Current Kimi Räikkönen

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.
In Monaco in 2009, Kimi was invited to participate in a technical management meeting to give advice and to try to solve the F60's problems while Massa was sent to the simulator. Ferrari wouldn't have done that had they not valued Kimi's techincal feedback more than Massa's...a lesson they learnt after losing the 2008 WDC.

Kimi then explained his success after Hungary in 2009 by telling reporters "They changed the car the way I wanted it to be changed"...Ferrari had no option but to focus on him only as a result of Massa's injury. And when they did, Kimi pulled out podiums and a win in a dog.

Im my opinion, they focused on the wrong driver in 2008 and early 2009...and Schumacher - who hated Kimi but loved Felipe' - interfered way too much.

And here are some other quotes...

Ferrari's head designer Nick Tombazis - 2008: "Working with Kimi is easy. Kimi speaks a little but everything he says is important. The whole team appreciates Kimi's contribution when it comes to testing. Kimi is a superfast, humble and harmless guy".

Kimi's main problem was he was apolitical and couldn't be bothered speaking Italian or 'kiss arse' at Ferrari like Schuey/Massa did and Alonso now does.

After the 2008 season, his manager Steve Robertson said: "In the fierce development competition Kimi lost his car when they started building it in the wrong direction. Unfortunately it happened during the time when there was no possibilty to test. There was nothing to compare to and we couldn't go back fast enough. 3-4 races went bad and it killed all the hopes of winning the WDC this year". That was after Canada/France where Kimi was in line to win both races until Lewis piled into him in the Montreal pitlane...and then the exhaust went when he was leading at Magny Cours.

Chris Dyer: "We had a tough and a hard season but Kimi did exactly the right thing within the team and everyone respected what he did and how he reacted to this situation. We had a fantastic car but unfortunately we made mistakes when thinking about what's best for our driver (Raikkonen)."

Domenicali in Autosprint (an Italian magazine)Dec 16,2008 (paper edition):

Did Kimi share his problems with you?

- We always talk with each other and argue about general technical issues. From the technical point of view he was dissatisfied with front suspension, and it didn't work the way he wanted. The front suspension to suit him was a recurrent topic of our discussions.

How fast did you discover that?

- In midseason. We changed the suspension in Germany and returned it for Kimi in Monza.

Chris Dyer - 2009: "Kimi gives a very specific description of the way the car behaves and he reacts very sharply to the changes we make to the car. You can't ask for more". Dyer said to MTV3.

Andrea Stella: "Kimi is a very intelligent guy, a great driver, very talented. Kimi controls the car unbelievably well. There's a lot of potential with this co-operation"

Andrea Stella to Turun Sanomat in endseason 2009:

"Kimi could do so many things with the steering wheel that even our engineers couldn't have advised him. In that sense Kimi is better than Michael Schumacher. When I was Michael's data engineer I always had to tell him exactly how he could drive faster in different corners according to the computer. With Kimi you don't need advice like this. He finds the solutions himself."

You want me to write a book?

I mean McLaren loved him. He was metronomic. Ron Dennis loved the guy. Whitmarsh pursued him...but Raikkonen - for whatever reason - didn't want to be in F1 or in a McLaren bad enough.

His love is Rallying.
 
Alonso who is widely deemed to be good at this has not done any better with this years Ferrari in the feedback and development department. This I think was one of the reasons Ferrari apparently preferred him to Kimi. I think the driver's intellectual input is an overrated factor in this era of simulators and computer modelling.

I also think that many like to generalise about fast instinctive drivers lacking in tactical and technical areas, but I think to be that fast and instinctive you must be intelligent in that way

I remember after China, Lewis explaining his tactical positioning when overtaking and stalking others and Brundle and Coulthard were astounded by his high level of tactical intelligence. Senna, MS, Kubica, Lewis and many others are fast and instinctive because they have strong tactical brains

Now, strategic and intellectual ability is a different story and one I think that fast and instinctive drivers shy away from and probably get bored with. Luckily in most cases the teams hire very clever people for this.

Just my humble opinion ofcourse, I dont mean to disrespect any driver or offend any members
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
To compare Kimi to James Hunt is somewhat wrong..Hunt was the first real playboy of F1 and everything he did then off track was rather unprofessional with his crazy partying and the women he scored with...only really Eddie Irvine developed a reputation like that in recent times but not even on Hunt's level who turned up drunk for one test !

