Kimi Raikkonen, Citroen, Rally Finland, 2011

Should Raikkonen return to F1 with Williams?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Citroen, Rally Finland, 2011
Raikkonen's commitment to rallying has waned

Rumours continue to grow that Kimi Raikkonen is poised to make an F1 return with Williams in 2012.

The former world champion has lacked commitment to his rallying campaign this year.

Can he rediscover his form and return to his best with a comeback to Formula 1?

For

It’s not hard to see the attraction of an F1 return for Raikkonen. The 32-year-old has won 18 races and a world championship already.

As Michael Schumacher has shown, he could have a decade or more of racing ahead of him.

The prospect of having six world champions on the grid – something which has never been seen before – would be a marvellous boost for the sport.

And it could help rejuvenate Williams, one of F1’s most successful teams, who have endured their worst season ever this year. With a new engine deal in place and several key changes in their technical staff, the arrival of a former champion could mark the beginning of a turnaround for the team.

Against

Raikkonen's last F1 start for Ferrari at Abu Dhabi in 2009

Given the manner in which Raikkonen left F1 at the end of 2009, and his patchy career since then, you have you question whether his heart is still in it.

In the space of two years Raikkonen went from winning the world championship to being dropped by Ferrari with a year left on his contract.

Having failed to get a full-time seat in the World Rally Championship for his second season, Raikkonen has pulled out of rallies at the slightest provocation.

He did not appear at the Australian event, not wanting to make the long journey, earning himself exclusion from the championship standings. That does not bode well as the 2012 F1 calendar is larger and has more far-flung venues than the WRC’s.

It is unlikely a comeback would be met with instant success. Williams have had a dreadful season this year with many retirements.

I say

F1 should have the best drivers and therefore of course I would like to see Raikkonen back.

Both driver and team are faded former champions and many of their fans would like to see them competing at the front again.

But Raikkonen must be realistic about what an F1 comeback with Williams is likely to involve. If he can’t face getting on a plane to Australia, grinding through a few hundred interviews and then retiring from the race on the first lap because his KERS has packed up, then he should sit tight.

You say

Do you think Kimi Raikkonen should return to F1 with Williams? Would he be successful? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should Kimi Raikkonen return to F1 with Williams in 2012?

  • Yes (66%)
  • No (28%)
  • No opinion (6%)

Total Voters: 472

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Images ?? Citroen, Ferrari spa

173 comments on “Should Raikkonen return to F1 with Williams?”

  1. He should! any extra personalities help the sport!

    but he won’t.. he’s too busy chilling in the USA, eating ice-cream..
    why would he want to return to Williams? Money? Boredom?

    1. Kimi has a personality?

  2. He definitely has the talent, and I’m a MASSIVE fan of his, so I would love to see a return, if Williams can get on form once again he will surely be right up there. It seems the hunger which he lost after 2007 is back!

    1. He did not lose any hunger after 2007, I can’t believe this myth is still around. Ferrari have moronically shifted their preference in terms of car setup from Massa to Kimi, so Kimi was relatively lacklustre in the first part of 2007 since his race setup was not to his liking, and afterwards he took 5 of that season’s 6 wins. In 2008, he had the upper hand at the start, winning 2 of the first 4 races, and he could have won in Canada if not for Hamilton’s colour-blindness, he would have won in France if not for the cracked exhaust, in Silverstone he fell out of contention because Ferrari left him on old intermediate tyres and we all know what happened in Spa, where he was battling for the lead, and by that time Ferrari were already backing Massa.

      In 2009, as soon as Massa had his unfortunate accident and Ferrari started backing Kimi again, he took that car to results his own engineers would not have predicted. Not to mention trounced Fisichella.

      Kimi’s margins of gain and loss of motivation are minimal, as he is the type of racing driver whom manages to drain emotion out of him and simply drive the car as fast as it can go. That does not make him anywhere near a complete driver, but that does not mean he doesn’t have motivation. Lack of motivation was Damon Hill in 99, retiring healthy cars, not Kimi post-2007, when he finished Grands Prix with fuel burning his eyes.

      1. Unfortunately that would imply he lost the edge.

        I am an absolute fan of raikonen backed him through all the years he lost championships through mechanical failures. Most people forget if not for his mechanical failures he would have won many championships.

        But since moving to Ferrari he was terrible. For whatever reason. We have to see, but I am not so confident.

      2. I agree, he didn’t get the results and people just believe the journalists story of lack of motivation.
        However Schumacher has showed it is not easy to come back, so I hope people give him time to get back in form. And here I am afraid the journalists will crucify him quickly.
        He doesn’t like journalists and they don’t like him.

      3. I dunno, being too lazy to fly to Australia for the WRC round sounds like a real lack of motivation to me.

        1. i’m sure flying to australia to race an f1 car is a lot more appealing than flying to drive a rally car…

          1. @sato113 This is Kimi Raikkonen though, the guy who supposedly ‘doesn’t lose motivation’, I’m pretty certain if he’d had motivation, he’d have journeyed over and rallied.

            And before someone chips in with the excuse that they haven’t got any money or they weren’t racing anyone in the championship, WRC wouldn’t allow a team that doesn’t have money to race, and by not turning up, Raikkonen ended up being excluded from the championship!

            Rather backfired, that…

      4. Agreed, Kimi didn’t leave F1 to anywhere near the degree F1 left him.

      5. glue… that was a brillian summation of Kimi at Ferrari. Of course he should return! Can’t think of anyone with more natural, almost nonchalant talent. Let Kimi paste Maldonado for a season or two then go to Red Bull. *sigh.. if only Kimi went to McLaren after 09

      6. @glue you are spot on

  3. I think it will be simple. If Williams don’t trust him to come to all the races or to not complain about the car, then they won’t make an agreement.

    1. But even if Williams trusts him, doesn’t mean he won’t cause problems…

    2. i couldnt recall any moment (in F1) that Kimi ever complain about his car,i believe he wont complain at Williams or at least he wont say it aloud

  4. I don’t think Kimi has the personality to get into a Williams and struggle in the middle of the field hoping for a better car in 2013.

    His 2 most rescent seasons were quite what we expected for Raikkonen. We can blame the F2009 car being very bad, but the F2008 was great, probably the best car in the field. And he seemed ridiculously out of shape after Spain that year.

    I’d love to see him back… but, on a Williams? I don’t know.

    1. weren’t* quite…

    2. he didn’t perform consisntently well over the year.

    3. it was his problem heating up the tires in qualifying in mid 2008 that caused him to slip out of contention. this meant he kept getting stuck behind slower cars in the races. by late 2008 kimi was again faster than massa in spa, fuji and shanghai and outqualified massa in 2009 before his accident. so i think kimis loss of form/motivation was blown out of proportion.

    4. I agree that Kimi doesnt have the personality to race for Williams in its current condition. Williams need a team leader, someone who can re-develop the team and bring them back to the front, they would require a all rounder, like a Schumacher (not Ralf) of sorts. The team has the pedigree and infrastructure to compete at the front again, the formula needs to be right, and to me, its hard to see how Kimi would fit in.

      In his current plight, I wouldnt suggest Kimi as a team leader, he would make a very good second driver, just get in the car and drives the wheels off it.

      I dont think Kimi wants to comeback because of money, the guy was on 50 million a year with Ferrari!

      It would be very nice to have Kimi back, from a fan’s perspective of course, but for Sir Frank and Patrick Head, it probably would be.

      With Force India looking more and more likely to omit Sutil for next year, a move to Williams might work well. He seems to have matured over the years and may be well placed to take on the mantle of Team Leader.

      Just for the sake of argument, how about Felipe Massa for Williams? I dont think Felipe has lost any of his speed, he’s just been hit with serious lack of confidence. I think he needs to get out of Ferrari while he’s still knee deep. When a team has to keep reaffirming their support for a driver, things never end well. Its akin to a board at a football club giving their manager the dreaded “Vote of Confidence”. Moving to the like of Williams may a chance to wipe the slate clean. Kimi and Felipe have worked well in the past, WDC for Kimi in 07 and for Felipe in 08 (for all but 10 Seconds)…outlandish idea, but hey.its for sake of argument right?

      Whatever the case, whoever Williams decide, they would need at least one driver with Cash..and I believe their current cash cow Maldonado will remain for next year..the question is who will replace Reubens?

      1. meant to say for Sir Frank and Patrick Head..it WOULDN’T be!!

      2. Personally I’m not so sure sir Frank and mr Head want a teamleading driver; I think they want someone who gives good feedback on where to improve the car, then race it for all he is worth; they seem like the sort of persons who would like to give direction themselves.

