Raikkonen and rallying: Why it’s not over yet
It was a cold, crispy day in Andalusia: not a sentence that you read too frequently about a region that is nicknamed ‘the frying pan of Spain’. And suddenly, it got a lot colder: icy cold in fact.
What had caused the chill was the arrival – or to be strictly accurate, the return – of the Iceman. After two years of the World Rally Championship, Kimi Raikkonen was back in Formula 1 – and straight away he topped the timesheets at the very first test in Jerez. In fact, Raikkonen was one of only two drivers to go fastest during two of the 12 days of pre-season testing.
What does this tell you? Firstly that in terms of raw talent, there is no one out there faster than Raikkonen. Secondly, that rallying is an even bigger technical challenge than circuit racing – but one that still prepares you perfectly for the split second demands of F1.
The reasons why Kimi decided not to continue in the WRC this year were largely financial (but born out of economy rather than avarice): in F1 he is earning money – and enough of it – rather than spending in the WRC. In many ways, it’s easier to get a paid drive in F1 than the WRC at the moment, ridiculous as it sounds. But this only underlines the quality of the drivers who make it to the top of the sport.
For Kimi, rallying is very much unfinished business. Far from turning his back on rallying, Kimi is very keen to come back – and he may even do a few events while he is driving in F1. There are no grands prix on during Rally Finland weekend this year after all…
And Kimi, being the free spirit that he is, will only have signed a deal with Lotus (formerly Renault) on his own terms – allowing him to do what he wants, exactly when he wants to, just as he has always done. For a taste of that, people in the UK should watch Top Gear this weekend. It’s the Iceman at his brilliant best, demonstrating that he can be just as quick in a Reasonably Priced Car as he can in a 500,000 Euro World Rally Car.
"I really enjoyed rallying and I know that I always will," he says. "The decision I made to go back to Formula 1 was not because I didn’t like rallying anymore. It’s the biggest challenge that I have ever done. From when I was growing up, I always had a lot of respect for rally drivers. And now, I think that respect is even bigger."
Let’s just be thankful that Kimi turned down the lucrative offer he received to drive in NASCAR, which would have made it practically impossible for him to sit in a rally car at all (because of the 30-plus weekends of racing a year, rather than the oversized burgers).
As it is, we’ve not seen the last of the Iceman yet. Expect him back sooner rather than later…
Räikkönen avrebbe dovuto proseguire nel WRC
Mikko Hirvonen pensa che Kimi Räikkönen avrebbe potuto avere successo nel campionato del mondo rally se avesse perseverato. Il finlandese crede che il suo compatriota avrebbe potuto anche diventare campione del mondo col tempo.
“Nel giro di qualche anno, forse sì”, ha dichiarato Hirvonen al canale finlandese MTV3 durante la preparazione del rally di Montecarlo con Citroen, l’ex squadra di Räikkönen. “Ho parlato con gli ingegneri che si occupavano di Kimi e mi hanno detto che lui era veloce quanto i migliori piloti. Il suo punto debole non era il talento al volante ma piuttosto la stesura delle note. Avrebbe dovuto proseguire”.
Si sa poi cos’è accaduto: Räikkönen ha finalmente scelto di tornare in F1 con la Lotus Renault GP.
Mikko non ha potuto poi risparmiare una battuta quando gli hanno chiesto se userà una vecchia DS3 WRC guidata da Räikkönen nel 2011. “Ah sì? Credete ne sia rimasta qualcuna che non abbia distrutto?” ha scherzato il pilota finlandese.
Kimi: a potential unfulfilled
By returning to Formula One following two seasons in the World Rally Championship the itch has been scratched for Kimi Raikkonen – but to what extent that has provided relief remains to be seen.
Ousted (but still paid for) by Ferrari at the end of 2009, he explained that the circumstances were finally right for him to get a few answers to some questions he had been asking himself for a while: would his sublime natural talent and his inherent speed translate just as fluently to rally stages as it did to a race track?
Circuit racing came as naturally to Kimi as breathing: when he made his Formula One debut, he only had 23 car races behind him – a fact that caused some consternation among his colleagues.
“I wanted to try rallying; I don’t have to be so serious about it,” says Raikkonen. “I was always curious to know if I could stay on the road and keep pushing. It was very different from Formula One.”
