Fonte: f1lite.com/Dica:YiNing | Octeto
This time last year, Kimi Raikkonen
was on poor form. Apart from a notable (and perhaps slightly
opportunistic) victory at Spa, Ferrari hadn’t been able to provide the
2007 World Champion with competitive equipment. He eventually finished
6th in the standings, his motivation and enthusiasm for the sport at an
all time low. Little did he know that in just a few months he would
have embarked on a second career in the World Rally Championship, and
proven himself surprisingly good at it.
late 2009, it was clear Kimi was getting restless. Just a few months
before, during F1’s summer break, he took a trip out to his home
country, Finland, and tried rallying seriously. He was quick. He
crashed. No surprise there, the debutante was more used to high speed,
single seater precision than grabbing a glorified road car by the neck
and dragging it across all surfaces. Nevertheless, something about it
the experience caused the Finn to start looking at rallying as more
than just a hobby.
few months later, Ferrari surprised nobody by revealing that they had
signed Fernando Alonso for 2010, giving Raikkonen the boot. Kimi looked
around – a return to McLaren, where he spent five successful years,
looked very much on the cards. But Raikkonen was high maintenance and
high cost, and the Scuderia paid the Finn a staggering $20m to simply
stay out of the paddock for a season. Rallying was now a real option,
and when Citroen’s junior team offered him a berth for a year, he leapt
at the chance.
first couple of rallies were poor. A lowly 29th in Sweden and a DNF in
Mexico. But then, just as it looked like he’d made a catastrophic
career decision, he pulled out a very respectable 8th place in Jordan.
His unique personality allowed him to perform well under pressure, and
we’ve seen it a lot in Formula 1. His laid-back attitude and his
no-nonsense ‘get on with it’ driving style took him to the championship
in 2007 while Hamilton and Alonso squabbled amongst themselves.
bred success. A week later he took 5th place in Turkey. "Raikkonen" was
now appearing higher up the timesheets, alongside the likes of
established aces such as Hirvonen, Sordo and Wilson. After missing the
New Zealand rally he saw a few more respectable finishes, troubling the
top ten in Portugal and Bulgaria. It was Germany in midsummer that we
saw his real potential – Raikkonen took his first stage win and with it
gained the respect of the whole rally community. A one year rallying
adventure was set to become a whole new life for the mercurial Finn.
2010. By the time the Formula One community rolled up in the cloudy
Ardennes forest, Kimi’s final victory a year previously was little more
than a distant and irrelevant memory. Nobody was really speculating
about a Formula One return for the man who dominated the Belgian
circuit, not least because a majority of the top places look to be
settled for next season, the driver market inactive after last year’s
musical chairs frenzy.
then, just last week, the Raikkonen story returned. The resurgent
Renault team are on the lookout for a more suitable second driver after
Russia’s Vitaly Petrov proves fast, but with a wild debut season so
far. Team boss Eric Boullier dropped the bombshell and announced that
Raikkonen, who for months professed no desire to return to the sport he
once reigned over, had directly contacted him with a view to a 2011
seat. The Finn’s manager, Steve Robertson, confirmed the approach. A
decision is expected relatively soon, with Petrov’s performances under
scrutiny, yet his commercial appeal keeping him firmly in the cockpit.
will be said over the next few months. Much of what we see in the press
will be nothing more than negotiation tactics and clever PR. But
there’s a chance, a tiny chance, that Kimi Raikkonen may return to the
sport where he made his name – and he’ll have fans. A lot of people
miss his cool, laid-back attitude and desire to get out there and race
– maybe even his wildchild partying ways which are so rare amongst
professional sportsmen. But there’s no doubt that the Flying Finn is an
extraordinary talent, and Formula One would be much richer for his
Stranger things have happened. Just ask Michael Schumacher.
Bjus, Ana Lú ☺