  5. As an F1 follower, I want him to come back. It will help F1 as a whole. And besides, 6 world champions is awesome!

    1. I agree, I’m not a fan per say but it would be fantastic to see him back.

      As long as it is at the expense of Pastor and not Rubens.

      Rubens doesn’t deserve to be ousted and Williams need his safe pair of hands.

      I kinda think the opposite of what is being said about motivation. I don’t see why he’d have approached Williams if he didn’t want to be there.

      1. Good comment :)

      2. But Maldonado won´t go away as long as Venezuela has petrol…

        Poor Rubens, he seem like one of the nicest guy on F1

  6. Williams need someone who can show they care and put in the time to build the car up, Kimi is not that guy. So no, I don’t think Kimi should return to F1 in a Williams

    1. I have to agree here. Though I count myself amongst the biggest Kimi fans, he does not exhibit some necessary skills required for a spot at Williams. Surely, he is a master of car control, but my observation is that the is useless with a sick/flawed livery, and racecraft leaves much to be desired.

      For every podium from >10 start, there is a win he lost with mental mistakes.

      As much as I would love to see him on grid again, William is in a re-building phase; they need an academic driver who might not be the fastest, but who is great help in developing the car. Clearly, I am not in the garages, but Kimi does not seem to fit that model.

  7. Didn’t he say he didnt want to be in the sport where people have one thing in their mind and they say another and there is no respect for the talent of the driver or something?

    What happened now?

    1. A year and a half of getting to see the world and learn there is other things in life besides getting payed loads of money not to talk to the press and dislike the circus. Its hard work out there!

      Honestly, I do want Kimi to return. He is fast enough, Williams needs a bit of something new (getting rid of Rubens talking about what the team should and shouldn’t do) so both might do well from it.
      But If he returns, I expect it rather to be just as underwhelming as when Bernie brough JV back into the Renault seat for a couple of races (or JV at BMW) or indeed as Schumacher coming for another WDC last year.

      Would be lovelly though if he did come in, was committed, Williams finally build a halfway fast car and gets on the podium a few times next year. We can always dream, right.

      1. I feel much the same as you do @bascb.

        I still decided to vote yes, because at this point Williams are so close to rock bottom that a Raikkonnen that only performs at half the races, even if it is in a car about similar in pace to the current car, can be seen as progress.

        I think Maldonado hasn’t been doing all that bad lately, but the car has failed on him quite often. Surely another winter of testing their KERS, going with Renault engines, and putting the gearbox through another testbank for the whole of the winter should help reliability?

        And if that’s the case, maybe Kimi will have fun driving it, and showing his worth at occasions to bring back good points.

        1. To add, if he is signed, I am pretty sure Williams will have tested his resolve, and put in some conditions to his contract, and they must have made clear they will drop him like a stone if he shows any signs of being unmotivated.

  8. It would be great for Williams, it would be great for us as fans, and it would be good for Bernie as he would have an extra WDC on the grid again.

    The only person this doesn’t seem good for is Kimi himself. He may see Williams as his only option to get back into F1 with, but he won’t win anything, at least next year, unless he makes a stand out performance…

    I’d love to see him back!

  9. Given the manner in which Raikkonen left F1 at the end of 2009, and his patchy career since then, you have you question whether his heart is still in it.

    This is the thing that really bothers me about Kimi. If his heart’s into something, he’ll go 110% and he becomes truly spectacular to watch. But he’s proven that he can also be extremely lairy and the way he’s acted on some occasions – in both F1 and the WRC – has been pretty unprofessional. Plus he has a habit of coming across as a bit of an unpleasant character when he wants to be.

    We all want F1 drivers to be the best and we all want more interesting characters and less ‘robots’ in the sport and Kimi, at his best, can be both of these – astoundingly quick and great fun to watch. But near the end of his F1 career his attitude and the performances he put on betrayed the true potential that lies within him. It almost seemed as if when he won his World Championship, he started caring a lot less about the sport and so stopped wanting to put the effort in.

    With his half-hearted WRC career in mind also, taking someone like Kimi on seems like a pretty big gamble for Williams to me. If they get the 2005-2007 era Kimi, they will have one of the best assets you could ever hope to have in your driver line-up. If they get 2008-2011 era Kimi, it’ll probably end up doing Williams more harm than good.

    1. I think people’s concerns as to Raikkonen’s personality raise a pretty precient question. Would Williams actually benefit from having Raikkonen? The motivaited Raikkonen of threeish years ago would grace any car and any team. Fantasically quick, great technically.

      Now a days, lacconic, downright lazy, rusty, quick to give up, unwilling to do media, unfamiliar with tyres, DRS new shape of F1 racing, not got the freshness or youth that allows the newbies to come in, Schumacher’s not been that great anyway why should someone with less talent and drive fair much better even if he is younger.

      If it wern’t for William’s money trouble’s they’d blow him out of the water, it’s such a shame they can’t have Barrichello extracting just what the pace of the cars is an providing his apparently amazing feedback and have a Hulkenburg in the other car.

      William’s can’t be sure they won’t higher an expensive shell of a former champion, would be a silly risk, even if he shows the occasional flash, does anyone here really beleive Raikkonen’s got enough effort in him to be consistant over a season anymore?

      1. expensive shell of a former champion,

        Any news on what the price tag allegedly is?
        For the risk that Kimi is it can’t be much.

      2. Everything that @magnificent-geoffrey and @Scribe have said is exactly what I’ve been thinking about Raikkonen joining Williams.

        Raikkonen the last few years reminds me a bit too much of Hamilton’s troubles of late; he’s looked a bit lost to me, and I say that having been a big fan of him in the past (my PS2 copy of EA’s F1 2001 will tell you that he was my favourite driver). I’ve actually been kind of disappointed in him the last few years. I have the same sort of feeling in my gut towards Kimi that I do when considering Mark Webber- I still want him to do well, but I find myself questioning far too often for my tastes the question of whether or not he is still capable.

      3. This topic is now six pages deep and I have stopped reading on the first page!
        What short memories everyone has. Everyone refers to the Ferrari years, yes he won the his first race in a Ferrari, he won a championship in a Ferrari and he even ate ice cream at Ferrari. Peter Sauber respected him enough to put him in a car, Ron Dennis I’m sure didn’t regret his decision to sign Kimi after he was runner up twice in Mclaren’s poor years and I don’t think WIlliams would regret signing him either. Yes, he did seem to loose his passion in his last year at Ferrari, have any of you ever had a day at work or job where you don’t feel like your getting along with the people you work with? It isn’t exactly a joy is it? Kimi has shown he is great at what he does, it would be great to see another world champion added to the grid even if it is just so we can compare him to Schumacher. Either way i’d put money on it that he’d be faster than Rubens and Pastor and bring more publicity to a struggling team that could really do with some attention.

        1. Everyone refers to the Ferrari years, yes he won the his first race in a Ferrari,

          He won 9 races for Mclaren b4 he got to Ferrari !!!

          1. Unreliability in his McLaren time didn’t help either, and I think them not being able to help him get a WDC in that time is one reason that made him move to Ferrari.

            And then he discovered they are very different as a team. Ferrari works for Alonso, but it seemed to not fully work for Raikkonen, or he for Ferrari.

  10. I guess I’m the only ‘No Opinion’ so far. I wish that it had been a ‘Depends’ button instead. Would I like to see him come in and change Williams around and start challenging the front? You bet. But I don’t know if he will so I’m reserved about that. Too mercurial and too imbedded in the party crowd.

    1. My sentiments exactly. That said, I doubt he has the patience to see this through, so I voted ‘no’.

  11. You know what? I don’t care. If he comes back then great, we’ve got another World Champion on the grid and Williams show a statement of intent, which as a Williams fan, is a good thing. If he doesn’t come back however then I won’t lose any sleep over it – F1 has loads of great drivers and plenty who are more hungry than Raikkonen is likely to be. I haven’t missed him these last couple of years, I’m not going to start now.

    1. If he doesn’t come back however then I won’t lose any sleep over it – F1 has loads of great drivers and plenty who are more hungry than Raikkonen is likely to be. I haven’t missed him these last couple of years, I’m not going to start now.

      I completely agree. Haven’t missed him at all in the years he’s been away.

      1. Despite being a massive Kimi fan, I have to agree, the sport didn’t really miss him, and neither did the spectators, except his most loyal supporters.