His detractors would say that it proved to be too different, but Kimi knew what to expect.
“On a circuit you know every inch of it and it doesn’t really change from lap to lap. You do exactly the same things every time. On a rally everything is different. There are no corners that are the same: even a right 2 will not be the same corner as the next right 2. Of course you have much less margin for error.”
In the end, two years was never really going to be enough to make it to the top: as his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom warned him, this was going to be a three-year project or longer. People will say that Sebastien Loeb or Sebastien Ogier were instantly quick in a World Rally Car for the first time, but they conveniently forget the thousands of stage kilometres that will have been driven on national rallies and in testing, as well as the inherent ease that these drivers have with pace notes.
Given that Kimi never even liked engineers talking to him over the radio in Formula One, and that the sum of his rallying experience now puts him roughly where Jari-Matti Latvala was when he was 20, the Iceman’s results have been pretty impressive, with consistent top six finishes this year.
Extrapolating the trajectory of his learning curve, next year he could well have been in a position to challenge for podiums, with the chance of a win perhaps coming in 2013.
The highs were his fifth place on Turkey – only his fourth WRC event – and a debut stage win on the Circus Maximus superspecial in Germany; the lows included the shakedown accident that put him out of RallyRACC-Rally de Espana last year and a banal road section accident that curtailed his activities in France.
Whatever you think about Kimi, it’s impossible to deny that his star quality has made a huge impact on the World Rally Championship and that he’s finally answered his own question. Yes he can do it – but it’s hardly the work of a moment.
Da YLE.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Latvala: They put way too much pressure on Kimi
According to Latvala they put way too much pressure on Räikkönen in the rally-circles.
– Kimi brought the genre a lot of media-visibility and a lot of new fans. Even many reporters who had never before followed rally started to follow it, Latvala said to YLE Urheilu.
– When Kimi came to rally they put way too much pressure on him. Little by little he started to relax but the expectations placed on him were way too hard.
According to Latvala the Iceman’s motivation seemed to go downhill during the autumn.
– Let’s just say that I started to notice how Kimi’s motivation towards rallying started to take off during the last races. Maybe him not being satisfied with the results and his F1-thoughts had something to do with it.
Da Elisa.net, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
"Räikkönen drove completely reasonable times"
They believe that Kimi Räikkönen’s rallying career is over for now when he is seriously negotiating about a comeback to F1. Kimi drove in WRC for only two seasons but the difference to the top has been several minutes. His best result is Rally Turkey in 2010 when he came in 5th.
SWRC-serie’s world champion from this year, Juho Hänninen with Skoda, was often faster than Räikkönen although Räikkönen drove in a class higher with a WRC-car. Still Hänninen thinks that Räikkönen’s performances in rally were good.
– I think that it was a realistic result. Maybe the majority expected more and I bet Kimi himself also expected more, however Kimi realised pretty quickly that it isn’t that easy. Still he made good times especially when driving a stage for the second time since he remembered them better. That’s when he drove completely reasonable times, Hänninen told Sport Content.
Hänninen reminded that rallying requires a lot of training and that it takes several years to develop into a top driver.
– Nobody can succeed in this without practice, Hänninen said.
It was fun while it lasted, but the adventure is over – Kimi Raikkonen is leaving the forests and heading back to Formula 1 with Renault, or rather Lotus, as the team becomes in 2012.
Two years ago, it had all seemed so promising. The world knew Raikkonen was ultra-rapid but had lost motivation in F1. It was the politics and the sponsor pressure that he appeared to have tired of, not the driving, and he loved dabbling in rallying on the side. The World Rally Championship gave him a chance to get back to pure driving, in a more laidback atmosphere in which he could thrive in time – especially with Citroen, Red Bull and Kaj Lindstrom behind him.
It wasn’t just going to be good for Kimi’s morale either: the arrival of such a big name was a massive publicity bonus for the WRC and saw a huge number of hitherto disinterested new fans heading to the stages or tuning in to Rally Radio to follow Raikkonen’s rise to the top in his new challenge.
