Kimi Raikkonen for 2010 Fiat WRC team?

An article in the Financial Times claims Fiat could enter the World Rally Championship in 2010:

Two car manufacturers, believed to be Fiat and Volkswagen, are on the verge of joining Citro?â?˝n and Ford in the World Rally Championship (WRC), says its chief executive.

Fiat currently races in the rival Intercontinental Rally Challenge. As SJ of Formula 1 blog points out, it doesn’t take a leap of imagination to place Kimi Raikkonen in one of the WRC cars.

The Ferrari driver has dabbled in rallying this year, contesting the Finnish round of the World Rally Championship two weeks ago, where he impressed before crashing out.

He drove an Abarth Grande Punto in the event – a car built by Fiat and tuned by Abarth. Fiat also own Ferrari, which should make it easier to transfer his contract. Recent rumours have suggested the team is trying to buy Raikkonen out of his 2010 race deal for an eight-figure dollar sum.

Raikkonen has said he enjoys rallying and Ferrari have clearly been willing to allow him to indulge in it despite the obvious dangers – the team hardly needs two injured drivers. Putting Raikkonen in a WRC Fiat in 2010 may provide a neat exit strategy allowing Ferrari to bring in Fernando Alonso for 2010 alongside Felipe Massa.

Do you think Raikkonen might leave Ferrari to go rallying? Do you think he should?

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44 comments on Kimi Raikkonen for 2010 Fiat WRC team?

  1. Alastair said on 20th August 2009, 11:21

    Nonsense. He has a F1 contract for 2010, which he signed last year and has been rallying between F1 races because there’s a testing ban and he’s intersted in Rallying and Fiat get excellent publicity with him behind the wheel. He’s done extremely well, given that he had technical issues with the Fiat and has so little rally experience. If Fiat really do enter a car for net years’ season (getting a bit late now, don’t you think) there are plenty of experienced rally drivers they can employ. It would be madness to send an ex F1 driver out in a rally car when a) he’s capable of racking up points and getting podiums (2 so far) and b) the person who is supposed to replace him has already had a very public spat with Massa (remember 2007?) and has shown himself to be a destabilising influence in a team (2007 again). Ferrari with Massa and Kimi have won two WCC’s, one WDC and missed the other WDC by one point. Kimi has a contract for 2010, as does Massa. Buying Kimi out of his contract will cost Ferrari millions and Alonso will demand a massive salary, too.

    There are glimmers of the ‘old’ Kimi, especially when the car is lighter and less ‘understeery’ as somenone pointed out. Why does Kimi always get fastest lap so late in the race? Why did he ‘come alive’ in the second part of 2007? Because the car is lighter at the back when the fuel is low, which suits him and in 2007 they gave him the car he needed. Q3 will be done on low fuel in 2010, so expect much better grid positions from Kimi in 2010.

    If Ferrari want Kimi to win, then they need to give him the car he needs. Driving is instinctive. You can’t just change your driving style overnight and still be so quick. Kimi will stay for 2010. Hopefully Ferrari will move the COG further forward and risk the rears going off but even if they don’t, low fuel quali 3 will definitely be a happier event for the Ice(Cream)Man.

    FYI the people who mock him for getting out of his car before the race had been declared null – his car was already out of the race. Typical ignorance from the uninformed.

  2. pitt layne said on 21st August 2009, 6:09

    Let Kimi go rallying in 2010. The Fiat/Ferrari money will continue to pay for his driving. It could be a long term thing. When was the last time a champion moved to another racing discipline taking the same constructor with them? He could win another title with parent company Fiat. He and the team would need time to develop. The timing is perfect. Marketing wise, it’s very strong. You have Ferrari’s Finnish F1 Champion driving for Fiat’s rally effort. Finland = Rallying. Priceless.

    lL

    • Alastair said on 21st August 2009, 9:32

      Let him go Rallying in 2011, if he wants to. That gives him another year to prepare in between F1 races and we will have a year with four WDC’s racing at the same time! Why does Alonso have to go to Ferrari. There will be a seat vacant at Brawn next year…

  3. vectra said on 21st August 2009, 11:34

    Kimi should stay,, Though not with Ferrari.. They have failed miserably in coming up with a winning car for him since 2007. I think RBR or Back to McLaren where that car was part of him.. He should have taken Hakanins advice and stayed with McLaren.

  4. Steph90 said on 21st August 2009, 11:54

    Well Ferrari won the constructors last year. Kovy was no match for Hamilton and could have brought more points for Mclaren and Ferrari had reliability issues (Mclaren only had one engine failure) last year but even still massa won 6 races so the car was a winner but Kimi wasn’t the best last year.
    I agree though that if Kimi stays in f1 (and I think he should I could easily see him get the title again and then go to rallying and win the title there:P) he should go to another team, he can get a good and more reliable car than what he’s been offered by Ferrari.

