The top 20 F1 stories of 2011
3. Renault confirms Raikkonen for 2012
One of the biggest driver signing stories of 2011 was when Renault announced that Kimi Raikkonen would be joining the team for next year.
8. Villeneuve: Raikkonen title not deserved
Jacques Villeneuve is never one to keep controversial opinions to himself, and over the summer he offered his views on Kimi Raikkonen’s qualities as a champion.
The top 20 motorsport stories of 2011
[…] In happier news, Kimi Raikkonen’s deliberations over where to head next fascinated readers long before his Formula 1 comeback was announced, the prospect of a new Indycar for 2012 was eagerly awaited, and excitement grew over the future of Le Mans racing as Toyota and Porsche lined up to join Audi and Peugeot.
2. NASCAR: Raikkonen to compete in NASCAR
Raikkonen’s second WRC campaign had only just begun when reports of another potential career change emerged, as he arranged to take his first tentative steps into what turned out to be an abortive NASCAR career.
16. Le Mans: Raikkonen completes Peugeot 908 test
By August, NASCAR had dropped off Raikkonen’s radar and it appeared that he might be set for a move into the Le Mans arena after testing for the factory Peugeot team.
19. NASCAR: Raikkonen tests Cup car at Virginia
Kimi Raikkonen was big news all year as he pondered his next move. Back in early summer, a Formula 1 return seemed unlikely and it looked like NASCAR would be his 2012 destination.
Räikkönen still has hunger for rally
How is it Kimi Räikkönen, would it be time for podiums next year if your career would happen to continue in WRC?
– The top of five goes fast but I guess I would develop if I would still drive for one more season. It’s difficult to say what results I would achieve. I guess the level would go up and the speed would go forward, Räikkönen speculated in the service park in Builth Wells.
– We have improved all the time. It’s important. If I would want to drive the same speed as the top, then I would have to test a lot and drive all the time. Yet we haven’t gone into this so that we would be driving with the taste of blood in the mouth, Räikkönen reminds.
– I do everything I can but I have to know myself where we are. It’s not wise to go and do something stupid, Räikkönen describes his rally speed.
No disappointment, own fault
– Muddy braking in downhill, from where the car slided into a soft bank. The driving line was wide and there was too much mud, Räikkönen thinks.
Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström got the car back on the road with the help of spectators, but the journey ended quickly. The power transmission got too severe hits in the off, so it wasn’t possible to continue.
– It doesn’t disappoint me, my own fault, Räikkönen said.
Nothing new from F1
-There are no contracts or plans for next season, Räikkönen says.
Then is it possible that your career continues in rally next season?
-Of course. I have enjoyed myself here.
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Kimi about future plans: "We are chatting with many places"
– I don’t have any plans. Lets see what happens and what we do, Räikkönen summed up.
According to Räikkönen he doesn’t have any timetable for his future decisions.
Rally is also one of the options.
– I’ve liked it here. I wouldn’t have been here if I didn’t.
Räikkönen admitted earlier this week that he has been in contact with Williams but emphasized that there is nothing concrete.
– We always chat to many places and negotiate, but until there is a contract it’s useless to talk about them.
According to his own words, Kaj Lindström is just as unaware of Räikkönen’s future as everybody else.
– I don’t think anyone knows it. The master hasn’t decided yet. Last year we agreed about this year in December, Lindström reminded.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
The good finish
Obviously, it’s time to finish this season of WRC. This is the last rally this year, and – for sure – it is one of the most challenging of them all in the calendar.
The feeling of having the last race of the season is always rewarding. You have worked hard the whole year long and then it’s time to have a useful break and chill out a little bit.
The starting point for the Rally of Great Britain is quite encouraging. We had a very good test. The car gives a comfortable feeling for me. The set-up work went well, we made some well matched changes and the car is good to drive.
The shakedown session went very well, too. So all in all, obviously, I’m looking forward to get the rally started in a clean way.
The weather is always as unpredictable as it is in England. Sometimes you got the sun shining, something it rains in this island. The roads are slippery. While there is water, dust, fog, what so ever, you have to be very, very focussed all the time and really trust on the pace notes you hear to avoid all kind of nasty surprises.
Compared to last year there are only a few special stages left. Most of the roads are new for everybody. It’s different every time. Let’s wait and see how our car works out on these roads.
We have had some difficult rallies lately, so it would be more than welcomed to finish the season with a good result and clean rally.
I just focus on this rally and finish the season in a nice way. That’s all that matters right now. What happens in the future is still an open question.
Martin Whitmarsh urges Williams to sign Kimi Räikkönen
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has urged Frank Williams to sign 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen raced for McLaren from 2002-2006, winning nine grands prix, and Whitmarsh came close to re-signing him for 2010 before opting for Jenson Button.
Williams has held talks with Raikkonen and is considering taking him on in a move believed to be contingent on landing major backing from Qatar. But despite question marks over how motivated the Finn is to return to F1 after two seasons out, Whitmarsh has no doubts about his ability.