Except it didn’t quite work out like that. Inevitably Raikkonen was some way off Citroen Junior team-mate Sebastien Ogier’s pace in 2010, and inevitably he went off the road a lot as he got to grips with such a different discipline. But this was nothing that time, patience and mileage couldn’t fix, especially as there were flashes of promising speed along the way.
Time was what the WRC and Raikkonen marriage did not have, though. It wasn’t far into 2011 before it became clear that his heart was elsewhere. There were rallies skipped (missing Australia meant his Ice 1 team was kicked out of the standings) and events not rejoined under superally even when it was easily possible and the extra mileage would’ve been so beneficial. It was the extra-curricular outings that were most telling, though. Whereas once rallying had been Raikkonen’s release from the drudgery of F1, now he was popping up in NASCAR Trucks and Peugeot LMP1 cars as an escape from the WRC – and also becoming pivotal to the F1 driver market. Even as he did so, his stage times got a little better, and his demeanour with fans and the WRC media became slightly more open (by Iceman standards), hinting at what might have been.
So farewell and good luck, Kimi. We would’ve loved to see you stick around, give rallying a proper chance and really hone your skills, but it was better to have had you with us for two years than not at all.
Lindström: "F1 is Kimi’s world"
To Kaj Lindström the news about the return to F1 did not come as a surprise.
Lindström doesn’t want to specify when Kimi told him about his decision. Lindström didn’t try to talk the F1-champion out of it.
– It was Kimi’s decision, I respect it. Great that he got a good contract, Lindström said to Iltalehti.
According to Lindström Räikkönen would have had a chance to go forward in rally if he had decided to continue in the sport. Lindström has earlier talked about rally as at least a 4-year project if the goal is to succeed. The co-driver doesn’t fret though that the cooperation ended.
– We went year at a time, that was clear from the start. You don’t instantly jump to the top. There was two great and sweet years. It was nice to work and drive with Kimi, Lindström thanked.
"Kimi will do fine"
Although Räikkönen was believed to enjoy himself better in rally’s more barren environment than in F1’s society, according to Lindström that is not exactly the case.
– F1 is his world. I think he might be more comfortable there.
Lindström learned to know Räikkönen during the two years. That’s why he’s going to follow next F1-season with a special interest, with "very different feelings".
Predictions about success he is not going to give though.
– I had to compare the sports for two years until boredom, although I have never sat in a F1-car, so it’s difficult to comment on that. The driver at least is talented, so I’m pretty sure he’ll do fine, Lindström laughed.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione Leijona@F1CoffeForum
Hirvonen hopes Kimi stays in WRC
World Rally Championship runner-up Mikko Hirvonen wants Kimi Raikkonen to continue in the WRC in 2012 rather than returning to Formula One.
Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, has been linked to a drive with the Williams team next season having spent two years competing in the WRC, finishing 10th overall in 2010 and 2011.
Hirvonen, who will switch to the factory Citroen team for next year’s WRC, said of his fellow Finn during an interview with World Rally Radio: “I hope he continues. Two years is not enough to get the experience from the recce and for the pace notes. He’s made progress, okay the last few rallies [of the season] were not so good but I hope he continues. It would be good for rallying.”
What could have been Raikkonen’s final appearance in the WRC ended in disappointment when he retired after rolling his ICE 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC on the opening stage of Wales Rally GB’s third day. He and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom were sixth overall at the time of the incident.
Prior to the event Raikkonen told his official website: “I just focus on this rally. That’s all that matters. What happens in the future is still an open question.”
Da Autosprint n.46 del 15/11/2011:
Da Raisport del 16/11/2011 (http://www.mediafire.com/?kq4c6zhtltacgla):
SS12: 09:42 Raikkonen stopped in SS12
GPS tracking data indicates that Kimi Raikkonen has come to a halt before the third split point.
Räikkönen and Solberg retire in Wales
Video da MTV3: http://www.mediafire.com/?u07vwa9ah9555n6
Kimi Raikkonen and Petter Solberg won’t take any further part on Wales Rally GB following their exits from the world championship finale this morning.
Raikkonen suffered a light roll in his Citroen DS3 WRC on the opening Hafren test, while Solberg stopped prior to the run when a broken fuel pipe ignited a small fire in his similar Citroen.
