Will you miss Kimi Raikkonen? (Poll)

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Raikkonen's absence means someone else will have to win the next Belgian GP

Kimi Raikkonen has scotched rumours that he could join Mercedes and now looks set to spend at least one year out of the F1 cockpit.

Reading comments here and on other sites I’ve been surprised by the outpourings of dismay over Raikkonen’s departure from F1 and sympathy towards him.

But when there’s at least 11 seats on the grid for 2010 he could have taken, this sympathy seems misplaced.

How much will you miss Kimi Raikkonen in 2010?

  • I'll stop watching F1 (21%)
  • I'll miss him (52%)
  • I'm not bothered (14%)
  • I won't miss him (9%)
  • I'm glad he's gone (4%)

Total Voters: 6,001

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Raikkonen complains there is no top team able to take him on for next year. But plenty of former champions have served time in uncompetitive outfits before returning to the front of the grid. In F1 today where testing opportunities are scarce, it would have been the best way for him to stay ready for a ready to the sharp end of F1 in 2011.

For an example, look no further than the man who’s replacing him at FerrariFernando Alonso. His battling drives for Renault these past two seasons are surely a large part of the reason why he’s been given Raikkonen’s job – a year earlier than Ferrari originally planned.

There’s also the small matter of whether Raikkonen still deserves a front-line ride. After winning the 2007 championship he was beaten by team mate Felipe Massa last year and over the first half of this season before Massa was injured.

He had a better end to the season but a lot easier to look good against Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella.

These are not unusual circumstances for an F1 driver to lose his seat. It’s a bit much for Raikkonen to expect the likes of McLaren and Mercedes to be salivating at the prospect of putting him in their cars when he’s only delivering the goods once a year at Spa.

Army of fans

Where I do have some pity for Raikkonen is that his love of motor racing and his great talent have put him in a position where he finds himself having to cope with public appearances and PR events – something he clearly abhors.

I saw him at the opening of the new Ferrari Store in London earlier this year and, as I wrote at the time, I felt sorry for him as he plainly did not want to be there. Prised from his private life to do his PR duty, he grimaced at his surroundings when the cameras weren’t on him (which was rare).

But you have to keep things in context. Is a bit of glad-handing really that much of a hardship when you’ve got an eight-figure salary and the best job in the world?

Last year I saw him at the Silverstone test, ducking out of the side of the Ferrari tent to avoid the fans waiting outside. Other drivers lingered, signing caps and photographs.

It made me reflect on how despite Raikkonen’s aversion to appearing in public he’s inspired a passionate allegiance from an army of fans.

Their loss is rallying’s gain, but I’m sure he’ll be happier in a much lower-profile championship where his PR responsibilities will no doubt be insignificant – at most.

I am disappointed it’s come to this. I suspect this sabbatical may turn out to be like the one Mika Hakkinen took at the end of 2001 and still hasn’t returned from. Some people think Raikkonen will be back in 2011 to drive for Red Bull. But surely that’s the last place he’ll find a safe haven from the horrors of having to shake hands with people?

It’s always sad to see a world champion quit the sport. But it’s especially sad to see one leave in this fashion, when he could still have achieved much more. I might not understand his fans’ point of view, but I think they deserved more from their man.

What do you think about Raikkonen’s retirement? Is F1 poorer without him? Did he deserve a drive with a top team? Have your say in the comments.

Read more: Kimi Raikkonen to take sabbatical in 2010 as McLaren talks end

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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264 comments on “Will you miss Kimi Raikkonen? (Poll)”

  1. I’ll miss him, because he has been an out-and-out racer over the years and given us many classic moments to remember – Nurburgring 05, Suzuka 05, Interlagos 07, Spa 08…

    Not forgetting those classic moments off-the-track (Interlagos 06!!!).

    I admit that he has been his own un-doing, and would not say I feel sympathy. But he is still a loss to the sport.

  2. I posted this in the forum yesterday:

    Kimi has natural talent.He is the fastest man on the track.He has no fear.Unfortunately he can’t be bothered with the technical aspect of racing or the promotion aspects.He can get in the car and drive the hell out of it.Just,don’t ask him what got him there or why the car was so fast.These all go hand in hand and Kimi doesn’t want to accept that.I am dissappointed that he is going but,he brought it on himself and we all knew it would happen.This is not the era of James Hunt.Kimi was born at the wrong time I suppose.What a shame.

