If Kimi comes back, isn’t that something to celebrate?
"If I owned a team and Kimi Raikkonen was available, I wouldn’t take him on," wrote Jacques Villeneuve in his F1 Racing column back in March. "Why would a team want to take on someone who wasn’t interested in being there?"
He may well want to ask his former boss and fellow columnist Frank Williams. It’s a fact that Kimi’s been to Grove and, as we were working on this month’s cover feature, the word was that Kimi had already discussed the thorny issue of PR days with them – and apparently agreed to do more than he had for any other team. Kimi’s mood seems to have shifted: he’s always had the air of someone who’d only come back with a top team yet now he’s seemingly open to offers from the lower midfield.
Ultimately, most fans would love to have Kimi back. But Villeneuve’s view – which is shared by others – is that Raikkonen’s behaviour was not heroically anti-establishment but disrespectful to fans. Really? When a driver gets out of the car and thanks his sponsors before the people who’ve paid their hard-earned cash to come and watch, isn’t that sort of depressingly corporate behaviour just as disrespectful? If a gifted racing driver who’s fond of the odd choc ice and dressing up as a gorilla while jet-skiing wants to come back, surely we should roll out the red carpet and relish seeing whether he’s still got it on the track. F1 doesn’t need any more robots, but colourful ex-world champions are in short supply.
Kimi charmed by WRC media
The media often get a bad press (which is ironic if you think about it) but Kimi Raikkonen reckons that the way the World Rally Championship is covered is one of the best things about it.
In Formula One, it’s fair to say that Kimi and the media weren’t always the best of friends. Because of that, he’s always been somewhat wary of people twisting his words.
In the WRC though, that’s starting to change. “I got the feeling last year from the start that the people who are involved in the rally media are more interested just in the sport and what is happening on the stages, rather than creating bullshit stories with big headlines outside of it,” said the Iceman. “The F1 journalists write more about other things than the sport sometimes. There’s less of that in rallying, it’s a different way of thinking.”
Whether or not the unparalleled charm of the international WRC press corps is going to be enough to keep Kimi in the world championship remains to be seen, but the former grand prix champion admits that it’s been a lot easier this year compared to 2010.
“It definitely comes more naturally,” he said. “Once you get onto the level where it feels normal and you don’t have to think about it you can push harder and you can improve a lot. Now I don’t have to think about the notes. Compared to last year, it’s completely different.”
The Iceman cometh back
He left F1 at the end of 2009 to try his hand at rallying and even NASCAR trucks. Now, after all the endless speculation, you can hear it exclusively from the man himself: Kimi Raikkonen wants to return. The question is… where to?
Kmi Raikkonen, despite a widespread reputation to the contrary, is not an enigma. In fact, he is one of the most straightforward yet misunderstood characters in motor racing. All he wants to do is win – in the most efficient way possible. What could be more logical than that?
But some people make the mistake of confusing a lack of communication with a lack of motivation when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. What is perceived to be a monosyllabic outlook on life (once prompting paddock magazine The Red Bulletin to produce a photo feature called ‘The 12 moods of Kimi Raikkonen’ – the catch being that all 12 photos were identical) is not even true: Kimi has plenty to say when he believes that there is something worthwhile to say or – more pertinently – something worthwhile to respond to.
The problem with polite conversation is that it’s meaningless. Let’s be honest: nobody is ever really interested in the weather or how your journey was. And this is just the normal world we’re talking about: imagine what it’s like in the rarefied atmosphere of Formula 1 where the air is as rendolent with self-absorption as it is with designer aftershave and there are more hidden agendas than in the cellar of a stationary shop.
So Kimi prefers to maintain a dignified silence about the recent flurry of speculation that has linked him to various Formula 1 teams – although he admits that a move back is possible. But lots of things are possible, including life on Mars, and the truth of the matter is that nothing has been agreed for 2012. Kimi Raikkonen’s diary for next year is blank… for the moment at least.
"For now there’s really nothing and before I have anything 100 per cent confirmed, there’s no point in talking," he points out with his characteristic honesty. Part of the reason why Kimi doesn’t always say very much is because he doesn’t like lying.
The currency of Formula 1 – much to Kimi’s bemusement – is rumour. You have two choices: either play the game, fuel the fire and start the gradual process of disappearing up your own rectum, or stay well out of it. But there is a third option, too: just say what you mean and try to rise above the politicking. However, a problem exists with that as well. Chances are that whatever you say, someone at some point will try to use it against you. The effort would be far better invested in the driving, which of course is the only reason why you’re here in the first place.
