared that matters had been sorted so he could compete in the United States and Brazil.
However, in a fresh twist, the back issues that nearly forced Raikkonen out of the Singapore Grand Prix earlier this year flared up enough for him to choose to take early surgery.
Rather than travel to the United States for the final events of the season, Raikkonen will now fly to Salzburg for the operation.
His manager Steve Robertson confirmed to AUTOSPORT that Raikkonen’s 2013 campaign was over, as it is estimated that there is a four-week recovery period.
The news was first broken in Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
Had Raikkonen waited until after the season, then there was a chance that it could have impacted on his preparations for 2014 with Ferrari.
Robertson told AUTOSPORT: "In an ideal world it would have been nice to finish the season with Lotus in the final two grands prix.
"However, due to the severe pain that Kimi is having, sadly it is not possible."
It is unclear how Raikkonen’s absence will impact on his pay issues with Lotus, especially with the team’s new investor Quantum Motorsports having not yet finalised its 35 per cent buy-in to the outfit.
Lotus now has just a few days to decide on a replacement driver. It could decide to promote reserve driver Davide Valsecchi to the race seat or swoop for another available driver.
The backsurgery ends up Kimi’s season
The Formula One season of Kimi Raikkonen is over!
The Finnish star of Lotus F1 Team – keeping third position in the drivers’ championship with 183 points – will go through a backsurgery on next Thursday, and because of that cannot race in the two last Grands Prix of USA and Brazil.
Raikkonen has had problems with his back for a long time. During the practise in Singapore in September the pain got so bad, that Kimi would not have been able to participate the qualifying and the race without a cortisone injection.
Now after the race in Abu Dhabi a week ago Kimi’s back has been even worse. He has not been able to sleep properly without painkillers.
– The experts were recommending the surgery, and it will be done next Thursday in Salzburg, Steve Robertson, the manager of Raikkonen, breaks the news to Turun Sanomat.
After the operation Kimi is cannot do anything for four weeks. This means the current season stops here.
– Obviously, it is a disappointing way to end the relationship with Lotus after two successful seasons on Kimi’s return to F1. However, Kimi cannot afford to delay anymore. It is crucial to correct the problem now to start 2014 fit and healthy, Robertson points out.
Most likely the car number 7 will be driven in Austin by Davide Valsecchi, the Lotus test and reserve driver. Valsecchi has tested the E21 car for two days in Barcelona and Silverstone. If Valsecchi gets the drive, he will be the first Italian to race in a Grand Prix since Jarno Trulli in 2011.
Kimi Räikkönen will undergo back surgery this coming week, the consequent four weeks recovery time forcing him to miss the forthcoming United States and Brazilian Grands Prix.
Kimi suffered from issues with his back earlier this year at the Singapore Grand Prix and a reoccurrence of this problem has forced him to have surgery now to help prevent ongoing problems in the future, and to ensure he is at full fitness for the 2014 season.
Kimi and his management are saddened that Kimi will not be able to complete the 2013 season with Lotus F1 Team where he was fighting for third position in the Drivers’ Championship. They would also like to thank all fans for the thousands of kind messages received since the news has emerged.
Kimi Räikkönen’s Management Team
Would you give a team order to this man?
When Kimi was asked if he would had let his teammate Romain Grosjean past him, had Lotus-management ordered so in Korean GP, he didn’t give a yes or no.
– What do you think? Räikkönen snapped.
In endseason 2008 Räikkönen played on behalf of his teammate Felipe Massa in the last couple races, but other than that Kimi has done it in his own style listening less to orders.
Grosjean – 8th in the WDC-serie – pushed his luck and begged in the team radio the pitwall to give Räikkönen a team order to let him through as a faster driver.
He had to obey a couple of times himself to a team order on Räikkönen’s behalf when his WDC-situation required it.
By Thursday Grosjean was however okay with it.
– In Germany I was ordered to let Kimi past. However it was a completely different situation. We had different strategies. He wouldn’t had got past me, so it was best to give him way and that way we both got to drive according to our own strategies.
Grosjean’s complaints in the team radio didn’t bother Räikkönen in any way.
– Everything went just as planned for me. He made a mistake and it cost him one position. It’s useless to cry afterwards. We don’t have any rules in the team that we couldn’t race each other. All we have to remember is not to crash or destroy each other’s races.
Is Grosjean nowadays a tougher competitor than he was earlier?
– He has been fast all the time. But so are everyone else who drive in F1. You have to beat all of them and that’s what I always try to do. He sqeezed me to the left in that situation, but by that time it was too late for him and I got ahead of him.
Age doesn’t create fears to overtake
Räikkönen was praised for maintaining his former speed and ability to overtake even at an older age.
– I don’t think that I have changed somehow from earlier years. I have got more information and experience. I always try to overtake if there is a reasonable change and I don’t do any foolish things. Sometimes I end up in a bad position. I don’t know if some start to be afraid when they get older. I don’t feel that myself.
Räikkönen doesn’t expect any team orders in the future either.
– The team doesn’t care which one is ahead as long as they get good positions.
Räikkönen extra point pass on the stock exchange
Attentive readers pseudonym Nobody was right, and the proof Forixille statistics Michele Merlino admitted inadvertently left behind in one of Kimi’s bypass off invoices Singapore Grand Prix Race.
- The reader is right. One of the bypass was forgotten. Kimi overtook Pastor Maldonado also when entering the round of 15 on 10 place. Between them was Daniel Ricciardo, who went to the pits as the round and I went to the confusion, when reaching the pits drivers do not count as overtaking, Merlino forwarded greetings.
Instead, Valtteri Bottaksen bypass Merlino does not fall under the Williams Finn went to the pits at the time.
Räikkönen overtaking the other three came in the second round Paul di Restasta, Esteban Gutierrez in round five and 54 round Jenson Button, kind of.
This implies that the Singapore race with a total of 35 so-called bypass. flying speed. Singapore overtook at the World Cup in Italy amounts of bypass (27), Hungary (22) and Monaco (16).
1 Kimi Raikkonen 47
2 Felipe Massa 45
3 Mark Webber 45
4 Lewis Hamilton 41
5 Fernando Alonso 34
6 Jean-Eric Vergne 29
7 Romain Grosjean 28
8 Adrian Sutil 28
9 Nico Hülkenberg 27
10, Paul di Resta 25
11, Valtteri Bottas 25
12, Daniel Ricciardo 24
13, Nico Rosberg 21
14, Sergio Perez 19
15, Charles Pic 17
16, Esteban Gutierrez 17
17, Pastor Maldonado 17
18, Sebastian Vettel 16
19, Jenson Button 16
20, Giedo van der Garde 11
21, Max Chilton 7
22, Jules Bianchi 5
Kimi Raikkonen’s Red Bull talks end, Daniel Ricciardo set for seat
Daniel Ricciardo is now set to secure the second Red Bull Formula 1 seat for 2014, with talks between the team and Kimi Raikkonen having come to an end.
Amid growing speculation that Red Bull had decided to pick Ricciardo, Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson told AUTOSPORT on Monday that the Finn was no longer a contender to line-up alongside Sebastian Vettel next year.
Robertson confirmed the news, which first appeared in Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, that the former world champion’s discussions with Red Bull had come to an end.
"It’s true," said Robertson. "Kimi will not be driving for Red Bull in 2014. We held some talks, but a deal will not be happening."
Red Bull had openly admitted that its choice for Mark Webber’s replacement was between Raikkonen and Ricciardo – despite being made aware in Hungary that Fernando Alonso could be available too.
Raikkonen had always been happy to stay at Lotus for 2014, but the prospect of racing for reigning champion Red Bull was given serious consideration.
The Finn’s representatives opened negotiations with Red Bull, as the team weighed up whether to opt for Raikkonen’s experience and guaranteed speed, or put its faith in a youngster like Ricciardo as a long term prospect.
Although Red Bull is insisting that it is not in a position yet to announce its 2014 drivers, Robertson’s revelation that Raikkonen is now out of the running points to a Ricciardo deal being a formality.
An announcement about Red Bull’s plans could be made as soon as this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, although the team may opt to wait for the following race in Italy.
Should Ricciardo be confirmed, he will move up to Red Bull’s main team after two full seasons with its junior Toro Rosso outfit. He also competed in 11 races for HRT in 2011.
RAIKKONEN HAS OTHER ‘OPTIONS’
The collapse of the Red Bull talks means that Raikkonen’s best option to remain in competitive machinery in 2014 is to finalise a fresh deal with Lotus.
But such a deal is not a formality, amid questions about the financial health of the team, with Raikkonen having been paid late on some occasions.
Robertson said that Lotus was just one possibility for Raikkonen as talks continued with a number of teams.
"We are pretty confident that Kimi will be in F1 next year," he explained. "There are options – and that is plural – out there and I will continue to talk to teams. I am hopeful we will sort something out in the not too distant future."
Vanzini a SkySport24:
Kimi Raikkonen ‘wants Ferrari return’ claims Eddie Jordan
A deal for the Finn to return to the team for whom he won the 2007 title may be announced as soon as next month’s Italian Grand Prix, Jordan said.
Ferrari said the claim was "not true" and that no decision had yet been made.
