Alguersuari wins in WSR, Raikkonen crashes out of rally (pictures and video)

Alguersuri (second) passed leader Pic to win race two

Alguersuri (second) passed leader Pic to win race two

It’s always great to see F1 drivers competing in other series when they haven’t got a Grand Prix and two have been at it this weekend.

Toro Rosso new boy Jaime Alguersuari scored his first win of the year on his return to the World Series by Renault.

Kimi Raikkonen’s extra-curricular activity was his first attempt at a World Rally Championship round – but ended with a crash – video of which you can see below…

Win plus podium for Alguersuari

After making your F1 debut, stepping back down to Formula Renault must suddenly seem a lot slower. That seems to have been the case for Alguersuari, who enjoyed his most competitive WSR outing this year at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal.

Alguersuari finished third in race one at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal, passing Charles Pic and Guillaume Moreau.

He started the second race from pole position and ended the first lap second having been passed by Pic. But the Frenchman ran wide on the second tour, allowing Alguersuari back into the lead.

He extended his advantage over Pic with a series of fastest laps, but this was eradicated when the safety car appeared late in the race. Alguersuari kept his cool on the restart, and stayed ahead to claim his first win since last year’s British F3 season finale at Donington Park.

Alguersuari intends to complete the World Series by Renault season despite having moved up to F1. He has two double-header rounds left at the Nurburgring (between the Italian and Singaporean F1 rounds) and the new Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain (between the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix).

Read more: Jaime Alguersuari’s first day at the office

Rally ends with crash for Raikkonen

Not for the first time this year, Raikkonen’s rally effort ended with a crash. He was competing in a round of the World Rally Championship for the first time, contesting his home event in a Abarth Grande Punto S2000 entered by Tommi Makinen Racing.

Raikkonen came to grief 3km into the 29km Vaarinmaja stage (picture of the crash here). He had been 15th overall. After the crash he said:

I knew that place but I came in with too wide a line. I thought we were going to go wide but then, unfortunately, there were a lot of rocks and when I hit them the car went over.

He had other problems during the rally as well:

I thought we wouldn?t finish the rally because we had too many problems with the engine! But it was good fun and nobody got hurt. It happens – it’s part of rallying.

Earlier in the weekend he indicated he would like to make a switch to rallying in the future, perhaps after his Ferrari contract is scheduled to run out at the end of next year. He may get a chance sooner than that, if rumours Ferrari intend to buy him out of that contract to bring in Fernando Alonso prove true.

Read more: Kimi Raikkonen crashes out of Rally della Marca in Italy (Video)

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38 comments on Alguersuari wins in WSR, Raikkonen crashes out of rally (pictures and video)

  1. Leaf said on 1st August 2009, 23:10

    Good for Jaime! Nice to see him win! I guess coming from F1 back to WSR that makes him the big man on campus! :-)

  2. Congratulations Jaime and commiserations Kimi! Good to see them both doing more racing than their F1 teams oblige them to do.

  3. Wow! That was a rough one for Kimi, thank God he’s OK! Ferrari doesn’t need another injured driver!

    • DomPrez said on 3rd August 2009, 16:05

      the thing is, ITS FERRARI! any number of drivers (alonso, vettel, kubica. etc.) will be in line next. and with that list of tallent on board, u can afford to drop a couple drivers along the way. Glad nobody got hurt too bad though.

  4. Nathan said on 1st August 2009, 23:51

    I like how after rolling the car Kimi just nonchalantly gets out, gives it a quick look-over, and then walks off leaving his co-driver stuck in the passenger seat! Is there anything that will get a reaction out of the ice-man?

    • Tom Watson said on 1st August 2009, 23:59

      I liked the fact he either raced in his cap or decided the first thing to do after his crash was to take off his helmet to maintain his cool :)

      My congrats to jaime for his win and kimi for doing more than just f1.

      • Ronman said on 2nd August 2009, 15:29

        Weird how cool he was… and that hat, did he put it on before he stepped out, or was he racing with it? and poor co-driver… completely ditched by his driver…

        • verasaki said on 3rd August 2009, 5:11

          My question,too. The WRC guys have to wear helmets but his navigator didn’t have one on either and I didn’t see one on the seat or anyone around the car holding them. Ferrari must be livid!