    Good Luck Iceman.

    1. Kimi was born in 1979, the same year James Hunt retired ;)

    2. in the last f1 racing magazine, they interviewed martin wintmarsh and he said kimi and mika were the two best drivers they’d had to provide technical feedback. i personally don’t know how fans would know unless they’ve had a pit lane pass on a weekend. kimi in public is definately not kimi in private and i think a lot of people forget that

  3. It speaks volumes that his reward for being pretty much the only person in F1 who can keep his own counsel and never complains or lays blame on others has no place in the sport.

    1. Yes Parkp – spot on!:)

  4. The world is in recession, if he prices himself out of the sport then I feel no sympathy. Good residence. Lots of time to eat those icecreams. Also it is part of the job to meet the fans (they pay your wages), if he wants to vanish into obscurity then he has my blessing.

    1. I am a great admirer of his driving & feel he is the most naturally gifted driver since Ayrton Senna.

      Unfortunately he is also an idiot.

      1. You feel he could’ve gotten over it a little bit, he was his own undoing. In Ferrari the team definately felt like supporting him, an its supposedly a very congenial team to be in, but he brushed them off an they preffered Massa anyway.

        McLaren would’ve loved to have had him, he was offered good terms, an presumably a future but once again, he wanted to much, on the back of too little uncertantiy.

        I’m definately sad too see him go but I feel with the money he’s got he didn’t need to be such a hardball, an if he wanted to be at McLaren in a winning car confirmed already, he easily could be.

        Bon Voyage Iceman. Enjoy Rallying.

        1. Lets hope he ends up at Merc at least. Norbert Haug loves Kimi.

      2. I don’t think being paid a ton of money for not driving a racecar is the sign of an idiot. I wish someone would pay me millions of Euros to not drive their car while I go off and have fun in someone else’s car!

      3. mp-4, you made me smile

  5. I don’t blame him for only wanting a top car, he’s only interested in winning, he’s been saying that all year “this podium is okay, but we need to win because only that feels good”.

    Most of his peak years were spent in uncompetitive McLaren’s, if you think about it, in the 5 years he spent there only 2 of the cars had a shot of winning races. In 2003 he had an okay car but Ferrari and Williams had faster ones, and in the case of Ferrari they had a more reliable car. He had some bad luck aswell that season, losing a win in Australia because of a glitch and Nurburgring because of the engine failure. In 2005, he had no chance of winning the title, the car was just too unreliable. There really wasn’t much more he could have done that year, it is unrealistic to expect him to have won the races where he received penalties. He lost some wins because of engine failures, lost some good points because of a puncture in Malaysia, only in Australia could he have done better but even then McLaren weren’t as quick as they would later be. So really in my opinion, he only had one decent shot at the title in 2003 and he did the best he could in an outdated car. So I really can’t blame him for only wanting the chance to win the title, he’s already 30, he’s not going to stay in F1 until he is near 40 so he wants the spend the rest of his peak years trying to win.

    However I don’t think he should assume that Red Bull will be a top car in 2011, because as we have seen in the past, just because you are on top one year doesn’t mean you will be at the top in the future. We’ve seen that with Renault, and BMW were also progressing into that stage.

    He’s clearly a shy person, I am as well and I would hate people sticking loads of microphones in front of my face and taking my space. I know it is part of his job, but who would like that?

  6. He is the most naturally talented on the grid in my opinion. He can be quick as hell but is seriously flawed as for whatever reason he doesn’t always deliver. However, for those moments when he does do it I’m paralysed infront of the TV watching such great driving. For those moments I will definately miss him. I can see why he was replaced at Ferrari but he is still in the top tier of drivers.
    I don’t really care about PR or the money. For me it is all about the driving and that is why I’m saddened by this news.

  7. it’s almost the same like when Schumi retired, but then I still had the prospect of Kimi in the sport, so I kept watching..now that Kimi is gone, there isn’t too much to cling to..unless Rosberg gets a good enough seat..in all seriousness, I’ll still watch F1 with the same passion and anxiety, but this occurrence will probably take its toll sometime during next season

    1. I feel the same way, none of the other drivers really inspire me.

  8. Also one more thing, he left McLaren at the wrong time. As soon as he left, McLaren became fast and reliable! Hamiltons had two realistic shots at the title in his first two years! That’s already better than what Kimi had by the time he left!

