Friday, October 28, 2011

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

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