Jordan added that Ricciardo, 24, had already signed to partner Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season.
Ricciardo’s promotion from junior team Toro Rosso is to be announced at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Jordan said.
A Red Bull spokeswoman said: "We don’t have anything to announce at present but will advise when we do."
A Ferrari spokesman said the Italian team were concentrating on improving their car to boost Fernando Alonso’s title challenge.
He added: "This is the exact same scenario as last year – with not only Kimi but a long list of other drivers allegedly going to Ferrari.
"At the moment our priority is produce the car for Fernando and Felipe (Massa) and a decision on the 2014 line-up will be made at the appropriate moment, which is not right now."
On Monday, Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson told BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson that the 20-time grand prix winner, 33, would not be driving for Red Bull next year.
Robertson said: "Talks broke down. We haven’t spoken for a little while and it’s clear Kimi won’t be driving for Red Bull in 2014.
"Kimi’s a free agent. He still has options out there.
"There’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes and I’m pretty confident he will be in F1 next year."
Asked specifically whether Ferrari were an option, he said: "Until they confirm their seats, my job is to speak to all the teams and see what’s available."
Jordan said Raikkonen had made a return to Red Bull his first priority but when talks with the world champions broke down, he turned his attention to Ferrari.
He could also stay with current team Lotus for a third season.
Alonso is under contract until the end of 2016, but Ferrari are considering replacing Massa, who has had an inconsistent season.
BBC Sport understands that senior figures within the Ferrari team want Massa out and are keen for Raikkonen to return but that Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo is not keen on the idea.
Signing Raikkonen would be an admission they had made a mistake when they chose to end his contract a year early at the end of 2009 and pay him not to drive for them in 2010, when Alonso joined.
They preferred Massa as the Spaniard’s partner, despite the Brazilian at the time recovering from a fractured skull sustained in an accident at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Although Raikkonen won the title for Ferrari in 2007, Massa outscored him during the first of their two years together as team-mates, and was doing so again in 2009 at the time of his injury.
World champions Red Bull had made it clear they were choosing between Raikkonen and Ricciardo for the seat that has been made vacant for next season following Mark Webber’s decision to leave F1 to drive for Porsche in sportscar racing.
Raikkonen was a known quantity and would be a choice they could guarantee would at least match the contribution Webber made to three consecutive constructors’ world titles since 2010.
But Ricciardo’s promotion will be a vindication for the Red Bull young driver programme, from which so far only Vettel has graduated to the senior team.
The 24-year-old is also likely to be a malleable choice who will play a support role for Vettel without the friction that developed between the German and Webber and which may well have emerged had Raikkonen, a former world champion, joined the team.
It remains to be seen whether Ricciardo has the ability to cope with the step up to the highest level of F1, and the pressure that brings.
His best result for Toro Rosso is a seventh place, although he has three times qualified sixth.
Per la serie “trovate l’intruso”.
Räikkönen: “La nuova regola sul DRS un cambiamento sensato”
"Prima o poi ci sarebbe stato un brutto incidente"
La limitazione dell’utilizzo del sistema DRS in F1 al venerdì e al sabato è una decisione sensata secondo Kimi Raikkonen. Il sistema che riduce il carico aerodinamico dell’ala posteriore in rettilineo è stato introdotto nel 2011 per aumentare i sorpassi nella categoria regina. Il suo uso è sempre stato concesso in tutte le zone del circuito durante le prove libere e le qualifiche mentre in gara era limitato alle sole zone DRS. Dal 2013 anche nei primi due giorni del weekend i piloti potranno usare il sistema solo nelle zone designate dalla FIA.
“E’ un cambiamento sensato” ha dichiarato Raikkonen. “Si stava andando nella direzione di sfruttare al massimo, e il prima possibile, il DRS ovunque. Prima o poi ci sarebbe stato un brutto incidente. I piloti volevano questo cambiamento”.
“In passato le Red Bull erano in grado di percorrere alcune curve con il DRS aperto, gli altri team no” ha aggiunto Raikkonen.
Il finlandese ha anche dichiarato che a suo parere difficilmente un top driver come Lewis Hamilton può fare la differenza per migliorare le prestazioni di un team: “Se fosse vero, non avremmo più bisogno di ingegneri. Sono solo sciocchezze. Di sicuro come piloti diamo la nostra opinione e gli ingegneri ascoltano. Proviamo quello che ci danno e vediamo se funziona o meno. Ma non è giusto chiedere ai piloti di realizzare la vettura”.
The feeling will decide Räikkönen’s F1-continuance
Kimi Räikkönen’s F1-career will continue for at least one more season. His will to continue will be based upon how good it feels to drive with next season’s big regulation changes.
Räikkönen has raced with 10-cylinder engines in 2001-05 and with 8-cylinder engines in 2006-09 and in 2012. They are now changing engines into 1,6 liter V6 -turbo engines.
Kimi shrugs his shoulders when asking for his opinion about the significance of the engine change.
– Nobody simply can’t know anything about them yet. Anybody can have the best engine or it can be that they are all equal. We can’t even ever be 100 % certain about which team is the best team next season.
– That’s how it has always been in F1. This year’s strong car can be bad already next year. You never get any guarantees.
Lotus won one GP and Räikkönen was 3rd in the WDC-serie. What has the team most to catch up with when compared to the lead?
– They never lacked anything big anywhere. I guess we were slightly behind in each area. There could probably had been more downforce in the car and of course the car could have worked better in certain temperatures, Räikkönen estimated in an interview with Turun Sanomat.
– I guess the biggest change in the beginning of next season is that, now we know each other in the team and have all the routines during the weekend better under control. As long as we get better qualifications than last spring our chances to get better results in races grow significantly.
DRS-limitation a sensible change
Rules in qualification will next season change so that it’s not allowed to drive the whole lap with an open DRS. They will follow the same procedure they have in the race with only one DRS-area.
– It’s a totally reasonable change. Now it was more or less so that everyone tried to use the DRS earlier and earlier in qualification. That way a big crash is bound to happen at some point. It was the drivers who wanted this to change. The risk sort of grows smaller when not trying to open the DRS too early in some places.
– I think that the situation will also get more even when earlier some Red Bull could drive on some tracks with an open DRS all the time while other cars weren’t capable of the same, Räikkönen thinks.
James Allison got offers from bigger teams last season, but he will still continue with the Enstone crew.
No driver can build a car
Now they are developing the E21-car being aware of what Räikkönen and Romain want from it. However Kimi trashes the claims that experienced drivers could in some teams be actively involved in the car’s development work.
– Not one single F1-driver designs these cars. If that would be the case then we wouldn’t have any engineers or designers here left. Those claims are pure bull shit. Of course we get to say our opinions as drivers and the engineers listen, but after that it’s the team who will then do their best.
– Engineers invent first and after that we try how it works, if it’s good or not. It’s just an urban legend that some driver would sit there designing how the car is built.
– Of course everybody believes at this stage that their car will be good, but there are no guarantees of the competitiveness until it is put on the track. But no team says at this point that they have a totally bad car coming up, even if they would know it would happen. It goes without saying that everybody is praising their car until the end. Räikkönen assures.
Strong faith in Räikkönen’s striking ability
What does the international F1-media expect from Kimi Räikkönen’s season 2013? Here is the German, British and Italian opinion.
– If Kimi has an even slightly better car than he had last season, then he will be driving in the top group. If Lotus doesn’t achieve the same level, then even a driver of Kimi’s caliber can’t do miracles, says Michael Schmidt from Auto, Motor und Sport.
– I expect a stronger season from Kimi. Lotus made a fantastic car and although the new E21 doesn’t perhaps offer all the same advantages as the E20 it should still be quite strong – and Kimi at least is as a driver tougher than before after driving his comeback-season, says Jonathan Noble from Autosport.
– If Lotus has enough money to build and develop new parts to their car, then why wouldn’t Kimi do top results with that car also. In the final games the previous season was a learning year for Kimi and he was immediately good enough to drive in the lead, says Andrea Cremonesi from La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Kimi Räikkönen will not bow to convention as he prepares to make F1 race return with Lotus in Melbourne
There was a memorable moment during the Autosport Awards ceremony in December when Sebastian Vettel, the new double world champion, got up on stage and began talking in a drab monotone to loud cheers from the audience.
You didn’t need to have been there at the start of his routine to know who he was impersonating. Kimi Raikkonen has a unique delivery.
The Finn — or the Iceman as he is commonly referred to within motorsport — has been one of Formula One’s most interesting, and misunderstood, characters ever since Sauber took a chance on a callow 21 year-old with just 23 single-seater races behind him.
Monosyllabic in public to the point of being comical, but a maverick away from the microphone; an adrenaline junkie who will race anything from powerboats (famously dressed in a gorilla suit) to snowmobiles; a free spirit with a fondness for spirits.
Despite his lack of interest in self-promotion — or, more likely because of it — Raikkonen has built up a cult following over the past decade.
He is the anti-establishment, plain-talking racer who once explained to Martin Brundle on one of his live TV grid walks that he had missed a presentation by Pele because he was "having a s***". (Brundle, incidentally, recovered admirably to say: "OK, thanks for that. Obviously you’ll have a nice light car on the grid, then.”)
