Sunday, October 30, 2011

Video: BBC - Indian GP: Hamilton Laments Massa Collision After Finishing Seventh

Lewis Hamilton says Felipe Massa did not give him any space as he attempted to overtake the Brazilian at turn 5 in the Indian Grand Prix, with the 2008 pair colliding and Massa receiving a drive-through penalty.

It was the pair's third collision in 2011, having come together in Monaco and Singapore, with Hamilton revealing the Brazilian has not spoken to him "for a long long time".

The McLaren driver apologies to his team as he reflects on a "disappointing day" which ended with a seventh-place finish at the first-ever Indian Grand Prix, won by world champion Sebastian Vettel.



Source: FiveeNil

Button dedicates result to Dan and Marco

Jenson Button admits it was "very difficult" racing in India on Sunday with Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli in his thoughts

The Brit, who finished second in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, joined his fellow drivers in honouring the duo, both of whom lost their lives earlier this month in racing accidents, with a minute's silence.

"We've had two fatalities and it's very difficult," Button said.

"I knew Dan from a young age - so I think we should dedicate this first Indian race to Dan and to Marco, who was the most amazing man to watch on a bike."

As for his race, Button lamented the fact that his McLaren just didn't have the pace needed to challenge Sebastian Vettel for the victory.

However, on the up side, he made up two positions at the start when overtook first Fernando Alonso and then Mark Webber. And despite the latter's attempts to retake the position, Button was able to hold him at bay.

"The start off the line didn't feel that good but I was able to get Fernando into Turn One.

"I think he went a bit deep and I was in Mark's tow. He covered the inside but I had enough room to go around the outside.

"I had Mark behind me for eight laps pushing me really, really hard - we both almost ran wide - but I was able to pull away as I think he had damaged his tyres a little bit.

"The pace isn't quite there but hopefully in the last races we can take that little step."

Source: Planet-F1

Vettel: A little bit mixed emotions

Sebastian Vettel led all 60 laps on his way to victory at the inaugural Indian GP but reckons there are still lessons to be learnt

Starting from pole position, Vettel easily took the lead off the squabbling Mark Webber and Jenson Button, who soon swapped positions.

And although Button tried to close the gap to the reigning World Champ, it proved to be impossible with Vettel banging in fastest laps on his way to a comfortable lead.

However, there were a few occasions when Button was able to close up just a little bit and that was when they pitted, which Vettel says is something Red Bull need to look into.

But, all in all it was a comfortable Sunday drive and an 11th win of the campaign for the Red Bull driver.

"It was a very good race for us, I enjoyed the time in the lead very much," said Vettel.

"I had a little bit of a fight with Jenson in the distance, he was always about four seconds behind. Strangely he kept closing in around the pit stops, as I was pushing very hard in and out of the box but we seemed to lose a bit there.

"So we need to understand that, but on the circuit it was crucial to manage to tyres and to make sure we had enough left at the end.

"All in all it was a very smooth race, the car was very well balanced and I even felt a little bit more confident on the hard tyres in the end."

The race, though, began on a sad note with the drivers, team personnel and fans paying tribute to the late Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, both of whom died from racing accidents earlier this month.

And Vettel admits that while racers understand the risks, there's always a heavy heart when reality hits home.

"To be honest with you, it is a little bit mixed emotions," he said. "On the one hand I'm very, very happy as it's the first grand prix in India and I'm very proud to be the first winner.

"But on the other hand, looking back at last weekend we lost two of our mates. I didn't know Dan Wheldon but he was a big name in motorsport.

"This year I got to know Marco Simoncelli, and obviously our thoughts are with them.

"Yes we are ready to take certain risks when we jump into the car, but we pray that nothing happens. Sometimes you get reminded and it's the last thing that we want to see."

Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Smog and Kimi in the air


If singer Jukka Kuoppamäki would have born and grown up near the India GP -track, then his hit Blue and White would probably never had born. Here you can't look at the blue sky and the white clouds.

The floating smog cloud from the massive New Delhi metropol is over the area like an umbrella. Since there's no wind or rain the air doesn't clear up.

Nevermind. When I told a reporter buddy who has been to almost 500 GP-races about what I'm writing in my column, he said that there hasn't been a clear sky in Sao Paulo either except during one GP-weekend.

Everyone understands that this is not the air one wants to breathe. Those suffering from a sniffle or a sore throat knows why.

Somewhere someone is burning something since even the air smells like smoke. When I asked McLaren's doctor Aki Hintsa if there is carbon monoxide in this smog, he turned the question to the current driver rumours.

– There's no Häkä (smog) in the air - only Kimi, Hintsa joked.

At least you see Mika ’Häkä’ Häkkinen a bit on television where they show F1-races from year 2000. But the possible comeback of Kimi Räikkönen is still just a rumour.

Although Italian RAI-tv told as their own information that the contract with Williams would already had been signed and that it would be announced in the next race in Abu Dhabi due to the Arab-links.

Most team managers doubt stronger and stronger that Williams money isn't enough to get Räikkönen. According to inside information Frank Williams is somewhere where money is moving.

For an European the hygien is important in India. We can't let the water from the shower inside our mouth and we have to wash our teeth with bottled water.

The F1-people have survived reasonably well the local food- and drinking challenges. A list of forbidden things is not even made since a short list of what is allowed is enough.

McLaren has isolated three from their team after they went and ate somewhere outside the team- and hotel premises. Almost every team has some small inconveniences.

I myself had the courage to try a shrimp salad after seeing Sebastien Buemi eat it two nights in a row and then driving 9th in the practice.

Still going well - thanks to lactic acid pills.

Turun Sanomat, Greater Noida

HEIKKI KULTA

Courtesy: Nicole

Video: BBC - Indian GP - Fernando Alonso optimistic after strong qualifying for Indian GP

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is happy with his car after qualifying in fourth place for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard will start third on the grid after McLaren's Lewis Hamilton incurred a penalty in first practice




Source: SixtyBuckss

Webber happy with 'good foundation'

Mark Webber will start second thanks to Lewis Hamilton's grid penalty

Mark Webber said that he has "laid a good foundation" ahead of the Indian Grand Prix by qualifying in third place.

Webber was just 0.034s slower than Lewis Hamilton in the fight for second place, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel on pole. He will start second though as Hamilton will drop three places on the grid for an infringement in FP1, and although Webber said that he struggled to get the most out of his tyres during the session, he was pleased to be starting on the front row.

"It's been a good challenge for all of us, a new venue," Webber said. "Tricky to work out the right strategy for qualifying, obviously the tyres weren't easy for one timed lap so we had to work out how we were going to do the strategy. Obviously lots of teams tried different styles to get the best lap time out of the car.

"First sector was tricky to get right on one timed (lap). So I could have done better in the first sector on my first lap, or my only run basically because then I got yellow flags obviously with Felipe so couldn't do my second lap. But overall a good job for the team, come to a new venue and prepared well so laid a good foundation for a very good race tomorrow."

When asked if team orders may come in to play in the race as Red Bull tries to secure a one-two in the drivers' championship, Webber said he wanted to earn the victory himself.

"I don't want any positions from Sebastian, nothing has changed."


Source: ESPNF1

FIA confirm provisional grid

The FIA have confirmed the provisional grid positions for Sunday's Indian GP after a number of driver's received penalties

Five drivers - Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Timo Glock, Narain Karthikeyan and Daniel Ricciardo - were handed penalties during the weekend for sporting or technical infringements while Vitaly Petrov carries a five-slot penalty over from the Korean GP.

The penalties suffered by Hamilton, Perez and Petrov were fairly straightforward in their influence on the grid but matters at the back of the field left the stewards searching the rule book to ensure the correct application.

It has been ruled that Timo Glock will remain in last place on the grid after he failed to set a lap within 107 per cent of the quickest time in Q1.

Beside him on the back row will be Narain Karthikeyan who was penalised two places for impeding Michael Schumacher during qualifying.

Despite receiving a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, Daniel Ricciardo drops just one place to 22nd.