Kimi's unique in a way and took the name the Iceman to a new level from Hakkinen who remember cried in the bushes after crashing.

Kimi was the fastest over 1 lap but it was his application which people questioned especially 2009 when Ferrari really expected him to do a Schumacher and hold the team together which he did not which was one of the reasons why Luca sort to replace him

Having said that when he first joined there were saying that he was attentive to detail and hard working but probably not quite in the way Schumacher operated like an efficient machine

it could be argued though he did deserve more than 1 world title though
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I think one of the best, if not the best of his generation bar Schumacher, the guy was incredibly lucky, he must have lost around 20-30 wins no fault of his own...

A great driver that got messed around by Ferrari once Jean Todt left, as for him not being good "technically" then end of 2008 and 2009 for Raikkonen shows that he was just as good as anybody technical wise, just because he didn't stay long hours in the garage etc. that doesn't make him bad technical wise.

His main downfall was PR and his interest in Rallying...why he got knocked by McLaren? Well McLaren didn't want him to do other sporting activities just like when he was there previously.

It is sad to see a driver with great ability to be seen as "lazy" when he wasn't....granted he got beat by Massa in 2008, but he had a string of races where the team or some other incident took him out of victories. In early 2009, he got Ferrari's first points in a poor start, Ferrari's first podium and front row start, and out-qualified Massa before Massa's incident.

He's one of the few great drivers that I feel that I have to defend due to very unfair criticism and stereotypes....
 
Doesn't change the fact that McLaren thought they'd be better off without him...
For all they know, Kimi could have been WDC with McLaren in 2010. We'll never know.

Kimi finished only 1 point behind Hamilton in 2009 in an inferior car...In an F60 which not only had it's development frozen at mid year but never even topped the timing sheets at a single session in 2009. Compare that Ferrari to that year's McLaren. The MP4-24 was contiuously developed throughout the year, leap-frogged Brawns ... and got on par with the RBR RB5 in the final third of the year. That McLaren was so good that even Kovalainen was pegged as odds on favourite to win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

For all we know, Kimi could be closer to Vettel's points total in this year's championship at this stage than Button currently is.

I think McLaren have one great driver and one very good driver. I don't think McLaren have two great drivers. If they had Hamilton-Raikkonen they might well have won the WDC last year.

Button finished 5th in the WDC last year and was being rated behind Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Kubica and Rosberg. I'd suggest Kimi could have finished better than that. Easily.

No one will ever know. The only fact that matters is that McLaren didn't want to pay Raikkonen enough...and Raikkonen would have gone only to McLaren and only if the conditions were right. If they weren't right, Raikkonen was going to revert to his love: Rallying.

Some would suggest that Kimi and/or the Robertsons were greedy but that's too simplistic. Kimi had a bag full of Ferrari money for 2010 and he thought he was worth X. If he didn't get X, he wasn't going to bend and was going to take home all of Ferrari's lumpy severence and cut a deal with his long time personal sponsors, Red Bull, and go Rallying.

Personally, I think Kimi didn't love F1 enough in his last two years.
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
Gazooks! seems my post was about as popular as a fart in a bathtub! Although not sure why Lewis was brought up.

I shall try and explain what I mean by it all.

firstly

You want me to write a book?
Actually I do Ray - you seem to know a hell a lot about it and I'm sure it'd be an interesting read. I'd certainly buy it - and I'll certainly go back and read your post in a bit more detail when I get the chance.

Il_Leone - The reason I used the James Hunt comparrison was for 2 reasons. Kimi was/is known as a bit of a partyer and the tabloids love to report on it - same as with Hunt. Hunt also won one title and lost interest in the sport afterwards - I believe Kimi did the same. I see what you mean about it being a bit wrong as Kimi never did his partying etc ect when he was doing his job - where as Hunt was known too

As for my comment on Kimi being about pure speed and having a lack of interest in the technical and tactical side of the sport comes from things and quotes I've read regarding some of his break downs at Mclaren and the amount of time he spent actually working at Ferrari. Ferrari were used to Schumacher who would probably spend 24 hours a day in the factory from things I read at the time Kimi was a 9 - 5 kind of guy. It could of course be argued that his lack of time spent at Ferrari was actually due to Michael Schumacher being there so I will conceed that point.