    I really wish he was with Hamilton next year, we’d have seen a huge fight! Them two are the drivers who I would fear in a sole race. Alonso would be the one I’d fear over a season.

    1. Kimi left McLaren and the next year he won the championship and the following year he was in a car which won the constructors and was 1 point off the drivers championships. Although he left McLaren when they got good, they were still arguably no better than Ferrari.

      1. In 2007 I think he’d have wrapped up the title sooner, firstly there wouldn’t have been Hamilton to deal with, and Raikkonen would have had continuity with the team rather than Alonso who’d have had to adapt, added to this the car had perfect reliability. Although in that case maybe Schumacher would have stayed and beat them both while they adapted to BS tyres! Also if he really couldn’t adjust to the Ferrari than 2008 would have been better for him as well. Of course it’s impossible to say what would have happened, but if I were him I’d feel a bit of regret in leaving, but he isn’t one to do that so good for him.

        I was quite excited before at the thought of having a dream team of Kimi and Fernando for 2007! If only!

      2. McLaren were definitely better than Ferrari that season. It was only all the off-track distractions, infighting and Hamilton’s inexperience at the end that allowed Kimi to seize the title.

  9. I’ll miss him, no doubt about it and I think he remains very misunderstood by those judge him on his press conferences rather than the character he is away from the track.

    I also think it’s a myth that he was poor in the first half this year. He out qualified Massa, scored a podium at Monaco; was running 4th in Sepang until the team put wets on; he was let down by the team and car in Spain and had some terrible luck: like making it into the top 10 at Britain unlike Felipe which ended up giving him a poorer strategy. He also outqualified Massa at turkey but started on the dirty side, Felipe overtook him and damaged his wing – more bad luck!

    So I think that good performances on Saturday were ruined on Sunday in the 1st half whereas they seemed to go right on both days in the 2nd half – particularly after the final update in Budapest.

    Finally, as iBlaze hinted at, I’ll miss him for that racers instinct which only the best have – he really did give us many memorable moments over the years and I fully understand him not wanting a poor car for next year, he’s had one this year and a couple at McLaren and I suppose unlike Alonso, Keith, he doesn’t consider F1 the be-all and end-all and would rather be competitive in another series – I’ve got to congratulate him for that.

  10. @Keith You were dismayed and surprised at the outpourings for Kimi? Well let me say that I cant really understand why you have that opinion. Kimi is one of the originals: supercool, fast, and not bothered with the F1 “airs” all he cares about is racing, as it should be.

    Kimi has millions of fans that would support him to the ends of the earth. Im not saying other driver’s dont have the same kind of fans, Im pretty sure they do, but they are not Kimi…he IS the most naturally talented driver since Gilles Villeneuve and his placid facade is well..classic.

    People who watch F1 care about the racing not the PR crap and carefully scripted interviews and that is what Kimi gives his fans pure, unadulterated racing. Pure and simple, just like Kimi.

    Keep Flying Kimi..

    1. @Keith You were dismayed and surprised at the outpourings for Kimi?

      Keith doesn’t say he was dismayed. Just surprised. Here’s Keith’s actual quote:

      Reading comments here and on other sites I’ve been surprised by the outpourings of dismay over Raikkonen’s departure from F1 and sympathy towards him.

    2. all he cares about is racing

      This is the crux of it for me – if all he cares about is racing then why isn’t he racing for Renault next year? Or Campos? Or Toro Rosso? Force India had a tidy car at the end of the year, and they’ve got Mercedes engines, so why not them?

      On the other side of the coin, can anyone name a driver who does enjoy the PR side of the sport? I doubt it.

      1. if all he cares about is racing then why isn’t he racing for Renault next year? Or Campos? Or Toro Rosso?

        Hello Keith,

        Your response above would have made sense if the original claim was that “all he cares about is racing in F1“.

        He will be racing, just not in F1. That behavior is entirely consistent with the claim that “all he cares about is racing.”

        Which isn’t a claim from the horse’s mouth to begin with, so you could be responding to a straw-man.

        1. OK, well, now we’re into a semantic difference. Rallying is time trials – when you say ‘racing’ I think of, well, Raikkonen at Spa in 2005 – not the WRC.

          Perhaps what we mean is Raikkonen loves driving. I’d buy that.

          1. Perhaps:
            Raikkonen loves driving competitively
            Might be closer to the truth.

            I see your point if you don’t count the WRC as racing – which is quite a radical position I must say!

