Article on potential F1 comeback for Kimi
THE TURUN SANOMAT STORY - published on 24.9.2010
One year ago after the Singapore Grand Prix Ferrari announced that Kimi would not race in F1 for the 2010 season.
This time speculation in the Marina Bay paddock area was whether the Flying Finn would make a comeback to Grand Prix racing for the 2011 season.
We asked some of his f1 collegues how realistic thought this could be
Peter Sauber was the team boss who hired the 21-year-young Finn to F1 straight from the minor Renault 2000 category for one year.
– Personally I would like to see Kimi back. I like the guy, he is such a different and such a talented driver.
Heidfeld was the first team mate of Räikkönen at Sauber in 2001. How does he see the possibility of Räikkönen making a comeback?
– If Kimi would like to come back, he could make it without any kind of problems. I was away myself - so I believed I could start racing again without time wasted getting used to this.
– One year away from F1 for Kimi would not be the same like three years away has been for Michael Schumacher.
The reigning world champion Jenson Button shares the same background of Raikkonen being introduced to F1 as an very inexperienced youngster by the Robertson management.
– I don’t think Kimi likes this sport that much that he would come back. At least it did not look like that last year. Obviously, it would be difficult, Kimi would like to race with a top car and all those places are taken.
– Kimi seems to be enjoying the rally very much, sometimes he seems to flying there. But if Kimi wants to change back, it would be easy for him to race like he has always done, Button estimates.
Chris Dyer was the race engineer of Räikkönen while they made miracles at Ferrari to clinch the world title of 2007.The Australian race strategistic of Ferrari knows very well the skills and potential of the Finnish driver, but, obviously, the new love for WRC rallying, too.
– It would be a surprise, if Kimi decided to come back to F1. You can see from his face how much he likes to be there at rallying. But his management propably would prefer F1 from rallying for Kimi.
– Actually that kind of comeback would be easy for a driver like Kimi. One year away is not that much. Even that would help Kimi while all the drivers have to start learning the Pirelli tyres. And with KERS button Kimi was very good already last year.
– I did not see any change in Kimi’s attitude during the years we worked together. He seemed to be as enthusiastic as ever. But it’s not important. I know Kimi that well that I know, he is going to do exactly what he himself wants to do next year. It useless for me to start guessing what he decides, Dyer says.
The last permanent team mate of Räikkönen was Felipe Massa.
– Kimi seems to like rally more than F1. For me personally going to rally would be something I would never ever even consider. It’s not for me with this head of mine. Only Kimi himself knows, what he wants, Massa emphasizes.
Robert Kubica is planning to enter rallying one day. There has been speculation that if Kimi would now come back to F1, it could happen as a team mate of Kubica at Renault.
– Everything is possible in F1. If Kimi decides to come, all of us would be there welcoming him back. It would not take any time for him to get acquinted with this machinery again..
– But I don’t know anything about Kimi’s plans. If I would be in Kimi’s position right now, I would stay in rally. And I’m not saying this meaning I hope him to staying away from F1. I just say this, because I know, how great is the WRC car and because I know how I am myself. That is the reason why I would pick rally instead of F1 if I would be in Kimi’s position after learning WRC one year already.
Michael Schumacher made a comeback after three years away from racing. His team mate Nico Rosberg has seen the problems Michael has had. Rosberg thinks it would be much easier for Räikkönen to be back in F1.
– I know Kimi loves driving with Grand Prix cars. It would not be difficult for him to start racing all over again. But it’s not that simple. Kimi has got used to earning big bucks. If he wants to get as much as he did before, propably we won’t see him back in F1 anymore, Rosberg thinks.
Räikkönen has done his debut WRC year with Red Bull support. Most logical comeback to F1 would have been with Red Bull Racing, but the team has two contracted drivers for 2011 – Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Webber believes the F1 days of Räikkönen are over.
– Kimi has already learned a lot in rallying. For sure it would be better for him to use that experience for his benefit next year, while it seemed he has never liked that much the work outside of F1 track. In rally Kimi has his ’’semi-exposure’’ done.
– Personally I love rally and I have always followed it keenly. But it’s that bloody tricky.
Vettel does not hide his opinion - hoping to see Räikkönen back in F1.
– Personally I would love to see Kimi back in F1, because I believe that he is still one of the best drivers in F1 and one of my favourite persons in the F1 paddock. I don’t think that he has lost his touch after one year in rally. But I only think he will come back if he has a real chance to fight for the world championship title.
Heikki Kovalainen would be very happy the see his compariot back.
– It would be nice to see how Kimi would be doing. One rally year is not hindering him at all, if Kimi has the motivation to race in F1. It depends that much on the car he could get. It seems all the top cars are taken.
McLaren medical chief Aki Hintsa has also been the family doctor of Räikkönen.
– If Kimi would come back, it must happen now. In 2011 it would be possible, after that there is no chance at all. When that train leaves, you are not able to catch it anymore. Just have a look at Michael Schumacher comeback. Kimi has not been away as long as Michael was. That would make it different for Kimi for 2011.
– You cannot help your age. When you are 30 years or more, little by little the reaction time is getting slower and the skill to learn new things is getting worse. While these cars develop so quickly all the time, the older you are, the longer you are away from this, the more difficult it gets for you to come back