I've always viewed Kimi as a car breaker - and I don't neccesarily mean that as an insult. I never saw him drive as I'm too young but I mean car breaker in the same way that I'd call Gilles Villeneuve a car breaker. Someone who pushes their car to the limit getting every last ounce of speed out of it and when its still not fast enough pushing it to melt-down because they want to win at all costs - pacing yourself and coming in second in order to help the championship along was never at the forefront of either of thems mind. I rememebr hearing a story about Villeneuve getting a puncture on his car and bringing it back to the pits despite the wheel flying off and half the car being destroyed. Apparently he brought it back into the pits and insisted that Ferrari fix the damage and get him back out there and had to be talked out of the car. I can imagine Kimi in a similar vein - do you think for a second if Mclaren had told him to come in and change that tyre in the European GP in 05 that he would have come it? So thats what I meant by that.

Which brings me to my last point which was that after he won the title he lost interest in F1. Whether a car was built round another driver or not Kimi was far too talented to let himself get beaten by Massa the way he did and we've seen lesser drivers than him come into other people's teams and make an impression on them. For me Kimi's lack of interest was summed up by Malaysia 09 where as everyone else was on the grid hoping for a re-start he was already out the car, showered and munching on a choc-ice. I don't think the pre-07 Kimi would have been doing that.

Thats just how I feel currently - I will take on board some of the things said here and maybe take a look back at Mr K to see if I'm judging me wrong but shouting at me or patronising me is more likely to make me dig my heels in fellas(and ladies).

I still think Kimi was an awesome F1 driver so at least we all agree in that.
 
For me Kimi's lack of interest was summed up by Malaysia 09 where as everyone else was on the grid hoping for a re-start he was already out the car, showered and munching on a choc-ice. I don't think the pre-07 Kimi would have been doing that.
Malaysia 2009. A race where Ferrari - rumoured to be Schumacher 8-) - gambled by putting Kimi on Full Wets (the wrong tyre for several laps), destroying his race. A race in which they had to put that absolutely drenched (and relative new KERS) car on a rubber mat in the garage for fear of electrocution. A race which was never going to be restarted.

It wasn't widely reported, but they were having serious KERS and KERS over-heating issues in Practice/Qually at Sepang...and Kimi wasn't interested in sitting in the torrential rain in that car and getting electrocuted :wave:... and he ended up being right about Malaysia not being restarted. Yes?

This is what Alonso and Hamilton said before the race was called:

ALO: "The visibility is nothing, [we] could have a serious accident if we restart."

HAM: "It was impossible to drive out there, it was very, very dangerous. It's the most dangerous conditions I have ever raced in,"

So, those guys may have sat out there for "show" - to "impress" all those BBC pundits - but Kimi simply wasn't interested in electricity mixing with his blood and flesh and end up in hospital. He knew about Ferrari's KERS problems more than the in-the-dark BBC commentators.
 
If a driver is not prepared to get electrocuted for a handful of points he's obviously lost his edge ;)
Aha Ha...But there wasn't going to be the prospects of any points. So why sit out in the monsoon and risk electrocution if they're not going to restart? Water, electricity and human flesh don't mix too well. :D [Remember what happened to that BMW mechanic when he was fiddling with KERS only a couple of months earlier?]

Later in the year, eventual Brazilian GP winner Webber chopped Kimi's Ferrari nose on Lap 1 for position and Kimi drove through Kovalainen's petrol fireball in the pits... He drove with fuel burn stings to his eyes for the whole race and came from the tail of the field - from behind Fisi in the other Ferrari - and put that dog F60 into the points - 6th - putting 50 seconds on Fisi in the process ...so i'm sure if there were points to be had at Sepang, Kimi would have taken the plunge.

:)
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
People always are quick to point out the ice cream and coke incident in Malaysia, the Ferrari had KERS issues and wasn't going to go back out in the rain, hence why the car was in the garage and not on the grid, Ted Kravitz on the same day reported that the car had KERS issues and was sure that the car wasn't going to come back out.

So I find it strange how people come to the conclusion that makes him "lazy" or "lost interest"...If you are not going to race, why stay inside a car that might harm you and keep on your ultra wet overalls?
 