          2. Kimi loves driving and WINNING. Not just racing. If you already got a championship in your bag, would you step down a try other non winning cars? where is the point? If you are a racing driver, you surely would want to win. And your edge of winning is greater on a good car. Kimi doesn’t want to develop a car to win. He wants a fast car to win. He loves winning. Period.

      2. Keith, I think exactly the same. I will miss him and always liked to see his name high on the grid. But leaving F1 like this? For me it’s lack of… Sorry for his fans but there’s something – let’s say – smelling badly for me. I’ve never been fan of Lewis but look at him this year, where he started and how he managed driving in the undrivable car. He gained a lot respect in my eyes. Kimi? Small talks about “a winning car” and untasty self-overrating. I’m afraid Iceman has started to melt…

        1. Kimi gave it everything this season. He had lost favour with the team bosses specifically Luca D, and the team did not want to go all out getting updates till the last race for one driver. So they decided to stop development. Yet, Kimi single handedly got the Ferrari to within 1 point of McLaren.

          And I dont get it how he did worse than Massa in the first half?

          1. It was in Malaysia, when Ferrari put him of full wets on a dry track.

      3. Is being a back marker and or a mobile chicane really racing?

        1. stupid comment.

      4. It is absolutely ridiculous to ask KIMI 2007 world champion to drive for smaller teams.I hope evry drivers dream is to get into the top team and figth for WDC.Thats wat competition is abt ie to WIN.He didn’t get a competitive drive so he is leaving.Now comes the point that “F1 is not a sport” as cars speaks more than individuals talent in F1.AHAHAH

      5. All the drivers dream is to win.Everyone wants to get into a top team and win WDC.kimi a WDC is no exception.U have compared with Alonso who left a top team to a uncompettive one just because he could not compete with a rookie.It is not his willingness to drive a crap to show that he can do wonders even in a crap car.Thats the truth everyone knows.

      6. “if all he cares about is racing then why isn’t he racing for Renault next year? Or Campos? Or Toro Rosso? Force India ” err, could it be because none of those teams have any chance of giving him a car he can fight for the WDC with? Why should he spend a year or more struggling in the mid field like he did in 2009 and the likes of Alonso have been doing since 2008? You think the last 2 years have been fun for Fernando? If he’d had the option of sitting out for a year on full pay or taking a multi-million dollar pay cut to race in a Renault, Campos or Toro Rosso or Force India… you seriously think he’d have done it?

      7. yes, but kimi is, by all accounts i’ve heard in the media from people who have actually worked with him, ‘painfully shy’. It may not be a matter of him simply ‘not liking’ pr events, but actually been emotionally torn because of his shyness. I have, as have a good portion of the population, battled shyness and it is not nice, and in all honesty a eight figure salary wouldn’t take the pain of the moment away-it would make me feel better when i got back to my house for sure- but not at the moment. Also put into the fact that english is not his native language, and he is not as fluent in it as some other drivers for who it is their second tongue, and maybe add a bit ‘finish-ness’ to his personality, and a media that loves to pull anyone down who 1-doesn’t play along with how they like and 2-is different from the norm/what they would like to see, and then you can easily end up in a situation where kimi
        ‘only mumbles incoherently’, ‘gives short unintelligible answers’ ‘Kimi was eating an ice cream instead of siting in his tub of car drowning while we waited for officials to do the obvious meh meh meh’

        It makes no sense to drive around mid-pack when you can be a couple of mil better off giving rallying a try, you only live once.

        I will also have to disagree with you in regards to rallying keith. For me it is racing. There is no less passing than F1, it takes guts and tremendous skill.

        i like kimi, he is unmistakably gifted/talented. I will miss him.

      8. On the other side of the coin, can anyone name a driver who does enjoy the PR side of the sport? I doubt it.

        Michael Schumacher made how much a year in endorsements? But that’s besides the point…

        I remember this article from May If you’re making lots of cash doing endorsements (like MS or Tiger Woods or that French tennis guy) then maybe you’d enjoy having people shouting at you to take a picture or sign an autograph all the time. Sometimes PR is just a part of the fame that you have to live with. Kimi seems to be about having fun more than enjoying his fame… Remember, he’s the kind of guy who would dress up in a gorilla suit with his buddies while powerboat racing under someone else’s name…

    3. Natalie I watch F1 racing and car about the racing and not the PR crap.

      Which is why Kimi is so disappointing. He doesn’t deliver pure unadultarated racing, he is wildly inconsistent and acts like he doesn’t care.