        If he does come back, on the one hand there is the excitement of having 6 World Champions on the grid for the first time ever. Although realistically speaking, at most, 4 of them are in with a fighting chance at the title (Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Vettel).

        On the other hand, if he doesn’t feel the car is good enough for him, we all know what’s going to happen. In that case it’s very hard as a viewer to watch a driver who has absolutely no motive to compete and eek the maximum out of the car, when there are so many young prospects who are willing to give an arm and a leg to get into F1.

    2. Yes, I agree. If he was coming back into a top team with a chance of winning something, I might feel differently. But with Williams – it’s midfield at best. Nor have I missed his presence on the grid.

    3. Couldn’t agree more @DanThorn . I wasn’t bothered when he left F1 and I’m even less interested now besides he’s been out for two years when the refuelling era has died and we have new tyres so who knows how competitive he’ll even be. I’d much rather see the seat go to a young driver who could be the future of the sport than someone who already bailed out once before but unfortunately Williams don’t seem to agree.

    4. Well said. I still voted yes, because it would be great to see him back; or he will quickly go again, more silent than JV was gone at the end of the BMW period. But if Williams and he can make it work (and it gets them good sponsors), then great.

      They both don’t have too much to lose I think in trying the way things stand.

    5. @Dan-Thorn

      I agree completely. I feel stupid now having posted virtually the same comment! Only mine wasn’t as well worded. :P

  12. The way I see it is, what does Kimi have to lose?

    He’s “getting on” (in this day and age, at least), he’s other endeavours have not worked out particularly well, yet he’s being given the opportunity to return to F1? Why would you not take that?

    It’s very similar to the Hill/Diniz line-up at Arrows in 1997. Ex-world champion, a pay-driver (who has been better than the traditional ‘pay-driver’, at least!), and a big technical overhaul.

    I also think the results will fare pretty similar. I can see a freak race where Kimi ends up driving the middle of the field car through the pack.

    Either way, I can’t see the downside for Kimi. Even if the whole thing falls flat on its face, he’s an ex-World champion who has recently been in Formula One, so he’ll still be wanted somewhere.

  13. Plus, ex-champion in the Williams Renault sounds pretty smart, right?

    As far as merchandise, advertising, and attracting sponsors go. Another plus.

    1. Good point about the sponsorship. I can see Finnish firm Nokia jumping on board to sell their new smartphone launch with microsoft (which needs all the exposure it can get to compete). What better way than with a Finnish World Champion and an F1 platform. One can hope anyway….

  14. I would love to see Kimi back in F1! My boy Heikki would finally be able to beat him!

    On a more serious note, if Kimi returned to F1 with Williams then it would conflict with a lot of statements made by him over the last couple of years. It’s good to have a lot of previous wourld champions on the grid but having to watch them still racing in F1 just because they haven’t managed to adapt to the life outside / after F1 feels a bit sad.

  15. Kimi has something left to prove and I would like to see him do so, both for his fans’ sake and for Williams’. However, as no podiums can be expected in 2012, what will be the mutual metrics for success? How many points would satisfy both parties?

  16. There are already some positive sign from Williams,so far I guess next weekend I may near for a great Eid gift.

  17. I don’t think it’s a wise idea, and for several reasons:

    1) The evolution of the sport
    Formula 1 has undergone some of its biggest changes since 2009. Ever snce Kimi left, we’ve seen the introduction of the F-duct and DRS, fuel-heavy cars and the Pirelli tyres. Take individually, each one of these fundamentally changes the handling of the car; combined, they have an exponential effect. Kimi will be like the kid in class who is an entire term behind in his homework – he’s got a lot of catching-up to do before he can even start to make inroads on car development. And despite what some of his fans will tell you, he’s not so talented that he will simply adapt to them in the course of a day, or even an entire testing session. If Raikkonen signs up for 2012, it’s probably going to take him months to get comfortable.

    2) His commitment is a serious issue
    Back in September, Raikkonen failed to show up to Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour, and for that, his team was excluded from the WRC standings for failing to meet their obligations. I can perhaps understand Raikkonen being unwilling to go to Australia and Argentina because of the distance and the costs involved, but soem of his more-recent performances are much harder to justify. For one, he retired from Rally France-Alsace in an utterly bizarre accident, hitting Henning Solberg on the liasion stage. From what I gather, his car was undamaged – it was merely immobilised. Raikkonen probably could have gotten it restarted and made it to the next passage control with only a minor time penalty. But instead, he decided to head home to Geneva within an hour of an accident. Likewise in Spain, where he retired early on and decided not to bother carrying on. We also saw it in Formula 1; when the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix was red-flagged, Raikkonen was out of the car and in the garage almsot straight away, while everyone else stayed out on-track in the hopes that the rain might back off and they could go racing again. This is bad news for his Formula 1 ambitions, particularly with Williams. The team is currently looking to be in very rought shape, with their worst season since their inception in 1978 (not counting the days of Frank Williams Racing Cars). They’re going to need a driver who is committed and dependable, and if Kimi simply phones it in as soon as things go off-script, all he’s going to do is waste everyone’s time. If I were in talks to sign Raikkonen for 2012, the first thing I’d say to him is “convince me that you’re committed to this”.

    3) Raikkonen and Williams want different things
    If Raikkonen races for Williams, then he probably only wants to do it for a year, sort of an audition for a seat with another team in 2013. The problem with this is that it takes a while for a driver’s influence to be felt within a team; Rubens Barrichello didn’t really start to make inroads into development at Williams until the end of the European season last year. If Raikkonen only wants to race for a year with Williams before packing his bags and moving on to greener pastures, it’s going to set their development schedule back two entire years – one year will be lost as Raikkonen settles in, and 2013 will be a write-off because whoever repalces him will need to settle in themselves. Williams, meanwhile, are in freefall – they’re currently ninth in the World Constructors’ Championship, and they really need to turn things around. They lost four sponsors at the end of last year, and while PDVSA has filled in the financial black hole a little bit, the FW33 is embarrassingly Spartan when it comes to sponsors. Raikkonen’s signing might bring the Qatar National Bank on-board, but if Williams don’t start reversing their fortunes soon, they may just wither and die. Can they really afford to sacrifice two years to cater to the whims of a driver who only intends to race for them for the minimum amount of time?

    4) Raikkonen isn’t nearly as important as his fans say
    To hear Raikkonen’s fans tell it, Kimi is one of the mot exciting drivers on the grid. And in some respects, they’re right; the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix will lkely go down in history as one of the great races. But Raikkonen is also very polarising – his loathing for PR work, his unwillingness to speak to the media, and his general demeanor make him very isolationist. It’s difficult to like him. But to hear some of his fans tell it, Raikkonen is the best thing that happened to the sport: exciting, fresh, and all those other adjectives that MTV hosts will use to describe trendy new acts. But he isn’t – he’s popular, yes, but the grid has hardly suffered in his absence. We have five current and former World Champions on the grid, and while six would indeed by nice, Raikkonen doesn’t really bring anything to the table that nobody else has (except for maybe a liking for vodka and ice cream). He’s not the be-all and end-all, no matter what his most die-hard (read: militant) fans will say. What’s more, I sometimes feel that they can make life difficult for other, non-Raikkonen fans with their insistence that he really is that good.

    In short, I think Williams would be better off keeping Rubens Barrichello, making a play for Adrian Sutil, or assessing some of the upcoming young talent. Charles Pic and Robert Wickens are two drivers who have achieved all that they are going to achieve in the junior categories, and I think they are ready to step up. Pic in particular would be good for Williams because of his connections to Renault (likewise Romain Grosjean – but Grosjean had his chance in Formula 1, so I think Pic is the more attractive and more viable option). Right now, I just can’t shake the feeling that Williams hiring Kimi Raikkonen would be the same as Tony Fernandes keeping Jarno Trulli: a waste of an otherwise perfectly-good seat.

    1. It is precisely because he hates the media and PR work that I, and I expect many others like Kimi Raikkonen, he was there purely to drive the cars and cut out all the media rubbish that gets foisted upon F1 drivers. He drove averagely in ’08 but the back end of 2009 he was really good, as proved by an established driver like Fisichella finding the car incredibly difficult to drive.

      1. This is precisely what I’m talking about with the final point – Kimi’s unwillingness to do what is expected of every driver is presented as proof of his talent and commitment.

        Even if Raikkonen doesn’t like doing PR work in order to focus on his racecraft, you still haven’t addressed any of the other issues he faces in a potential return: question marks hanging over his commitment, the way he and Williams want two completely different and incompatible things from 2012, and the yawning chasm that stands between him and the rest of the grid because of the post-2009 regulation changes.