Provisional grid:

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari
11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes

12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth
14. Bruno Senna Renault
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
16. Vitaly Petrov Renault
17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault
20. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari

21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth
22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth
24. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth


Source: Planet-F1

Vettel: It's going to be an interesting race

Sebastian Vettel once again appears to have a substantial edge on his rivals but he insists anything could happen come race day In India

The German claimed pole for the inaugural Indian GP with a time of 1m24.178s, 0.296s faster than second placed Lewis Hamilton. It was the 13th time Vettel has topped the qualifying charts this season.

The World Champion admits that he has a "fantastic" car at his disposal but has warned against getting to carried away about possible scenarios for Sunday's race, including allowing team-mate Mark Webber to take the win should the two be side by side.

"A great session for us and the car was fantastic," he said.

"In the end the lap was fine but it wasn't 100 per cent, a little bit here and there, but I think you always come out of the car thinking that maybe here and there you could have gained a bit of time. But overall very happy with the result. It is good to start the race from the front tomorrow and I think it is going to be an interesting race."

Vettel spoke earlier in the week of his desire to see Webber secure a race win and there have been suggestions that should Red Bull have a one-two in the closing stages of the race, Vettel may let the Australian through. However, Vettel insists that first and foremost the team must get into a winning position.

"First we have to race, race hard, enjoy and then see where we are. I think Mark and myself we obviously target to win the race. Ideally, we want to finish in one-two so it is going to be an interesting race tomorrow," he said.

For his part, Webber admits that he is more interested in race wins than finishing second in the title standings but that he most certainly doesn't want to be gifted first place.

"Nothing will be different," asserted the Australian.

"There's been a lot of talk from the team but no talk from me. I don't want any positions off Sebastian, for the remainder of the year. Nothing will change."

It was clear in qualifying that as soon as drivers left the racing line they found themselves in a bit of trouble and Vettel admits it could be a bit of concern in terms of lapping backmarkers.

"We all want to race so the people who are in the front of the field and the people who get lapped, we all want to stay on the racing line and drive our own race so could be tricky." explained the 24-year-old.

"Off-line it is quite dusty and depending on where you have to go off-line or where you are forced to go off-line to maybe lap another car to make a pass could be critical for the next couple of corners. It is not only you lose in that corner where you went off-line but also afterwards just to get the tyres back to the grip level you had before. In this regard it could be interesting, especially at the beginning of the race it will be quite slippery. We have seen that at the beginning of all the sessions.

"To be honest, once the dust had gone the asphalt is very, very grippy and the cars stick to the ground. All in all they did a great job. It is a new track and first time we have been other places there has always been a little bit here and a little bit there. I think it was not an easy project, but you don't really see much of that apart from a bit of dust on the cars."


Source: Planet-F1

Video: BBC - Indian GP - Lewis Hamilton pleased with his Indian GP qualifying performance

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton says he is pleased with his qualifying performance, despite being handed a three-place grid drop for pignoring yellow flags during practice on Friday.

The 2008 world champion qualified second-fastest behind Sebastian Vettel, and says he is optimistic of having a strong race in the first-ever Indian Grand Prix.



Source: SixtyBuckss

Massa's long journey with champions as his measure stick


Felipe Massa drives on Sunday his F1-career's 150th Grand Prix -race. For the 30-year old Brazilian it's the 98th GP with Ferrari's red car, hence he will reach 100 in Brazil.

However Ferrari celebrated their driver's 150th race already two weeks ago in Korea, because the team added the race in Hungary from year 2009 in which Massa didn't participate due to his injury in qualification.

His latest victory came three years and 44 races ago in Brazil. His latest trophy comes from 18 races ago in Korea.

Massa has participated in most races at Ferrari after Michael Schumacher (180) and Rubens Barrichello (102).

The interviewed person asked about Räikkönen

Turun Sanomat was offered an opportunity for a laidback interview with Massa a day before the Indian GP -rush started. The driver is known as a very relaxed and quick-witted chap until Sunday morning. On the racing day the stress shows and feels.

Massa takes over the game immediately when the interview starts.

– I will start, he declares, takes the recorder from the reporter and asks him: - What do you think, will Kimi Räikkönen come back?

– What do you think yourself? I present him a counter-question.

– I believe that it could happen. Interesting case, no doubt about it.

Does it feel if a driver has kept a two year break from F1-driving - when at least Michael Schumacher has had difficult to come back after being away for three years?

– Michael has had a bit difficult times but when he returned he didn't have the same car anymore. One has to remember that when retiring Michael had a much more competitive car than he had when coming back again.

– Maybe the same applies to Kimi. In any case Kimi is still young. In that sense being away for two years doesn't mean much. If you are young, if you want to do this and train hard, then it's not impossible to get back to the same performance ability you had before, Massa thought.

– An experienced F1-driver always maintains a certain basis. It's only a question about getting in the right direction and the normal rythm.

Räikkönen has 156 F1-races, hence Massa will have only four races less when the season ends.

Four champions as team mates

Massa's merit is that he has been the team mate of as many as four world champions. With a little better luck he could have clinched the title himself in 2008.

How different are these team mates - Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso – from Massa's perspective?

– The combining factor is that working with each one of them has always been very professional. Of course they are all different personalities, drive in a different way and all represent different cultures. They all had their own style but a top driver understands how to drive fast. In that sense they are all identical.

– In Ferrari I'm used to always having a strong team mate. I have to do a perfect job all the time because if I miss something then I immediately lose. It was the same with Michael, Kimi and now Fernando.

– When I was racing with Villeneuve in Sauber I was younger but it was still my third year in F1. I had good experience behind me, I knew the team and I also believe that Jacques received something from me when we worked together.

– Then I became the team mate of a 7-times world champion. When you go to a top team you have to adopt a lot of how the work is done there. In addition to that I came to a new team where Schumacher had been for ten years.

Was it a relief when Schumacher retired and Räikkönen took his place?

– I wouldn't say that it was a relief but it was better from my point of view. When someone new comes to the team and you yourself are already there, it does give a strong feeling. I was very competitive in 2007, 2008 and even in 2009 until my accident.

Räikkönen won the WDC in 2007 and the next season Massa nearly did the same.

– It was a great season. We just lost some very important points.

– Losing the victory in Hungary was a very difficult moment as well as the pitlane-incident in Singapore but in Monaco I also lost one position in the pitlane when it took so long to change the front wing and in Canada again I had to go back to the pitlane because the fuel didn't go in the first time.

– The battle for the championship was awesome. I had a perfect weekend in Brazil when the season ended, getting the pole and winning the race. We didn't lose the championship there, we lost it in those points that we lost in some other races.

After recovering from his serious skull injury Massa returned to the track as Fernando Alonso's team mate. He beat his team mate in Bahrain qualification but the Spaniard has usually been ahead after that until now, when Massa has been leading 4-2 ever since Hungary.

– Last year I suffered a lot of the tyres. They were always too hard for my driving style and for the way our car was built. In a way it has been like that now too, since our car is always more competitive in the race than it is in qualification. It was once again difficult in the beginning but fortunately the endseason has gone much better - especially after the break in August.

On Friday practice in India Massa took the fastest time of the day. Hence he was the fastest for the first time since Silverstone practice day.

– Sure every track is different but there's no doubt about some similarities. For example the 10th corner resembles Turkey's 8th corner and some great parts are just like from Brazil.

– Every race is important but of course, if I could choose one victory out of these remaining races it would be Brazil. We have to squeeze until the end. The preparement for next season is already going on when we work with the new car.

– Our goal is that when we go on the track in February 2012 we will right away have a competitive car, Massa says.

Wintertests starts with new cars on 7th February on Jerez circuit.

Turun Sanomat, Greater Noida

HEIKKI KULTA

Facts

Felipe Massa

30-year old Brazilian from Sao Paulo

Wife Raffaela and son Filipinho

Teams: Sauber (52 races) and Ferrari (97 races) – all and all 149 GP-races

11 victories (1. Turkey 2006 - 11. Brazil 2008)

15 poles (1. Turkey 2006 - 15. Brazil 2008)

33 podiums (1. Nürburgring 2006, 33. Korea 2010)

WC-bronze 2006, WC-silver 2008

Courtesy: Nicole

Vettel Is Back On Top With His 13th Pole at Indian GP

Sebastian Vettel claimed his 13th pole position of the season in India as Felipe Massa ended qualifying with a crash

Vettel was in flying form at the Buddh International Circuit, posting a 1:24.178 to beat Lewis Hamilton by 0.296s.