  5. Bigbadderboom said on 21st August 2009, 18:02

    Martin Whitmarsh was making the assumption that Alonso is at Ferrari next year in the bbc interview today, also Ferrari have made some comments that are more negative about Kimi and his attitude. Anybody with the skill and natural talent of Kimi would be missed, I still think he has a couple of more good seasons to offer. But if he makes the choice to go rallying then I wish him luck! Although people doubt his commitment you cant win a WDC without giving 100%.

  6. I hope Kimi stays in F1, I don’t understand why the guy gets so much stick about his poor attitude and commitment. He is just a racing driver that is only interested in racing a racing car. He donesn’t like all the other things that come with his job but Ferrari knew that when they employed him. Not all drivers should have the same personality, wouldn’t that be boring? I don’t think we will ever know the full story about his time with ferrari but to me it seems that Massa has always had a special relationship with the team and I think that this could have been a reason why we have not seen the best of Kimi that we were used to seeing from 2005/2006. I am interested to see how Kimi does for the rest of the season with massa out, the team could be more focussed around kimi particularly if Schumacher does not come back. I think Kimi will do well for the rest of the season. I hope this will be enough to convince ferrari to put their faith int him for next year. But if the decision has already been made to replace him it will not make any difference. I will make the most of watching Kimi this year as I think he will walk away from F1 if he doesn’t keep his drive with ferrari.

  7. Marchduckie said on 25th August 2009, 0:33

    I like Kimi, my husband doesn’t. He says he doesn’t show any sportsmanship yadda yadda yadda. It’s hard to tell if he’s pushing or not just because he is the way he is…but could you tell there was some weird tension or animosity between Raikonnen and Barrichello on the podium yesterday? Must have something to do with Ruby and Massa being such good friends….Yes, Kimi isn’t as popular as people would want him to be, but he is his own.

  8. JailMalt said on 2nd September 2009, 17:45

    Excellent mail by Alastair.

    Kimi is in F1 for 2010 for sure. Maybe more.

    What strikes me odd (and I could be imagining it)is MS. I sense a lot of “unsaid” between him and Kimi. ..and it seems he’s rooting for Massa 100%. Just wondering how much that takes away focus from the whole ferrari team.

    ´´

    • Alastair said on 3rd September 2009, 10:16

      Re: the unsaid between MS and KR. If you have a look at his biography on this blog, you’ll see that Kimi was offered seats by Ferrari and Mclaren at the end of his awesome first season for Sauber. He took the Mclaren seat because he didn’t want to be Schumi’s ‘number two’ (no pun intended, especially given his comment to Brundle before the start of Brazil 2006).

      A lot of people also wonder why MS left F1 so soon. Some say it was to give Massa his seat and others say it was because he knew Kimi wasn’t going to play second fiddle.

  9. there is one thing for sure – I wanna see Kimi 2010 season (he climed the car wasn’t good enough in 2009), well maybe going back to McLaren things will improve for him!? he might seem not to be into it anymore (and I respect his feelings as he proved himself as a brilliant driver and all ppl know his forces), but his funs wanna see him more!

  10. Yeah, well, I don’t ever want to see Kimi in another set of F1 overalls ever again! So bring on Kimi vs Loeb vs Hirvonen!!! :D

  11. and i hope with better drivers then kimi,he was a joke by ferrari

  12. Wild Child said on 2nd January 2010, 14:49

    kimmi is more qualified them massa….just tink the rache at spa on 2008..he was the hero..he fought all his best at spa circuit.he was the hero then..Ferrari maild a big mistake by taking out kimmi..if ferrari was more powerfull at 2009 then,he would make ferrari at the top..kimmi wasn’t supposed to be out of ferrari..instead massa was supposed to be out…just think,kimmi was always making new lap record and fastest lap ..more the massa….FOR ME,KIMMI IS THE BEST AND SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO STAY AT FERRARI.

  13. devonslim said on 12th January 2010, 13:31

    geez…we’re losing the hottest iceman! i think kimi is very fast. too fast. when he’s inda right car, there he zooms!

    can you guys remember how he overtook Fisi in Japan onda last lap? friggin awesome!

    can you guys remember how many times he started from last and somehow manages a podium finish? extremely awesome.

    Kimi has been my fav from the very moment he shone in Sauber!!! and the team i’ve alwz supported was the team he was in.

    Kimi will alwiz be my fav!!! rock on in FIAT WRC and I will still be hoping to see you in F1!!

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