        1. I posted a longer comment further down in this section. My point was mainly that a lot of the stuff F1 drivers are expected to do out of the car is a grind, and a lot of people would get fed up with some of the pointless, stupid questions interviewers sometimes ask. If you ask a stupid question, why should Raikkonen or anyone else for that matter give an erudite response. Mika Hakkinen used to do the same thing, and there’s been stuff in the news this year about Hamilton being fed up with it too.

          I liked Raikkonen lack of pretence of interest towards PR and the media, you clearly didn’t so we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          I don’t buy the lack of commitment issue, if he wants to come back he must be serious and regret leaving in the first place as he must realise his stock has fallen considerably with some fans of the sport. Coming back and then moaning about long distance races and the such like would finish his F1, and probably his motor racing career for good.

          The comparison with Trulli doesn’t stand up very well either, Trulli has never ever been anything better than a solid midfield driver at best, whereas Raikkonen was one of the top three drivers in F1 for a good five or six year period.

          I don’t really think the refuelling ban would be anywhere near as significant as the change to Pirelli tyres for a world class driver in F1. The tyres could be an issue no-one really knows but Raikkonen on ability alone deserves a seat in Formula One. I would give him the opportunity to show what he can do, if it works out then Williams will have one of the quickest drivers in the last decade of F1 in their car.

          The aero setup of the cars is not that different to ’09, nowhere near as drastic as the changes Schumacher had to return to from ’06 to 2010 either, and DRS is a case of pushing a button and adjusting your braking point accordingly. He dealt with KERS fine in ’09, I can’t see it being an issue.

          His adaptation to the tyres will be key if he comes back, I think (and hope) as his fan he can show he still has it.

          1. And also I never said his dislike of the the media proved his talent and his commitment, it doesn’t not all. I said that was why I liked him, along with the fact he was a very quick, exciting driver.

    2. As comprehensive as this essay is, I think I’ll disagree a little:

      1) New drivers come in and learn all the time, and with his experience it should take him less time. And even if it takes a couple of races to get the best out of himself and the car, so what? It’s not like they’ll be challenging for the title.

      2) I partly agree, although given the fact that he is talking to Williams, Raikkonen is at least motivated enough to give it a try, even if he may not know himself if he still wants to be racing by the end of the year.

      3) Even as an audition for a Red Bull drive, he still has to deliver, and if he does then great for him, the fans, and Williams. And I don’t buy into the driver-led-development theory. I’m with Peter Windsor on this one, who says engineers just want a driver who can show them how fast their car can go, especially in this day and age with so much data and computing power available.

      4) His perceived importance is not that relevant; Raikkonen and Williams won’t be doing this for the good of the sport, although of course he does need to be polite to the media and the sponsors.

      On the whole, I say: give it a go. I’d like to see what he and Williams can do next year.

    3. Well, to her you tell it, at least we will have someone making enough of an impact in the media/internet to drown out some of the attention for Lewis; Button will like it :-)

      I have to agree for the most part with @adrianmorse. I also have to add that Raikkonen was great with the 2005 Michelin tyres, as far as I can recall – they aren’t the same as pirelli, but getting heat in them and making them last the race was important too/

      Let’s see how fast he can adapt and what he can do with the 2012 Williams car. It will surely generate more publicity for Williams in the mainstream media, and has more of a chance to be about impressive things rather than just another disappointing race, every single time.

  18. Also, has anybody else notice this?

    Kimi Raikkonen

    Kelsey Grammer

    And the similarities don’t just end there:

    Rubens Barrichello

    David Hyde Piece

    Coincidence!?

  19. As Keith himself said

    “Both driver and team are faded former champions and many of their fans would like to see them competing at the front again.”

    Call the fans hypocrite or whatever…. I would love to see him again ….
    But what if he return and after a year he gets a call from one one the front running teams to drive for them…will he ditch Williams … in the past he has done whats best for him!!! :D

  20. I would love to see the real Kimi Raikkonen pre 2007 back in F1, However in reality im saying no he should not.

    My first reason is that nobody, even Lauda winning the championship in 1984 has returned after being away for over a season and been as good as they were before. Adding that fact to how Kimi’s mojo and commitment to anything has been in decline since his championship and running about outside the top 10 going by current form wont do much to encourage him to stay around so i can see it being a short relationship if it ever comes to that.

  21. For me the question is – will Raikkonen help Williams develop their car? I’d love to see them rise to the top again.

    If he can help improve the car and show some commitment, cool, although he’s not a favourite of mine.

    If not, then I’d rather see someone new in F1.

  22. I’d love to see Kimi back. Having 6 world champions would have make 2012 the strongest grid in the history of the sport.

    This year’s Italian GP was the first time that the top 5 places at the end of a race were occupied by world champions. Since the beginning of 2010 there has been one occasion where the top 4 finishers were champs and I believe 4 occasions where the top 3 were champs. Add Kimi and a quicker Williams next year and the top 6 places could have 14 world championships between them.

    Stats aside, on his day Kimi is a genuinely quick driver and deserves to be on the grid.

  23. Eternal Newbie
    7th November 2011, 13:45

    I do not know how it would go, iwheter he would really commit, and wheter the Williams machine will be able to compete.

    But I would love to see him back. In over 40 years watching F1 nobody has made me happier than Kimi winning the race and WDC at Interlagos 2007. Taking it away from McL I mean.

  24. Who cares what Kimi said in the past about being in F1? Is it just the rest of us who are allowed to change our minds?

    If he is interested in talking about it he must be interested in racing, 2 years is a long time to reflect.
    I think he could be a breath of fresh air at Williams, i doubt he has too many expectations apart from showing he can still wring the best out of any car, still has race pace, plus he knows what the PR peope expect. Kimi surely knows as well as i do that Williams do not treat world champions as fragile prima donnas.

    As for Kimi not saying too much, Frank Williams is hardly motor mouth.
    I can picture Patrick Head dreaming of becoming a behind the scenes Kimi mentor…..c’mon Kimi, get back to F1 and make these grumpy old men happy again

  25. I don’t dislike Kimi it’s just that his attitude makes me not care about him very much. Driving in F1 should be an honour for any serious circuit racer but seemingly not for Kimi. I sense a lack of respect from him for the sport and his competitors.

    It’s bad enough having a load of smelly old men (I joke) taking up seats that could be going to fiery new talent without a guy who doesn’t seem to care that much either way.

  26. The way I see it as well is that yes, the game has changed, but it’s still a single-seater Formula One car, something he is more familiar with (and pretty good with..) than rally/trucks.

  27. A few people seem to think that Raikkonen doesn’t realise the Williams will not be competing for race wins next year. Webber’s contract expires at the end of next year, as does Hamilton’s. He is therefore probably looking to prove his commitment in a midfield car and show he still has it, get that Williams further up the field and use it as a springboard to a better drive in 2013 (if the rumours are true about him wanting to come back)

    The comparison with his lack of commitment to WRC is not that valid in my opinion, I think he came to realise fairly quickly that no matter how well he does or hard he tries he is never going to be beating Loeb, Hirvonen, Solberg, Ogier, Latvala etc. on a regular basis if at all because they have been rallying their whole lives. He has however shown in the past he can compete with the best in Formula 1. He is still a young man, and a motivated, hungry Kimi Raikkonen can compete with any current driver in the field, including Vettel, Alonso, Button and Hamilton.

    As I have just been defending him I sincerely hope if he does come back he doesn’t make me look like a fool by living up to the stereotype his detractors have of him, lazy and uncommitted. I would still like to see him back just to see if he still has it, and hopefully I won’t be proved wrong!

  28. I’d much rather see Raikkonen in the Williams seat than Maldonado, and maybe even Rubens.

    Stick the Pastor in the reserve driver seat so that Williams still get all his cartel sponsorship money, and have Raikkonen in the number 1 car spearheading the assault.

    Rubens can do what he does best and take the number 2 role.

  29. As a fan of formula 1, I want to see him.

    As someone who loves and cherishes Williams, I would hate to see them blow their new sponsorship deal money (if they secure it) on Kimi if he pulls the same crap he does in WRC or F1, aka not giving 100% effort. Rubinho would give 100% effort and likely still be slower than Kimi outright, but would cost alot less.

    I think from Williams’ point of view, they need a spark. And this would do it.