      If that is the sort of person you want to follow then that is your choice. But for me, I prefer (gulp, I hate saying this) Lewis Hamilton for putting his head down and trying his hardest, not stuffing about killing time, ducking fans while waiting for a winning car or Spa to roll around again.

  11. While he’s a refreshing character on the grid, I’ve never really warmed to him as a driver. I don’t like him, and I don’t dislike him. I’m not too bothered whether he stays or goes, after all, half the time he hasn’t seemed too bothered about racing.

  12. Are you kidding? Raikkonen only delivers at Spa?

    Sure on the tracks that take a racer with a big heart (Spa and Monaco) he has a bit of an edge extra on the more average drivers, but given a good car he’s fast at every track.

    In fact in raw race pace Kimi is flat out the fastest driver around (for instance most fastest laps in 2008). He always keeps on fighting. Not some boring driver who just sits in the fastest car behind a slower competitor all race long.

    If Ferrari hadn’t messed up his car halfway through 2008 he could have taken the WDC. He was doing a lot better than Hamilton and Massa before he got rammed by Hamilton in Canada.

    With 2 non scoring finishes and 4 races to work out the problems with the car he was back on top in Spa, but he had to take too many risks in an effort to come back ahead. In hindsight he should have just settled down and racked up the points and he would have had a pretty good shot at the title anyway.

    So yeah, of course he will be missed. He SHOULD be missed by a proper F1 fan.

    Good for him that he doesn’t want to drive for a poor team. Good for him that he gets more money not to race than to race.

    Geez, people forget so quickly. It’s just disturbing. Massa has one good season and all of a sudden he’s considered a “driving god” instead of the “whining crasher”, Raikkonen has a whole career of spectacular drives, has a poor half season once and gets completely written off. Bizarre.

    Even more bizarre, the people who still whine about the ice cream. The car had broken down. You expect him to sit in a broken car to wait for the rain to clear? What’s wrong with you people?

    1. Also, can’t believe how much people talk about drivers being too politically correct with scripted answers and “for sure”s and someone like Kimi has an icecream and they make negative jokes. The guy was displaying his personality. He knew there was no chance of a restart and did not care to wait like others. Character/personality is not shown only through words during press conferences.

  13. kimi raikkonen has so much fans that no one on the grid have…after micheal schumacher and ayrton senna,he has the higest number of fans.correct me if iam wrong..i dont know abt europe and the rest of the world..but if u visit india.u guys will be shocked how many fans raikkonen have…i know hundreds of people who cried over this news..and just couldnt get over it..many are even ready not to watch f1 again if raikkonen leaves..and this is sad for formula one..

    1. Oh yes. I am an Indian, been following F1 since 1994, and totally love Kimi. We don’t care about whether he talks or not, but we remember how he raced whenever the car was any good, or sometimes total crap. Truly we are a despondent lot now.

  14. I have to add I feel very sorry for his dedicated fans. I spent half a season without Felipe and it was still fantastic watching the sport but there is a bit of a hole when your driver is not then. For Kimi fans it is also an unknown if he will come back so I hope you can find someone or a team to cheer next year and I hope your iceman comes back to the sport :)

  15. Some people think Raikkonen will be back in 2011 to drive for Red Bull. But surely that’s the last place he’ll find a safe haven from the horrors of having to shake hands with people?

    Actually Red Bull might be the best place for Raikkonen. I say that because I remember an interview by David Coulthard to BBC, when asked an question about the major changes he felt between macca & Red Bull, he said mclaren is a global brand with global sponsors. Its true, it ranges from Exxon Mobil in the USA to AIGO in China. Its too corporate.

    But at Red Bull he’ll have no such problems. Kimi will not need to praise sponsors, do promotional works etc

    As long as he doesn’t criticize the energy drink ;) he’s safe. And I am sure he’ll not do that! He loves Redbull mixed with Vodka :P

    We dunno whether he uses some of the products he was forced to endorse, for example Alice,marlboro,west,henkel etc

    Dietrich Mateschitz know that fact.

    1. “Actually Red Bull might be the best place for Raikkonen.”

      Agreed!…I know I would welcome that.

