Kimi Raikkonen: Pros and cons 2012

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    Please, post your comments about which, in your opinion, will be the good and bad sides of Kimi in Lotus next year. Here my opinions which you can also agree or not.

    PROS: Lotus, despite the lack of good results at the end of the year, is a solid team, and Kimi can help them grow. He is experienced enough to help with the development. Also, he comes to prove himself and his critics what he is made of.

    CONS: I remember Jacques comeback (and why not Schumacher’s comeback) and suffering the “seasons lag” having a disastrous performance in Renault. It’s hard to keep up with F1 and probably the worst part is the fast change this cars suffer. It’s taking two long years for Schum to show some progress.

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    I think he’ll be ok, he seems to be a fairly adaptable driver and if anything the regulation changes this year should help him, as the cars are returning to the configuration they were in when he left (no blown diffusers, double diffusers, f-ducts) with the exhausts exiting where they were originally. His biggest challenge will be adapting to the Pirelli’s. I’m sure he’ll soon get the hang of KERS and DRS.

    Grosjean should be a reasonable starting benchmark but I would hope Kimi starts to consistently out perform him early in the season.

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    Cons: He’s left F1 once before so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did again. Two years out. Completely different tyres everyone else has had experience on. No refuelling so that’s another thing he’ll have to get used to (remember Bruno at Spa). Lotus have had an appalling year. Kimi said before he’d only come back if he could get a race winning car so he’s either desperate or hyas changed his mind but either way it raises the question of commitment again. MSC the greatest driver ever arguably is still struggling and he’s a buffalo while Kimi’s just Bambi in comparison.

    Pros: he was good before.


    I think @steph‘s said absolutely everything I’d have said myself pretty much perfectly.

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    Thank you @MagnificentGeof !

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    I can’t really think of many pro’s I have to be honest, well not on a personal level. The only pro’s racing wise for Kimi coming back is that he was a quick driver and has experiance. Thinking about it, the con’s outweigh the pro’s by quite a bit. For example, he has experiance, but on totally different regulations, going rallying which is racing but on gravel, in wales, in snow, not on a ironed out, creaseless, smooth Abu Dhabi track so his driving style might be accustomed to keeping the car as fast as possible not making the tyres last at a constant pace.


    CON: he’ll probably get bored, knowing him

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    Prisoner Monkeys

    Con: Extremely high expectations. Probably unreasonably so. I’ve seen a lot of Raikkonen fans who are under the impression that he will simply step into the car and be competitive enough to fight for poles and podiums – despite Renault’s horrible end to their season.

    Pro: Raikkonen and the team are smart enough to know this, and Raikkonen probably won’t let it bother him. So long as he’s happy with how he’s doing, public opinion probably won’t both him.

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    As pointed out one of the difficulties will be if Kimi don’t have a good car under him.

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    Lord Stig

    I doubt he will step into the Lotus chassis and resume “service as usual.” It’s clear that he is a talented driver, but he will not be able to adjust in one instance. He has used KERS and the aero rules have only changed marginally since he left in 2009. The largest adjustment will be the Pirelli tires. His driving style on the Bridgestone’s was known to be gentle. How this will translate to the Pirelli’s is unknown. However, he has done a change in tire manufactures before Michelin to Bridgestone in 2007. Though all the Michelin teams had to as well so the impact could have been mitigated.

    The Lotus chassis is also a big variable it could be terrible or it could be brilliant. I am going to guess it will be somewhere in between. Kimi can provide feedback for the car, so I doubt that will be an issue. How Lotus develops over the course of the season will be another matter as in 2011 it was an exponential decay.

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    Pro (for the fans): he’s an unknown quantity. We really don’t know how he’ll peform, but he could be really good or he flop spectacularly – and that makes him exciting.

    Pro (for the team): he brings in so much publicity, sponsors must love him. He’s certainly the best news story Lotus/Renault have had in a while, what with Kubica’s injury, the Lotus court case, firing a driver mid-season, and falling from earlier podiums into deep midfield over the 2011 season.

    Con (for the team): given that they failed to stay the course last season, what Lotus/Renault really need is staying power. Someone who can press the flesh and put in the hard yards on track, even (especially!) when the car’s faltering. Someone who – unlike Heidfeld, for example – is willing to take the time to build a strong relationship with his team. Is Raikonnen really that man?

    Con (for the fans): it’s getting so it’s easier to come out of retirement than to break into F1! Next they’ll bring back Villeneuve and Coulthard, and fire Perez and Di Resta…

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    While Renault had a terrible year last year, I think we will see great improvement ahead. I think last year they lacked leadership, we all remember they hit the ground running, but soon fell in a heap, in my opinion due to a lack of direction.
    While everyone knocks the “icecream man” for his final year at Ferrari, they weren’t the only years he drove F1, prior to that he did a great job in some sub-standard cars. He’s knowledge of motorsport as a whole is vast and by driving different categories over the past few years he would only have gained experience.
    That’s not to say he will step into a 2012 car and walk it in by no means, i think there will definitely be some some teething issues, but a car is still a car and as long as it’s competitive, i expect to see Kimi easily inside the top ten, something MSC struggled to do consistently on his return

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    Pros: he’s Kimi

    Cons: he’s Kimi

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    Prisoner Monkeys


    Pro: con

    Con: pro

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    Publicity and following for Lotus. Even after 2 years away from sport the no of followers Raikkonen has will easily outnumber Petrov+Heidfeld+Bruno.
    Whats also not that well highlighted is that he has always been good in a midfield car(2001 Sauber, 2004,2006 Mclaren and even 2009 Ferrari) scoring lots of points and occasional podiums which am sure is reasonably Lotus’s aim for 2012.


    Michael Schumacher’s return. If after 2 full years of racing, Schumacher is struggling to compete with Rosberg, the same thing might happen to Kimi too. I am fairly certain he ll easily outrace Grosjean by 5-6 races into the season but it might be more than a year before he can be anywhere close to the pace he is known for.

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