Ex-Formula One world champion Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who were sixth overall prior to their exit, managed to regain the road after the roll following the intervention of a number of spectators. However, the damage sustained meant they failed to complete the 32.14.kilometre test.
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.
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.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Räikkönen: We have had negotiations
Kimi Räikkönen says that he doesn’t have a contract to F1 for next season, although he has negotiated over it.
– We have talked with them (Williams) but I don’t have any contract one way or another. Nothing has changed, Räikkönen said.
Räikkönen’s shakedown in Wales could be his last if his job continues in F1. If this happens, then Räikkönen leaves WRC in a good mood.
– It has been fun and we have improved when comparing to where we started from, Räikkönen estimated.
– I didn’t expect anything from it although I always tried to drive as well as I could. Sometimes the results were better, sometimes worse, Räikkönen says about his WRC-rallies.
If Räikkönen’s Citroen changes next season into Williams F1-car, then the change is smaller in Räikkönen’s eyes than it was when he came to rally.
– It’s a thing that I’ve been doing for the most part of my life. It’s much more challenging to try something else, Räikkönen said about F1.
Räikkönen isn’t swayed by the flexible rear wings and the couple new tracks in F1.
– From what you see in the television they haven’t changed much. The biggest differences are in the tyres, Räikkönen estimated F1.
One heck of a talent
Kaj Lindström would like to see Räikkönen in WRC also in the future.
– He makes his own decisions but it would be interesting to see how far Räikkönen can go in rally, Lindström says.
– He can’t develop his skills other than by driving. Kimi is one heck of a talent when it comes to steering the car. It just comes out of somewhere all by itself, Lindström says.
– I said already in the beginning that this is a four-year project if he wants to go to the top. The first developing steps are long but after that the steps are smaller.
Intervista da MTV3: http://www.mediafire.com/?r2fupb1pt9ft224
Da Autosprint n. 45 dell’8/11/2011:
Questo martedì, Kimi Räikkönen ha effettuato un test per il prossimo Rally di Gran Bretagna nel Tarn.
Una sola giornata per il finlandese che è stato raggiunto da Luca Pedersoli, campione d’Italia su asfalto quest’anno e che potrebbe ottenere una nuova WRC…
Con un avvenire completamente incerto nei rally, Räikkönen ha effettuato forse le sue ultime prove a bordo di una WRC…
If Kimi comes back, isn’t that something to celebrate?
"If I owned a team and Kimi Raikkonen was available, I wouldn’t take him on," wrote Jacques Villeneuve in his F1 Racing column back in March. "Why would a team want to take on someone who wasn’t interested in being there?"
He may well want to ask his former boss and fellow columnist Frank Williams. It’s a fact that Kimi’s been to Grove and, as we were working on this month’s cover feature, the word was that Kimi had already discussed the thorny issue of PR days with them – and apparently agreed to do more than he had for any other team. Kimi’s mood seems to have shifted: he’s always had the air of someone who’d only come back with a top team yet now he’s seemingly open to offers from the lower midfield.
Ultimately, most fans would love to have Kimi back. But Villeneuve’s view – which is shared by others – is that Raikkonen’s behaviour was not heroically anti-establishment but disrespectful to fans. Really? When a driver gets out of the car and thanks his sponsors before the people who’ve paid their hard-earned cash to come and watch, isn’t that sort of depressingly corporate behaviour just as disrespectful? If a gifted racing driver who’s fond of the odd choc ice and dressing up as a gorilla while jet-skiing wants to come back, surely we should roll out the red carpet and relish seeing whether he’s still got it on the track. F1 doesn’t need any more robots, but colourful ex-world champions are in short supply.
Kimi charmed by WRC media
The media often get a bad press (which is ironic if you think about it) but Kimi Raikkonen reckons that the way the World Rally Championship is covered is one of the best things about it.
In Formula One, it’s fair to say that Kimi and the media weren’t always the best of friends. Because of that, he’s always been somewhat wary of people twisting his words.
In the WRC though, that’s starting to change. “I got the feeling last year from the start that the people who are involved in the rally media are more interested just in the sport and what is happening on the stages, rather than creating bullshit stories with big headlines outside of it,” said the Iceman. “The F1 journalists write more about other things than the sport sometimes. There’s less of that in rallying, it’s a different way of thinking.”
