Kimi Räikkönen keen to make ‘fun’ rally return after F1
Kimi Raikkonen is keen to return to rallying "for fun" after his Formula 1 career is over.
The 32-year-old Finn has no plans to walk away from grand prix racing and has impressed on his comeback after two years competing in the World Rally Championship.
But when his time in F1 does come to an end in the future, he wants to try his hand at rallying again.
"I will do it for fun," Raikkonen told AUTOSPORT. "The one reason why I wanted to do it in the first place was to see if I can do it or not.
"I’m a big fan of it and I always thought it was so difficult that I wanted to see what happens.
"I still want to improve in it and try to do well. It’s something that, when I’m a bit older, I can do and have fun with. I will definitely do it when I have more time.
"I enjoy both [rallying and F1]. I would like to do both of them at the same time but because of timetables, schedules and other reasons it’s not possible."
Raikkonen denied the suggestion that his return to F1 was indicative that he has lost interest in rallying.
But Raikkonen did admit that he missed the wheel-to-wheel aspect of racing.
"It’s not that I lost interest in rallying," said Raikkonen. "It’s just that I’ve always raced in my life and when you race against each other it’s different to just doing times.
"I enjoy racing against people. It’s why I came back, to have a fight against others.
"It’s completely different to last year in rallying. When I did NASCAR [in 2011] I enjoyed it a lot and even though it is very different to F1, it’s still racing against each other.
"I had a good time. I kind of missed it [racing]."
Kimi Räikkönen hopes to compete in Rally Finland
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen is hoping to return to the World Rally Championship for his home round of the series, Rally Finland in August.
Raikkonen departed the WRC last season, having spent two years driving a factory-specification Citroen.
The Jyvaskyla-based Rally Finland is the event Raikkonen has most experience, having competed there for the last three years. His best result was ninth last time out.
Raikkonen could compete in Finland, as the event runs the week after the Hungarian GP at the start of the Formula 1 season’s summer break.
Lotus is, however, likely to be understandably reluctant to let Raikkonen compete in Finland, having lost its star driver Robert Kubica when he crashed a Skoda Fabia S2000 ahead of the start of the 2011 season.
Raikkonen said: "I’d like to do Rally Finland this season as it fits with the calendar but you’ll have to ask the team if it fits in my contract."
Raikkonen, whose best WRC result was a fifth place in Turkey in 2010, admitted the WRC was tougher than he expected ‘ but said he would be back.
He added: "I knew [rallying] was tough as I’d done some before but it’s different at the highest level. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Of course, I wanted to do better. But I’m not finished. I want to go back, whether for my career or after I don’t know.
"Formula 1 and rallying are two completely different sports. In rallying everything is different. Okay, you have the pace notes but you don’t know for sure what’s around the next corner."
Sogno già infranto però.
Lotus Formula 1 team denies Kimi Raikkonen permission to contest Rally Finland
Kimi Raikkonen will not be allowed to take part in Rally Finland later this year, AUTOSPORT has learned, with his team bosses unwilling to release him from his commitments to the Lotus Formula 1 team.
The former world champion had sought clearance to make a one-off return to the WRC, even though it is understood his F1 contract forbids him from taking part in rallying.
However, following talks between Raikkonen and his boss Eric Boullier in Monaco, he was informed that the memory Robert Kubica’s rally crash last year meant the team was not prepared to allow him to compete.
Boullier told AUTOSPORT: "I sat down with Kimi earlier today and we talked about it.
"His contract does not allow him to go rallying and, after what happened with Robert, this team could not let him do it.
"He fully understands the situation, so the matter is closed now."
Kubica was badly injured in an Italian rally crash in February last year, shortly after the first pre-season F1 test. His injuries forced him out for the season and there remain doubts about whether or not he will be able to make an F1 return.
Raikkonen competed in the WRC in 2010 and ’11 before deciding to come back to F1 for this season.
The best pace so far
Well, that was my third Rally Finland. It was the position nine and, for the first time, I’ve got some points from my home race, too. It was pretty much o.k. weekend, but, obviously, once again we got to experience this is a real tricky rally – probably the most difficult rally of them all.
It was quite a struggle to start with. Perhaps we were too cautious all the beginning. I could not find the rhythm I was looking for. The right speed was there just for the final day. The morning stages, especially, felt very good. Obviously, that is our pace right now after 18 months of rallying.
It was good fun to race. But the fun was finished while we got to the Leustu number 2. There was a rock in the trail and we hit it, jumped and the car started to spin. There was some kind of guardrail on the other side and the rear of the car hit it and then also the front got a punch from it.
After that we did not have the wing anymore and while it was missing from the front, the air went straight under the car. While the front was not working at all, it was impossible to do anything in the corners. Obviously, the handling was not there anymore. It was useless to try to race with the times.
Well, I know that without this problem, we would have finished a couple of position better. We would have got pass Henning Solberg. But this is racing. This was what we got and there is no way to change it afterwards.
