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. Brawn said on 2nd August 2009, 18:06

    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

  2. Brawn said on 2nd August 2009, 18:09

    + he looks completly relaxed after tipping his car! oh and also I love the way he’s still wearing his ferrari cap :)

  3. Austin said on 2nd August 2009, 18:27

    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.

  4. Melanie said on 2nd August 2009, 20:08

    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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd August 2009, 21:23

      I’m not an expert on rallying, and am all the more impressed with what Raikkonen’s achieved for reading Melanie’s comments.

    • pSynrg said on 2nd August 2009, 23:35

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

      • Hakka said on 3rd August 2009, 8:33

        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.

  5. Melanie said on 3rd August 2009, 18:01

    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.

    • pSynrg said on 4th August 2009, 18:28

      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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