Mark Webber was third ahead of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. However, all three will move up one place on the grid due to Hamilton's three-place grid-slot penalty.

Massa finished in sixth place, although the Brazilian also finished in the barriers when he took too much kerb, broke his suspension and crashed out in the final seconds of qualifying.

Times

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.178s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.474s + 0.296
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m24.508s + 0.330
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.519s + 0.341
5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.950s + 0.772
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.122s + 0.944
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.451s + 1.273
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m26.319s + 1.662
12. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m26.337s + 1.680
13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m26.503s + 1.846
14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m26.537s + 1.880
15. Bruno Senna Renault 1m26.651s + 1.994
16. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m27.247s + 2.590
17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.562s + 2.905
18. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.876s + 1.687
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m28.565s + 2.376
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m28.752s + 2.563
21. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m30.216s + 4.027
22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m30.238s + 4.049
23. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m30.866s + 4.677
24. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m34.046s + 7.857


Source: Planet-F1

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mandatory question

Turun Sanomat 28.10.2011 20:23:54

Column 28.10.

I have to say that the international F1-media is feverishly interested in hearing if Kimi Räikkönen comes back next year to F1.

FIA:'s press manager Matteo Bonciani came personally to make sure that I would definitely participate in Friday's team manager interview and he let me understand that he expects me to ask a question about the matter from Williams F1-team's CEO Adam Parr.

I fulfilled his wish although I would have gone there to ask my question in any case. I emphasized to Parr that five million Finns are eagerly waiting if Räikkönen is possibly driving for Williams next year.

Parr was sorry in the typical Williams low profile -style telling that nobody can answer a question like that, but if and when changes to the current driver-duo are made they will announce it in an appropriate way.

Parr praised Räikkönen in the tv-paddock telling he was one of the best drivers from the last years and someone who everyone surely would like to see come back, when replying to a similar question asked by MTV3.

Several colleagues still claim that Parr had talked nonsense when replying to my question because they know that the contract is already made. We even placed a small bet which I have to redeem if it is revealed that Räikkönen's possible contract with Williams would have been signed already before this GP-weekend.

The whole F1-people - with the exception of McLaren - is located in the surroundings of the new and splendid Buddh-track. Hence I had dinner with Sebastien Buemi and his trainer Antti Kontsas on Thursday evening.

Buemi is the latest F1-driver who has learned a few words in Finnish. For a smart guy like him it is easier. When we talked about the Finnish F1-history, Buemi praised the magnificent statistics when three out of seven drivers had won the WDC.

I added that out of these seven four are also GP-winners, to which Buemi added that actually there are five of them since Mika Salo had to give away his only victory in Germany 12 years ago.

Quite an information-bank this 23 year old protegé of Kontsas, don't you think?

Turun Sanomat, Greater Noida

HEIKKI KULTA


Courtesy: Nicole

Massa: Ferrari looking competitive

Felipe Massa reckons Ferrari could be in for a strong weekend in India after upsetting the form books by finishing quickest on Friday

The Ferrari driver, who has yet to even finish on the podium never mind achieve a victory this season, clocked a 1:25.706 in Friday's second practice at the new Buddh International circuit.

However, he was by no means in a league of his own as second-placed Sebastian Vettel was just 0.088s adrift while the top six were separated by a second.

"It's always nice to be in first place at the end of a day's work, however we know that Friday's results are all relative," admitted the Brazilian.

"Sure, it would be nice to move through the weekend in the same position, but that will be very difficult to achieve.

"The car seems competitive, but we must wait and see what McLaren and Red Bull can do tomorrow, as they are still very strong.

"The tyres? Probably the Hards are too hard for this track and it would have been possible to run the same compounds we had in Korea in two weeks ago, because the track surface is very smooth."

"Today, we concentrated on finding the best set-up on the car and on tyre behaviour on this new circuit. I like the track, it is very interesting and there are corners where driving skill can make the difference."

And Massa believes the lay-out of the track will be conducive to overtaking during Sunday's 60-lap grand prix.

"In some places the actual track surface is very wide and so it will therefore be possible to take various different lines in the race, which could make overtaking easier."

Source: Planet-F1

Video: BBC - Indian GP - F1 drivers on safety in motorpsort

Formula 1 drivers discuss the issue of safety in motorsport following the tragic deaths of British IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon and MotoGP's Marco Simoncelli.

Wheldon was killed in Las Vegas two weeks ago following a 15-car crash, while Italian rider Simoncelli died last weekend after a horrific crash at the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang




Source: SixtyBuckss

Parr doesn't deny the interest in Räikkönen

Turun Sanomat presented Williams F1-team's CEO Adam Parr a question.

– Five million Finns are eagerly waiting for the information if Kimi Räikkönen races next year in Williams?

Parr replied:

– I'm afraid that nobody can reply to this. Our racing drivers at the moment are Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado. We will make an official announcement if and when changes are made.

MTV3 asked him about Räikkönen in their own tv-paddock.

– Kimi has been one of the most talented drivers during the last years and I'm sure everybody would want to see him back in F1, Parr replied.

Turun Sanomat, Greater Noida

HEIKKI KULTA

Courtesy: Nicole

Will Räikkönen come back?


”Well will Kimi Räikkönen come back?”. The question is presented to me more and more often and in the most strangest places and from all different kinds of quarters. And who says that F1 doesn't interest Finns anymore? The greatest thing in the discussions I have had, has been how genuinely they want Räikkönen to come back. A world champion is always a world champion but they also want his disputable personality back. It feels like now Kimi would be left in peace as his own self. The audience would accept it and surely also the team that would hire him.

The comeback would do Räikkönen himself a lot of good and also to the whole sport. One has to keep in mind that the possible F1-operation is completely on Räikkönen's own terms. He isn't doing it for Finns, for the fans in the world or for the sport. He does it for himself.

But I also believe that Räikkönen, who has taken distance and has matured for a couple of years also thinks about the team he would go to. I'm sure that he is willing to give a lot of himself in order to produce results. And much more than before. As a private person and as a professional he knows what he is getting into. Since he doesn't have a winning car at his reach he has a project ahead of him that requires patience. The setting can well be compared to Schumacher: one has to make a clear plan and stick with it. No matter what happens.

”Well does Kimi Räikkönen come back?” I hope he does. Why wouldn't one of the toughest drivers do what they are best at. In order to succeed you have to do what you are good at. Rally is a world of its own and very challenging. But if you have been driving on tarmac all your life then it's best to stay on that surface. And if you want to drive track-racing on a high level, then it's difficult to find another working enviroment as classy as F1.

USA is not the right address. DTM is classy but it's not time for that yet.

I still see that Williams is the only option. Now it's only a matter if the team has been able to convice Räikkönen with their development plans. With all the changes coming on, the next season will be really tough unless they get the car concept to work right from the first winter tests.

Can Williams then offer Räikkönen everything that he wants? The engineering is a department of it's own and financial matters a chapter of it's own. They would have to be able to exploit Räikkönen's comeback in the best possible way. And it's not a question over them collecting his salary. It's only a small part of the project. Development- and operational funding play a far more remarkable role. As a corporation Williams could find a quick solution to Kimi's salary but it doesn't help alone. They also have to be able to exploit Räikkönen's skills and value.

As far as I have understood the carrying out of Räikkönen's comeback rests mostly on Williams' shoulders. But if Kimi really wants to come back then he also has to be really active other than just working out a lot.

”Well will Kimi Räikkönen come back?” Today I believe that he will.

Jukka Mildh


Source: Yle
Courtesy: Nicole

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Williams will make their decision about drivers when the season ends


At the eve of India GP there seems to be most worldwide interest for a driver who isn't even participating.

They are nw talking seriously about Kimi Räikkönen's comeback after him being away for two years, it's not only just joking because there are no bigger matters to talk about.

