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Raikkonen not doing so well in WRC

by sea-man (U13314401) 14 February 2010
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Räikkönen made his rally debut at the Arctic Lapland Rally, which ran from 23 to 24 January 2009, driving a Tommi Mäkinen Racing-prepared Abarth Grande Punto S2000. He finished in 13th place. Räikkönen made his WRC debut in the 2009 Rally Finland, which took place between 30 July and 2 August, starting just four days after his 2nd place finish in the Hungarian Grand Prix. He was running third in group N and 15th overall before crashing out in Väärinmaja, last stage of Saturday.


Raikkonen was the focus of huge attention throughout the rally, but his incident-packed run to 30th underlined how tough his career change will be. However although he had a few more excursions after his Friday accident, he also set a promising sixth-fastest time on SS15.

"Of course we are not happy, we hit the snow bank and we got stuck on the first day," Raikkonen said. "But we improved a lot and we got here. It was definitely not an easy rally to start with. But I got more experience with the car and the notes."
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Of course he is new to rallying so I expect he will get better, but I would have thought he would be doing better so far.

Your thoughts on how his WRC career will go? If he will improve significantly or not. We may well see him back in F1 next year.

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posted Feb 15, 2010

i think he will improve as the WRC season goes on.
However i think CH has pretty much said he would like Kimi in a Red bull for 2011.
;)

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posted Feb 15, 2010

Kimi might be fast, but he needs to really show that by not crashing. Any numpty can drive too fast and crash. I might be oversimplyfing here, but it is rather simple, you can't crash if you want to finish well.

As for him in F1 again, I think it's better to wait and see. There might be other drivers that deserve a Red Bull seat. Perhaps some team will die and their star driver will need it more. Then again Red Bull isn't completly guaranteed to be quick, and Kimi won't go to a mid-field team.

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posted Feb 15, 2010

I have every faith in Kimi making a sucessful transition to Rallying. I also expect him to finish on the podium a few times. My expectation is that, if at the end of the year, he is within 15% of the WRC he will continue in the sport.

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comment by kris (U1605104)

posted Feb 15, 2010

He'll be back in F1 for the money in 2011, the only reason he's doing WRC is that its something enjoyable and challenging for him whilst Ferrari are paying him not to drive for anyone else. As soon as that contract with Ferrari ends (next year) he'll be back.

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comment by 4aceme1 (U4302075)

posted Feb 15, 2010

I think it's hard to critisce Kimi on that first round performance, purely because they are pretty much the worst driving conditions they will go through in the season. To be sitting 13th wasn't bad.

Kimi has far less experience in those conditions than the majority, so it will only aid his development for the future, hopefully he will have a blinder of a season.

The true form of Kimi won't really be discovered until we hit tarmac & dirt, snow is too unpredicatble really.

Mind you must say congatulatios Hirvonen, I really wasn't expecting him to beat Loeb.

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posted Feb 15, 2010

Kimi: the last great racer in Formula One. Why is he a great racer? He loves racing; that is why he is in WRC, and why he left the primarily political championship of Formula One.
However he scores, I predict a steep learning curve and a continuous 'balls-against-the-walls' attitude.

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comment by AndyRAC (U7186829)

posted Feb 16, 2010

I don’t think the F1 fans realise just what a different discipline Rallying is. It’s not just driving, the pace notes are probably the most important thing that he can do. Good accurate notes can make a huge difference, and making them is a huge skill in itself. His driving skills are not in question. His pace was okay during Sweden – remember, this is only his 6th event, and he was setting similar times to Matt Wilson, who is in his 5th year of a 5 year plan.
I expect gradual improvement during the season, and good results on Tarmac later in the year. He is a welcome addition to the WRC, and along with Block – should ensure better coverage, well maybe not here in UK.

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posted Feb 16, 2010

I suppose you can only compare Kimi to his team mate (Ogier).

I'm new to the WRC (1st year) but I'm very excited in seeing how the season unfolds for Kimi. Maybe he will be able to match the pace of Ogier in Mexico (tarmac?).

Not sure if he'll be back in F1. If he has an offer to drive a potential race winning car, then I'd love to see him back. However, if his development as a WRC driver increases to that of a rally winning driver (unlikely?), then it would equally be great to see him stay in rallying and challenge for the title.

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posted Feb 16, 2010

He could go to Red Bull next season. It's expected that Vettel will replace Schumi at Mercedes so it makes sense for Red Bull to get a high profile, experienced driver like Kimi.

I suppose it depends if Kimi thinks they can challenge for the championship or not.

Not sure why Kimi rejected Mclaren. They were expected to be competitive. Maybe he wasn't happy there in his previous spell with the team and didn't want to go through it again.

That only leaves Mercedes and Red Bull as potential suiters for Kimi. I don't think he will want to go to any other team as he has been to the big two teams.

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posted Feb 16, 2010

I think Kimi was telling why he didn't want to go to McLaren, but you have to be able to read what he was saying. I think I translated it as him not wanting to earn less while at the same time wearing a Ron Dennis outfit, having to speak perfect McLaren-speak, give up rallying in his spare time (there's less testing now in F1) and not be able to race powerboats in his gorilla suit or pass himself off as James Hunt.

What he ended up with is a chance to get paid by Ferrari to enjoy himself and see how the F1 dust settles. Maybe there's another unknown here - he scored a lot of points with Adrian Newey designed cars and, just maybe, he's hoping to do the same again? In a way I can see Red Bull accepting his hobbies a lot better than Ferrari/Santander or McLaren.

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