  5. Daniel said on 2nd August 2009, 0:46

    Well, I have to say Alguersuari really deserves an applause… He was very intelligent and brave to go back to WSR during the summer break and, not only that, and for planning o compete until the end of the season… I just began to admire the guy! Good luck to him!

  6. Oliver said on 2nd August 2009, 1:18

    Speaking of Kimi, wasn’t that the same outfit Micheal Jackson used in Thriller!! :-)

  7. wasiF1 said on 2nd August 2009, 1:33

    Well we did get a reaction from the ICEMAN.
    Great quote from Kimi Raikkonen when asked about Schumacher. “It makes no difference to me who drives the second car.” Second car????

    • Brian said on 2nd August 2009, 3:18

      Kimi is awsome. I don’t think he is the greatest driver, but he is still awsome.

      • Nick said on 2nd August 2009, 16:48

        he is the greatest tho. too many kimi haters here, Keith really likes to take shot at him for some reason.

      • theo said on 3rd August 2009, 20:05

        100 % agree with this, except around 2005- 2007 i do honestly thing he was the best driver, so quick, so stylish.

        I think hes bored of f1, he is the man though definitely!!

  8. Casino Square said on 2nd August 2009, 1:44

    Go Kimi! He may not come across as the most charismatic F1 driver, but it’s great that he’s having a go at rallying when he could be sat at home for 4 weeks.

  9. Bob said on 2nd August 2009, 3:23

    Wow! Kimi did a pretty scary roll there! With Massa out injured, I really don’t think Ferrari should put another one of their stars on the line…

  10. Melanie said on 2nd August 2009, 4:57

    I dont want to come across as critical, but how about telling how great Kimi was performing up until that crash.

    He would have been on the podium, 3rd in his class!

    He has stolen the whole show. After the first day even the hardcore rally fans agreed that they have never seen any other driver who has learned as quickly as Kimi has!

    Wilson has offered Räikkönen a WRC-seat.

    - “Räikkönen is a real talent”, Wilson said.(Ford team manager)

    Let me explain it better:

    Kimi started practicing for this rally two weeks ago. And that was also the first time he has ever driven a rally car on gravel. All the experience he had of driving a rally car on gravel is 330km or a total of two weeks. Then there is also the pacenotes, pacenotes are a big issue, if you get them wrong you are going to be off the road or just too slow. Drivers have courses in doing pacenotes, Kimi and his co-driver just did their own pacenotes without any real practice or experience on Kimi’s part. It is also a difficult task for a F1 driver to suddenly take directions from their co-driver. It is a relationship of trust and communication. If you have been a F1 driver for so long you trust yourself and your knowledge of the circuit. While as a rally driver you have to act very quickly around hundreds of different corners a day, all of them mostly blind in very narrow lanes, if you dont listen to your co-driver or if your notes are wrong you are going to fail or crash.

    As far as Kimi’s performances goes, the rally Finland is known as the most difficult rally on the calendar, and it is also the fastest, Kimi surely didn’t pick a easy one to start with. He made two mistakes during the 2nd and 3rd stage, by running wide. But he was still keeping up with his teammate to an extended, by the 5th stage he was only 2 seconds slower then his teammate. In the 6th and 7th stage that gap changed to 0.4 seconds and by the 8th stage he was 2.5 seconds faster then his teammate, by the 9th stage the 4.6 seconds then his teammate!

    His teammate is a professional rally driver who have been driving at Fiat for 2 years now in IRC! Not only that, they might both be driving Fiat Punto’s but Alen’s (Kimi’s teammate) Punto has more horsepower and a newer transmission then Kimi’s Punto.

    Not only that by stage 8 Kimi was around 8 seconds away from Hanninen, and by stage 9 he was 3.5 seconds away from Hanninen. Hanninen drives a Skoda and the Skoda is a better car then the Punto, but Hanninen is no slouch himself. Only last weekend he won the IRC Russian rally on gravel, and by the end of yesterday Kimi with his two weeks experience and a slower car was only 3.6 seconds slower then him. The drivers Kimi competed against have been driving for 3 – 5 years now and Kimi is immediately able to match them!