The best thing was the pace for the final day. It felt like a real driving and it made me feel good with pace and the stage times we achieved, as well.
Now we have had five rallies this year. We have finished all of them and we got some nice points, too. It’s good to feel to get better results every time from every single rally compared to last year.
Now it’s time to change from the gravel to the tarmac surface. We have a test session in Germany this weekend and we start to prepare ourselves for this new challenge with this DS3 WRC Citroën of ours.
Obviously, I have not had a single mile on tarmac with this car. After the test we know better how it goes, but, generally Citroën has been quite strong and competitive on tarmac, too.
Da Autosprint n. 31 del 02/08/2011:
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.
SS12: 06:18 Raikkonen completes SS12
Kimi Raikkonen comes through in 10m34.8s, 3.2s quicker than Matthew WIlson, which brings him to 0.4s behind Wilson in the overall standings – although still outside the top 10: “That was okay. I took it too easily in a few damp places.”
SS13: 07:32 Raikkonen finds pace on SS13
Kimi Raikkonen comes through in 8m17.1s – that’s 10.0s slower than Sebastien Loeb’s benchmark time but faster than the drivers he’s battling for position with. He moves 6.6s ahead of Matthew Wilson and is 6.5s behind Kris Meeke. That gives him 10th place pending SWRC leader Juho Hanninen’s time.
SS15: 08:09 Raikkonen closes in on Meeke, Solberg
Kimi Raikkonen ends the stage in 6m07.2s, 4.2s faster than Kris Meeke and 1.0s faster than Henning Solberg. He’s now in tenth place, needing just 2.3s to overhaul Meeke for ninth. Solberg is 3.6s ahead of Meeke.
SS16 – Audio: http://www.mediafire.com/?99q5j7ec5xv3xm7
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "I lost little bit on this stage, otherwise it’s OK."
Commento sull’inizio della terza giornata, da StudioSport: http://www.mediafire.com/?vdfenu0lza3d5z1
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione con Google.
Räikkönen sta sfruttando la sua esperienza molto bene
Il co-pilota di Kimi Räikkönen Kaj Linström commenta le prove del sabato mattina del Rally di Finlandia. Il passo di Kimi nelle prove del mattino è stato identico a quello del campione del mondo 2003 Petter Solberg a bordo della stessa Citroen.
– “Kimi ha guidato veramente bene. Certo, lui sa come si guida. E’ solo che spesso i media sembra che dimentichino che ha solo 24 rally alle spalle. Considerando questo, ha guidato davvero bene”, ha dichiarato Lindström.
La prestazione di oggi dimostra che Kimi può diventare un pilota vincente nei rally?
– “L’ultimo secondo per kilometro dalla vetta è un passo piccolo. Ma è meglio procedere a piccoli passi”, Lindström conclude realisticamente.
SS17 : RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. Damaged right side of the car
12:25 Car damage for Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen appears to have had an off, arriving at the finish with wrinkles on the left of the car and some missing bodywork. He declines to explain what happened but the incident seems to have happened early in the stage, between the first and second split. His time of 10m44.0s drops him to 10th and leaves him vulnerable to SWRC leader Juho Hanninen. Matthew Wilson moves up to ninth.
SS18: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "I hit some stone."
SS19: 14:21 Raikkonen completes SS19 Audio: http://www.mediafire.com/?lb39g1bq3v8eqwc
Kimi Raikkonen comes through in 6m04.5s, losing 1.4s to Matthew Wilson. He now lies 2.1s behind Wilson, and they both move up a place to eighth and ninth as a result of Dani Sordo’s overheating trouble in the Mini.
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "It’s not very good. We loose front dumpers. And in corner we hit stone in the line, so tyre damaged."
SS22: 17:21 Raikkonen completes Power Stage
2m43.0s for Kimi Raikkonen, who has had an eventful home rally. Co-driver Kai Lindstrom says: “I would say it was a good weekend. There was an unfortunate mistake this afternoon where we lost the spoiler. He did well this weekend.”
SS4: 07:32 Raikkonen completes SS4
Eighth quickest time so far for Kimi Raikkonen, who was lying 13th overnight. He greets the news of his 11m41.9s with signature loquacity: “It was okay. The wide road was good but the narrow road was tricky.”
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDTRÖM K. "Was OK, hard stage to everybody. Last part was difficult."
SS5: 09:26 Raikkonen loses place to Wilson
Kimi Raikkonen overhauled Matthew Wilson for 11th overall in SS4, but after going through SS5 3.1s slower than the Stobart Ford driver he loses the position. 5m11.9s is his time in SS5.
SS6: 10:25 Misheard pace note costs Raikkonen 14m52.7s for Kimi Raikkonen: “I listened to a note a little bit wrong and we almost rolled, I got stuck in the middle of the road for a while. After that it took some time to get in the rhythm again.”
SS9: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "It was OK. No problem, but I just bit giving up because tyres."
SS11 Audio: http://www.mediafire.com/?xtyzneo7t5ezbiz
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "One mistake today. Otherwise positive day."