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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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. :)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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:

    Kimi pushes a veteran photographer

    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.

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