On Thursday a rumour took off from the press room telling that Räikkönen would already had signed a contract with Williams for next season.

Publicist Claire Williams assured Turun Sanomat on Thursday that they haven't yet made a decision about the drivers and that the time for those decisions would be at the end of the season - meaning after one month.

– They were writing me out from Honda four times too, however I drove there even when it was Brawn. I will be 40 years old and next season would be my 20th season in F1 so I hope I'm still there, Rubens Barrichello said to Brasilian reporters.

Turun Sanomat, Greater Noida

HEIKKI KULTA

Courtesy: Nicole

Lewis Hamilton confirms split with girlfriend

Lewis Hamilton confirmed on Thursday that he and singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger had split

"We're friends at least and we can move forward," the McLaren driver told British reporters at the inaugural Indian Formula One Grand Prix when asked whether the couple had parted on good terms.

"It's never easy going through tough times. These times are sent to try you, and it's about how you pull through them," said the 2008 world champion.

McLaren had been dating the American since March last year when they reunited after a previous split. "I've my family who are helping, so I feel pretty good," Hamilton said.

Scherzinger, former lead singer with the Pussycat Dolls, has achieved fresh celebrity with her role on the judging panel of the U.S. television show "The X Factor."

Hamilton qualified on pole in South Korea two weeks ago, and finished second behind Red Bull's champion Sebastian Vettel, but barely smiled during the weekend.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh alluded to a personal problem when he told reporters at the time that "he's had a lot of speculation about him and his private life, which he doesn't want, and doesn't welcome, I'm sure."

Hamilton said he felt positive about the first Indian Grand Prix, the 17th round of a 19-race championship already wrapped up by Vettel.

"I'm just trying to look forward. We've three good races coming up," he said. "So I'm just trying to keep my mind focussed on business."

Source: Reuters Sports

Alonso lends support to UNICEF anti polio campaign


New Delhi, 27 October – What can a Formula 1 driver do to help a child? For those who, like us, are used to a certain standard of living, the answer is relatively straightforward: you can give happiness in an overtaking move, celebration for a victory, anger for a mistake. However, for those who don’t have time to think of sport as a form of entertainment, but instead have to fight every minute of the day just to survive, these things matter little or not at all. For these children, who unfortunately are still in the majority, a sports personality can set an example in terms of behaviour and can help them feel closer to something that otherwise would be out of their reach.

It is in this spirit that, over four years ago, Fernando Alonso became an ambassador for UNICEF, making his image available to promote initiatives aimed at helping children in the developing world. It was in this different role that today Fernando took part in a UN campaign against poliomyelitis, which is also supported by Bill and Melinda Gates and Desmond Tutu. Fernando visited the paediatric hospital Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, in New Delhi, along with Hamid Jafari, Project Manager of WHO-National Polio Surveillance Project, K.K. Kalra, the hospital’s Medical Superintendent and A.K.Agarwal, of the Maulana Azad Medical College, where he administered the polio vaccine to a group of young patients: the aim of the campaign is actually to increase awareness among the population of the importance of vaccination against this terrible disease. “The fight against poliomyelitis has made amazing progress in India, to such an extent that the last case was registered last January,” said Fernando to a group of journalists who were present. “There is still much to do, because it is vital that every child has the vaccine so that the disease is wiped out completely from the face of the earth. It is important for me to be here and to do, in my own small way, something useful. Sure, a hospital always brings out strong emotions, usually hard to digest, but seeing the children who, although in a very difficult situation, somehow find a way to smile and to have hope for the future is something that always touches me deeply.”


Source: Ferrari.com

Finland's champion in 2012?


Today I interviewed Felipe Massa in Ferrari on the sacred Indian GP -paddock. Before I had time to ask anything Felipe said that he will start - and he asked me if Kimi Räikkönen will come back. The interview with replies comes to Saturday's paper so nothing more about it here.

But they are buzzing about Räikkönen's possible comeback or about how groundless it is to even hint about such a thing on the eve of Indian GP. F1 Racing -magazine already threw some fuel in the fire, although Anthony Peacock's interview was made weeks ago during Rally France.

On Thursday the reporters complemented information from each other on the paddock. Some are completely convinced that nothing will happen. Some again act as if they know that the contract has already been made. And the majority is just guessing over what might be going on.

I took the bull by it's horns and asked my fellow reporters to speculate that if Räikkönen will be in Williams next year and Heikki Kovalainen in Lotus or whatever the team's name will be in 2012, which one of them would be ahead?

It looks like Finland's championship would go to Räikkönen if these are the settings.

Here are the replies:

Gerhard Kuntschik, Salzburger Nachrichten (Austria):

– Williams will definitely be ahead of Lotus next year. Williams can't afford another catastrophical season and they will do everything they can in order to avoid that. Williams will compete fiercly in the mid-group and will be at least on the same level as Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso.

– It's also clear that Lotus will improve. But for them the next season is a question of scoring their first WC-point whereas Williams will score points evenly, Kuntschik thinks.

Luis Fernando Ramos, Radio Band (Brazil):

– Williams won't collapse more from this. This car is simply a rock bottom. It hasn't been fast on any kinds of tracks - not on slow, not on semi-fast and not on fast ones. Mike Coughlan will most certainly make a better car and they will also get Renault's engine, which will give performance ability and reliability.

– Whether it's Kimi or Rubens driving in Williams I think that Lotus will be left behind. Lotus will lift their level too but not as much as Williams.

Michael Schmidt, Auto, Motor und Sport (Germany):

– Williams is ahead of Lotus. The new people are talented and it's certain that they won't hit another rock bottom like this one. For Williams the switch to Renault's engine will help more than KERS will help Lotus, who already has the same engine.

– Both cars are designed in Williams' windtunnels. Whereas Williams uses the new one, Lotus is in the older windtunnel. I think a more competitive car comes out of the new windtunnel, Schmidt estimates.

Jonathan Noble, Autosport (UK):

– Lotus will surely improve next season. Mark Smith and KERS bring their own substantial inputs. Also Heikki Kovalainen seems to have been in flames already with this car. It's possible that Lotus could even beat Williams.

– I wouldn't bet on it though. Williams is Williams and after a lousy season like this they must be really making an effort to lift their competitiveness. If Kimi Räikkönen drives in Williams then he will certainly get everything out of the car.

Pino Allievi, La Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy):

– First of all I would advice Kimi not to come back. World champions' comebacks to F1 haven't usually succeeded. But if we are talking about Williams and Lotus I would say that the one of them who have the finance better in place will be ahead in that battle. If Williams can get their budget together then they should be ahead.

Dan Knutson, Speed Sport News (USA):

– Kimi and Heikki against each other? If Kimi drives Williams and Heikki Lotus, then Kimi is ahead. This car has been so crappy for Williams that at least you can't go any lower. Both teams bring the best cars but Williams can improve at least as much as Lotus can.

– But there won't be any super leaping. If Räikkönen is at Williams then his position will be 12th whereas Kovalainen's with Lotus is 14th, Knutson estimates.

Erkki Mustakari, Maikkari (Finland):

– No matter who drives at Williams it will be ahead of Lotus-Caterham next year. If Kimi is the driver then he will whip the best out of the car the same way he did with the bad Ferrari in 2009.

– Williams have had their most weakest season ever. They have changed personnel and it's 100% sure that these new engineers are immensly motivated to give a strong performance of their know-how.

– Lotus will uplift their level and get to race in the midfield but if Kimi is at Williams, then he will lift the team's level the same way as Robert Kubica did in Renault and drive ahead of the compact mid-group Force India - Sauber - Toro Rosso, Mustakari thinks.

Heikki Kulta Turun Sanomat

Courtesy: Nicole

Räikkönen has signed Williams deal

Kimi Räikkönen is, at least according to rumours in the Indian GP paddock, on his way to Williams next season, having signed a deal

Ever since he walked away from F1 at the end of the 2009 season, parting ways with Ferrari and failing to secure a return to McLaren, rumours have persisted saying the Finn will return.

The latest, which emerged in the week before the Singapore GP, claimed that he is in talks with Williams regarding next season and even visited their factory in Grove.