He is also blindingly quick — at least, he is when he is in the mood.
All of which explains why there is such interest in the 2007 world champion’s return to Formula One after two years in the World Rally Championship where he proved he has balls of steel but perhaps not the patience or experience to compete at the sharp end.
Everyone is curious to know which Kimi Lotus have signed. The one who came through from 17th to claim a brilliant victory for McLaren at the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix? Or the one Ferrari signed for a reputed $50million per season to be their No 1 but ended up buying out of his contract to make way for Fernando Alonso?
“It will depend on the car we have,” he shrugs. “Who knows? Of course I want to win again. But what can you do if your car isn’t good enough? I’ll push as hard as I can.” But will he? He has his doubters.
Sitting in a suite at the Dolder Grand hotel near his home in Zurich, Raikkonen, 32, looks and sounds as imperturbable as ever. He is dressed head to toe in black Lotus gear.
This is the part of the job he hates, the interviews and PR appearances, but he is adamant that the grind of Formula One will not affect his motivation levels.
He rolls his eyes when quizzed on the famous ‘ice cream for the Iceman’ episode from his final season at Ferrari in 2009. This occurred during a rain delay at Sepang when cameras picked up Raikkonen, ostensibly still in the race, dressed in shorts, munching on a Magnum and plucking a can of coke from the Ferrari fridge.
“The funny thing is that people made a big story out of that, like I was lacking motivation, but if the team tells you you’re not allowed to race the car because it’s broken and it’s too dangerous because of the water and the KERS device…” he sighs. “Sometimes people try to make a bad story out of things which are normal. But that’s how it goes.”
Raikkonen does not try to fight the perception of him. He just ignores it. He does not deny, though, that he would prefer to have driven in a less sanitised, less politically correct era.
He once entered a snowmobile race under the pseudonym James Hunt, the late 1976 champion and legendary carouser to whom he has been compared. “In those days Formula One was a bit different,” he says approvingly.
Is it a shame the way it has changed? “Life goes on. Everything changes. But for sure I think things were a bit more fun when he was driving.”
Raikkonen, it seems, will not get to have as much fun as he did two seasons ago when Ferrari allowed him to go rallying on his weekends off.
After their experience last year with Robert Kubica, the Pole whose career still hangs in the balance following a horrific rally crash, Lotus have forbidden their marquee signing from indulging his passion for extracurricular fixes.
“Ah, it’s normal with Formula One they try to ban everything. Unfortunately with what happened to Robert last year… but even before that it was written into contracts.
“Maybe in the future if you can do some good results you can get a release or something. I still love it. If I could do it this year at the same time as Formula One I would. I think it’s good practice and it’s good fun.”
So how well can he do after two years away? Remember, it took Michael Schumacher, a seven-time world champion, a whole season to get up to speed when he returned in 2010. Not that Raikkonen would know. He says did not bother watching any F1 while he was away.
“Sometimes when you are home or something it is on but I didn’t make any special effort or anything.”
All Raikkonen will say is that he is confident his hiatus will not have affected his speed, and his times in winter testing would appear to support that theory.
Lotus are this year’s dark horses. Despite missing the whole of the second test with a chassis issue, the car looks reasonably quick and team principal Eric Boullier believes the Finn has already got to grips with the Pirelli tyres introduced in his absence.
Whatever happens, it is just good to have one of the sport’s true characters back. Life on Planet Kimi — as his old Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali called it — is much the same.
“I do what I want,” he shrugs again. “If I want to go out and have fun with my friends I can. There’s no one who tells me I’m not allowed to do it. As long as you do your work at 100 per cent then I don’t see the problem.”
Räikkönen left the rust on the rally paths
They say that a tenth of a second is an eternity in motorsport. Then how could one define those 867 days that come from Räikkönen’s last GP-race?
Räikkönen himself stares the reporter who asks this question in the eyes with astonishment. It’s just a fact and he is completely okay with it.
In Turun Sanomat’s interview Räikkönen seemed just as ready to start the season as his performances in winter tests let understand.
Has rust been a burden when you have been away for 2,5 years or do you feel as if there never was this break?
– I’m sure that the first race will show my readiness. Of course there are all those small systems that you have to get right. That you do the right things before the start and press the right buttons at the right time, not too early or too late.
– But those aren’t any that complicated stuff. The tests already showed it, Räikkönen thinks and leans back on the team premises leather sofa in a laidback way.
– If the car just works well it will make the whole job terribly more easier. If the car doesn’t work at all, then it makes everything more difficult.
Räikkönen’s wrist was fractured in a motorsledge race in December and then it took one testing week for Lotus to fix their front suspension’s structural flaw. Did you have enough time to do everything needed when preparing for the season?
– It wouldn’t had changed anything. I couldn’t have drove more – or maybe one test in December but that never worked out because Pirelli didn’t have more tyres for us so we wouldn’t have drove at all beforehand. I could have tried out more on that testing week but fortunately there was no bigger problem that would have required a lot of driving.
He has a very exhausting day behind him when winter tests end on Barcelona’s technically and physically challenging track.
Räikkönen drove almost two race lenghts during one day. In the interview he was ouzing with good mood which gave the signal that finally everything is just about right in the E20-car.
It won’t get any better
How ready are you now for the opening race?
– I doubt it would change any better no matter how much I would drive. We do get new parts etc. though. Of course I could have tried something more but I don’t believe that it would have changed a thing in the final games.
– At least we had a good test in Jerez and a good last day in Barcelona. It’s okay since we didn’t have any bigger problems starting from the beginning.
Ross Brawn has predicted an all time season when five teams can drive for victory. Räikkönen won’t start to speculate anything.
– It’s difficult to say what everybody did in the tests. They have had a relatively small amount of fuel but how can you know? It depends so much on the fuel amounts and they make massive differences in laptimes and it also depends on the tracks where some car works better there than anywhere else.
The fuel pitstops are now history and Kimi drove for the first time during his career with a fuel amount of 150 kg – and not just during the race lenght.
– We drove with a lot of fuel already in Jerez. Driving itself won’t change in principal. It’s just heavier. You are a little slower but it doesn’t change how the car behaves – at least for us.
– It’s mostly up to the tyres. If it’s warm, then the tyre works as it is supposed to work. It is however very sensitive to that kind of weather. A lot depends upon if it’s warm or cool. It was so cold in the tests that the left front tyre started to peel off, and when that happens the rubber vanishes and you lose the heat. That’s when you are forced to brake earlier and be slower although the car’s balance hasn’t changed at all.
The heat changes the way the tyres work Grosjean is a nice guy
How well does Räikkönen master the Pirelli-tyre which has been known to be surprising?
– We’ll see it in the race. In tests it was so that they worked some way. However my guess is that when the race starts they work completely differently because it was so cold in tests.
Will the experience of two years in rally help when the weather changes in races or when you get some difficulties on the tyre-department?
– It won’t help at all. Rally-driving has nothing to do with F1-driving.
Rally has to help at least a bit. When I asked how it feels for Räikkönen to go to three tracks where he has never drove before, he gave me the rally-answer.
– America is new for everybody but my first time in Korea or India can’t be terribly difficult compared to how during my rally season I went each time to a completely new rally.
What did it feel like to use the DRS -rear wing in testing?
– The car maybe accelerates more on a straight and you notice it when coming out from some corner. When driving the race lenght the organizers simulated the same DRS-area for us that we have in this race and I used the DRS there. Afterall it’s nothing more than one button.
– He is a really nice guy. We didn’t know from before although we have raced against each other in a few races. He also had a break from these races. We get well along and the work has proceeded just as planned, Räikkönen said.
The heat changes the way the tyres work
Grosjean is a nice guy
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
A quick neck link
Luca di Montezemolo uses a regular phrase of adding more testing opportunities by mocking F1-driving as the only top sport where training is forbidden.
Kimi Räikkönen would probably not have anything against it if testing was allowed like it was four years ago.
He would have already circled the track for eight days in December. With today’s special arrangements Räikkönen gets those eight days to drive tests before the F1-serie starts on March 18 in Australia.
Nature is merciless. The huge G-powers especially in corners strain the neck and you can only get them by driving a F1-car. Although Räikkönen is training in a very determined manner there is no shortcut in snatching a "neck link" to strenghten neck muscles.
Hence the first one, the extra two days driving with year 2010 Renault in Valencia, are extremely important for Räikkönen.
There the first tens of laps will be getting used to driving a F1-car – and the rest of the time to especially strenghten the neck muscles. Then he gets six days and 3000 kilometers more with the new car in winter testing.
After that Räikkönen’s neck should be at lest one centimeter thicker than it is at this moment.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Räikkönen has full bust-up in training
F1-immigrant Kimi Räikkönen can once again train with full steam. On Sunday it was precisely 10 weeks before the opening GP in Australia 2012.
On Saturday again it was 4 weeks when the new Lotus-driver hurt his left wrist after falling with the snowmobile in a show in Austria. They protected the hand with a spatula until the new year.
– Because of the hurting wrist we had to change plans a little, but in practice we have been able to keep a training program all the time with the exception of a short break of one and a half day, Räikkönen’s fysio Mark Arnall explains.