Räikkönen, improbabile un ritorno in F1 secondo la stampa finlandese
I piani di Kimi Raikkonen per il 2012 non includono un ritorno in Formula 1 secondo il giornale Ilta-Sanomat. La notizia segue le voci di un possibile ritorno del campione del mondo 2007 che ha lasciato la F1 alla fine del 2009 per iniziare a correre nei rally, nella NASCAR e a Le Mans. Le nuove, recenti voci erano nate a causa di una visita del finlandese alla factory Williams.
“Sì, Kimi Raikkonen ha visitato la fabbrica della Williams a Grove” ha confermato il quotidiano finlandese “ma un ritorno in F1 non è in vista”.
Raikkonen, che tra il 2002 e il 2009 ha guidato per top team come McLaren e Ferrari, “sarebbe convinto che la sua carriera in F1 è terminata quando ha lasciato la Ferrari”.
Per l’Ilta-Sanomat Raikkonen “vuole restare nei rally, correre le leggendarie 500 miglia di Daytona e Indianapolis e la 24 Ore di Le Mans” l’anno prossimo.
La traduzione dell’articolo originale da iltasanomat.fi di Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Here are Kimi Räikkönen’s plans for next season
According to information IS Urheilu has, Kimi Räikkönen is looking after a quite diversified racing program for next season.
He is going to drive both rally and track-racing next season also.
If Räikkönen’s plans succeed, then his racing program migth also include these famous track-races: Nascar’s opening race Daytona 500, legendary formula-race Indianapolis 500 and the classic of endurance races; Le Mans 24 hours.
Räikkönen also wants to continue in WRC where he would drive only for a part of the season, mainly in races taking place in Europe.
Though Räikkönen recently visited Williams F1-factory in UK his comeback to F1 is still highly unlikely.
Räikkönen is however interested in driving one formula race with an IndyCar-car. One of his dreams is to take part in North America’s most famous formula race Indianapolis 500, which takes place at the end of May. It remains to be seen if the Indy-start will happen next year already. It might not go well together with his Le Mans -plans.
Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 are USA’s most famous car races. They are on oval tracks and Räikkönen already has oval-experience from last spring’s Nascar-races.
Räikkönen is also very fascinated by Le Mans 24 hours that takes place in June. In August he was already testing Peugeot’s Le Mans -car on Aragon’s track in Spain and he enjoyed that experience very much.
Da Autosprint n.38 del 20/9/2011:
Kimi bis? Meglio di no
Ci sono notizie che forse non sono tali e però si alimentano da sole.Hanno,cioè,un giustificazione logica a prescindere dal fondamento.
Ho letto anche io le indiscrezioni sulla visita di Kimi Raikkonen alla sede della Williams.
Non mi sono stupito.
Se uno prende l’elenco dei campioni del mondo di F1 dal 2000 in poi, nota ovviamente che stanno tutti in pista.
E’ dunque perfettamente normale che qualcuno (ieri la Renault, oggi la Williams) possa pensare al biondino.
La domanda,però, è un’altra.
Cioè:ne vale la pena?
Io non ho cambiato idea, per capirci, a proposito del ritorno del Vecchio Zio. Ero contrario, a fine 2009.
Oggi mi entusiasmo anche io per le prestazioni stile Spa e Monza, ci mancherebbe.
Ma siamo sempre lì.
Stiamo parlando di un Campionissimo che si sbatte per arrivare quinto.Quinto.
Tanto di cappello per la passione,per il talento che non sbiadisce, eccetera. Ma poi? Una volta che ci siamo detti tutto il bello e il buono sul personaggio, non è che stiamo celebrando una sequenza di trionfi.
Per Kimi, secondo me, vale lo stesso discorso.
Che abbia nel Dna il gusto per la velocità, è indubbio. Solo chi ama il volante va a correre nei rally o addirittura con i camioncini della Nascar. E non contano i risultati,così come non aveva senso valutare i piazzamenti di Schumi in superbike.
Dopo di che.
Dopo di che, Raikkonen è uno dei migliori ‘manici’ che abbia avuto modo di vedere all’opera. Nella prima decade del nuovo millennio, è stato uno dei più bravi. E resta mia opinione che se la Ferrari lo avesse tenuto a far coppia con Alonso, beh,nell’ultimo biennio le Rosse avrebbero vinto di più.
Ma ha senso che Kimi si ripresenti ai box senza trovare posto in un top team?
La lezione di Schumi non serve?
Sarà un caso che Prost, nel 1993,sia rientrato con la Williams?
E Lauda, nel 1982, si ripresentò con la McLaren, che stava avviando un ciclo clamoroso.
La Williams del 2012 sarebbe paragonabile?
Oddio, ci sta tutto, nella vita.