However, at the time, his manager Steve Robertson downplayed the visit.

"At the end of the day people know Kimi visited Williams, but there's nothing more to say apart from that," he told GPUpdate.net. "There is nothing more to report."

But, according to PlanetF1's man on the ground in India, Chetan Narula, rumours in the paddock say not only is Räikkönen in talks with Williams but the Finn has in fact already signed a contract to race for them next season.

Source: Planet-F1

Kovalainen Believes Kimi Is Coming Back to F1


Team Lotus F1-driver Heikki Kovalainen is already expecting Kimi Raikkonen 's return to Formula One.

- "Yes, I would bet that Kimi is coming back. All the signs are pointing to that direction. I have not personally had a chat with Kimi, I have not asked him a straight question, but there are so many stories out there now, that he surely has something on his mind", Kovalainen says to MTV3.

- "It would be a great thing, if Kimi would return here. I'm waiting with interest to see how it starts, when and if he returns. I believe he'll go fast again straight from the get-go. That's one more stump of a tree to try and break. It would be a great thing in every way. I believe Kimi has still a lot give here", Kovalainen says.


Source: MTV3
Courtesy: MomoD

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Betting company experts believe in Räikkönen's F1-comeback


Unibet's international motorsport-experts believe Kimi returns to F1.

There has been rumours about Kimi's comeback to F1 during the autumn. The man drove the last two seasons in WRC and this season ended so that Räikkönen's private team was excluded for the rest of the season from WRC-serie. The man has mostly been taken to Williams.

According to Unibet's experts the F1-rumours are strongly grounded: the company gives clearly the smallest coefficient 1,50 for Kimi driving in F1 in 2012.

According to Unibet the motivation factors are especially for Kimi's comeback: there's yet no success in WRC and he has a strong will to show his skills and speed in motorsport's indesputable royal class.

In Spain Räikkönen didn't want to continue his own race after engine problems although his car was fixed and he could have continued with super rally. Also Räikkönen didn't want to communicate in Spain with the reporters, which could indicate that he isn't willing to comment on his F1-negotiations. Räikkönen agreed to step in front of the media in the season's earlier rallies.

Kimi's Future - Kimi Räikkönen's Start for the 2012 Season

Formula 1 1,50
Not racing 3,50
WRC 5,00
Indy Car 6,50

Source: Plaza.fi
Courtesy: Nicole

Kimi pissed off his mechanics - don't come to Wales


The remaining rallies have been pure tar drinking for Kimi Räikkönen.

In France his rally ended after crashing with Henning Solberg on the transition route before SS3.

In Spain Räikkönen's rally didn't go any further because the car lost 16 liters of fuel on the road.

In both cases Räikkönen had lost the game of battling in the lead where he could well have been with an unbroken car since both rallies were on tarmac.

However the man wasn't interested in continuining with super rally although the mechanics worked to get his car fixed. Hence no wonder that the mechanics who worked to one o'clock in the morning presented Räikkönen their modest wish: don't come to Wales!


Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

Vettel: I love F1 and I always did as a small kid


There has been much talk during the course of the season about Sebastian Vettel’s future beyond his Red Bull contract which comes runs until the end of 2014, with Ferrari the obvious next stop, but the recently crowned double F1 world champion says he is very happy where he is right now and is very much in love with the sport.

Vettel told media during his homecoming celebration in Heppenheim, “As for me, I’m very happy where I am. I think we’ve achieved a lot together in the last three years. We were able to raise our game in more or less all areas. The whole team has become more professional, more committed and everyone is working hand in hand for success.”

Vettel became the youngest ever double F1 world champion when he clinched the title in Japan.

“I think it’s been an extremely successful year again. It’s just incredible what we have achieved. It’s the small things, like coming home and opening the door, which make you realise what happened and that all the hours have paid off. The season is not yet over though. We have three more races to go and the chance to prove ourselves again,” mused the German.

The 24 year old is fast to acknowledge the role of the Red Bull team in his success, “It’s not usual to be a part of something like that, and I don’t see myself in a position to say this is what I have done. This is what they have done. We are a team and we are happy to do all we do.”

He has scored 10 victories already this season, with 12 pole positions and 15 out of 16 podiums, but admits he is always learning, “It’s always a difficult question to know where to improve. I think, being 24, there are a lot of areas to understand, a lot of bits inside and outside the car. You always need to be ready to learn, and small steps can make the difference. When I look at Korea, we were able to learn from Japan – both the team and myself.”

“I care about the sport, I know its history and the numbers. I like to see from time to time my name somewhere, but I don’t set myself targets about the number of wins or stuff like that. I’m not racing for statistics. I’m a big fan of the sport. I love Formula 1. I always did as a small kid and that hasn’t changed,” concluded vettel who will out to score his eleventh win of the season when he lines on the brand new Buddh International Circuit grid for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Source: YallaF1

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Massa's Blog: Wheldon and Simoncelli – these have been really difficult times


I am just arrived in India. This is my very first visit to this country and I am looking forward to discovering a new venue to race, because that is what I do, that’s my profession and I love racing. However, at the moment all my thoughts are with the families and friends of Marco Simoncelli and Dan Wheldon. It seems that when bad things happen, they come all at once. Because of the time difference between Malaysia and Brazil, I found out about the MotoGP accident as soon as I woke up on Sunday morning when I was at home in Sao Paulo. It is unbelievable and I was in a state of shock afterwards. Simoncelli was such a nice guy and one of the characters in the sport of motorcycle racing and a great talent. Coming so soon after the death of Dan Wheldon, who was a friend of mine, these have been really difficult times and it is just unbelievable that these sad events happened just one week apart. Of course, those of us who race, we always know the risk is there, every time you go out on track. When you are racing, you do not think so much about the risks and you always push hard, sometimes too hard. But all the same, it is still a terrible shock when you see something like that and it reminds you the risk is there. I am not qualified to talk about Simoncelli’s accident, because I have no experience of bike racing, but in the case of Dan’s crash, hopefully the only good thing to come out of it could be that it serves as a wake-up call for Indy cars to improve their safety levels, in the same way that what happened in Imola in ’94 led to increased safety in F1. In my opinion, Indy needs to do a lot to improve safety. There is no point in people complaining about it and blaming others, because what is needed now is some calm analysis and then a response from the sport’s organisation. Maybe what Indy needs to start with, given the type of circuit and the number of cars would be to try running cars with enclosed cockpits, but this is just one idea and the whole safety package needs to be looked at completely.

Korea was my one hundred and fiftieth Grand Prix and almost all of them have been at the wheel of a Ferrari, in fact my hundredth race with the Scuderia should coincide with the final round of the season at home in Interlagos. It’s always great to achieve a nice number like 150 races. I still have some years ahead of me in this sport, as I’m not so old and so I plan to keep pushing to get better results than the one in Korea which did not turn into much of a celebration for my 150th. All the same, I enjoyed driving at Yeongam, almost discovering the track for the first time given how much rain we had there in 2010.

In the preparation for the Grand Prix of India, I spent a day on the simulator to get a general impression of the track and I’ve also got the latest version of the 2011 Formula 1computer game that features this circuit, which means I at least have a feel for it and know where the corners are. First impressions are that it is a nice track and it has some similarities to the last venue in Yeongam, in that it has a long straight and many different types of corner from very fast to very slow hairpins with several changes of gradient too. However, that’s where comparisons to Korea end as it should be much hotter this weekend and also because we will run the Soft and Hard tyres from Pirelli, historically not the ideal choice for the 150º Italia. I hope that we have made some progress in this area and that we can get a good result. Like I said, it will be my first time in India and I love discovering new places, so I am convinced it will be a very interesting week. The Indian people love sport and I am sure there will be a lot of local interest in the Grand Prix, in Formula 1 and in racing in general. I have enjoyed spending a few days here in Sao Paolo with my family, relaxing and training, but now I am keen to get going again, to discover a new circuit and to see if I can secure a good result with just three races left to go this year.


Source: Ferrari.com

Kimi Räikkönen confirmed his return to Formula 1


Kimi Räikkönen confirmed his return to Formula 1 next season aboard a Williams. Maldonado will be his teammate.