– All work on neck and legs have been fully taken care of – just as the endurance-side also. We have progressed in a very positive manner and Kimi is in a good stitch, Arnall assures.
It doesn’t take long to get used to driving
Räikkönen was in Lotus-Renault factory in Enstone on Thursday for a seat-fitting.
– First it was a bit weird to sit in a F1-cockpit with the helmet on after a long time. However I got used to it quickly and it has felt the same before too when being in a seat-fitting for a new car, Räikkönen confessed.
The new car will be on the testing track on 7th of February in Jerez, but before that Räikkönen will get used to F1-driving by driving a Renault from year 2010 for two days during January 23-24th on Ricardo Tormo -track in Valencia.
Räikkönen has often before started his winter testing after a few months winter vacation. Now he has had a break of two years and three months.
– I think I will get used to driving itself after 10-15 laps but there’s more to learn about everything else, Räikkönen thinks.
Räikkönen gets to try this year’s new Pirelli-tyres only after the winter testing has begun – meaning he will be on the same line as all the other racing drivers.
Neck strong only by driving
Arnall has taken care of Räikkönen’s training programs and wellbeing for ten years already, which is a record-long period of time in today’s F1-racing.
– We already know from before that we can do everything else except strenghten the neck muscles. They will strenghten to the level required only by driving a F1-car, Arnell emphasizes.
Räikkönen has has for a several years in his home in Switzerland a driving vehicle built by Technogym, a vehicle that is as close to F1-driving as possible.
– There the driver gets in the right driving position and the muscles are strained the same way as if he would drive on the track. Only neck muscles can’t be strenghtened as much as with a real F1-car because of the lacking G-forces, Arnall said.
Räikkönen has eight days before Australia’s opening GP. After Valencia’s private testing he will drive the first two days with the new car in Jerez and then four days later in Barcelona, where they divide driving tasks with French team mate Romain Grosjean.
If there are no technical problems then he can drive 3500-4000 kilometers in eight days.
– Eight days isn’t much but that’s what everybody else also gets. It sort of helps Kimi in a way that the track in Albert Park isn’t one of the most toughest one. This way he will get three more driving days to strenghten his neck for places that are physically more demanding, Arnall thinks.
Q & A with Kimi Räikkönen
Conducted and provided by the Renault F1 press office
Q: Kimi, good news today, you have decided to come back to Formula 1. Why are you coming back?
Kimi Raikkonen: The main reason was that I never really lost the passion for racing in Formula 1, just maybe for all the other things around it. But when I did some NASCAR races this year I noticed that I was increasingly missing the racing side – to race against each other – because in rallying you really race against the clock. And then I got the call from certain people in Formula 1. All sorts of things happened and we managed to have a nice conversation with Lotus Renault GP and make a deal – I’m really very happy with that!
Q: Why did you choose Lotus Renault GP?
KR: Really there were two options – it was this team or Williams. And everything worked out here as we wanted, so that’s really the reason.
Q: Have you been following the team and the performance this year?
KR: I didn’t follow Formula 1 much at all last year. This year I followed it a bit more but not really any specific team. I watched the last 20 laps of the last race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, and because I knew this was going to happen I also watched how the Lotus Renault GP team did. But before that I didn’t know anything about what was going to happen or that there would be a deal in Formula 1 for next year, so I just watched Formula 1 as a whole. I saw a few races but nothing special.
Q: Do you think Formula 1 will be very different for you from what you know from 2009, with the DRS, Pirelli tyres, etc?
KR: Comparing 2009 to next year the biggest difference will probably be the tyres. I don’t think there is a lot of difference with the cars. DRS is a new thing but this is basically similar to before. The button that used to be for the front wing has disappeared, so now it’s for the rear wing. I would guess the main difference is really the tyres.
Q: Personally, what’s the main difference from the Kimi Raikkonen we saw in 2009 – in which way are you a better driver?
KR: I don’t know – I’ve been away for two years. I haven’t driven and I haven’t even sat in a Formula 1 car since the last race in 2009. I’m interested to get back into the car, I’m two years older now and I don’t think anything else has really changed. It has been really nice to try to learn rallying in the last few years. On some days it was hard. It’s been easier this year than last year but still it’s a very difficult sport. I’m really looking forward to coming back. At least Formula 1 is something where I know how everything works as I’ve been there for many years – compared to rallying when I didn’t know what would really happen. Then I went to NASCAR and I had no clue how it would be. So in that way it should be much, much easier to come back and it should be pretty normal.
Q: Have you already changed your training routine?
KR: I kept training the whole time for the rallying but of course it’s not so physical – in the rallies it’s more that you have to sit in the car for the whole week. In Formula 1, it is more physical but over a shorter time. A month ago I started to get back into proper training for Formula 1. The neck is the most difficult thing to get ready but we still have plenty of time.
Q: When you think about your last race in 2009, what is the feeling you have of driving in Formula 1?
KR: I certainly remember all the braking and how quickly everything happens. But compared to rallying, say, you have slightly more time. In rallying, it doesn’t give you a second chance. When you make a mistake you go off. There are no run-off areas. In Formula 1 you have a lot of run-off areas, you can run a bit wide and it is not such a big deal. You lose a lap in the practice or in qualifying but in the race you maybe don’t even lose a place. So this time, the braking and the G-forces will certainly come back very quickly. The biggest thing will definitely be to get the neck used to it again. All the rest will take a while but it’s not really a big thing.
Q: Six world champions on the grid next year, you are coming back to Formula 1 – how big of a boost is it for your motivation?
KR: I would not have come back if I wasn’t motivated. There is always a lot of talk about motivation but nobody really knows what I do or what I think apart from myself so I don’t really care about what people say. But I’m happy to be coming back. I wouldn’t put my name onto a contract if I didn’t think I’d really enjoy it – so it will be interesting and exciting to get back!
Räikkönen’s Lotus-time starts from Friday’s Christmas-party
Two years and 29 days ago Kimi Räikkönen drove his last F1-race in Abu Dhabi at Ferrari. Two years and three months ago Räikkönen snatched his last GP-victory in Belgium.
On Tuesday it became sure that Räikkönen will come back to F1 when Lotus-Renault published their 2-year contract with the 32-year old Finnish WDC.
Turun Sanomat got an exclusive intervew with Räikkönen right after the contract was announced.
How does it feel to go back to F1 after rally?
– It feels cool. I don’t have to roll in the mud anymore, a very relaxed and sunny Räikkönen grinned.
– It felt cool to drive rally too but you can’t get over the fact that I also missed racing. The longer I was away from F1, the more I wanted back there.
– We talked for a long time with Williams and when nothing happened there we turned to Renault and after that everything proceeded quickly in three weeks. Now I have a contract and I’m pleased that I can race with F1-cars again.
When did your will to go back to F1 arise?
– When I drove those Nascar-races in May I noticed how cool it was to race on track again. That’s when the spark came and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted back.
Racing fascinates more
Did you get bored with rally driving?
– Absolutely not. I would still like to drive rallies. But yet it’s a different thing when you race against other drivers on the track. It is afterall what I have been doing for almost my whole life.
What remained as your best rally?
– I guess it’s this year’s Jyskälä. We didn’t get into the speed the first day but after that it started to go well. We had a good pace until we hit the fence.
– That’s the thing that bugs me most in rally, how much disadvantage for a long time you can get from the smallest situation. If you hit a little but the service park is far away that blunder willl reflect on your times in so many stages.
How long would it had taken for you to drive for trophies in WRC?
– It would have taken a lot of time. Every now and then I could take the same times as the lead did. Better results would have required that I would get to test just as much as the drivers from the factory team got to test.
Räikkönen didn’t finish the last rallies.
– The decision was based upon the prognosis that it was going to rain and I didn’t want to go sliding there. Then the weather was good afterall so of course I should have continued.
– On the other hand it wouldn’t have made any use since I had already retired. It’s a bit stupid when you can continue in rally although you have retired. You can’t continue the race in F1 anymore if something happens, Räikkönen said.
Most to learn about is tyres
How difficult is it to come from rally back to a F1-car?
– I don’t think it’s that tricky. Afterall I have drove F1-cars for a long time and haven’t had more than a two years break. The last time I was there we had KERS and we had a lot of buttons in the steering wheel back then already. I guess I’ll also control the buttons soon.
– The biggest difference will be the tyres. It takes more time to learn how they work the best way. But it was more difficult when I went from McLaren and Michelin-tyres to Ferrari and Bridgestone-tyres. Now I haven’t raced for two years with F1-tyres so I haven’t got the most fresh feeling of them. This way I surely adapt easier to the new tyres.
What kind of information do you have about Pirelli’s tyres?
– I have chatted with my old team mate Pedro de la Rosa and from what he has told me it feels pretty good. I hear that the tyres have a damn good grip right from the beginning and in my case it’s important that the front is working.
How much information do you have about Lotus-Renault’s team?
– Not much. I talked for the first time with Eric Boullier on Monday in the phone. On Friday I will visit Enstone factory and from there I continue to the team’s christmas party.
Getting used by using GP2-tyres
When will you start testing?
