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

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

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)

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

    1. 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.

  1. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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…

        1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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????

      1. 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!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

      1. Nothing against him

        Am pretty sure you aren’t a fan of the way he engages with the media:

        :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.

      2. 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.

  10. not to mention Shumacher, dont think your a fan of him at all keith! Is it Ferrari drivers in general? Btw were not having a go at you, I personally love the site and am with you on the the majority of what you say :P

  11. The WRC Finland 2009 is currently on channel Dave. Kimi did a interview and yes he was wearing that red cap and top. The interviewer asked him about Loeb going to F1 and him going to rallying, but couldn’t tell from his answer if he was quitting F1.

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

    Yes, I agree Keith’s blog is very good, and properly one of the best around!

    It just seems like in this case he might not have the understanding to really comment on Kimi’s performances.

    Rally and crashing are synonymous. All rally drivers goes through a crashing stage. It is not like F1, it takes a different process to perform at your best.

    If you are not crashing, when you are just learning rallying, then it means you are off the pace and not really finding the limits of the car and your own abilities.
    As you gain more and more experience you learn to calculate your own potential abilities, together with the car’s abilities, and you learn to put these things together with the road you will be driving on, plus you also have to take the potential conditions you will be racing on into consideration as the road and the weather sometimes changes, or in short you learn to make the right pacenotes.
    Because that is what it is all about, you have to try and calculate what you and your car will be able to do beforehand.

    You dont just get to that level in two weeks of training, you also build a bond with your co-driver.

    Just look at Latvala he is a good example, he has had more then his fair share of crashes, even just in this year, and he has lost quite a few points for Ford because of these crashes. But he does have lots of speed, and that is why he is still driving for Ford.

    Kimi might have crashed out, but he was really very, very fast. The talent is there, he just needs a bit of experience. Most rally drivers can take up to 4 years to reach the same kind of speed that Kimi has immediately showed.

    If he does more rallies, I will predict that he will still have quite a few crashes, that is just the way it works with rally. But it was a very impressive and surprising performance form Kimi this weekend.

    Yes, it is true that Kimi can at times be a bit boring in his interviews, but it doesn’t change his driving abilities, and the fact that he really did very well this weekend.

      1. Because it is, at least partially. Results are what matter at the end of the day. I think he did better than expected, but nothing earth-shattering.

        A strong case can be made that the media hype about Raikkonen in the early days of F1 made it look like he over-promised and under-delivered in F1. He should probably talk to his PR guy so that it’s the other way around in the Rallying world, but looks like that’s not going to happen.

  13. Why does this all sound like a desperate apology for Kimi’s inability to finish a rally?

    Well that properly depends more on how you want to look at it.

    Kimi wasn’t driving a WRC car, most people doesn’t even seem to understand that concept, there is 17 WRC cars. Kimi was driving a S2000 car, and he was in 3rd place after 19 stages (out of 24 stages), his class had 22 cars.

    I dont really know what people were expecting, rallying is totally different from circuit racing. Kimi had a total of two weeks worth of experience driving on gravel with a rally car. It was expected that he would crash out. But it certainly wasn’t expected that he would be able go faster against a his teammate who have been driving Fiat Punto’s now for two years.

    In the last rally (Poland) before Finland both Loeb and Latvala crashed out, it happens in rallying, there is no run off’s and you are going fast in changing conditions. But to go fast takes something more, it is very difficult to think of any other driver who has been so fast with almost no experience.

    Hirvonen, Loeb and Latvala are just a few among many WRC-people who were praising Kimi after his effort and who were surprised by his speed, they properly know more about rallying then most people.

    1. I follow and love the WRC. I understand the different formula and I also know that Kimi has been driving/practising a lot more than 2 weeks.
      I agree rallying is certainly not F1 in activity but it requires a similar approach to race rally craft in getting your car to the finish.
      I’ve watched a lot of Kimi’s driving via the onboard coverage and there’s no doubt he knows how to keep the throttle in. But overall his style needs a lot of work. Very late into most bends, very edgy and nervous car. Maybe that’s just his style but it’s asking for trouble.
      When Loeb was out in Poland he was leading the rally but didn’t crash as such, he fell victim to a hidden tree stump! My point is there’s just no comparison.
      If Kimi wants a future in rally he’s got a lot to learn. An OK debut but nothing special…

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