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?


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.


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?”

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  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 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


  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.

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