Kimi Räikkönen

Probably one of the coolest drivers ever to grace F1 alongside James Hunt.

His part life-style may not have been to some teams liking in F1 but you can't deny that Kimi was probably one of the best drivers on the grid from 2003-09. He should have won more championships than he did!

Kimi won his one and only F1 Championship in 2007. Kimi won 18 races, 16 pole positions, scored 62 podiums and claimed 35 fastest laps in his time in F1.

Kimi is probably the must unluckiest driver to ever grace F1 and the amount of retirements he had no fault of his own were lots.

Kimi won his first GP in 2003 winning the Malaysian GP and he claimed his last victory in F1 at the 2009 Belguim GP.

Kimi started his F1 career in 2001 driving for Sauber, he then went on to drive for Mclaren and Ferrari before quitting the sport in 2009.

Kimi produced probably the 2 most funniest moments to happen in F1 over the last 10 years, when he said :censored: at the Brazilian GP in 2006 when Schumi first retired from F1 and the other one at the Malaysian GP where the race was red flagged and he went to the garage and got into shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops and started eating ice-cream.

Whether you liked him or not you can't deny his talent, he produced one of the comebacks of the past 10 season by starting near the back of the Japan GP in 2005 and went on to win it! Probably one of his best race wins in F1.

Did you like Kimi or Not?
Very talented, super fast, but far too keen to sit back and cruise, when pressing on and harrying an opponent may have provoked a mistake. Had Kimi been in the McLaren in Montreal this year, and not Jenson, I doubt he would have won.
Suzuka 2005, Canada 2005. Malaysia 2007...........................

Hey, I'm not saying he didn't have the ability and that he never did get the bit between his teeth to drive the wheel nuts off his car, but there were far too many occasions where he seemed to be content with a top four finish, just banging in a fastest lap in the dying minutes to prove that he was actually the fastest guy out there. I remember far too many times he was asked after a race why he hadn't challenged harder and he just replied "was not possible".
Had Kimi been in the McLaren in Montreal this year, and not Jenson, I doubt he would have won.

Perhaps, but he would have won other races which Jenson didn't and when the McLaren was in position to. Like the race Monaco. Monza last year perhaps. Spa last year perhaps (when Lewis went into the gravel for a number of seconds). . China this year perhaps. Raikkonen wasn't a lightweight. These are the teams that expressed an interest in hiring Kimi at the end of 2009 and into 2010:

Toyota, McLaren, Renault, Mercedes. That says something.
These are the teams that expressed an interest in hiring Kimi at the end of 2009 and into 2010:

Toyota, McLaren, Renault, Mercedes. That says something.

Hmm... if I recall much of that came from his management, certainly the Renault rumours. I seem to remember that Renault were somewhat less enthusiastic when approached by the press directly, and then Kimi himself contradicted both of them to say that he had never been interested anyway. Toyota and McLaren only offered pin money and Mercedes decided that a 40-something driver that had been out of the sport for three years was a better option...
No, Eric Boullier actually talked about pairing Kimi up with Kubica (at a time when rookie Petrov was underperforming)...but Kimi was only interested in a Top team and he didn't like them using his name to trumpet the fantasy to court new sponsors.

Norbert Haug visited Kimi at his home in Germany in 2010...and it wasn't exactly a social visit. Aabar Investments were onside and liked the idea of Kimi at Mercedes GP.

McLaren gave Kimi and the Robertsons a 200 page document to look over after Abu Dhabi in 2009...but Kimi supposedly wanted a Rallying clause, more money, less PR work, etcetera, etcetera...but then Jenson - being jerked around by Brawn/Mercedes - came onto the scene, visited the MTC and immediately offered himself cheaper to Whitmarsh.

Toyota wanted an Ace at the end of 2009 and were willing to make a serious money offer to get him...but when he said he wasn't interested, the team were left with a good car but useless drivers. Tokyo then pulled the plug on that money burning machine in Cologne...but that was after Kimi had said he had no interest. For Kimi, at that moment in time, it was McLaren or nothing.
Well Eric only commented after having been contacted by Kimi's people. His comments once questioned about it by the press were distinctly lukewarm toward Kimi, not exactly what you'd expect if he were using it as a hurry-up for Petrov. Kimi later said that was rubbish and that Renault had contacted him, but the sequence of comments doesn't make much sense that way around.

As for the Toyota deal, the BBC reported that it stalled due to money, as did the McLaren negotiations. Other considerations such as rallying clauses may or may not have been a part of those, but F1 is usually all about the money. If the money is reasonable people tend to be flexible (see Kubica and Renault), but if somebody wants top dollar then the team demand their T&C absolutely. Norbert Haug may well have been to see Kimi - I don't doubt that he did, most negotiations are better done face-to-face - but the fact is that they picked Schumacher instead of Kimi in the end.
I'm not sure of the significance of that in relation to what was said earlier. You were arguing that Kimi is so talented that all these teams were interested in him. However, interest is one thing, serious interest is another. By serious I mean that they were so keen to sign him that they would accede to all his demands. Clearly, the number of teams in that camp was zero. Kimi might have been only interested in McLaren, but they ultimately were not interested in him.
I still fail to see how Kimi being interested in McLaren, or who was interested in Kimi at the end of 2009, is linked to Jenson's performance in Montreal. At no point have I regarded Kimi as a lightweight, he's possibly one of the fastest drivers I've ever seen, but his motivation was not so much lacking as entirely missing far too many times in his career for him to be considered one of the all time greats. Sure, he may have won where another driver didn't had he hypothetically been in the same position, that's part and parcel of different drivers having different styles. Your sign off in post 6 is "that says something". I've been making the point that "no it doesn't". If a top driver is available then most serious teams (those that don't need the pay drivers) are going to sound them out. In the end nobody signed him, so he's obviously not worth what he thinks he's worth.
McLaren have never been scared of paying for the best.

McLaren have never been scared of paying up to get the best...but there's a limit to everything and they've never been able to pay what Ferrari pay or what Toyota were willing to pay in the mid-to-late 2000s.

McLaren were fined ~ $100 Million (a huge amount by F1 standards) going into 2008...and then a world-wide recession came in late 2008 and lasted well into 2009. It was a severe and deep enough recession - the worst since the 1930s - to force Honda, BMW, Toyota and even Renault (partially) to abandon F1.

Under such circumstances, McLaren weren't going to be irressponsible and stupid. In late '09 McLaren were holding the trump card as there were fewer seats and a lot more drivers available on the market, including Kubica, Button, Raikkonen and, later, even Schumacher.

In a world of an excess supply of talent vs a decreasing number of top seats, you always get downward pressure on salaries and compensation, especially in recessions. Kimi was being paid well for 2010 by Ferrari and didn't want to lower his demands and the 2009 WDC offered himself cheaper.

This is my final post on this matter to you.
I strongly disagree Ray but then we've argued this on (countless) other threads so I won't bother :p

I think Kimi had immense speed as a driver - in fact I think overall he's probably quicker than anyone currently driving in F1 but I think he lacked tactical and technical knowhow - not because he wasn't intelligent but I think really because he lacked interest in it. I think Kimi's whole career can be summed up by the Nurburgring race in 05 - go as fast as you can and hope for the best.

I think the comparassion with James Hunt is a fitting one. Like Hunt I think he won the title and lost interest in F1 - what more was there for him to acheive? Being out stripped by Massa and more importanly not seeming to care. I'm glad Kimi left F1 when he did rather than take the Ralf Schumacher option of driving round for the money and I really hope he doesn't come back so we can remember as the head down charger he was.
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