Saturday, November 12, 2011


Kimi Räikkönen, who made the move to world rallying with Red Bull last year, has finally admitted that he’s been in discussions with Williams about a return to Formula One. In the meantime, he’s got a rally to finish. In fact, the Rally GB could be the most important one of the year – because it might be the last one he ever does

Currently the ‘Iceman’, who should be particularly well-suited to the freezing conditions of deepest Wales, is battling for a top-eight position with Ford driver Matthew Wilson: a man with plenty of experience of rallying in Britain.

However, Kimi is not really loving the Welsh experience. Last year he finished eighth, but with this year’s Rally GB using plenty of brand-new stages (or to be completely accurate, stages that haven’t been used since the 1990s) Kimi hasn’t been able to capitalise on the experience he gained from the past.

Welsh mud and gravel – which tends to be more slippery than a Vaseline-coated mackerel – isn’t the easiest surface to drive on either when you’re accustomed to the smooth asphalt of the world’s grand prix circuits.

“I wasn't happy with my driving this morning,” said Kimi. The car has been okay but it’s really slippery out there. It’s difficult to know where the grip is and where it is slippery. I think to be in this position is not too bad though. We’ve not been on gravel for some months now and it’s not easy to come here when the conditions are like they are.”

How difficult would it be though to come back to Formula One? Michael Schumacher, whose own comeback was the subject of plenty of speculation a year ago, reckons that the 2007 grand prix champion wouldn’t struggle too much. And even Kimi himself reckons that it would probably be easier than the decision to go rallying.

“It’s what I’ve been doing all of my life,” said the Iceman when questioned about a return to circuit racing. “What would be more difficult would be to do something completely different…”

Naturally enough, he’s keeping pretty schtum when it comes to revealing his plans for next year, for the main reason that nothing is yet finalised. His co-driver Kaj Lindström says he always told Kimi that rallying was a four-year project if he was serious about it. Kimi’s not too sure however. “If I don’t want to carry on, then I can just stop tomorrow,” he said with a shrug. Which is pretty much his view of most things.

Source: Red Bull

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