    The whole situation is totally unheard of. It is unfortunate that Kimi lost a lot of time by running wide in the 2nd and 3rd stage, and because of that he was behind his teammate in the standings, but if it wasn’t for that he would have busy chasing Hanninen for the win in the N-class. He just seems to learn damn fast! When Kimi announced he will race in rally Finland all the hardcore rally fans didn’t take him seriously, they thought it would be another bad effort like Mika Hakkinen or Mika Salo. But after just one day they are now all singing Kimi’s praises, he has a lot of potential.

    On day two there was all sorts of problems with his car, a shock absorber was broken, the engine was cutting out and loosing compression, there was problems with the start motor and the gearbox had problems at one time, and the was sump-guard was also gone. There was also heavy rain the morning stages. And yet kimi again manged to set some better times then his teammate and he was able to come close to Hanninen at some point, who both had no problems.

    He was really doing a great job, it is such a shame that they cannot fix the car overnight for tomorrow.

    Tommi Makinen: (4x WRC Champion):
    Asked if he was surprised at Raikkonen's early pace, Makinen said: "No, I'm not. You might be, but I have sat with him and watched him drive. He is very, very natural in the way he drives. He's not aggressive or anything like that, we know where he is. I don't think there are many drivers who could get in the car and do what he is doing."

    Makinen added that he was certain Raikkonen would have been or could be a world champion in rallying if he had taken to that side of the sport instead of racing.

    "For sure he would have been champion if he came here straight away," said Makinen. "There's no question about that from the driving side, the only thing which might be slowing him down a little bit could be the communication with the co-driver. This is something completely new to him. This is quite a challenge compared with F1, to come and do something new like this is very good for him."

    I hope that Kimi at least wins the spirit of the rally competition after that effort!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JzeUfIj830
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLAmymiOVc4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDix2fgaKIE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JzeUfIj830

  11. Melanie said on 2nd August 2009, 5:11

    Just to add to the above, I have once read that someone described Kimi as a rally driver who got lost along the way. After seeing him in action these last two days, I have to wonder about that statement, there might be some truth in it!

  12. sean said on 2nd August 2009, 7:34

    Good on him at least he’s having fun not been told by journalist’s he’s losing his drive every five minutes.

  13. Melanie said on 2nd August 2009, 10:32

    The crash from Kimi’s onboard camera:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yt-Bbqksa0

    The first thing Kimi asks his co-driver is, if he is OK.

    Secondly Kimi asked Kaj if he thought he was going too fast, and Kaj said ‘No’.

  14. marc said on 2nd August 2009, 11:17

    its good hes driving in the WSR while on the break because atleast he is getting more experiance in racing. Not in f1 but as in racing in general.

    and unlucky to raikkonen!

  15. timo said on 2nd August 2009, 15:28

    Hehe, you don’t seem to like Kimi, Keith? Like Melanie said, he was doing a pretty good job until the crash, and he would’ve stopped the race after that stint anyways, since the car was pretty much broken.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd August 2009, 15:49

      you don’t seem to like Kimi, Keith?

      Nothing against him, what makes you say that?

      • Hakka said on 2nd August 2009, 16:13

        Nothing against him

        Am pretty sure you aren’t a fan of the way he engages with the media:
        http://tweader.com/conversation.php?id=1557191133

        :D (got to love the search feature in my rss reader)

        I think you’re as balanced as a human can be, but there are definitely undertones here and there that suggest a bias. Many of them often inferred from what you don’t say than from what you do say. I personally don’t think it impacts the quality of your writing or this blog overall.

      • timo said on 2nd August 2009, 17:35

        I don’t really know the exact reason actually to be honest, it’s just the feeling I get (maybe from sentences like “Not for the first time this year, Raikkonen’s rally effort ended with a crash.”)

        Don’t worry too much about the comment, though, the blog in general is really good!

        Keep up the good work.

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