Whether or not the unparalleled charm of the international WRC press corps is going to be enough to keep Kimi in the world championship remains to be seen, but the former grand prix champion admits that it’s been a lot easier this year compared to 2010.
“It definitely comes more naturally,” he said. “Once you get onto the level where it feels normal and you don’t have to think about it you can push harder and you can improve a lot. Now I don’t have to think about the notes. Compared to last year, it’s completely different.”
The Iceman cometh back
He left F1 at the end of 2009 to try his hand at rallying and even NASCAR trucks. Now, after all the endless speculation, you can hear it exclusively from the man himself: Kimi Raikkonen wants to return. The question is… where to?
Kmi Raikkonen, despite a widespread reputation to the contrary, is not an enigma. In fact, he is one of the most straightforward yet misunderstood characters in motor racing. All he wants to do is win – in the most efficient way possible. What could be more logical than that?
But some people make the mistake of confusing a lack of communication with a lack of motivation when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. What is perceived to be a monosyllabic outlook on life (once prompting paddock magazine The Red Bulletin to produce a photo feature called ‘The 12 moods of Kimi Raikkonen’ – the catch being that all 12 photos were identical) is not even true: Kimi has plenty to say when he believes that there is something worthwhile to say or – more pertinently – something worthwhile to respond to.
The problem with polite conversation is that it’s meaningless. Let’s be honest: nobody is ever really interested in the weather or how your journey was. And this is just the normal world we’re talking about: imagine what it’s like in the rarefied atmosphere of Formula 1 where the air is as rendolent with self-absorption as it is with designer aftershave and there are more hidden agendas than in the cellar of a stationary shop.
So Kimi prefers to maintain a dignified silence about the recent flurry of speculation that has linked him to various Formula 1 teams – although he admits that a move back is possible. But lots of things are possible, including life on Mars, and the truth of the matter is that nothing has been agreed for 2012. Kimi Raikkonen’s diary for next year is blank… for the moment at least.
"For now there’s really nothing and before I have anything 100 per cent confirmed, there’s no point in talking," he points out with his characteristic honesty. Part of the reason why Kimi doesn’t always say very much is because he doesn’t like lying.
The currency of Formula 1 – much to Kimi’s bemusement – is rumour. You have two choices: either play the game, fuel the fire and start the gradual process of disappearing up your own rectum, or stay well out of it. But there is a third option, too: just say what you mean and try to rise above the politicking. However, a problem exists with that as well. Chances are that whatever you say, someone at some point will try to use it against you. The effort would be far better invested in the driving, which of course is the only reason why you’re here in the first place.
Da Autosprint n. 43 del 25/10/2011
P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:08.5
VILLAGRA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.7
OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:08.9
LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.9
H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.9
HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:09.0
LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:09.1
OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:09.1
SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:09.4
MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:10.7
AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.1
WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.3
NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.6
ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:12.7
BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:13.1
RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:13.9
KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:14.0
VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:15.0
OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:17.1
Good job in vain
Well, it was the shortest rally for me this year, while we managed to do only two special stages in day one. Obviously, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
What a shame, it happened that way. For sure, those roads are really great for rallying. We managed to get the pace notes in places, as well. It was a rally to enjoy. But this is motor racing. What can you do?
The fateful place for us was on a road section from stage two to stage three. We had our turn to start before Henning Solberg. But he was there in front of us on the road. He seemed to warm up his tires and his breaks. Then, suddendly, he hit the brakes and stopped there. Probably he didn’t look at the mirrors at all.
There was nothing to do for us. Obviously, there was no place to go, so we crashed to the rear of his car.
The rear of Solberg’s car didn’t get any bad damage, but it was different case for us. The front of our car was ruined and it was au revoir for this rallye de France.
I have done now twenty WRC rallies. There has happened quite a lot, but the French experience was again very much different compared to others. Everything can happen, that’s a reality I very well know.
Now it’s time to look forward to the next challenge. It’s the Rally of Spain in a few weeks time. We will have a test session and, obviously, we can improve the car again. Last year we didn’t learn that much of Spanish roads, so it’s like a brand new rally for us.