After two seasons out of Formula 1, Kimi Räikkönen announced his return to the category with the Williams team after its passage without success by the World Rally Championship.

The "Iceman" share team with Pastor Maldonado, who will continue as a pilot in 2012. Ruben Barrichello who would abandon the traditional structure of the "maximum".

In addition, Williams has not only closed its link with the former world champion, but with the arrival of Kimi has made an agreement with a leading Arabic would provide financial support for three years.

Source: Mapuchito.com
Courtesy: luieluv

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kimi: The Iceman cometh back!






Courtesy: Sleenster - F1Zone.net

Translation of Kimi interview by Mar

Kimi Räikkonen is not a mystery, regardless of the reputation stating the opposite he has worked hard for. As a matter of fact, he is one of the most natural but misunderstood character in motorsport. The only thing he wants is to win… in the most efficient way. Is there something more logical than that?

But some people make the mistake of confusing lack of communication with lack of motivation when, in reality, truth is the opposite. What it’s regarded as a monosyllabic attitude in life (what incited The Red Bulletin, the paddock magazine, to publish a photographic reportage called “the 12 mood states of Kimi Räikkönen”… where all 12 pictures were identical) is not even true: Kimi has a lot to tell when there is something interesting to say or, what is more important, something it is worth it to answer to.

The bad part of a courtesy conversation is that it does not make sense. Let’s be sincere: truth is that nobody is interested in the weather or how the trip was. And this is just when we talk about normal life: imagine it in the strained environment of F1, where the air releases as much absorption as designer lotions and hidden intentions are everywhere.

Therefore, Kimi prefers to keep a respectable silence about the recent frenzy linking him to several F1 teams… even if he admits his return is possible. But many things are possible, including life in Mars and truth is that there’s nothing agreed for 2012. Kimi Räikkönen’s agenda for next year is empty… at least at the moment

“Truth is that there is nothing at the moment, and it makes no sense to talk until I have something 100% confirmed”, he states with his characteristic sincerity. One of the reasons why Kimi not always says much is because he doesn’t like to lie.

For Kimi’s big disconcertion, rumours are the par of the course in F1. There are two possibilities: you play the game, add fuel to the fire and face the gradual process of believing you’re somebody (special), or you don’t play. But there’s also a third alternative: to say what you think and be above the politicking. Nevertheless, that’s also problematic. The most important thing is that, whatever you say, somebody will try to use it against you sooner or later. It’s better just to focus on the driving, which is of course the only reason why you’re here.

“The bullshit?- Kimi blurts out when he’s asked about the hype of the media- Ha! I suppose, it’s normal; it’s part of the world we live in. They’re always going to write it so, who cares about it? Truth is that I don’t mind what they write, because it can’t be changed. As a matter of fact, if you try to change it, you will only make it worse; therefore, why even make the effort and try to change it? If somebody says “it was not this way, in reality it was that way”, it will only give them more ideas to keep on writing and the snow-ball gets bigger and bigger. But, does it really matter if it’s the truth or not? Nobody cares about that”.

Hypocrisy and unfairness are two of the things that Kimi dislikes the most. The paradox of being a world-wide known person with a huge personal fortune is that the person will be in a very isolated position. It’s difficult to know who you can trust and who is just interested in a bit of boulevard press.

That is one of the reasons- but not the main one- why Kimi changed to the WRC in 2010. “From the beginning, I felt that rally-people are more interested in the sport and whatever happens in the stages and not in making up stupid articles with big headlines outside them- he points out-. In F1, you say something and the press twists it, giving form to a story that says: “Mr. so-and-so said this”… even if it’s simply not true. They usually write more about other things than about the sport. In rallies, it doesn’t happen so often; they have a different way of thinking”.

But Kimi admits, it doesn’t surprise him that people want to know what he is going to do next. After all, he could be the key for the F1 driver market of 2012 (Note, in Spanish it’s not clear if it’s the driver market in 2012 or the driver market that gives the 2012 grid), with so many people unfocussed at the moment thinking in a drive in Red Bull or Ferrari in 2013, not to talk about Mercedes. Kimi doesn’t fall into the trap, but in 2013 he would be a perfect candidate for, both, Red Bull and Mercedes (because they always try to be cooler), but a hypothetical return to his old teams McLaren or Ferrari would be very improbable, not to say impossible. In the mean while, it is not a secret that he has visited Williams, and the situation in Renault is still not clear as Robert Kubica’s recovery continues. That’s supposing Kimi goes somewhere: if he wanted, he could just quit and do nothing, or keep on rallying. Both are very real possibilities.

“There are many different possibilities and, of course, a lot of speculation- he says-. But most of them are quite surprising for me. Look, I could tell you that I’m going to do Nascar and you could tell about it, but, maybe, at the end it doesn’t happen and then it would mean I have been telling bullshit. Or I could say I’m going to do demolition races (Note: what’s that?) and you would not believe me. But maybe, at the end, you would be surprised,… you see? It doesn’t make sense to speculate until there’s something sure, because anything could happen. Being sincere, not even I know yet. Probably some people talk too much when they should focus in other things”.

That’s how Kimi sees it and, you know what? It happens that he’s right. A top driver, famous for his know-how in front of the media, recently stated that he envies Kimi. “He did it right from the beginning, didn’t he?- that driver said-. I wish I could be like Kimi and concentrate only in the driving, without distractions. Some people say he’s stupid, but he knows very well what he does. He is very intelligent”.

If somebody intended to climb the Everest- which, anecdotically, is considered to be the biggest challenge of modern times-, he would not waste time in unnecessary small talk. Moreover, he would not make many conjectures about reaching the top of the mountain or not, until he were close to it. But, nevertheless, many more people have climbed the Everest than people have won the F1 World Championship.

Kimi is one of the 32 people who made it, but under circumstances that even he admits were a bit surreal. We all can remember that 3 drivers arrived to this last race with chances of winning the title, and that Kimi was the first one to win it from the 3rd position in the classification since Giuseppe Farina in 1950. An impressive feat but, paradoxically, it was simple for Kimi because the only thing he had to do was to race and win the race: there was no other condition. And that is the kind of task the Iceman can do best.

“I’m not sure about winning the title as my best memory, but for sure, it is one of the best- he says in quite a surprising manner-. We begun well and had a very hard patch in the middle of the season, but afterwards we improved again and we won. I’m sure, we could have done some things differently, but it was our first year. Even if it was the best car, it took some time to take everything out of it. This happens sometimes: in 2005, our McLaren was also very good, but it would not finish the races…”.

If Kimi comes back to F1, it’s possible that he won’t have the chance of having the best car: not a McLaren or a Ferrari or a Red Bull. But this means, he will have nothing else to think about except driving as fast as possible and show what the car can do: that would motivate, both, him and his team. One of Kimi’s most impressive seasons was his debut year in the underestimated Sauber team; the result was the best ever classification of the team in the constructors championship prior to the entry of BMW.

And if Kimi came back, maybe he would not care about having the best possible material as much as before. “Of course, you always want a winning car, a top car. But, as we could see this season, there’s only one team that has that top car- he says-. It’s not that you can chose or know it. Some teams make a good car one season; other seasons their car is not so good. There are very little differences between a good and a bad car. At the end of the day, you have to accelerate hard”.

Nevertheless, what Kimi values the most is his own freedom. In the moment he feels cornered, it’s over. In 2009, Kimi was the 2nd best paid athlete of the world, behind Tiger Woods, but not even that was enough to keep him in F1once he felt he was being pushed aside (remember how much he dislikes hypocrisy and unfairness). Heading to 2010, he turned down several options, among them a very lucrative one: it is not money what motivates him.

On the other hand, it does motivate him the idea of committing to a completely new challenge… that happen to be rallying. “I simply had the curiosity to know if I could keep it on the road and keep driving- he tells about his decision to go to the WRC-. It is very different to F1. So I had the curiosity to know if I also could do it, because when you see the guys who do it all the time, they make it look easy. Truth is that it’s one of the most difficult things you can do. Each curve is different, even two curves with exactly the same note- like “right two”- can be completely different. If you make a mistake, there is a tree or a rock and not a gravel trap. It is something I wanted to try, but I don’t have to take it so seriously. If it seems to me that I don’t want to do it any longer, I can just leave it right now”. Conclusion: it is even more difficult to win to Sébastien Loeb than Sebastian Vettel.