      1. really agree with u

    2. On track too, I have never seen him without his Red Bull sipper :)

  16. everyone has its own opinion keith has its own..if he thinks raikkonen delivers at only spa.it wont change wat raikkonen fans think.it doesnt make difference to them..so its useless to argue over that..i will just say one thing:
    massa is never better than raikkonen..why?..becuz i think he can only win from pole..and he is always lighter than raikkonen in qualfying..i can prove this with stats..

  17. Your poll should have a typical Kimi answer in the form of “Yeah I suppose”.

    I say good riddance, while I enjoy watching him do one of his charges from the back of the grid when he smells the blood of a failing front running car thats too few and far between.

    I’m not gonna sympathise with anyone who wants 15million to drive a McLaren when they are getting paid 15mil already to not drive a Ferrari.

    1. uhm…can you confrim that Kimi requested 15 million a year from McLaren? Didnt think so…and by the way Ferrari will pay 10 million if he races in F1 next year not 15…get your facts straight

      1. $ 15 million or $10 million…the guy would still have a seat today if his demands weren’t so outrageous. credit McLaren and whatever other teams he dealt with for not giving into his demands when there are plenty of other good drivers out there.

        1. keepF1technical
          19th November 2009, 15:58

          which report has said it was because of the money? The ‘terms’ which could not be agreed appear to be those not allowing Kimi to do other sports. Remember montoya!

      2. uhm…can you confrim that Kimi requested 15 million a year from McLaren? Didnt think so…

        Doesn’t matter does it?

        If he’s a true racer like you say then he’d be racing for nothing, as it goes he’s getting 15 million to not race… therefore you retort is flimsy at best.

        I’m really glad you like the guy, but allow someone to post their opinion on a matter without using the symantics and specifics of a part of a comment such as “CAN YOU PROVE IT?”. Its what made your reply flimsy.

        So I re iterate, he’s getting paid to not drive a Ferrari…

        What a racer!

        1. The event of Kimi not securing a drive is a study in itself, based on many factors and not only on something as simple as his skills, abilities or motivation.

          1. Kimi can not/will not do as much PR as other drivers.
          2. Finland may have produced great drivers but does not have big ticket sponsors except perhaps Nokia (I may be wrong here but thats what I know). Alonso had Santander to smoothen his move to Ferrari.
          3. In the current economic climate the driver deals are becoming a much more complex fusion of all these factors than ever before.
          4. Lowering one’s wages for a year under special circumstances does not guarantee a return to previous levels, later. Ask Button. Even after winning the WDC he has signed for 6 mill/year while he got 8 mill/year from Honda.
          5. And no comparisons can be made with Alonso’s second stint with Renault(after leaving McLaren). Renault was home for Alonso, with Flavio going to the lengths that he did to secure a win. And we do not know how much Alonso was paid there.
          6.And while I believe he should sign with Mercedes at a lower price if there is a chance, it may not be what Kimi may want to do at that prize-risk ratio. Mercedes-Brawn’s competitiveness next season is very much in doubt IMHO. (They have already been overtaken by Red Bull and McLaren by the end of this season.) Kimi may well take up rallying for a challenge as he really does not care and that is his personality.

          Apologies for the long post.(Its only my opinion – I cant prove anything :))

  18. if anyone has doubt about will formula miss Raikkonen or not.visit the orkut community “Kimi Raikkonen:we will miss you”..it has around 30K members who are crazy raikkonen fans.

  19. Force India must be jubilating at Kimmi’s exit. He was always hounding their car!

    1. hahaha brilliant Kanyima, that made me giggle like a kid!

      1. I think Kimi had it in him for Sutil only :).
        He was careful around Fisi… I had my heart in my mouth for that entire race…

  20. Its bad say this again and again…but let me remind you about everything….

    The Iceman (a woefully underused way of describing sporty Scandinavians, we’re sure you’d agree) was frozen out at Ferrari earlier this autumn and now seems set for four-wheeled frolics on ice as a rally driver.