– I can drive with this year’s car as long as it has GP2-tyres. I guess I start getting used to it by that. I don’t know exactly about next year’s schedules. The new car comes when it comes and then we test with it, Räikkönen told.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Massa: “Räikkönen potrebbe tornare in F1″
Continuano a circolare voci sull’imminente ritorno in Formula 1 di Kimi Raikkonen e anche il paddock sembra meno scettico.
“Penso che possa accadere” ha dichiarato Felipe Massa, compagno di squadra del finlandese tra il 2007 e il 2009, al giornale Turun Sanomat.
Per molti Raikkonen potrebbe incontrare difficoltà simili a quelle di Michael Schumacher. “Michael ha vissuto un periodo difficile. Bisogna ricordare che quando si è ritirato Michael aveva una vettura molto più competitiva rispetto a quella del suo ritorno. Forse potrebbe essere lo stesso per Kimi” ha aggiunto Massa in riferimento all’approdo di Raikkonen alla Williams. “Ma, in ogni caso, Kimi è ancora giovane quindi in quel senso l’assenza di due anni non è significativa. Quando sei giovane, se vuoi fare qualcosa e ci provi con la giusta determinazione, non è impossibile tornare al livello precedente di prestazioni”.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
[…] The interviewed person asked about Räikkönen
Turun Sanomat was offered an opportunity for a laidback interview with Massa a day before the Indian GP -rush started. The driver is known as a very relaxed and quick-witted chap until Sunday morning. On the racing day the stress shows and feels.
Massa takes over the game immediately when the interview starts.
– I will start, he declares, takes the recorder from the reporter and asks him: – What do you think, will Kimi Räikkönen come back?
– What do you think yourself? I present him a counter-question.
– I believe that it could happen. Interesting case, no doubt about it.
Does it feel if a driver has kept a two year break from F1-driving – when at least Michael Schumacher has had difficult to come back after being away for three years?
– Michael has had a bit difficult times but when he returned he didn’t have the same car anymore. One has to remember that when retiring Michael had a much more competitive car than he had when coming back again.
– Maybe the same applies to Kimi. In any case Kimi is still young. In that sense being away for two years doesn’t mean much. If you are young, if you want to do this and train hard, then it’s not impossible to get back to the same performance ability you had before, Massa thought.
– An experienced F1-driver always maintains a certain basis. It’s only a question about getting in the right direction and the normal rythm.
Räikkönen has 156 F1-races, hence Massa will have only four races less when the season ends.
[…] Parr also refused to comment on mounting speculation that Kimi Raikkonen is closing in on a deal to join the outfit alongside Pastor Maldonado next year.
"I am afraid there is only one answer to that question, which is that our race drivers are Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello and if, and when, that changes we will make an appropriate announcement."
[…] Kimi Raikkonen might not have raced in F1 for a couple of years, but no-one has told the Indian motorbike riders. Hundreds of Kimi helmet designs have been spotted around the streets of Delhi. Why? Only they know!
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Parr doesn’t deny the interest in Räikkönen
Turun Sanomat presented Williams F1-team’s CEO Adam Parr a question.
– Five million Finns are eagerly waiting for the information if Kimi Räikkönen races next year in Williams?
– I’m afraid that nobody can reply to this. Our racing drivers at the moment are Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado. We will make an official announcement if and when changes are made.
MTV3 asked him about Räikkönen in their own tv-paddock.
– Kimi has been one of the most talented drivers during the last years and I’m sure everybody would want to see him back in F1, Parr replied.
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 TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Perez dreams of Räikkönen’s development curve
Sergio Perez, the first Mexican F1-driver ever since 30 years, is sitting with self-confidence in Sauber’s premises on Singapore Grand Prix -paddock. The 21-year old youngster already handles interviews with routine.
When a Finn reporter asked him if he had any idol in F1 when he was younger, Perez says straightforwardly:
– I always liked to watch Kimi Räikkönen’s performances. He was just so fast, Perez says and looks the reporter in the eyes as if to add more weight into his words.
At the moment many things combine Perez and Räikkönen. He has started his F1-career in Sauber just like Räikkönen did 10 years ago. He has the same racing number 17 as Kimi had during his debut season. He came in 7th in his first GP-race in Australia – just like Räikkönen did back in the times.
Whereas nowadays the 10 best get WC-points, only the 6 first ones got points during Räikkönen’s season. Hence this will make a difference in the statistics.
Räikkönen was 6th in the end results, when Olivier Panis got a 25 second time penalty and was dropped behind Kimi. Perez – just like his team mate who came 8th, Kamui Kobayashi – were disqualified when the Sauber-car’s rear wing didn’t measure up to the demands.
Last week Perez tested Räikkönen’s old Ferrari from 2 years ago in Fiorano.
– But on GP2-tyres, he reminds.
Perez hopes that the similarities with Räikkönen won’t stop with this debut year.
– My dream is to win the WDC. Hopefully my development curve will from now on be the same as Kimi’s was, Perez says. […]
Da TS.fi, traduzione NIcole@Forum Ufficiale
Newey had closest relations with Häkkinen
Räikkönen’s talent was not maximized
Kimi Räikkönen was 22 when he came to McLaren after Häkkinen. Was Kimi too young when he came to Woking?
– I don’t think so. I was all for Kimi coming to McLaren. However my relationship with Kimi never became as close as it was with Mika. Partly because at that time I wasn’t a race engineer anymore.
– Kimi is a natural born racer, his own master and a brilliant talent. I think he got frustrated and didn’t use that phenomenal talent of his as much as he could have, Newey said.
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Kimi’s manager: We are not negotiating with F1-teams
Steve Robertson says that Kimi is not negotiating with any F1-team at the moment.
Robertson can’t tell about Räikkönen’s plans for nex season in detail, since according to him no decisions have been made yet.
- All options concerning next season are still open. Will Kimi drive rally, Nascar or even F1 – so far there’s nothing to comment because no decisions have been made.
If Kimi would want to go back to F1, would Williams be an option?
- I can’t comment on that at all.
Are you negotiating with any F1-team at the moment?
MTV3 also asked Williams-team’s representatives for an interview on Singapore paddock. The team informed through their publicist that the team will not comment the matter at all.
Da iltasanomat.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
This is how Williams’ boss replied to the hot rumours about Kimi
IS Urheilu reached Williams F1-team’s second biggest owner Christian Wolff, who agreed to comment a little on the rumours concerning Kimi Räikkönen.
Wolff isn’t completely shooting down the possibility that Räikkönen would next season drive with Williams’ F1-car.
- Formula 1 and Williams is one of very many options for Kimi. He is intelligent and experienced enough to make the right decision, Wolff told IS.
They have been wondering in F1-circles, why Räikkönen recently visited Williams’ factory in UK and was going through different departments.
- I think that Kimi was exploring here all options in addition to rally and race-tracking, Wolff said.
Räikkönen knows that Williams is not able to offer him a winning car in F1. Yet Williams is not just a F1-team. It has gone into for example hybrid-technology and is planning a wide co-operation with Jaguar on the sportcar-department. Something from that direction could also interest Räikkönen.
- We would want to become Jaguar’s racing and sporting department, the CEO Adam Parr from Williams recently told in Autocar-paper.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Let’s talk about comeback
In Singapore it rains in the morning. For a European it’s easy to just sleep to the afternoon after the first day. In this GP the media will work until night after the afternoon is over. This way you can avoid getting wet in the rain. Though the shirt gets wet in this climate no matter what.
It’s 7.05 p.m. local time. 31 degrees and the humidity percentage is 54. The airconditioning in the press room is working pleasantly well.
More than one colleague has come to ask me if I think Kimi Räikkönen will come back to the F1-tracks. Well. What should one reply to that. They say in F1 that everything is possible – or not.
Williams didn’t escape any more pressures for replies. The whole senior management skipped this particular race. There is no Frank Williams, no Adam Parr. The team will be managed for the last time by Sam Michael.
Lets take the speculative approach instead. I asked my professional colleagues if Kimi’s possible comeback would be easier than it was for Michael Schumacher, who made a comeback after being away for 3 years. Räikkönen’s last GP was 1.11. 2009 in Abu Dhabi.
I needed to press them a little to get some answers, because they don’t believe in Räikkönen’s comeback in general.
Here’s what I got today:
Alberto Antonini, Auto Sprint: Martin Brundle, BBC: Michael Schmidt, Auto, Motor und Sport: Luis Vasconcelos, Formula One Press: Livio Oricchio, O Estado do Sao Paulo:
– Probably Kimi’s comeback would be more difficult than Michael’s if it would happen in some of those teams in the second league, like they have been rumouring. On the other hand – in the end it would all be up to how Kimi would adapt to the new tyres. They decide so much these days.
– Michael came back and drove with Bridgestone tyres last year just like in old times in Ferrari and even Benetton. Hence he was completely at the mercy of the tyres. Kimi has a strong statistic from Spa for example where he could drive softly enough at the right place of the markers. If he would immediately get his driving style to fit these tyres, then his comeback would be much easier.
Bas Leinders, RTBF-tv.