Kimi: Sebastien is harder to beat than Sebastian
According to privateer Citroen driver (and former Grand Prix title-holder) Kimi Raikkonen, it’s harder to beat Sebastien Loeb than newly-crowned two-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel.
On paper, Loeb looks like he’s got the edge, with seven titles to Vettel’s mere two, but according to Raikkonen, there’s a lot more to it than that.
“In rally the cars are closer,” said the 2007 Formula One champion, now in his second year of rallying. “It’s not so much different whether you have a Citroen, a Ford or a Mini. In F1 you can have three seconds between two cars; and however good you are you are you will never get that difference back just by driving. So if you are in the best car, you’re much more likely to win.”
So according to Raikkonen, rallying is more of a meritocracy when it comes to driver talent. He knows he can’t beat Loeb through bitter experience, but could he beat Vettel?
“I think Sebastien Loeb could go just as fast in my car as in his own car,” said the Finn. “But if you’re not in the same car in F1 you never know, because the car makes such a difference. And Vettel’s car is certainly good. So it’s hard to answer the question. Although I have beaten Vettel in the past but not Loeb…”
Dal Blog di Turrini
Secondo fonti mediorientali, la Williams sarebbe vicina ad un grosso accordo si sponsorizzazione con una grande banca di Doha.
I petrodollari, tanti,servirebbero per pagare l’ingaggio di Kimi Raikkonen.
Secondo un quotidiano di Helsinki, il Santo Bevitore avrebbe accettato la proposta della Williams, ricevuta via Qatar la garanzia che il suo stipendio non sarebbe comunque inferiore a quello degli altri top driver in circolazione (Vecchio Zio escluso: Schumi continua ad essere il meglio pagato).
C’è chi arriva a sostenere, fonti britanniche, che Raikkonen avrebbe già realizzato il servizio fotografico con la livrea Williams. Boh. […]
Da Autosprint n.40 del 04/10/2011:
Kimi Räikkönen: Out but not down
Yesterday wasn’t a particularly good day for Kimi Räikkönen, a freak crash ending his Rallye de France. But how does the longer term look for the Iceman, with all those F1 return rumours swirling round?
While warming up his tyres for the start of stage three in Alsace yesterday, Kimi somehow managed to run into the back of Ford driver Henning Solberg – who was doing exactly the same thing. With his suspension terminally damaged by the impact to his Citroën, Kimi was off for an early bath.
As his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom pointed out, these things can just happen: it’s nobody’s fault. When the person ahead is braking while the person behind is accelerating, the end result tends to be inevitable.
And maybe it’s karma kicking in, making up for the time when Lewis Hamilton ran into the back of Kimi in the pitlane at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
But this does mean that Kimi has a little more time now to consider one of the big issues of the moment: what will the Iceman do next year? There’s been speculation linking him to a Formula One return with Williams, while other people think he might keep on rallying. As Kimi himself says, there’s the third option of doing nothing at all. So what are the chances? Let’s speculate…
Go back to Formula One
Kimi’s been to visit the Williams factory and he certainly knows his way around Formula One, having won the title in 2007.
Pros: There are no road sections, it’s familiar territory, and you can make a lot more money in F1 than rallying.
Cons: Williams aren’t a top team any more, he’s been there and done that, it means dealing with the piranha-like F1 media. Again.
Keep on rallying
The Iceman has got two years’ worth of experience invested in rallying and he’s beginning to get the hang of it now. Why not persevere?
Pros: It’s beginning to get easier now, it’s a lot of fun, there are only 13 rounds a year and the journalists seem quite nice.
Cons: It seems harder to win than it is in Formula One and rallying is not especially lucrative. If you go off in Sweden, you might freeze to death.
If in doubt, sit it out. Money’s not exactly an issue for the Iceman and it’s a shame to have a great collection of toys at home but not have the time to play with them.
Pros: Who wants to work for a living when you don’t have to? And it’s a neat solution to what might be a difficult decision. Also, it buys you time. Sounds appealing.
Cons: You might get bored. Apart from that, not much really.
Go racing but not in F1
Kimi’s tried NASCAR and also Peugeot’s 908 Le Mans car. But neither of those seems to have exactly grabbed him. There’s always DTM too.