    1. Rubens will probably be the one getting the kick however.

      1. Well Id rather have rubens than sutil. Sutil is “quick, but doesnt seem to know why” according to Joe Saward.

        1. Thats weird, I will think that someone like Sutil is pretty smart.

    2. Well if rumours are to be believed, Williams are getting the precious sponsorship deal only if Kimi signs with them. No Kimi no money from Qatar so Sir Frank has no choice but to ‘waste’ it on the Iceman ;)

      1. Now that is interesting!

        Would that mean they wouldn’t need Pastor do you think?

  30. I think if Kimi returns it would be great for the sport and also he will be driving with an iconic team in William-Renault which would make it even more special. I dont understand why people complain about him not wanting to do any PR work, he is a racing driver who wants to drive not somebody who wants to be talking to the media every 5 seconds. If i was Kimi i would feel the same way about PR work.

  31. THIS will polarize many, myself included. If there is one way to get me to route on WilliamsF1, its with Kimi behind the wheel.

  32. Kimi Raikkonen is undoubtedly a great talent. He showed incredible speed in his years in F1. Although he slowly lost some of his motivation, talent is something you don’t lose. If he has been in contact with Williams to arrange a contract for 2012 it means it’d be fine for him to travel to the races, and Williams wouldn’t sign him if they didn’t have this certainty.
    Schumacher had a car which was sometimes capable of podiums, and a highly-motivated Rosberg as team mate.
    With a mid-field car (unless Williams pull out a surprise) and an inferior team mate, and considering Kimi is younger than Michael, he can obtain good results in 2012 if he puts all his commitment in it.
    I want him back, but only if that’s what he really wants.

  33. Definitely he should make a comeback. He is undoubtedly the best driver of the modern era of Formula One, so he deserves his place from F1 circus.

    One year in Williams showing he still got the speed and then taking Webber’s place in 2013 sounds like a plan!

  34. He should not return to F1 with Williams, but I would like to see him again. The only reason to return is that he can be the “mesiah” who will reinforce Williams but its quite unreal to think that the english team will have a competitive car for 2012.

    Anyway I want to see again a battle betwen Kimi and Lewis, or Kimi eating another ice cream in Malaysia. :)

  35. No. Why would a driver who wasn’t motivated in a ferrari be motivated in a car near the back of the grid two years later?
    I can only see him coming back, not liking it and leaving again.

  36. The various comments about PR work leave me cold.

    I doubt any of the drivers enjoy doing PR. I’ve certainly never seen anything to suggest any of them do. Raikkonen is no different in that respect.

    But if you get to drive 200mph racing cars for a living and are paid eight-figure sums to do it, it would rather childish to then whinge about having to spend time with the people who sign the cheques. Most drivers realise this and deal with it.

    1. I’m sure it was DC who said that he saw his F1 life as being paid to do these PR commitments and that he got to go out racing on his days off.

      1. I believe you are right.

        Niki Lauda got a large salary at McLaren by telling Ron Dennis, “Pay me one dollar to race and one million to do sponsor work and the like” (this was at a time when half a million dollars was considered an unusually high basic salary for a driver).

      2. @gavmaclean Certainly if you’re a McLaren driver – Jenson Button saw his annual PR commitment days go up from around a dozen to over 100 last year.

        1. Wow, that is an incredible number of days. Interesting when you take this fact with the Button killing it in the F1F popularity poll. Buttons value to Mclaren must be enormous and it appears Mclaren are fully aware of this and capitalising on it.

          1. @bearforce1 Actually even now Hamilton is more valuable as comercial product according to this list.

            Hamilton is worth at least €50.5 millions while Button only worth €36 millions; the list is from october. This can be notice in the number of Internet publications, even when Button had done some pretty amazing races most of the tittle talk about Hamilton… Right now if you do a search in google for Hamilton he will have at least 16,900,000 results, for Button this is only 9,090,000. Kimi has almost 5millions.

            PD.
            Yes I did notice that they misplaced Rosberg, he should be just after Button and not after Alonso.

  37. I would love to see Raikkonen back on the track. It would be an epic prospect to see what he could do in below average machinary.

    However, he has to ask himself what is right for him. Does he want to return to a 20 race calender if he doesnt want to do all the travelling? Will his heart be in it if he cant feature in the top 10 as often as he had become used to (let alone the top 3). Does he see Williams as a platform up to a bigger team in 2013? Perhaps replacing Schumacher, returning to Mclaren or even replacing Webber at Red Bull. All seem plausible at the moment.

    It’s a tough one, but if his heart is in it, it will be great to see him back on the grid

  38. I voted against. Notwithstanding the arguments about performance (I don’t think Kimi will do very well in 2012, but that says more about Williams’ current state than Kimi’s), Kimi left F1 in 2009 because he didn’t like certain off-track aspects of it. Those aspects, if anything, have become worse over the last two years. I can see Kimi being gradually disillusioned and unhappy if he takes the Williams seat, and he doesn’t perform anything like at his best when unhappy. This will result in him being a shadow of the self we know he can be and signing off F1 underperforming and unhappy. I’d prefer to see a happy Kimi racing in some other series, even if it’s not necessarily at his demonstrated skill level.

  39. I think other drivers should be given a chance, Kimi had his, lucked into a World title and stopped trying.

  40. There are Kimi lovers and Kimi haters…..some guys hate Kimi because he appears to be a bad person…Hamilton, who is very humble is the opposite of Kimi……Lets have guys like HAM and SUT in F1 rather than guys like Kimi…..
    Incidents like this doesnt help a person’s image

    Kimi doesnt help a child:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMBP1T_jw5w

    Kimi pushes a veteran photographer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6e3bDs2lgw&feature=related

    It isnt a one-off incident,but Kimi has done this quite a few times

    1. Why this is so damn big thing? The incident wasn’t even Kimi’s fault but woman’s who holds the folder…

      1. It isnt his fault, but no one would leave a child crying and walk away like kimi did….

        1. If I’d be as busy as Kimi, I’d do the same and just walk away. You can call me heartless and cold person, if you want.

          1. Though I do agree that pushing photographer was something he shouldn’t have done.

    2. Humble Hamilton, right

      1. When i read “humble Hamilton” i laughed so hard… then your comment was the icing on the cake. Hamilton is a lot of things, none of them come any close to humble/ humility.

    3. Neither of those incidents are fair.

      I mean, he’s hardly a Montoya.

  41. I voted yes purely because having six world champions on the track at the same time is even cooler than having five. One cooler, in fact. :)

    1. @neil-davies I make that 20% more coolness! :-)

  42. Although I would like to see him back I’m afraid time has passed him by with no experience driving with KERS, DRS, Pirellis or fuel heavy cars. I think a younger perhaps more eager driver would be a better choice.

    1. @Rocky

      time has passed him by with no experience driving with KERS

      He won the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix driving a Ferrari with KERS – indeed, he used KERS to take the lead!

      1. @Keith Collantine I remember his press conference after first race of the season where reporters asked him about new “radically” different car with all the latest bells and whistles. He simply responded – the car feels the same.

        1. I’m fairly sure he’d be able to adapt. It’s only the Pirrelli’s that could throw him off and he strikes me as the kind who’s just get on with it.

  43. My desire to see Kimi back in F1 has approximately nothing to do with logic. He was the first driver to really capture my attention when I started watching F1 only a few years ago, and I’ve always felt sad to have missed out on most of his F1 career. The prospect of having him back is simply too exciting for me to assess the pros and cons rationally!

  44. would love to see him back!
    i think he gets a bit of unfair stick too, dont really believe he lost his motivation post 2007, in the 2nd half of 2009 didnt he score the most points in the championship? not bad for someone who’d lost interest!

    1. I thought that was Hamilton?

      1. was it?
        maybe your right, Raikkonen still had a very strong 2nd half to the season.

    2. in the 2nd half of 2009 didnt he score the most points in the championship?

      It was a 17-race season: Vettel scored the most over the last nine. Hamilton over the last eight (with 40, Raikkonen was second-highest with 38).

      Remember Massa had out-scored Raikkonen up until his crash in Hungary.

  45. I think Williams will benefit from signing Raikonnen and all this back and forth is simply they are trying to settle on a right price. The matter in that way is probably more complicated as rumors are showing Raikonnen’s arrival in Williams would bring a boost in sponsorship but that is the money the team doesn’t have at the moment.
    Kimi’s motivation is a big question here, I think he misses the driving challenge of F1 and I’m confident he can adapt to new cars quickly. As we have seen from Barrichello driver input is worth next to nothing in this day and age. Would Williams have the worst season in history if it has the services of most experienced driver ever to develop the car?