– If Kimi would come back, then he wouldn’t face the same problems Michael did because he has been racing all the time, whereas Michael only went and injured himself on motorcycles during his break. It wouldn’t be easy though. He would have to be mentally ready and it would be easier if a driver who has been away from F1 for a couple of years, would for example drive a lot of test for example in Spain with a GP2-car.
– I believe that the comeback would be easier for Kimi than it was for Michael. Just because of the age alone – Kimi is over 10 years younger than him. Schumacher took care of his physics during the break. Of course Kimi would also have to be in the best shape too.
– But it has it’s own difficulties. When I tried racing after a break myself, I made the decisions from a mechanical point of view, not by instinct as I should have. Especially racing wheel to wheel in F1 would take it’s own time for Kimi to get used to. It’s not the same as driving wheel to wheel in Nascar with truck-cars.
– It would absolutely be more easier for Kimi to come back than it was for Michael. Michael spent three sabbatical years. Kimi has only been two years away – and raced all the time during that time. Both are very talented and experienced drivers. Yet adapting to something new will be the same for both.
– It would be much more difficult than it was for Schumacher, who hadn’t drove anything. Kimi has done everything from rally to Nascar and Le Mans-test. When current F1-cars are completely different from what they were in his time, it will be difficult to adapt after all those different racing classes.
- I don’t also think that it would help if Kimi had to drive in a team that is the weakest of the middle-teams after he has been used to race in winning teams.
– Of course the comeback would be much easier for Kimi than it was for Michael. The simple explanation is their age. Kimi is still like in his 20′s whereas Micheal is about to enter his 50′s. Physics have their own laws and in F1-driving it means a lot. However I don’t claim that Kimi’s comeback would be easy in any way. The first 6 months he would also have to try and find the rythm and get used to everything new.
Alberto Antonini, Auto Sprint:
Martin Brundle, BBC:
Michael Schmidt, Auto, Motor und Sport:
Luis Vasconcelos, Formula One Press:
Livio Oricchio, O Estado do Sao Paulo:
Il ritorno di Räikkönen, 6 campioni del mondo in pista nel 2012
Sembra che l’accordo Raikkonen Williams sia solo questione di dettagli. Dopo la visita a Grove Kimi sembra pronto a credere in una sua seconda carriera in F1.
Raikkonen è fuori da due stagioni, passate a ribaltare la Citroen nei rally tanto che il capo meccanico si è rifiutato l’ultima volta di fargli sistemare la macchina. Da qui anche la decisione di non andare in Australia.
Campione del mondo nel 2007, gran manico, gran ritmo, uno dei pochi ritenuto da Alonso un degno avversario, farebbe un gran bene al momento terribile della Williams e anche alla F1, ma ci pensate 6 campioni del mondo in pista insieme?
Certo passata la fase mediatica affronteremo poi la fase pratica…
Cosa sarà in grado di fare Kimi dopo due anni di stop?
Beh chiaramente molto dipenderà dalla macchina, ma si troverà anche una diavoleria come il DRS da imparare. Ai tempi si diceva che lui con la manualità sul volante era un drago.
Gli sponsor sono disposti a pagare di più alla Williams (pare ci sia anche nei contratti in caso di arrivo di un campione del mondo) per l’arrivo di Kimi…
Kimi si ritroverebbe Mike Coughlan (ricordate spystory?) nuovo direttore tecnico Williams già suo referente in Mclaren dal 2002 al 2006.
Ci siamo manca solo l’annuncio così si dice!!!!
Williams, Barrichello: “Non sono preoccupato dalle voci sull’arrivo di Räikkönen al mio posto”
Rubens Barrichello dice che non ha intenzione di sprecare tempo a preoccuparsi di perdere il suo posto in Formula 1, dopo le voci circa il ritorno di Kimi Raikkonen in Formula 1 proprio al posto del pilota brasiliano alla Williams il prossimo anno.
Raikkonen ha visitato la fabbrica della Williams, ma il team ha finora rifiutato di commentare la situazione Raikkonen, e ha confermato solo che il finlandese si è recato in visita ‘privata’ alla fabbrica di recente per motivi non specificati.
“Non ho nulla da commentare” ha detto Barrichello in vista del GP di Singapore. “Il mio account Twitter è impazzito con le persone che mi chiedono delle cose.”
“Qualunque cosa dice la gente di me, non è vero. Ogni volta che incontro la mia famiglia, mi chiedono cose assurde che hanno letto sulla stampa. Dire qualcosa ora farà più chiasso.”
“Sicuramente voglio correre il prossimo anno. Questo è il mio obiettivo. Mi sento più preparato rispetto a qualsiasi altro momento”.
Ha aggiunto: “Williams, purtroppo, non mi ha dato una buona macchina ma bisogna andare avanti, stare insieme per avere una buona macchina e migliorare il prossimo anno.”
“Ho avuto 19 anni fantastici [in F1] e voglio fare i miei 20 anni. Se tutto va bene, farò il mio 20mo anno in Formula 1″.
Il compagno di squadra di Barrichello, Maldonado ha invece un posto alla Williams assicurato per il prossimo anno, grazie al contratto di sponsorizzazione della squadra con la compagnia petrolifera venezuelana PDVSA.
Altri piloti “paganti” potrebbero essere sulla lista della Williams per il prossimo anno come Bruno Senna, Adrian Sutil e Giedo van der Garde.
Räikkönen poised to return to F1 with Williams
Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of signing a deal to return to F1 with Williams.
The 2007 world champion has been in discussions with the team for several weeks, following a recent visit to the factory in Grove. Sources suggest that discussions are going the right way and they are now close to a deal.
It is understood that the Finn, who will be 32 next month, is keen to get back into F1 competition after two years on the sidelines in rallying. The timing is significant as Williams are on the look out for a bold move to boost the team and Raikkonen can see that the F1 driver landscape is likely to change a lot at the end of 2012 and a strong season, reminding everyone what he can do, might open some doors.
Michael Schumacher’s comeback is both a positive example, but also a warning to the Finn as it took the seven times champion some time to get up to speed. Raikkonen has kept sharp by competing in world rally for the past two seasons, but at the same time he will take a while to get fully up to speed with the Pirelli F1 tyres. All his rivals will have a year’s experience on them.
From Williams’ point of view, team boss Adam Parr will want to make a bold move after a season to forget in 2011. He has hired a new technical team, led by Mike Coughlan, with Dr Mark Gillan (who is here in Singapore) in charge of race operations and Jason Sommerville as chief aerodynamicist. His other options are to retain Rubens Barrichello, hire a known quantity like Heikki Kovalainen or go for a rookie alongside Pastor Maldonado. Or he could wait to see whether a Robert Kubica comeback might dislodge Bruno Senna from Renault. Rumours of a connection with Adrian Sutil have been firmly denied on both sides.
One thing is for sure, Williams are likely to finish 9th in the Constructors’ Championship this year and that will mean a shortfall in prize money and sponsor bonus money.
However most major sponsor contracts have a clause where they pay more if a world champion comes to the team and that may be another factor to encourage the Raikkonen move, particularly if his wage demands are reasonable.
Hiring Raikkonen would be a very bold statement from Williams as he is a world champion and an 18 times race winner. He certainly has the speed and the skills to compete with the best in F1, will certainly get some eye catching results and his name might also help attract a sponsor or two, although he is not known for being keen on promotional appearances. For F1 it would mean that there would be 6 world champions in the field of 24 drivers, which has never happened before in its 61 year history. The feeling in the paddock is that it would be a good thing, if it happens.
The possible question mark with Raikkonen is motivation; he seemed to have run out of motivation in his final season with Ferrari in 2009 and driving what is likely to be a midfield car, even if it is a regular points challenger, he will be seeking to prove a point rather than win races.
One key relationship he will not have to develop from scratch is with new Williams technical director Mike Coughlan, who worked with the Finn at McLaren from 2002 until his move to Ferrari in 2006. They know each other well.
Williams Using Räikkönen As Pay-Driver Leverage?
Reports are gathering steam that Kimi Raikkonen is seriously considering a return to Formula One in 2012 with Williams.
In the Singapore paddock, it is now an established fact that the 2007 World Champion — and recent world rally and NASCAR driver — was given a detailed tour of the famous team’s Grove headquarters by Adam Parr.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said the visit took place on the Wednesday before Monza. Chairman Parr is not in Singapore this weekend.
The magazine is, however, skeptical about Williams’ motives: "Raikkonen could be used as leverage for other interested parties," said the report.
"It could drag another one or two million from their sponsors."
Raikkonen, on the other hand, is apparently serious. "He wants to return to the tracks. And he does not want to put more of his own money into his racing," said Auto Motor und Sport about the 31-year-old.
Also reportedly in the running for the 2012 seat alongside Pastor Maldonado are Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi, Giedo van der Garde, Vitaly Petrov and Romain Grosjean.
Auto Motor und Sport insists that, despite the German’s categorical denial, Sutil made a low-profile visit to Williams late on the Wednesday before Monza.
It would be good news for Nico Hulkenberg, who after losing his Williams seat in 2010 would almost certainly fill Sutil’s place at Force India.
"There’s a lot of talk and rumors but I just try to concentrate on myself, do my best and watch what happens," reserve driver Hulkenberg told the Today newspaper in Singapore.