Kimi got carried away by his desire to roll on the mud when he entered an Abarth Grande Punto S2000 in the 2009 Finland Rally (the car election was imposed by his contract with the Fiat Group) and even managed to appear in the 3rd position of his category before he crashed in a spectacular way. His older brother, Rami, is a rally driver too, so it’s something that it’s in the family. The most difficult thing for Kimi was to get used to the notes. But it is not something to wonder about: when he was racing in F1, Kimi was not one of those drivers who love to get different radio messages all race long: Kimi used to consider them an annoying interference that distracted him from his real driving job. But, to be fair, that is what Kimi thinks about most of the things.

Contrary to the F1, in the WRC tests are allowed during the season. What very few people know is that, during those tests, when the teams run up and down the same road section, Kimi has comfortably been faster than his team mates... and among them are Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier, the two fastest drivers in the WRC. But it is like this because Kimi knows precisely where he’s heading to and he can rely on his incomparable reflexes instead of being dependent on another person telling him what he has to do.

Benoît Nogier, Kimi’s sport director in the rallies, notices: “with regard to the speed, I would say Kimi is extraordinary. He is not afraid of anything. He has a very instinctive feeling for the car; you can perfectly understand why he is a champion. But there are some areas where he can improve; I think this is normal for somebody with his experience level. In some senses, coming from F1 makes it more difficult, since you arrive with preconceived ideas about how to drive a car. You have to open your mind and begin from scratch again”.

That is something Kimi has always mastered in. In addition to rallying, this year he has tried Nascar and the Peugeot 908 of Le Mans, which, as he explains, was like driving a fishbowl with a lot of power. “I found the Le Mans car interesting but, to be sincere, the steering was a s*** and the windscreen was very weird; it distorted the sight… maybe because it is very rounded- Kimi says-. I can’t imagine how it must be when it is smeared with oil and dirt after racing for a while. But I enjoyed it and the car was good, even if they told me it had less power than in previous years. It had been a very long time I had not driven in a circuit, except for the Nascar races, but those took place in ovals, something totally different”.

Doing something different is what inspires Kimi at the moment: it is the chance to be himself. It doesn’t mean that he has that Casanova live-style some people have wrongly ascribed to him; it is more that, now, he has the chance to enjoy a bit of normality. Is that to much to ask for? For example, it is possible that some might be surprised to know that Kimi’s favourite means of transport is a diesel Volkswagen Caravelle. He uses it much more often than the other more exotic vehicles he owns. But that underlines that appearance and reality are not always coincident: something that should be remembered by those who criticise him without even knowing him.

There’s also been a lot of talk about motivation. You want to know the truth? At the moment, the Finn’s motivation is sky-high: he has quietly intensified his training to be in the best possible conditions and catch whatever chance it’s offered to him. “I like to face different challenges, that’s clear- Kimi adds-. I have a lot of plans, but I don’t like to talk about them, because I’m not sure any of them will materialize”. It is the story of our lives: at the end of the day, the F1 World Champions are not different to the rest of us.

Talking about F1 champions, when Sebastian Vettel won his 18th race at this year’s Italian GP, matching Kimi’s total number, he was asked what it meant for him. He answered it was a nice achievement, but that he suspected that Kimi still had the capability of getting some more victories in F1…

“I don’t know- Kimi says, laughing-. It depends of whatever happens in the future. To begin with, as we said before, in F1 you need a good package. In a s*** (Note: in Spanish it really says s***) car you’re never going to win, even if you drive better than you ever did in your whole life. That is the reality and it is impossible to escape from it”.

Where could Kimi go?

F1 Racing has got to know that Kimi Räikkönen has been weighing up his options to go back to F1; next season at first, but the most probable is for 2013. Regardless of what our sources describe as “Kimi’s huge motivation to return to F1”, it seems that his options for 2012 are much more limited, being Renault and Williams the only two realistic destinations. It is also believed that Kimi doesn’t fancy to go to Toro Rosso. Whatever he decides, Kimi is facing the most complex crossroads in his career.

Red Bull
Kimi sounded out the winning team of the last two seasons about a seat for 2012 but, after Mark Webber’s contract extension, he was told there was not a free seat until 2013.

McLaren
Given his record here, his aversion for PR and his usual anti-corporative behaviour, the Woking squad won’t consider taking back their relationship with Kimi until cows can fly.

Ferrari
Taking into consideration that Ferrari divorced from Kimi one year before the contract ended- and that they kept on paying him-, it looks very improbable that they have any interest in having him back.

Mercedes
Kimi’s managers have talked with Mercedes but, with Michael Schumacher willing to honour his 3rd contract year, he would have to wait until 2013.

Renault
Regarding the teams with resources and able to be on the top, Enstone could be a good option if Kubica’s return is delayed. Another issue would be how much needed of Petrov’s and Senna’s sponsors Renault is. Plus Renault’s and Kimi’s managers had a excited argument last year…

Williams
Williams is short of money and they will probably continue with Pastor Maldonado and his briefcase (of money) next year. Kimi has already visited the team and we understand they have even talked about the PR days he would have to do. Kimi is so willing that it seems he has accepted to do more days than ever.

Force India
Vijay Mallya usually talks about an experienced driver, and they could have a free seat in 2012. Question is if Kimi would be able to be fit enough before the winter tests.

Sauber
The team were Kimi started in F1 keeps playing his role as team where young talents start and, next season, they will continue with their present driver-line: Kobayashi and Pérez.

Toro Rosso
Since Red Bull partially sponsored Kimi’s rallying adventures, it is possible they could get together in F1. But Kimi is not that interested, and moreover, STR is the vehicle for Helmut Marko’s young drivers program.

Lotus, HRT and Virgin
The new teams seem to be the least probable ones where Kimi could search for a seat… even if it’s because his pride. Moreover, they would not be able to pay his cache. On the other hand, he could surprise us all…

Source: F1 Racing - F1Zone.net

A clean track


It's a pleasure to follow Sebastien Loeb's driving on the most authentic tarmac roads in Spain. He takes so perfectly advantage of the road and doesn't go through the ditches.

Loeb doesn't have to cut the corners anymore because his trust in the car is so solid. Compared to cutters Loeb takes the corner more slowly but he comes out of them the fastest of all.

That's how the differences are born.

A clean tarmac is a great champion's label.

Jari-Matti Latvala has progressed remarkably on tarmac, but the road behind him is still left with stones and trash when Ford's aggressive Finn cuts the corners with a grin on his face.

Latvala's best pleasure was ruined by the last stage on the dark dusting road.

The insane stage ruined the leading position Latvala had so brilliantly built up and he became the chaser on tarmac. As a chaser you can't put pressure on Loeb. The only advantage is that you get to drive right after Loeb when the road is cleanest.

Kimi Räikkönen didn't this time either experience the season's best tarmac roads. They fixed the car late in the night but Räikkönen decided not to continue.

It pretty much looks like Räikkönen's rally career stops this season. At least he isn't looking for more experience at the moment.

Räikkönen shares premises with Petter Solberg. Even Solberg's rally ended short. Like Räikkönen, Solberg's WRC-rallies seem to come to an end also.

I heard that the negotiations about Solberg going to Volkswagen have ended. Solberg outpriced himself from those markets. I doubt he is interested anymore to continue next year with his own private team, since he has had to pay for the last two rallies from his own pockets.

Turun Sanomat, Salou

HEIKKI KULTA

Courtesy: Nicole

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WRC Rally of Spain: Kimi Räikkönen's Lucky Numbers

Today hasn’t been the luckiest day for The Iceman, who retired from the Rally of Spain on the opening morning of the event with engine problems. Still, at least it went better for him than it had done the previous year, when he crashed during the shakedown before the rally actually started

So in order to give the flying Finn a bit of encouragement, here are some lucky numbers that have influenced the illustrious career of Kimi Matias Räikkönen…

3...