    As for Kimi not liking PR responsibilities? I couldn’t care less. It is refreshing to see a driver who isn’t a corporate marionette – I would wager a lot of them are annoyed by sponsorship commitments, Kimi is just honest about disliking them.

    On final note – as a Williams fan I’m more excited about possibility of Raikonnen in Williams then Sutil, van der Garde, Bianchi or other names which were floated around.

  46. I’d rather Kimi didn’t return. firstly because of the way he left and the way he’s been since. I haven’t missed him since he left. I much prefer the more likeable Barichello even if he isn’t as quick as Kimi and finally there is younger talent about. I’d much prefer that a young driver was given a chance than bringing back Kimi who will not be what he used to be

  47. The Fanatics have spoken…

  48. Yesss. Sod it.

  49. macca1977 (@)
    7th November 2011, 17:03

    I think he should come back, not with Williams though, unfortunately there is no much options available at the time. In an ideal world Webber, Massa or Hamilton should move to Williams and Kimi to RBR, Ferrari or Mclaren. I hope Kimi is pursuing a RBR drive for next year and that’s why he is going to Williams next year to “re-learn” f1.

  50. Williams just signed Renault as engine supplier
    Renault supplies Red Bull
    Kimi races for Williams in 2012 to get back into the sport
    Webber retires at end of 2012
    Kimi moves over to Red Bull to race for Renault powered Red Bull in 2013

    and if i really want to go out on a limb… Vettel will move to Mercedes to replace retiring Schumacher and look for a new challenge in 2013

    That’s my conspiracy theory :O)

  51. Nobody’s mentioned Villeneuve’s failed last comeback with Renault and Sauber? I fear a similar fate will befall Kimi, and unlike him, Villeneuve never lacked passion

    1. but unlike Villeneuve, Kimi never lacked talent

  52. I don’t think that Kimi is going to be faster than Rubens Barrichello. I can’t stand this ‘very cooool’ guy! No. pleeease!

  53. In my opinion, Kimi became disenchanted with F1 after achieving his goal. He thought another series might suit his personality better, so he dabbled in a little bit of everything (WRC campaign, LMP and nascar tests, etc.). He soon realized that the grass most definitely was not greener on the other side of the fence, and came to the conclusion that F1 was where he was supposed to be.

    I doubt many will deny that he is still one of the top drivers in the world, and certainly deserves a drive with one of the top F1 teams. Unfortunately there aren’t any openings right now, however that will all change in a couple years with seat opening up at most of the top teams. Kimi probably figures he will get his feet wet again with a midfield team, no pressure to win, take his time getting up to speed with the new regs and tires. Once he thoroughly destroy any potential Williams team mate in 2012, he is probably hoping that will be enough to secure a seat with a top team. Given his existing ties with Red Bull and Webbers current form, my guess is that he will partner Vettel in 2013, or possibly to McLaren depending on whether Hamilton decides to stay put.

  54. Being humble and being yourself are two different things.you have no enemies when you never stood up for something.

  55. Quite simply, I would love to see Raikkonen back in F1, even if it is with a limping team. He definitely wasn’t at the end of his career when he got replaced by Alonso. I’ve also found it hard to find a new favourite driver to follow [this year I’ve been wavering between Button and Schumacher]

    I guess the Iceman will always be my favourite to the end.

  56. I wish people would stop making comments about about rally when they dont understand it and clearly dont follow it.

    Where to start. Kimi is a privateer in WRC, most privateers dont run in all of the rallies, rally Australia is the most expensive rally, this one rally alone takes up almost 2/3 of the budget for a privateer team’s whole season. The only privateer who has gone to all of the rallies in recent years is Petter Solberg.

    Which brings me to another point there NO seats in WRC, it is one of the big problems with the sport. How would you expect someone like Kimi who has almost no experience in rally terms to get some kind of factory seat, while a WDC like Petter Solberg who is one of the biggest names in the sport cant even find a seat somewhere? It is a misrepresentation to say that Kimi cant find a seat in WRC. There just aren’t any seats, and new teams like Mini needs drivers with experience not someone who has only driven 20 rallies in their career.

    The same thing with the two rallies Kimi didn’t compete, he already lost a day in both cases, if he had continued under super rally rules the following day, he would have gotten 30 minutes of penalties. Any chance of achieving a good position and points was completely gone. Kimi is a privateer so he pays out of his own pocket for a big part of his budget, there really isn’t much sense for him to continue under super rally it would just cost more with no results.

    Except for the last two rallies (one crash and one mechanical failure) Kimi has done a really good job this season in WRC. He is clearly faster then the Stobart drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson. He is often faster then new promising talents Mads Ostberg and Novikov. In rally Finland where he has more experience then in other rallies, he was practically matching Petter Solberg pace wise for an extended period. He is often faster then Kris Meeke – an IRC champion. That is pretty remarkable for a guy with 20 rallies worth of experience. I hope Kimi stays in WRC, he could be a really good WRC driver, if he gets the experience. Experience in rally is much more important then in F1.

    There is certainly a lot of nonsense about Kimi going around that people like to repeat as facts. He has always honored his sponsorship commitments, he is just honest when says he doesn’t like PR, but he has always honored those commitments.

    I still dont understand why people would say Kimi was bad in 2009, he had the 4th to 5th best car on the grid and won a race with that car and scored 4 podiums. Have the current drivers in the 4th – 5th fastest cars won any races recently? Or are they even getting podiums?

    The fact is Williams has scored 5 points so far this season, they are at the back of the grid only one step ahead of the new teams. They need something or just about anything badly, they would be darn lucky to get Kimi.

    1. well said Megan

      However I don’t think Kimi will ever be able to get near Loeb,Ogier,Latvala,Hirvonen and really what he did for Australia was stupid,if he didn’t want to go fair enough but he should have said that straight away instead of putting himself on the official FIA entry list for the event

      ”But Raikkonen must be realistic about what an F1 comeback with Williams is likely to involve. If he can’t face getting on a plane to Australia, grinding through a few hundred interviews and then retiring from the race on the first lap because his KERS has packed up, then he should sit tight”

      I had to laugh at this,YES Kimi has got off the boil AND lacked motivation after his World title win but to suggest he wouldn’t fly to Australia if he joined Williams and then say he would give up if his KERS failed on the first lap is a cheap dig and totally untrue

      And start looking up some stuff on WRC before you come out with bull like that,as Megan said,he has to pay out of his own pocket and it’s not exactly cheap

      I expected better from you Keith

      1. While I am sure you follow the WRC world better than I do @megan, the seat issue isn’t all that different from F1 then; it explains and put in context why there was no seat for him, but it remains true he had no seat, as Keith said.

        Also, I still wonder: even if what you say about that Australia rally is true, he could have decided from the start not to compete in Australia, and pick another rally instead, or not have put himself on the FIA list in the first place.

        Either he overestimated himself/his team, underestimated the costs, or he did but then forgot to look at the consequences for his team (or was out of money?). It still doesn’t show commitment, which is something people in F1 had doubts about already after his Ferrari period.

        You are very right in my mind in pointing out that a team with only 5 points so far this year could do worse than to have Raikkonen, even if he is inconsistent, on the good days he should be able to show a lot more than Barrichello, making it likely worth it even then to take a risk with him.

  57. Raikkonen is one of the naturally fast drivers. Having worked in two top teams he not only knows how to go fast in a fast car, but also why he’s going faster (unlike Sutil as someone else pointed earlier). Now, he is wanting to come back, a move which shows his hunger (well somewhat) and Williams have lacked a true top driver since ’05 as far as i remember (when Montoya joined McLaren). McLaren actually had 3 top driver leave them in less than 3 years. Montoya, Raikkonen and Alonso, and i’d tend to think it has something to do with the handling of the personnel. On the other hand recently there are changes, with Whitmarsh doing the personnel handling (and not Dennis) and McLaren have seen a steady boat, as far as drivers are concerned. Ferrari lost Raikkonen, but it was mostly them kicking Kimi out and returning to good old days of politics which we all hate (remember Italian drivers for Italian cars?).

    Tyres as someone pointed out, will be the key. Kimi was never too hard on the tyres. He was better than Montoya, as was documented well in one issue of F1 Racing, and it was to do something with how they line up for corners. Kimi is faster both in to one and in getting out of a corner. I don’t think he would all of a sudden be taking different lines, and be much worse as a result. He will need to get used to the car and the tyres and overall balance of things, and given his natural ability he will be fine.