So I find it strange how people come to the conclusion that makes him "lazy" or "lost interest"...If you are not going to race, why stay inside a car that might harm you and keep on your ultra wet overalls?
Cliches, assumptions and generalisations are comforting and easy to understand. Brundle and other commentators can be guilty of this a lot as they have to cater to the lowest common denominator audience.
 
I would think that the level of intellect here on Clip The Apex is far higher than the average 606 poster or average BBC F1 viewer...and, so, i'm happy that we're having a sensible discussion about this subject.

Happy to be posting on CTA!!! :)
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think everyone wanted to see the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix restart. I think if there'd been a chance for Kimi to be out there he'd have been out there.

He essentially retired from the race, however. I believe he was in the pit lane at the time (which you can't do under red flag) because he was quitting. The ice cream and coke was a hilarious image to counter the rest of the pictures from Sepang, but it did not show a lack of commitment.

In the second half of 2009 he was in brilliant form, in a car that wasn't quite as bad as Ray suggests but was poor by Ferrari standards. In 2010 there wasn't a seat where he'd be paid better for taking it than for leaving it, so it made sense for him to take Ferrari's dollar and do something else.

I can't criticise his level of commitment, I think to win a World Title you must have the commitment where it really matters (halfway through Turn 8, up the hill at Juncao, the Piscine Chicane and, particularly in Kimi's case, Eau Rouge).

To be media-shy is not a crime. Unfortunately, I think that is what cost Kimi in the end.
 

RasputinLives

Doesn't look a bit like Jesus
Contributor
Cliches, assumptions and generalisations are comforting and easy to understand. Brundle and other commentators can be guilty of this a lot as they have to cater to the lowest common denominator audience.
Lets not get drawn into the trap of thinking we're above the avergae F1 fan shall we? Presuming one is above all these other fans can be the death of a forum.

Maybe I'm wrong about Malaysia - I have to admit I usually have the sound off during the stoppages so wouldn't have heard Ted's report. I still don't think he had the passion in 08 and 09 as we'd seen before - sorry guys.
 
Lets not get drawn into the trap of thinking we're above the avergae F1 fan shall we? Presuming one is above all these other fans can be the death of a forum.
I am not sure the average F1 fan would see Kimi in the garage and out of his car and assume that it was laziness and not a forced retirement
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I think everyone wanted to see the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix restart. I think if there'd been a chance for Kimi to be out there he'd have been out there.

He essentially retired from the race, however. I believe he was in the pit lane at the time (which you can't do under red flag) because he was quitting. The ice cream and coke was a hilarious image to counter the rest of the pictures from Sepang, but it did not show a lack of commitment.

In the second half of 2009 he was in brilliant form, in a car that wasn't quite as bad as Ray suggests but was poor by Ferrari standards. In 2010 there wasn't a seat where he'd be paid better for taking it than for leaving it, so it made sense for him to take Ferrari's dollar and do something else.

I can't criticise his level of commitment, I think to win a World Title you must have the commitment where it really matters (halfway through Turn 8, up the hill at Juncao, the Piscine Chicane and, particularly in Kimi's case, Eau Rouge).

To be media-shy is not a crime. Unfortunately, I think that is what cost Kimi in the end.
Well Ron had a choice of Kimi, Heidfeld or Trulli in replacing Hakkinen and he chose Kimi..when many thought including Mercedes the obvious choice would have been Heidfeld being the test driver and groomed by Mercedes whilst Mclaren had just invested in Lewis Hamilton.

Reason for turning down Heidfeld was he was not good at PR allegedly...despite beating Kimi that year

Now what irritated Luca to replacing him was his attitude when the car was not working well in 2009 he should have been pushing the team like Schumacher so he thought.

2008 - you can say he had bad luck defending his title having being hit by Hamilton in Canada, then a broken exhaust from a certain win and a messed up pit stop in Silverstone putting on the wrong tyres but there were signs he was not as motivated

2009 Luca saw enough to convince he needed to replace him

Remember he was on a whopping $50m a year quite how Ferrari thought he was worth that much you'll need to ask Luca that question
 
Kimi was unhappy about not being able to fully race but accepted it as he was helping Massa's WDC chances...and the Finnish press wrote about it...and it was talked about on Autosport/forums.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Talked about on forums and the press? Because that is completely reputable and 100% fact......
 
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