The Citroen DS3 WRC is Kimi’s rally car, run by his own Ice 1 Racing team. This year is his second season in the World Rally Championship, and he says it’s been a lot easier than the first year. “It just feels a bit more natural,” he points out. “With the pace notes it’s starting to get to the point where you don’t have to think about it too much.”

5...

Kimi’s best result on the World Rally Championship has been fifth place, which he took last year on the Rally of Turkey. His best result so far this year has been sixth, in Jordan and Germany. However, he’s already scored more points so far this year than he did throughout the whole of the season last year. “Actually, Turkey was quite lucky; lots of people had problems,” says the Iceman.

6...

This was the competition number of the Ferrari F2007 with which Kimi clinched the 2007 Formula One title. He started the final grand prix, in Brazil, running third in the standings but came through to win the title: the first person to reverse his fortunes in such a way since Nino Farina in 1950. “It was a strange year for us,” recalls Kimi of his championship-winning season. “It started off badly and then got much better.”

18...

The number of grand prix wins claimed by Kimi, equalled by Red Bull’s double world champion Sebastian Vettel at the Italian Grand Prix. Vettel was asked what he thought about matching Kimi’s total and said that he was pleased, but added that he reckoned that Kimi had a few more grand prix wins left in him. Let’s wait and see…

582...

The amount of horsepower that one of Kimi’s favourite road cars has: the Mercedes Benz CLK Coupe 55 DTM. Only a hundred of these were built, as a tribute to the DTM Merc. It pulls 1.35G under acceleration and has a top speed of 322kph, thanks to a supercharged 5.4 V8 engine. From 0-100 kph takes 3.8 seconds, so hold on tight. Many people have been truly terrified by this car with Kimi at the wheel.

1990...

When Kimi was still driving for Ferrari, he first contested the Rally Finland in 2009. You have to go back to 1990 to find the last time that an active Formula 1 driver took part in a World Rally Championship event, when Derek Warwick – at the time a Lotus driver – took part in the RAC Rally at the wheel of a Subaru Legacy.

Source: Red Bull

Räikkönen will not continue with super rally

Räikkönen had to stop the race on Friday on the 3rd stage after his Citroën-car hit a technical problem

Räikkönen's car appeared to have an electrical error which resulted in a fire under the hood. After extinguishing the fire Räikkönen discovered that the car was so badly damaged that he couldn't continue the rally on Friday.

Räikkönen's team tried to fix the car like crazy during the 75-minute break in service park. According to information MTV3 has they got the car fixed, however Räikkönen decided not to continue the rally. The organizers already informed on Friday that Räikkönen would continue with super rally. Had he continued he would have got a time penalty of about 15 minutes.

Petter Solberg has also retired from the rally. Solberg's race ended when the wheel suspension broke during the opening stage.

Source: MTV3
Courtesy: Nicole

Räikkönen's rally stopped on Friday

Turun Sanomat 22.10.2011 09:39:30

Just like in France, Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström also had to retire from Rally Spain.

ICE1 Racing -team's Citroën came to Salou's service park on Friday evening. The engine took fire during SS3.

After the inspection they made the decision to retire from the rally.

Turun Sanomat, Salou

HEIKKI KULTA

Courtesy: Nicole

Video: Kimi Räikkönen retires Day 1 WRC Rally Spain 2011 engine failure



Source: Formula1Arab

Räikkönen is training with full steam


The speculations in the world about the comeback of Kimi Räikkönen to F1-tracks would at least not fall short on the physical side.

Mark Arnall who has for the last nine years taken care of Räikkönen's physics and wellbeing, knows what F1 demands from the physics and what rally demands from the physics. He assures that Räikkönen is in a good condition.

– In rally you don't need as intensive training as F1-driving demands. That's why the programs are slightly different.

– Kimi raced all the time and trained accordingly. Kimi is a sportsman who likes to train and doesn't try to skip it, Arnall tells 'suspicious judges'.

– Generally speaking anybody who has sometimes been in the prime of their life, they never have to start from scratch again in order to lift up their physical condition to a higher level.

Arnall knows what he is talking about. He has a wide experience from working with sportsmen from different genres.

– When I was in Surrey University there was also Allan Wells, 100 meter sprinter who won Gold in the Olympics in 1980. When our paths crossed I worked with Allan although he wasn't running any longer. Allan is not a young man anymore but he is still in excellent condition. If a physical condition has been taken care of the right way, then it's valuable.

Different driving position, different strain

Räikkönen left F1 two years ago in November 2009.

– The biggest difference between F1- and rally-driving is the driving position and how different muscles are strained, Arnall compares.

– Generally speaking training in F1 compared to rally differs because of it's intensity. A F1-driver has to always be in a really good stitch. Hence rally is in a certain way easier for the body than F1 is.

– If Kimi would go back to a F1-car, then the biggest work would be the process of strenghtening his neck muscles. He hasn't had that for two years. His neck muscles aren't the same as they were during his F1-season.

– However it's not a question of them not being restored. The situation is the same as when a F1-driver has a three months break between the seasons. When you go back to the winter testing the neck is always sore after the first day. You can't really train the neck muscles other than by driving. You get those muscles only by driving.

– Endurance, strenght and muscles will come back. Kimi has all along been training with the mindset of someday driving in F1 again. I can assure that he is in a good condition, Arnall emphasizes.

Turun Sanomat, Salou

HEIKKI KULTA


Courtesy: Nicole

Friday, October 21, 2011

Engine-inspection decides whether Kimi continues or not

– It got some error. The engine took a bit of fire, we stopped and extinguised it but then it stopped 500 meters later, Räikkönen told TS.

Kaj Lindström explained that all of a sudden smoke was coming under the hood and then the flames took off.

The car was in the furthest possible place from the service park. Räikkönen was picked up by a helicopter.

Räikkönen isn't throwing in the towel right away. They will inspect the engine and depending on the damages he knows whether he can continue the rally on Saturday or not. He has a huge urge to finally get on Spain's tarmac.

Turun Sanomat, Salou

HEIKKI KULTA

Courtesy: Nicole

Räikkönen's engine broke down

Turun Sanomat 21.10.2011 14:03:10

Citroen's engine broke down on SS3.

Hence Räikkönen won't see the tarmac parts in Spain this time either. A year ago the rally was over already in the beginning of shakedown.

Räikkönen also retired from his previous rally in France.

Turun Sanomat, Salou

Courtesy: Nicole

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hamilton: I’ve massive support from my family


It has been a tough couple of months for Lewis Hamilton where he has been the focal point of media at every race since his accident at during the Belgian Grand Prix, and in Korea recently the 2009 Formula 1 world championship hardly smiled all weekend long despite, in qualifying, single-handed breaking Red Bull’s stranglehold on pole position and the next day finishing second in the race.

After a torrid flurry of races Hamilton is now relaxing among his family and loved ones as the season permits a weekend away from a race track before the Indian GP weekend which gets underway on 28 October.

Away from the pressures of the F1 paddock, Hamilton revealed, “I am going to spend some time with my family in a couple of days, so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve had massive support from them over the weekend, with emails from my brother, my mum, and in particular my dad.”

“So yeah, all’s pretty sweet. I’m looking forward to getting back to the house. I’ve not been home in ages, so I can play some games, just be home, be home with my cars, I miss them,” admitted the McLaren driver.

Lewis acknowledged that his fans have been supportive during the tough times, “They have been fantastic, all around the world, even at the circuits. Regardless of how tough it’s been, they’ve stood by me. Everywhere I go, messages I get on Twitter, on my Facebook account and when I meet people, it’s very special.”

“I’ve been away for about a month now I think, a lot longer because I didn’t go back after Singapore,” said Hamilton. But we all experience the travelling, so it’s normal,” said the 26 year old.

Media speculation has been rife, reporting that his relationship with pop singer Nicole Scherzinger is on the rocks which Hamilton has not commented on.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh comment, “He says he is happy, and any other enquiry regarding his state of happiness should be directed to Lewis and not me. He’s had a lot of speculation about him and his private life, which he doesn’t want, and doesn’t welcome I’m sure.”

Source: YallaF1