    Williams and Kimi both need a break and are able to provide one for each other. As far as i’m concerned as a follower of this sport now for almost 2 decades, it happens very rarely in this sport, and when you do get one, you take that opportunity and make it your own. There are chances that it may fall flat on its face, but you couldn’t fault Williams or Kimi for trying it. Williams also will have a better engine than one they’ve had for years now. Hopefully, the car will be upto scratch and if it is, you know you could count on Kimi to go fast alright. Well, at-least he would avoid hitting Massa!

    You know what, i as a Michael fan, enjoyed most of engine/ suspension or whatever else Kimi suffered at Macca. Boy did i cheer and raise toasts to having another Macca engine toasted. Nothing warms the heart of a tifosi like a McLaren engine burning. It is extremely rare these days i know, and i wouldn’t wish it upon Button. Boy that lad Button is good! Now can’t wait for him to come back and leave his mark on the sport for good!

  58. There was a great comment for conspiracy theorists about Kimi’s supposed lack of from on Joe Saward’s blog: https://joesaward.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/now-they-are-talking-about-it/#comment-73910

  59. Kimmi will most certainly spice things up for the fans, whether he bombs or does well. If Kimmi does have a meltdown and does the throw in the towel if the car is not fast or up to his expectation. It will make for great Hamiltonesque media interest and the comments section here would go crazy.

    Reading the comments here I realised that although I as a fan will win either way with Kimmi returning. I do remember that there is a whole team of people working their guts out to put the car on track. I do think that Kimi is capable of throwing in the towel, giving up and not putting an effort in if things don’t go well for him or the car is not in the top three. I feel sorry for all those other team members that would suffer as a result of Kimmi’s dummy spit.

  60. I think it would bring nothing to F1 to see Kimi back, considering he was giving nothing when he left.

    But it’s up to them to decide in the end.

  61. Was never a fan of Kimi while he was in F1, but oddly I’ve missed him while he’s been away. If he comes back on form, I have an feeling he’ll drag Williams back into the glory days.

    I have noticed I’m in the minority though!

  62. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

  63. Yes, yes and yes, he should comeback. It would be sad to loose Rubens(Maldonado should be ousted instead) but Kimi still had a lot to prove and on his best he was untouchable. He should come back, what does he have to loose?

    And more crucially, on the back of their worst season in history, what do Williams have to loose?

  64. Personally I would love to see him back but I too would question his motivation over the course of a season.

    On a side note, that first photo of him makes him look 45. lol

  65. For reasons that have already been discussed here and on the Forum, the concerns for Kimi’s return are understandable. But overall I think he should come back because he is a unique character and its great for the sport. – I only wish he could come back in a competitive car.

  66. In my opinion

    Can Williams afford him? No
    Is Raikkonen good enough? Maybe
    Committed? I don’t believe so
    Do I care? Not really

    1. Almost same to me!

    2. No point commenting then. Duh!

  67. Kimi could race in 2010. but I’m not sure he would cope with the situation(dominant RB6!) better than Fernando. Well, If he had remained instead of Massa, 2010 of Ferrari should be better than we know. but I don’t think Kimi would show his top notch speed immediately now. Considering it’s almost certain he would not have top team seat..

    1. but…If he could show some positive sign from early part of the next season, still it would be interesting. 6 champions on the grid. what a great one.

  68. It really depends on where Kimi is within himself.

    If he’s really hungry and eager to prove how good he stillis, then yes, even in an uncompetitve Williams it’s worth coming back. He’ll be able to prove his speed in comparison to his teammate and may well get better offers in short time.

    If his heart really isn’t 100% in it, then he’d be better off doing something which requires less commitment such as DTM or one off events like le mans.

  69. I’ve always been a huge fan of Kimi, ever since he was at Mclaren. His talent is huge and i’m sure you do not loose talent that easily.

    Him coming back will be entertaining to say the least ! and especially if by 2013 he will go to a top team.

    I hope its true !!

  70. To a certain degree the thought of Kimi Raikkonen making a comeback into Formula One is attractive to me. He is a former world champion, and a multiple grands prix winner. For Williams, a team that have gone fourteen years without a championship to their name, Raikkonen would be a big name to join their ranks. However, I am not totally convinced.
    For me, Raikkonen pretty much summed up Formula One pre 2008. The Honda/Toyota years where money was no object, and drivers were being paid huge sums by the teams with even more being spent on testing and fancy aero devices on the cars that made them look ugly. For a time back in 2007, only Tiger Woods earned more money per year than Kimi Raikkonen anywhere in the world.
    To be fair, that has not changed all that much but with the cash came the pressure. When Raikkonen was being beaten by Felipe Massa in 2008 the Finn has the appearance of a man who could not be bothered with Ferrari and maybe Formula One in general. He knew that Ferrari were after Fernando Alonso, but even so, gave off a very indifferent attitude. This is bearable when you are successfull, but when a driver is not winning I would imagine that kind of attitude would get old quickly.
    Williams are in a dark place as 2011 ends. They have not won a grands prix since Brazil 2004, with Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel, who went to McLaren the following year to be Raikkonen’s team mate. The are a far cry from the team that Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, and Jacques Villeneuve drove for to championship glory. There is nothing to suggest that 2012 will be any different from the Grove based team, which begs the question, why would Kimi race for them?
    Its not, as others have already rightly claimed, going to be a case of jumping into the car ‘and doing a Vettel’. Michael Schumacher has certainly not found his return to the fold an easy one, and Mercedes Benz are certainly far better in terms of performance than Williams.
    It would be risky, especially if Williams get the Kimi of 2008. If they get the Raikkonen were saw a decade ago at Sauber, then that is a different kettle of fish all together.

  71. Would be an interesting diversion in the midfield, same as Schumacher’s comeback has been, and in a year when there’s no outstanding new talent coming through, why not?
    But a sad way for Barrichello’s F1 career to end.

    If he does come back, Williams reserve driver could be a smart move for whoever gets shuffled out at Force India and Lotus. Senna, Grosjean or Sutil. Good chance of some races later in the season.

    1. in a year when there’s no outstanding new talent

      Not sure what year you’re in @Bullfrog , but there’s been Di Resta, Perez and even D’ambrosio (who I think is doing well in the Virgin) this year, then you had Bruno Senna last year, Ricciardo this year..

      Who in that list doesn’t count as ‘outstanding new talent’?

      1. Should have explained that better :) I meant guys currently in GP2 who are ready for a shot at F1. Grosjean yes, a worthy champion I thought, but the others need time and consistency from the handful of gp2 races I’ve seen. As you say, it’s been a decent year for new F1 drivers, di Resta and Perez have looked really good at times.

  72. I would love to see Raikkonen back as long as his motivation was there and that Williams puts him in an – at least – semi decent car, I don’t want to see him floating around 15th.

    Whilst I don’t usually agree with anything Stirling Moss has to say, I wholeheartedly agree with his comment that Kimi Raikkonen is the fastest F1 driver ever!! Faster than Vettel and Hamilton I believe (though I believe both Vettel and Hamilton are better drivers on the whole). He was awesome to watch, especially in 2003, 2005 and 2007 – some truly magnificent driving!!!

  73. I’m so, so confused by this! It seems I have arguments and counter-arguments. I’ll try verbalise them…

    We all know Raikkonen was paid handsomely by Ferrari, but running your own WRC team doesn’t come cheap. If this is about money, surely Williams isn’t the best place for him? I appreciate they posted a profit earlier this year but for me the disparity between a driver with plenty of oil money and the highest ever paid F1 driver is just too big a void to get my head around. This would requires a massive pay cut from Raikkonen or a willingness to play the long game.

    Driving with Williams next year is going to be one hell of a gamble for him. On the back of their worst ever season and with so little experience with current regulations it will be a mountain to climb. I don’t know whether I respect him for perhaps giving it a shot with Williams or I think badly of him for trying to jump into any team that will have him. I guess that again depends on what sort of mindset he is in/will be in.

    I actually think he’s doing alright in the WRC. I would love to see him stay there for a few years to see what he can do.

    I voted no, I don’t want to see him at Williams. My gut instinct tells me, despite my counter-arguments, that it just isn’t right for him in his current guise. However, I guess I don’t actually know the guy!

    1. We all know Raikkonen was paid handsomely by Ferrari, but running your own WRC team doesn’t come cheap. If this is about money, surely Williams isn’t the best place for him? I appreciate they posted a profit earlier this year but for me the disparity between a driver with plenty of oil money and the highest ever paid F1 driver is just too big a void to get my head around. This would requires a massive pay cut from Raikkonen or a willingness to play the long game.