Pros: There’s less pressure, not as much media attention, and it’s not as time-consuming as F1 – but you still get the chance of racing a car. Best of both worlds?
Cons: Do you really need to do any other sort of racing when you’re already a Formula One world champion? Wouldn’t it be just a bit boring?
So there are the options. Now over to the Iceman…
Sarà una banca il prossimo sponsor Williams?
Da www.iltasanomat.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
This is what Williams tries – Räikkönen’s F1-salary from Qatar?
Williams tries to get a rich Arab bank to sponsor them by using Kimi Räikkönen’s name.
Sir Frank Williams’ team has tried to lure Qatar National Bank as their main sponsor for a couple years already.
They haven’t succeed but now Williams tries once again to get a contract with the biggest bank in Qatar. Williams can bring Kimi’s name to the table since the team has already negotiated with Kimi about next season.
Williams could get such a remarkable contract with Qatar National Bank that they could fill Räikkönen’s salary demands with that.
Williams already has strong connection to Qatar, which is one of the richest country in the world. Williams has founded their own research- and development-center in Qatar’s science- and technology park.
Williams has also taken forward a traffic safety campaign together with Qatar National Bank, a campaign directed to drivers in Quatar.
The team’s members have had their educational happenings in schools and universities in Qatar. The team has also built simulators in Qatar for driving instruction.
Gara di kart a Bércy saltata per Kimi.
@Julef1 nous avons appris récemment que K. Raikkonen, D. Coulthard ont dû annuler leur participation aux EMK pour des raisons personnelles
Kimi Räikkönen opts not to restart the Rally of France for day two
Kimi Raikkonen has joined fellow Citroen DS3 WRC driver Sebastien Loeb on the official retirements list from the Rally of France – the Finn is on his way home to Geneva after his road accident this morning.
Raikkonen was sidelined with suspension damage after he hit the back of Henning Solberg’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the way to stage three. The team says the damage could have been repaired, but it was felt there was no point when the penalties would have ruled out any chance of a top result.
Team manager Benoit Nogier said: "It’s over, Kimi has gone [home]. The damage was not so bad, but he preferred to stop. That’s it. This is very disappointing."
Nogier added that Raikkonen’s early pace on the Alsace event, running inside the top 10, was looking positive for the rest of the rally.
"We could have made a good result here," he said. "The times on the first stages were good."
Raikkonen will contest the final two rounds of the World Rally Championship in Spain and Britain as expected.
Kimi Räikkönen says his Rally of France road section shunt was a ‘stupid accident’
Kimi Raikkonen’s Ice 1 Racing team manager Benoit Nogier said the Finn described his exit from the opening day of Rally de France as a "stupid accident."
Raikkonen explained his crash, when the Citroen driver hit the back of Henning Solberg’s Ford on the road section to stage three, when he arrived back in service in Strasbourg earlier today.
Nogier said: "Henning had passed Kimi on the road section. They were both weaving to warm up their tyres, but Kimi had to go back past Henning because he was going to start the stage before him.
"Henning had stopped weaving and was in a straight line to the right side of the road. Kimi thought he had left the space for him to pass him, so he went by. Just as he was passing him, Henning braked hard to try and warm up the brakes."
It was at that point that the front-right corner of Raikkonen’s Citroen made contact with the left-rear of the Solberg Fiesta. The collision broke the suspension on the DS3 and put Raikkonen in a ditch on the left hand side of the road.
"Kimi said Henning got straight out of the car and apologised, saying he hadn’t seen him at all," continued Nogier. "Kimi said it was just a stupid accident, one of those things. He said Henning should get in the car and go drive the stage. It was one of those bizarre accidents."
SS1: 07:13 Raikkonen survives brush with a ditch
Kimi Raikkonen completes SS1 in 5m52.3s, 10.6s adrift of Loeb, having collected some grass during a brief excursion into a ditch: “It was okay. One braking was very slippery and we went off the road a little bit.”
SS3: 09:00 Raikkonen misses SS3 start
Kimi Raikkonen has not finished SS3 and reports form the stage indicate that he did not arrive at the start.