Da plaza.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Venezuelans will decide if Räikkönen comes back to F1
Kimi Räikkönen intends to come back to F1 in 2012 as Williams driver. Williams want Räikkönen, but it’s still up to money if the contract comes through or not. Räikkönen’s salary demand is about 10 million dollars and Williams is currently negotiating about funding his salary with the oil company PDVSA from Venezuela.
PDVSA has sponsored Williams this season, where Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado is driving. Maldonado will also drive in Williams next season with the support of PDVSA. PDVSA is willing to fund also Räikkönen’s salary but in the end it’s up to if the company will get visibility for their money in Williams’ activity. This year PDVSA has sponsored Williams with about 24 million dollars but next season the amount of money would be a lot bigger if Räikkönen would come to the team.
A proposito di Kimi, in un’intervista di questa settimana al sito pitlane-vision.com Toni Vilander:
- Il vostro amico, Kimi Räikkönen ha provato la Peugeot 908. Cosa vi ha raccontato in proposito?
- “E’ stato contento di ritrovarsi su un ‘”vero” circuito visto che corre nei rally da due stagioni ormai. E’ stato molto contento di poter provare questa macchina, ma è tutto ciò che mi ha detto. Riguardo al suo futuro, non so nulla.”
Peter Sauber intervistato da Kulta, un suo commento su Räikkönen.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KR Forum Ufficiale.
It has become a tradition in F1 that once a year Peter Sauber invites long-time reporters from the paddock in smaller groups by countries for an evening snack to his VIP-premises.
Now the invitation came on Thursday night. One Finn, two Dutch, two Belgian, one Japanese, four Brazilians and four Mexicans accepted the invitation.
So it was quite a mixed group.
It has always been a habit with Peter Sauber that the talk at some point turnes into Kimi Räikkönen’s time in the Swiss team and how it has gone after that.
I asked Sauber wouldn’t it be nice if Räikkönen would come back to F1-tracks. Surprisingly he shook his head and said that it isn’t the same Kimi anymore.
As a matter of fact Sauber went right away 10 years back in a time machine to the stage when young Räikkönen was shining in his car and helped the team come in 4th in the WCC-serie.
– Kimi made a mistake going to McLaren. After that he was never the same Kimi who left our team, Sauber claimed.
The comment was so stunning that I had to ask for more clarification. Then what should Räikkönen had done then?
– Ron Dennis promised to make Kimi the all time youngest WDC in McLaren. He promised a lot but nothing was given. For Kimi those 5 years went down the drain and he was never the same driver he was before, Sauber justified.
The aged team manager admitted that for many drivers that McLaren-seat would have been really good – but not to such a talent as young Räikkönen was.
According to Sauber switching to Ferrari for season 2007 was okay. He got the WDC but Ferrari would have got an even better Räikkönen at an earlier stage – without the frustration from the McLaren-years.
Sauber was fuming with anger back then when Dennis snatched Räikkönen. He will probably never forgive it…
Back to the original question about how fascinating Räikkönen’s possible comeback would be, Sauber did say later on that it would be a really juvenating thing for the sport.
Alcune foto dal circuito di Spielberg, set dello spot girato la scorsa settimana per RedBull e la tv austriaca Servus TV (postate da Maili85@ KR Forum Ufficiale):
Kimi ha assistito alla gara in Germania del suo team di motocross (da http://www.ice1racing.fi/):
[…] “We want to support the Finnish riders and award their good progress”, cheered Kimi Räikkönen, the ICE1RACING team owner, who had come to see the race weekend. […]
Kimi Räikkönen’s team excluded from World Rally Championship standings
Kimi Raikkonen’s Ice 1 Racing team has been excluded from the classification of the World Rally Championship for not contesting this week’s Rally Australia.
The former Formula 1 world champion elected not to travel to Coffs Harbour for the 10th round of the WRC and, once the event got underway last night, the stewards of the meeting made their decision – which will cost Raikkonen €16,200 (£14,000).
The officials’ statement said: "Having considered the provisions of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship Sporting Regulations and specifically article 7.3.8, the stewards decide to require the team Ice 1 Racing to pay the entry fee to the organisers of the 2011 Rally Australia, to pay the FIA a fine equal to the amount of the registration fee being €16,000 to exclude Ice1 Racing from the classification of the championship."
Raikkonen’s Ice1 Racing team is classified as a WRC Team and, as such, is bound to compete in the rallies nominated at the start of the season. Raikkonen had to nominate seven events, two of which had to be outside of Europe. He competed in Jordan earlier this year, but failing to make the start in Australia contravened the regulations.
The Finn had already contested six WRC rounds this season and was holding eighth place with 34 points. Raikkonen will be permitted to enter any of the remaining three rallies he wants to, but Ice 1 will not be included in the end of season classification.
In Raikkonen’s absence, the stewards’ decision was accepted by team manager Benoit Nogier.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Räikkönen maintained the driver’s points
Kimi Räikkönen’s ICE1 Racing -team was excluded from the teams WRC-serie on Friday. Räikkönen was 5th in this serie with 48 points.
The judges in Rally Australia registered that Räikkönen had skipped the race and according to the rules the team doesn’t fill the requirement to participate in at least two remote rallies outside Europe anymore.
Räikkönen has skipped Australia, Mexico, Sardinia and Argentina. From the remote rallies he has only taken part in Rally Jordan. After Australia he has France, Catalynia and Great-Britain left.
Australia was in Räikkönen’s original WRC-schedule but he decided to change his plans after Rally Finland. Instead of a rally trip Kimi has been on a holiday with his wife Jenni.
The hosts in Rally Australia gave Räikkönen a penalty since he didn’t show up there to race. The sum is the registration fee (16.200 euros). On top of that FIA gave the driver a penalty of the same amount.
In WRC the racing for Manufacturer’s championship is not the same as it is in F1. The price-money is remarkably smaller. That’s why even losing the 5th place isn’t such a big deal for Räikkönen financially.
What is special is that Räikkönen’s one-car -team has more WC-points than the driver has. ICE1 Racing had time to gather 48 points whereas Räikkönen is 8th in the driver’s serie with 34 points. The difference is only due to the fact that in some rallies all teams haven’t got any WC-points.
The penalty from Rally Australia concerns only the teams WC-serie. Therefore Räikkönen is still 8th in the driver’s serie. According to his original plan, Räikkönen will drive normally the three last WRC-rallies in the serie and think after that what he will be doing in 2012.
Räikkönen’s team hit with penalty
Kimi Raikkonen’s ICE 1 Racing will play no further part in the battle for the World Rally Championship manufacturers’ title following its exclusion from the series due to its no show on Rally Australia.
The Citroen Racing Technologies-managed operation had contested six rounds of this year’s world championship with Raikkonen at the wheel of a DS3 WRC, scoring manufacturers’ points on each occasion. Heading to Rally Australia, the squad was fifth in the table with 48 points.
ICE 1 had lodged an entry for ex-Formula One world champion Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom for Rally Australia but notified organisers that it wouldn’t be taking part on the Coffs Harbour-based round due to logistical and organisational difficulties. Its failure to take part was in contravention of article 7.3.8 of the WRC’s sporting regulations.
A decision taken by the Rally Australia stewards on Thursday ordered the Finnish-backed team to pay the entry fee to the event organisers and a fine of 16,200 Euros to the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body. It also excluded ICE 1 from the classification of the manufacturers’ championship.
Despite the punishment, Raikkonen is still committed to the WRC with this entry already submitted for round 11, Rally de France Alsace, which takes place from 28 September-2 October. He is also due to contest the rounds in Spain and Great Britain.
Da Autosprint n.37
Da TS.fi, traduzione con Google.
Räikkönen testerà in Spagna la Peugeot per Le Mans
Kimi Räikkönen si sposterà mercoledì prossimo per testare vetture più pesanti. La star finlandese testerà la Peugeot 908 LMP1 in Spagna.
Räikkönen aveva parlato a Turun Sanomat della volontà di provare a correre a Le Mans. Ora gli viene offerta la possibilità di un test con l’auto vincitrice di Le Mans. […]
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”.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale:
Räikkönen is not going to Australia
Although Kimi Räikkönen was going to go to Rally Australia in September, he has decided to skip it.
– I won’t drive there. I was going to but we aren’t going. It’s so far away that I’m not interested in travelling there, Räikkönen confirmed to Turun Sanomat.
Germany is Räikkönen’s 6th WRC-rally this season. Since he leaves Australia out of the program he still has France, Catalynia and Great-Britain.
Turun Sanomat, Trier
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.
Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström, who already showed a promising turn of speed in the previous rally in Greece, confirmed their progress in Finland. The ICE1 Racing driver started his third Rally Finland at a searing pace only a second per kilometre off the reference time, and finished the first leg in thirteenth place. He lost precious time due to a minor error on Friday morning. On the way back to Jyväskylä he got back into the rhythm and moved up to twelfth. Iceman’s confidence was now at full boost, and he upped the pace even further in the home stretch by overtaking his nearest rivals and finished in ninth place.
“These roads are as quick and as difficult as ever,” underlined the Finnish driver. But we still managed to set good times. I’d like to thank the many spectators who cheered us on during the weekend. We were able to maintain a good pace throughout the whole rally despite a few minor mistakes. It’s encouraging for the rest of the season.”