Ma un campione del mondo (e che campione del mondo!) non può rischiare di ritrovarsi a lottare, senza sua colpa, con la Hrt. E nemmeno con la Force India, sia pure nel glorioso ricordo di Spa2009…
[…] Busch also said there are no further plans to field former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen in any races this season. Raikkonen ran the truck and Nationwide races for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Charlotte. "Unfortunately, we haven’t heard from his people," Busch said. "We’d love to have Kimi back. He was fun to work with. He did a nice job with it. If he wanted to come back and run for a few races, we could do it." […]
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Free Mr. Räikkönen is open to all offers
Kimi Räikkönen is known for not living in the past – still the 31-year old racer hasn’t yet grabbed his future either.
At the eve of Germany rally Räikkönen managed to walk around every pitfall when interviewed by Turun Sanomat.
Räikkönen says he is satisfied with his development during the second year in WRC. He has five rallies behind him and five positions on WC-points.
– It has been a little more easier than it was before. We have lost a few positions when we had the tyre puncture in Jordan and crashed into a fence in Jyväskylä. The best is that we have progressed in time from last year, Räikkönen estimates.
How will the development proceed if Räikkönen drives WRC-rallies for the third season?
– Time will tell, he says.
Then how open is Räikkönen’s next year?
– There are no plans.
Then is there something that you at least have ruled out of your options?
– Useless to ask, Räikkönen grins.
You aren’t planning on stopping your driving career, are you?
– I don’t know. It’s useless for you to ask. Even though you would ask me in a hundred different ways, the reply won’t change. When you don’t know it yourself, then there aren’t many others who know either, Räikkönen insists.
Then what would you still want to do – Le Mans 24 hours or perhaps the Dakar-rally?
– It could be really cool to drive Le Mans. But if you are going to drive it, then you also have to drive a few races as a test and the schedules can become tricky. If I would go for example with Peugeot to Le Mans, then I would have to drive at least three test races.
– I haven’t even thought of something like Dakar. It could also be a cool experience but I don’t have any urge to go there. I’m sure it would be very different, although I don’t know since I haven’t been there.
Bonus points an offer in Germany
Lets go back to rally.
A year ago in Germany Räikkönen achieved his first rally merit when being the fastest on the last SS. This year that same 4,37 kilometer long Trier’s Circus Maximus SS will give power stage points to the three fastest.
Räikkönen has been driving with his own Citroen DN3 WRC -car only a day on tarmac when testing. He doesn’t start specifying his expectations.
– There could have been a little more testing. Now we more or less try out things here. We’ll see soon how the rally takes off. There is a small bit of real tarmac too, although the surfaces are mostly somekind of beton.
A track driver’s experience doesn’t help in tarmac rallies.
– There is nothing similar in them. The normal roads are never like a real track, the car is jumping and flying here and there.
An offer from F1 would interest Kimi
It’s easy to determine that Räikkönen would take a F1-challenge if he would be given the right offer.
How much do you follow F1-races?
– Everytime when I’m at home.
What do you think about the multiplied overtakings in GP-races?
– Apparently it’s easier in some races than in others. It depends upon how they decide about where the back wing can be opened. But it has nothing to do with the actual overtakings anymore. All you have to do is move beside and press a button and the one in front of you can’t do a thing.
– I guess they have been trying to take it into the right direction. Maybe it looks more cooler in television but it’s not any real racing.
– The tyre department again is a completely different thing. Those races where the tyre consumption have been decisive, they have been the best competitions, Räikkönen thinks.
Doesn’t it tingle at all to get there and start overtaking?
– It doesn’t change my attitude at all if they overtake there or not. It is always cool when you get to race. That’s all it takes.
Räikkönen is not surprised that Sebastian Vettel’s superiority has evened out a bit during the season.
– Often the situation always evens out every year if someone has been clearly leading in the beginning. And Vettel probably doesn’t even have to win races in order to stay in the lead up until the end.
Race driving still fascinates
– That was the best in those Nascar-races. To just drive alone in a circle was boring but especially in the truck-race the feeling was great. It’s great to race when you have cars all around you. It’s racing all the time. The Nationwide-car didn’t turn anywhere. That’s why it wasn’t as cool as the truck-race was.
Are we going to see Räikkönen in Nascar-races in the future?
– I don’t know. Let’s see. I could go there if I wanted to but like I said I haven’t thought about next year at all.
No Watkins Glen
Räikkönen was expected to go to the States again last weekend for the Watkins Glen’s Nascar-race. Actually they tried to lure the him there very much after one Sprint Cup -driver was injured and his car was offered to Räikkönen.
– I just didn’t want to go there. Besides the race was postponed by a day and I wouldn’t have got here in Germany for recce then, Räikkönen said.
Turun Sanomat, Trier
Räikkönen non ha dubbi su Vettel campione del mondo per la seconda volta
Kimi Raikkonen non ha dubbi circa chi vincerà il Mondiale 2011. Secondo il finlandese, Sebastian Vettel diventerà facilmente campione del mondo per la seconda volta di fila.