Räikkönen crashes out of Rally France before start of SS3
Kimi Raikkonen has retired from Rally de France after crashing before the start of the third stage this morning.
The Finn had been running in ninth place after the first two stages of the Alsace event, but the Citroen driver is reported to have dropped his DS3 WRC into a ditch while warming his tyres up prior to SS3, the longest stage of the rally.
There has been speculation that Raikkonen was avoiding another competitor when he went off the road. The impact is believed to have damaged the suspension and ended his participation in the event.
The 22-mile Pays d’Ormont test has taken its toll on this year’s Rally de France, with Sebastien Loeb stopping with mechanical trouble and both factory Fords of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala going off the road, but making it to the end.
[…] Former Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen retired on the road section heading to stage three when a bizarre collision with Henning Solberg forced him into a ditch and retirement. Solberg was able to carry on, albeit with a dent on the left-hand side of his Fiesta. He is 12th overall, one place behind Super 2000 World Rally Championship leader Ott Tanak, who profited when rival Juho Hanninen suffered a puncture on his Skoda Fabia on stage three.
[…] Henning Solberg was seventh with ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen eighth on his return to the WRC after missing the previous round in Australia. Matthew Wilson, in an M-Sport Stobart Fiesta and Mikko Hirvonen rounded out the top 10.
Here are the Shakedown times of the leading WRC crews:
1. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:47.1
=2. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:47.3
=2. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:47.3
4. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:47.9
5. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.1
6. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:48.2
7. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.3
8. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.5
9. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.6
10. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.9
11. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.0
=12. VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:49.7
=12. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:49.7
14. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.8
15. OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:51.9
16. CAMPANA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:52.8
17. AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.1
18. BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.8
18. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1.58.7
Kimi gets to grips with French asphalt
Kimi Raikkonen – who is of course better known as the Iceman – is planning to use his illustrious circuit racing experience on the Rallye de France this weekend, which unlike last year, is expected to be hot and dry.
The 2007 Formula One World Champion had a successful shakedown to finish eighth overall, less than a second behind the two factory Citroens of Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier. And he thinks that the cleaner road conditions this year should help him to a strong result.
“Generally, everything feels a lot easier this year,” said Raikkonen, who retired from the 2010 event after sliding off at low speed on a slippery left-hand corner. “The car was good in the shakedown and the weather conditions seem to be a lot more stable, so I think it could help us as it’s more normal driving.”
The famous poles on some of the stages, designed to stop cars cutting corners and dragging mud onto the road, also mean that the surface will be much more like a grand prix track, rather than the gravelly skating rink that caught out Raikkonen last year.
“I think it’s good: a tarmac rally should be a tarmac rally,” said his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. “Last year it was terrible: you could hardly see the road for all the mud in some places."
Refreshed to France
It was a six weeks’ break for me. It was a really refreshing time. Obviously six weeks without driving gives you such a desire to come back to the car and really go for it again.
I have such a relaxed and nice feeling to have this rally. Let’s hope this feeling helps us to a good result, too.
Last week we tested the car with Kaj Lindström in France. It was one day without any problems. Everything went well and it was just great to go fast with WRC car on those roads.
Obviously, I’ve got the proper touch to the car on tarmac. Most of all I enjoyed the nice feeling I’ve got in the car. More or less we are ready for the tricky challenge this weekend offers.
Well, I had a break, but it didn’t mean just chilling out. I’ve done consistent physical training in the meanwhile and I really feel good.
Last year back in Rallye de France it was wet and dirty most of the time. It didn’t feel that much like a tarmac challenge. It was more like a question to survive and keep the car safely on those roads. Cutting the corners was happening all over the place. Doing that made the roads very, very slippery.
We have managed to improve our performances in every rally this season compared to our debut year. Obviously, that is the target in Rallye de France, too. While it goes according to our plan, we should get a fistful of some nice points again.
Now we’ve done the pace notes. It’s time start. The target is the same like always: to get quickly to the good rhytm and then try to get every stage right without any major mistakes. By clinching it, you finish this rally with a good result as well, I presume.
The car is now at its best. This is now the start for the last period of this season. There are three rallies left to get the job done well.
So far the season has been ok. The rally is difficult, but every time you gain some more experience. For sure, we have not been going backwards!