With both Citroën DS3 WRCs at the finish, Benoit Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies team manager, was pretty satisfied with the team’s overall performance in Rally Finland: “Kimi’s made a lot of progress since last season. He’s showing promising steadiness and he’s on the right track. Above all, he’s now getting used to finishing the rallies in the points. It’s both satisfying and very encouraging.” […]
Da TS.fi, traduzione Google
La prestazione di Räikkönen elogiata dagli esperti
Räikkönen non è considerato una persona mattiniera ma questa volta è partito velocemente sia il venerdì mattina, sia in particolar modo, il sabato.
Nella SS17 la sua Citroen ha colpito una roccia poi ha toccato con il posteriore contro degli alberi.
- “Il paraurti davanti si è staccato e l’aria si infilava sotto. Quando andavo un po’ più veloce, l’anteriore iniziava ad andare da tutte le parti e non stava più in pista. Non c’era ragione di andare veloci quando l’anteriore scivolava in tutte le direzioni”, ha detto Räikkönen.
Comunque la prestazione è stata notevole. L’apprezzamento nei confronti di Räikkönen è aumentato tra gli esperti.
- “Certamente da spettatore finlandese preferirei vedere Kimi continuare a vincere in F1, ma ora le cose stanno così. Kimi è nella posizione di poter guidare ciò che vuole. Lui vuole guidare i rally e tutti conoscono che controllo della macchina ha il ragazzo. Lui migliorerà come pilota di rally quando imparerà come fare le note e ad estrarre da esse il massimo delle informazioni”, pensa Lasse Lampi.
- “Non ci si dovrebbe limitare ad osservare e a dire, ‘oh, Kimi è di nuovo ottavo’. Io osservo la guida di Kimi in modo completamente diverso e penso che la sua prestazione sia stata migliore di quanto mi aspettassi”, dice Rauno Aaltonen.
- “Kimi dimostra di avere un buon controllo di nervi e di mente quando è in pista. I rally a questo livello sono comunque una battaglia e quando sei al limite, la probabilità di errore diventa sempre maggiore. Tanto di cappello per Kimi”.
Aaltonen si chiedeva anche del perchè della dichiarazione di Olivier Quesnel apparsa nel web, a proposito della sua delusione sul ritmo di Kimi.
- “Penso che sia stata una valutazione ingiusta. Bisogna capire che le persone guidano su diversi percorsi con diverse velocità. Un essere umano non è una macchina. Alcuni vanno meglio sulle strade veloci, altri danno il loro meglio su strade tortuose. Dipende completamente dalla macchina, dai muscoli e dal modo in cui uno pensa a dove guardare”, dice Aaltonen.
Da TS.fi traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Räikkönen had a slippery debut practice
Kimi Räikkönen’s first official practice in Nascar’s Truck-serie was careful while he got used to it.
– It was a bit slippery, Räikkönen replied to the question about how the practice felt like.
Out of 35 competitors Räikkönen left only six behind him. His fastest lap was 31,265 seconds or in the American way 172,717 miles per hour. The leader Ron Hornaday junior’s lap was 30,122 and his average speed was 179,330 miles per hour.
Kimi’s former team mate Juan Pablo Montoya came immediately after the practice to chat with Räikkönen.
– I only said to Kimi that it’s cool to see him here but that the place is completely wrong to start with these cars. Charlotte is one of the most difficult tracks, Montoya said.
How did the track feel like after driving the test on a small oval?
– I drove the test on an oval that was almost as long as this one. There was no other difference than this track being more slippery due to the morning rain, Räikkönen thought.
Although Räikkönen didn’t admit it, it was natural that he had to start more carefully than others just to make sure he doesn’t crash or destroy other drivers laps when driving for the first time with several truck-cars at the same time on a difficult oval.
– I’m sure the rally experience will help Kimi slightly, but it helps in other places, not here. Yet Kimi is in a very good team and I’m sure he will go fast once he finds the right rhythm, Montoya chatted.
Would it be nice to see Räikkönen in Sprint Cup?
– Absolutely. If Kimi stays here then it’s going to be fun, the Columbian star assured.
Are nice memories coming back?
– Those memories live forever, Montoya smiled.
Räikkönen and Montoya did hit together as team mates so that sparks were flying.
Turun Sanomat, Charlotte
HEIKKI KULTA Practice times
1. Ron Hornaday Chevrolet 30,112
2. Johnny Sauter Chevrolet 30,134
3. Kyle Busch Toyota 30,200
4. Todd Bodine Toyota 30,261
5. Timothy Peters Toyota 30,266
6. James Buescher Chevrolet 30,303
7. Austin Dillon Chevrolet 30,318
8. Brad Sweet Chevrolet 30,353
9. Max Papis Toyota 30,425
10. Matt Crafton Chevrolet 30,469
..15. Nelson Piquet jr Chevrolet 30,672
..30. Kimi Räikkönen Toyota 31,265
Paula-Mom was nervous for Kimi’s sake on the spot
Kimi Räikkönen’s Nascar-debut on Friday brought a lot of people who normally don’t follow these races to Charlotte’s media-premises .
That didn’t surprise Räikkönen or his background group, but even the driver was astonished when his mother Paula together with her friends showed up at the place to cheer for him.
– We just wanted to suprise Kimi and didn’t tell him anything about our plans beforehand, Paula Räikkönen told in Kyle Busch Motosports’ truck pit.
The last time mother Räikkönen has been abroad following Kimi’s races has been during his F1-times.
– It’s different when you sit in the car and there aren’t mechanics around to fasten the seat belt, they have to do everything themself.
Before morning practice Räikkönen, like the other rookies, took a course of what they can expect in different situations on this special track and how they should react to different situations.
– Can you imagine how it felt for me to talk to a guy who is a world champion about these kinds of basic things, Austin Dillon, the teacher said.
The 21-year old youngster is one of Nascar’s rising names. His grandfather is Richard Childress, who again is the owner of the legendary Dale Earnhardt Senior -team.
Turun Sanomat, Charlotte
Solberg quickest in Jordan shakedown
Driving a Citroen DS3 WRC prepared by his own PS Engineering team, Solberg and co-driver Chris Patterson set a quickest time of 1m15.1s over the 2.05-kilometre practice stage, which was held in hot and sunny conditions 7km north of the service park on the Dead Sea coast. The shakedown was run to a shorter than usual timetable owing to the delays encountered in shipping the cars, spares and service park to the Jordan Rally location.
Solberg, who came into the event with no experience of the revised Michelin tyres, said: “It was tough to be here without having had a chance to do anything with the new tyres, because there’s quite a big difference. But we had no choice so we just did the best we could. I’ve learned much more about the tyres now with the few runs we had and I’m ready to start the fight.
“I have to go flat out in every stage to get to the top, and I like driving with the big attack. We will see.”
Seven-times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb was second fastest in the Citroen Total World Rally Team DS3 WRC, four tenths of a second slower than Solberg.
Jari-Matti Latvala was a further three-tenths of a second adrift in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ahead of fellow Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Mikko Hirvonen in fourth.
“It was good to get a feeling for the new tyres,” Latvala told WRC.com. “Even though it was only a short stage, just two kilometres, I started to get a feeling for the surface with them.
“I thought about making some set-up changes but there is not enough time."
“I’m not really worried about road position for tomorrow. Running third on the road is quite alright. Mikko will suffer more and have less time to catch up. For sure, with only two days it’s going to be flat out from the start.”
Loeb’s team-mate Sebastien Ogier, whose position in the running order was sacrificed on last year’s Jordan Rally to benefit Loeb, was fifth after setting an identical time to Hirvonen. Matthew Wilson was the quickest M-Sport Stobart Fiesta driver, posting the same time as Kimi Raikkonen’s Ice 1 Racing Citroen..
Here are the shakedown times of the leading WRC drivers:
1. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:15.1
2. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:15.5
3. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:15.8
4. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:15.9
5. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:15.9
6. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:16.8
7. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:16.8
8. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:16.9
9. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:17.8
10. AL ATTIYAH. Ford Fiesta S2000. 1:18.0
11. VILLAGRA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:19.5
12. VAN MERKSTEIJN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:20.0
13. AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:20.4
14. SOUSA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:21.5
15. TURAN. Ford Fiesta S2000. 1:21.6
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KR Forum Ufficiale:
Räikkönen returned back to rally
Kimi about the shakedown:
– It went quite well – at least in the beginning. Of course it’s going to be a little difficult in the beginning because I haven’t got to drive for some time, Räikkönen thought.
– The car feels just the same as it felt before. There’s no difference, Räikkönen stated shortly in his own way.
Ford’s and Citroen’s drivers from the main team got to try out Michelin’s new tyre that shouldn’t break as easily as it has broken in the previous rallies. Räikkönen got finally to test the new rubbers in shakedown.
– I didn’t notice any difference in the tyres. There are lots of stones on the road but so far no tyres have broken. Hopefully the difference to the last tyres is big, Räikkönen said.
– They haven’t made any changes to the car because of the new tyres. I suppose they don’t have to do that either, he continued. […]