Friday, October 15, 2010

The world's fastest Kimi

Editorial from Vauhdin Maailma November 2010 (paper edition) by Olli Koivusalo

MTV3 has for a long time almost made an art out of feeding the rumours and recycling old news when it comes to Kimi Räikkönen's future.

Even the smallest 'news' get through with an amazing lack of critisism. MTV3 have their own interests in keeping F1 - and why not rally too - as a daily subject, so therefore the matter is quite easy to understand. They have to sell paycards, they have to get viewers and sponsors.

I don't claim that they wouldn't from time to time come up with some pretty good stories from the world of F1 and rally. Unfortunately they tend to be buried under the insane scale of the Kimi-avalanche. The boastings about the results in shakedown are a completely criminal underestimation of the viewers and readers.

They are now having the most exciting battle over the F1-championship but for MTV3 it's only the second most interesting subject this autumn. Will Kimi go back to Ferrari? What will Schumacher do? Would there even be room in Red Bull? We are living exciting times...

I respect greatly Kimi's F1-career. At his best he was a brilliant driver and a great champion - and that's how we want to remember him too. I'm sure there would be some available seats in F1 but they should take one zero away from their salary demands and there aren't any top cars available for crying out loud.

Would "The world's fastest Kimi" be a good selling gimmick for MTV3? I highly doubt that. I'm sure he is better than Heikki Kovalainen but that doesn't require much.

Räikkönen isn't as hot stuff in rally as some want us to believe. He found immediately a good basic pace which isn't a miracle when we talk about a tough steering wheel -man who is on top of his active career. He has had offs during the season but those happen to everybody. The bigger problem is that he hasn't in practice caught up the difference in the stages. There has been no development.

When you have drove for 20 years with your 'eyes' it's not easy to dive into dark curves trusting only in the notes you hear. When driving a familiar route and smooth tarmac Kimi has been superfast even in a rally car. But that's not what rally is about.

Still Räikkönen has made a great favour to rally by his bold career switch. One would assume that by now even the people on the street would understand how tough Sebastien Loeb, Jari-Matti Latvala, Mikko Hirvonen and Juho Hänninen really are.

This year Räikkönen got a free seat and a huge commercial deal. From now on it's difficult to ride on old merits. In practice Räikkönen has to pay the bills himself in the future if he wants to continue in WRC. The man has the money but I doubt he wants to do that. World champions just don't act that way.

That's why his path might lead back to the track. Le Mans, GT1 and DTM are options that could seriously be considered.

And he could then do some rally or motorcross as a hobby on the side. Just for his own pleasure. And using his own money.

Of course it's also very much possible that Räikkönen will hang up his driving gloves altogether.

Courtesy: Nicole

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