"Try and sign him," said Whitmarsh when asked to give advice to Williams on Raikkonen. "We all know he is quick and I think people underestimate how intelligent he can be.
"I hope that he is hungry. I am sure that he hasn’t lost the capability to thrill us, so I think it would be fantastic for Formula 1. I wouldn’t ordinarily presume to advise Sir Frank who he should sign, but I think it would be exciting if he did."
Williams would not comment on his interest in Raikkonen, saying that "I cannot make any comment about supposition", but he did confirm that a slot could be available in the team’s 2012 driver line-up.
Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who has impressed during his rookie season and comes with the blessing of major sponsor PDVSA is set to stay on, but team-mate Rubens Barrichello’s future is uncertain.
"[It’s] not clear exactly who will be in both cars," said Williams "I am sure Pastor will be in one car. Rubens maybe.
"We haven’t really made up our minds what we want to do before we talk to Rubens."
Williams also hinted that reserve driver Valterri Bottas, who has been on the team’s books since the start of last season, could also be in the frame.
The GP3 champion will drive for Williams during two days at next week’s young driver test and is known to be an outsider for the drive if he impresses the team.
"It depends how quick he is," said Williams. "I don’t know enough about him.
"He looks very good, but beyond saying that, I don’t know him. We have to keep testing him, I guess."
[…] Q. Frank, again a bit like Mercedes there have been a lot of staff changes within the Williams team. What are your thoughts on the changes for next year – personnel, engines, even drivers.
FW: Well the engine choice we felt will be the right one. We have long-term memories with Renault and they have always served Formula One and ourselves extremely well. Various other personnel changes within the company. We will see how they work. I think it would be inappropriate for me to describe what is expected of any one individual.
Q. And drivers as well?
FW: Not clear exactly who will be in both cars. I am sure Pastor (Maldonado) will be in one car. Rubens (Barrichello) maybe, we haven’t really made up our minds what we want to do before we talk to Rubens.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q. (Heikki Kulta –Turun Sanomat) Frank, 10 years ago you were interested in getting Kimi (Raikkonen) to your team. Now, 10 years later are you still interested to get him now you can do so?
FW: I knew this would come up. But my view, as you might well expect, goes as follows: a lot of supposition and I cannot make any comment about supposition, sorry to be so unhelpful.
Q. Are you following his rally career?
FW: I am not a rally fan.
Q. (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special) Just to follow up on that question. Martin and Stefano, Kimi drove for both of you, what advice would you give to Frank on this subject?
MW: Try and sign him. Kimi, we all know he is quick. I think people underestimate how intelligent he can be. I hope that he is hungry. I am sure he hasn’t lost the capability to thrill us in Formula One so I think it would be fantastic for Formula One. I wouldn’t ordinarily presume to advise Sir Frank who he should sign but I think it would be exciting if he did.
SD: Of course, I would not give any advice to Frank. He has long experience. A lot longer than me. For sure, I know Kimi very well. He is very talented, very strong, and if he wants to come back he has something that wants to show to everyone about him, about the fact that he was the last driver to win the World Championship with us and he will want to show he is still one of the strongest.
Video da MTV3: http://www.mediafire.com/?a1gowx9nsbpo2ad
SS4: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "It was bit slippery in some places. I wasn’t driving very well."
SS11: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "We thought we had a puncture, but there is something with the steering."
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Räikkönen: The driving is better
Räikkönen was happy that compared to F1 he had a roof over his head now.
– You don’t get very wet here. It’s of course a different world.
– Oh well, the driving was better. That last stage was just completely foggy, I hardly saw anything. It also rained quite a lot on the other stages.
– It’s a new day tomorrow, lets see.
They rumour Räikkönen made his decision to quit his rallying career already in rally Finland, after being frustrated in his own inability to improve. Officially the man doesn’t say anything about next year, or if we will see him in rally Wales again.
– It’s difficult to say, I have no decisions about next year, Räikkönen grunted.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione di Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Kimi’s lights went off
According to Kaj Lindström Rally Wales is one of Räikkönen’s favorite rallies.
– Kimi liked this rally last year also. This is a difficult race but the more challenging, the more he likes it, Lindström told.
The opening day proceeded without any problems but then on the 3rd SS Räikkönen and Lindström got into a scary situation when the lights suddenly went off in the dark.
– We lost there because we had to brake on a straight.
According to Lindström Räikkönen was in a good mood.
– Hopefully he is that tomorrow too although he has to wake up early, Lindström laughed.
The alarm clock woke up the duo at 5 a.m. this morning. According to Linström Kimi isn’t used to early mornings.
– But if you aren’t a morning person, then you just aren’t.
1. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:31.2
=1. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:31.2
3. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.1
4. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:32.2
=5. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.5
=5. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.5
=5. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.5
=8. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.8
=8. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.8
10. BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:33.4
11. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:33.9
=12. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.4
=12. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:34.4
=12. PROKOP. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.4
15. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.7
16. TANAK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.8
17. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:35.2
(19). VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:36.2
(23). OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:39.3