Il giovane pilota tedesco è in testa con 85 punti di distacco dal secondo in classifica e rimangono solo otto gare.
“Molto spesso la situazione è bilanciata alla fine della stagione se qualcuno ha dato moltissimo all’inizio della stagione. Vettel probabilmente non avrà nemmeno bisogno di vincere altre gare per stare davanti fino alla fine”.
Raikkonen compirà 32 anni ad Ottobre, ma non ha piani per il 2012 e non sembra voler tornare in Formula Uno.
“Non lo so” ha risposto dopo una serie di domande.
“Anche se lo chiedi in un centinaio di modi diversi, la risposta è quella. Non lo so e se non lo so io, gli altri neppure”.
Come Jacques Villeneuve, Raikkonen ha ammesso di non amare troppo questa F1 nel 2011, con il DRS.
“Non ha niente a che vedere con i sorpassi veri. Tutto quello che puoi fare è avvicinarti e premere un pulsanti ed il pilota davanti non è che possa fare molto”.
“Magari questo sistema va bene per la TV, ma per i piloti non è molto buono”.
Un riassunto della situazione contrattuale di Kimi in chiave 2012 e non solo.
Kimi Räikkönen won’t commit to WRC or NASCAR for 2012
By ANTHONY PEACOCK on 7/31/2011
Ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen might walk away from the World Rally Championship at the end of this season.
The Finn, who turns 32 in October, is competing in the WRC this year with a privately backed team, with nothing like the funding he enjoyed from Red Bull last season. Asked this weekend about his future in motorsports, Raikkonen said he has no firm plans for 2012 in either the WRC or in NASCAR, where he has competed recently.
“We haven’t really given a thought to what’s going to happen next year,” said Raikkonen. “[Or] if we’re going to do anything at all.”
Following his troubled rookie season in the WRC last year, Raikkonen’s pace and consistency have improved considerably in 2011.
Asked about his chances of developing as a rally driver in years to come, Raikkonen said, “There’s never any guarantee about the speed, but obviously experience will help, little by little, depending on the event, to get closer to the leaders. But I can’t say anything really, let’s wait and see what we’re doing next year.”
Raikkonen on July 30 finished ninth on the Rally Finland, maintaining his record of scoring points in all five of the rallies that he has contested so far this year.
Da TS.fi traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Kimi is offered both Nascar-races and cars
Todd Hirschfeld, who takes care of Kimi Räikkönen’s matters in Nascar-circles was for the first time in a rally.
Several Sprint Cup -cars and budget for Räikkönen in Nascar races could be arranged, for example to Watkins Glen’s race in the middle of August. Kimi alone decides what he will do.
Next week Räikkönen will test his Citroen for two days before the next WRC-rally in Germany. It looks like he wouldn’t have Nascar-races planned in the near future.
– I don’t know, let’s see, Räikkönen replied to questions about Nascar-races.
Ten questions to: Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen, known as ‘The Iceman’, is famous for giving very little away when it comes to interviews. But in the searing heat of Greece we managed to make him melt. A little, at least…
What is your favourite rally?
“There are still some rallies that I haven’t tried yet, so I don’t know. But it’s always nice to go home to Finland, so I’m looking forward to that rally.”
What was your favourite Formula One race?
“I like Spa as it’s a great track but my personal favourite race was Brazil 2007 when I won the championship. It was a crazy race and I just had to go flat-out.”
How tricky was it coming back into the rally car after missing two events?
“That wasn’t so easy because I still don’t have a lot of experience and the last car I drove was a NASCAR truck, which was quite different!”
How’s the NASCAR going?
“It’s good fun actually. It’s another completely different style of driving, but it went quite well and I’m going to do some more later on this year.”
Is rallying still your main priority?
“Yes, rallying is still definitely the main focus. I’m enjoying myself and I think I’m making progress: now we do most of the rest of the season.”
What have you learned most this year?
“That you need experience in rallying to do well and there is no short cut. And also that you need your pace notes to be exactly right. It’s a bit like Formula One: it’s always the last little bit that makes the difference but that last little bit is always the hardest one to find.”
What do you do to relax at weekends?
“Just relax with friends and go on my boat. The boat is perfect as nobody can bother you.”
Who were your heroes in racing and rallying?
“I don’t really have heroes. But looking back in the past, I always liked the character of James Hunt in Formula One and in rallying Tommi Makinen is a really good guy.”
What are the most important things that you pack to go on a rally?
“My computer and my mobile phone so that I can stay in touch with people and watch some videos.”
What’s your favourite vegetable?
“Potatoes. But I eat most things.”