      Rumor has it that QNB sponsorship is 30m euro, half of which will go to Kimi. And before haters start with it’s too much & he’s not worth it, remember that Williams doesn’t get a cent without him. Again if rumors are true.

      1. @raifosa I always think that any sportsman is worth what a team is willing to pay for them. It is a gamble, after all.

        Good bit of information, thanks!

  74. There’s only 1 team I could see Raikkonen returning with: Red Bull.. Whilst Webber is taking up the 2nd seat there, that’s certainly not an option (unless.. 3 car teams anyone?)

    But, even when you take Webber out of the equation, I don’t believe Vettel and Raikkonen would be a good pairing..

    1. @keeleyobsessed Me neither. I just don’t see where Raikkonen would fit in to be honest. I don’t imagine that RBR would favour Vettel over Raikkonen regardless but he would certainly be on the back foot quite considerably.

  75. If Williams can prove the Renault deal is worth a WDC comeback, then Kimi should!

  76. I voted no opinion because i really don’t care! I’ve always found Kimi boring at the best of times.

  77. Kimi’s return can only be good for the sport. As for Williams, he is a risk, but I’d rather take chance on Raikkonen than watch Rubens reliably plod around for another year purely for the statistics. For the younger readers, Kimi Raikkonen was an absolute revelation to the sport and the view of him, I suspect, would be entirely different if he was a 3 time champion who beat Schumacher the season after a complete domination. He lost his way in 2008 and was far from poor, just inconsistent. I think with Williams he can help take them forwards quickly, I don’t buy that a guy of Kimi’s talent can’t be competitive because of a couples of buttons and a fuel load. If he can’t master that within 2 tests then he’s lost his ability. The tyres will be the defining point for me, and after watching every Raikkonen race, I see him having no problem with getting speed out of them, possibly longevity might be an issue. Then surely a move to Red Bull for 2013, I can’t see RB spending huge money on him for a couple of good rallies, to bail without a look in if he is as good as he was. And in my opinion there is no reason why Kimi can not win again, he’s got a better chance then Massa ;)

    1. Are you a fan @rbalonso? Name says otherwise, but who knows, especially as you are willing to change it to RBRaikkonen :-)

      Yes, you are right that it’s a risk, but I also agree it is a risk worth taking: Barrichello hasn’t been able to show much extra this year, despite undoubtedly trying.

      1. @bosyber unfortunately RB are my initials lol ;) I just think that Kimi’s reputation is being a wee bit undermined, you know? You’ve seen his whole career right? (your profile says 1993) so you know what I mean about unbelievable drive like spa 04 and suzuka 05. Raikkonen is such a class act in the car..which makes Fernando look better for beating him ;) kiddin’

        1. Yes, I was making a bit of fun of you @rbalonso, but the more I think about it, about what Williams really have to loose, and what Raikkonen can bring to them, the better a chance it seems. It would be great to see that sort of driving back.

          And I am also happy to see how Raikkonen is able to rival the comment-count on the articles about Hamilton too – it could mean two times as many for/against discussions, or half both of them :-)

          1. @bosyber, With a name like RBAlonso it’s just not safe for me to comment about Hamilton…This is all I’ve got lol ko

  78. Well I voted no. Kimi is just about one of the most ignorant people I’ve ever seen on TV (and off TV). And with that ignorance came a complete lack of character. I’m sure he doesn’t give a monkey’s about any of this which is exactly why we shouldn’t give one about him…

    He was a mid-pack driver most of the time with an occasional flash of some other ability. About as brilliant as the wage packet he would be chasing…

    A half decent driver no doubt but an absolutely rubbish F1 driver who was champ only because everyone tripped over each other (or their team mate…)

  79. Cant wait to see Kimi in F1 again, hes the reason i started watching F1 in the first place in 2001. F1 hasent been the same after he left.

  80. I believe that Raikkonen should not get into F1 with Williams. My thought process is because of the following

    1) Raikkonen lost motivation even with a team like Ferrari and Mclaren. A grossly under performing team like Williams will not do any good.

    2) Having 6 Champions as statistics and numbers is great. I believe rather than giving Raikkonen a chance Williams should give some young drivers a chance to make sure that new talent comes into F1. Who knows they might even end up with the likes of a Hamilton, Vettel or Fernando. Once such a driver comes through then sponsorship attracting other talents and bringing things together is not a difficult thing. Vettel/Redbull and Fernando/Renault are good examples.

  81. Kimi is indeed a mystery. When he was at McLaren his commitment was second to none, he was brave and hungry and often put the car into positions where it should not have been. I still remember when his suspension broke on the last lap while he was leading after he had driven flat out for 20 odd laps with intense vibrations at the left front. Very few, if any other drivers would even contemplate doing that.

    When he arrived at Ferrari he brought with him his his fighting spirit and overcame a lot of reliability issues in 2007 to clinch the championship. Most people forget that Raikkonen had reliability issues and lost at least 2 wins in 2007 due to those. Not driver errors, mechanical failures. But it seemed like Ferrari was sucking the spirit out of Raikkonen. He doesn`t like the commercial side of F1, and Ferrari like their drivers to represent the company as much as possible. A marriage made in hell in other words.

    It all turned for the worse after that. Except from glimpses of the Raikkonen of old he seemed uninterested and fed up.

    But Raikkonen is not lazy, and he is indeed good at developing cars. The engineers at McLaren was very impressed with his input. The problem was that Ferrari was not interested in Raikkonen input. Their car`s were built in the same mold as in the Schumacher era in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The problem with all these cars is an inability to generate enough heat in the tires. This translates to sub-standard qualifying and problems when you have a rainy or cold day for most drivers. This was not a problem for Schumacher as he threw the car into corners and was generally able to generate heat despite the car`s characteristics. For him this characteristic was benefitial as it allowed him longer stints on the tires and made him more competitive. For a more fluent driver the inability to generate heat into the tires is a problem. If Ferrari had lent an ear to Raikonen they would have changed the characteristic of their cars years ago and might have been much more competitive the last seasons.

    Bring Kimi back, let him have fun and race. He will surprise many, he`s no cry-baby and he`s among the most honest racers out there.

    1. He doesn’t like the commercial side of F1

      I say again, show me a driver who does.

  82. Keith Collantine

    Well, most of them accept that the commercial side of F1 is a part of their job. Kimi hates it, and prefers pubs and stripclubs. That doesn`t go well down in a company like Ferrari. They expected a role-model and a poster-boy. What they got was a person they felt embarrased them from time to time.

    I understand Ferrari, when you pay someone that much money you expect them to behave and be a poster boy. Raikkonen will never be a poster boy, he`s more of a party animal. But that`s Raikkonen, take him as he is og leave him be.

  83. Nope.

    I used to like him a little bit when he was at McLaren, but after he moved to Ferrari, he just became boring. The only time he ever excited me was in Spa 2008, but then he disappointed me by crashing!

    I was disappointed when he left, but I can see why he did it. I don’t want him back because, frankly, I’ve not missed him at all. Has he even missed F1 himself, or is he just bored with his life and career? If he really wants to come back; good on him, but I can’t see where the motivation is going to come from, especially if he’s trundling around at the back in a Williams.

    I’d rather see Rubens keep his seat. If he has to come back, I want him to replace Maldonado. He’s done nothing all year.

  84. I think that, judging by the amount of posts we’ve had already, his return to the sport would generate even more interest than we have at present…Come on, he might not be the best thing for f1 or Williams, but then neither is DRS, and at least he’s interesting most of the time.

  85. I must admit I am a big Raikkonen fan and I would be happy to seem him back. However, he should only come back if he wants to come back. He needs to be as motivated as he was during the McLaren days and be ready for a not so good car from Williams. If he is half in and half out then this is not going to work.

    If he does come back I am sure Rubens is going to get the boot. Pastor and PDVSA bring too much money for Williams to say no. If Kimi brings Qatari money then Williams should be much better placed. There is no doubt that more cash is going to help them up the field. Unless you are Toyota…

  86. A no-face driver to me. Pale personality. Moderate driver. Please do not come back, Kimi!

  87. Yes. I miss Kimi as I also miss a few other drivers who had given the sport quite some excitement. Kimi had been very exciting to watch and to talk about.
    Surely the number of comments and votes tells us that we all want him back, more or less.
    Kimi, please come back. Sir Williams, please let him drive.

  88. Kimi to replace Webber and Schuey to replace Massa or vice versa: Then we would have 6 World Champions in the presumably top 6 cars next year. That would be interesting – but I know its impossible. Kimi in a Williams would be disappointing – how would he be able to make points unless Williams create a miracle during the winter.

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