A driver who also races snowmobiles and powerboats and likes snowboarding sounds exactly like a Red Bull profile to me when you look at all of the things Red Bull typically sponsors.
@jerseyf1 – At a first glance, it’s the perfect fit, I agree. But I think Red Bull’s motorsport effort is a bit different than their other extreme sports implications and is adressed to a slightly different segment in terms of target and reach. It’s their “high-end division”, let’s call it that, and it works based on a slightly different marketing strategy and attitude for and from those involved.
F1 is not niche exposure. It’s large scale, full on exposure. Their main focus here is somewhat common to what they achieved yesterday with Baumgartner – creating modern heroes. People that will be associated with their brand long-term and will leave a long lasting mark on specific domains. Why do you think Red Bull signed Vettel in the first place? Why do you think they kept Webber since their early days in 2007? Why do you think they have one of the strongest and best-financed Young Driver Development Programmes in motorsport, even thought at the moment it doesn’t seem to produce the expected results? It’s in order to create personalities that are able to perform at the highest level, become marketing icons and bear a big Red Bull stamp on their backs while doing so. This is a formula that is working brilliantly for them, ergo, I doubt they will take the time, patience and resources to try and shape Raikkonen into what they need for their advertising strategy to work OR change their strategy in order to fit Raikkonen’s rebellious character.
Long hair, streetwear and f-all attitude might not be enough when it comes to Red Bull’s motorsport division, since they already have the teenage, 18 to 25 segment covered successfully in pretty much any other form of urban / extreme sport there is. IMHO.
But yeah, I’m not saying 100% sure it won’t happen either. It’s F1. Everything is possible as I witnessed much weirder things happen over the course of the years. I’m just saying, in my opinion, it’s a long to VERY long shot.
But then again, Räikkönen has said many times that he doesn’t want to race in a team that doesn’t have a car that is capable of winning.
@hotbottoms – I’m sure I will attract a lot of criticism for this remark but…the E20 was capable of winning up to the mid-season. The problem was Raikkonen didn’t manage to come to terms with his race engineer and mechanics over what the perfect setup for that car is. He struggled for a number of races with the steering not being to his liking, not being able to fully understand the tyres and so on, while Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull progressed. And he’s still struggling in quali. Look at how many times Grosjean beat him this year. There’s a good chance a more flexible driver, like Alonso or Hamilton would have gotten at least one win out of that car. Just saying…
And no, I don’t have anything against Raikkonen. I actually kinda like the guy.