    In common with many comic book creations, the Iceman doesn’t say a lot and his words aren’t weighed down with deep meaning, but his animated F1 driving has been the stuff of dreams… or nightmares, depending on which side of the ‘no pain no gain’ credo you fall.
    When Raikkonen’s car burst into flames in the pit lane on the first lap of this year’s Brazilian GP and drops of petrol trickled into his eyes, rather than leap out of the car, douse his eyes in Optrex and run to an optician, he put his foot to the floor and rejoined the race.
    The fire went out, but the flammable fluid in his eyes remained. Despite the risk of an incendiary outcome just around the cornea (apologies), he continued for the duration of the race – 70 laps – and finished sixth.
    Afterwards the flaming Finn monotoned: “I ended up with some drops of petrol in my eye from the fuel line stuck on Heikki Kovalainen’s car and then I was engulfed in flames and blinded. I was going to stop, but luckily the flames soon went out.”
    He added, with all the emotion of Schwarzenegger delivering a Hollywood line: “My eyes are still burning, but I’m all right.”
    Driving at speeds of up to 200mph for 70 laps while virtually blinded with your eyes about to combust may seem superhuman or stupid, but this is mere child’s play for a man who has been described, often and unimaginatively, as born to drive… brings to mind an image of a baby Raikkonen driving his mother back from the maternity ward with the umbilical cord still attached like a fuel hose feeding a Ferrari. Born to drive indeed.
    In 2002, while racing for McLaren, Belgium GP fans looked on incredulously as he powered his car into a sea of smoke caused by the blow-up of a BAR Honda.
    Most drivers would have slammed on the brakes knowing that, somewhere in the dense black cloud, the obstacle of a slain F1 car was lying, but the Finn accelerated into the blackness and emerged from the smouldering plume like the T1000 in Terminator 2. A best qualifying lap was in the bag.
    And at Suzuka in 2005 he put in a Herculean effort to rise from the back of the grid and torpedo past Giancarlo Fisichella’s Renault on the final lap to take the chequered flag. Oh and he won the world championship in his first season at Ferrari.
    While Raikkonen’s F1 driving was dramatic, his interviews were devoid of drama. When he spoke to the media – he preferred not to – he did so in a Dalek-like drawl.
    He sometimes needed waking up shortly before the start of a race after a power nap – or just a nap – and he could be ruder than Amy Winehouse. His response to being asked if he would get over the disappointment of missing a special presentation involving football great Pele and Michael Schumacher at the 2006 Brazilian GP: “Yeah. I was having a —-.”
    Now the flying Finn is heading for a Formula One sabbatical. He leaves F1 unchallenged as the paddock’s monosyllabic maverick.

    1. Are you a Hollywood script writer?

      1. Copied and pasted from the Telegraph. It would be polite to give a link or at least put it in quotes rather than making it look like original writing.

        1. Who would WANT to take credit for that horrible writing?….It had me in stitches..

          “brings to mind an image of a baby Raikkonen driving his mother back from the maternity ward with the umbilical cord still attached like a fuel hose feeding a Ferrari. Born to drive indeed.”

          Ha..ha..ha…are you kidding me?

        2. Wow. Here I was thinking that an english major needed an extra outlet to practice creative writing. Copying and pasting – real classy.

  21. I won’t miss him, not in his current form at least.

    While Kimi’s best days came before I became interested in the sport, I am tired of seeing him drag the car around each track in a noncompetitive fashion. He’s lost his motivation and was miles behind many other drivers (including Webber) this season, IMHO. But the thing that really gets me is that he could be driving for most any team on the grid if his salary demands were more realistic. Sure he’s a former world champion and all, but he refuses to live in the real world when it comes to things like salary, sponsor obligations, etc..

    In short, I would much rater have a hungry, motivated driver (like Nick) that doesn’t have Kimi’s raw talent than a lazy, noncompetitive Raikkonen taking up space.

    1. I won’t miss him, not in his current form at least.

      In short, I would much rater have a hungry, motivated driver (like Nick) that doesn’t have Kimi’s raw talent than a lazy, noncompetitive Raikkonen taking up space.

      I agree completely.

      Additionaly, how can he know in anticipation if any car will be a winner or not?

  22. Raikkonen complains there is no top team able to take him on for next year.

    He hasn’t complained about this. He’s just laid out his desires and terms. That’s not the same as complaining at all.

    He had a better end to the season but a lot easier to look good against Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella.

    The qualifier is unnecessary, because he got absolute results, including podiums and a win. He also almost beat the rest of the grid (matched Hamilton at least) in the period under discussion. He was never being compared against Luca and Giancarlo.

    when he’s only delivering the goods once a year at Spa.


    It made me reflect on how despite Raikkonen’s aversion to appearing in public he’s inspired a passionate allegiance from an army of fans.

    You don’t need to be accessible to have fans. It’s his driving and character that his fans admire I think. You may understand the corollary better: Being accessible doesn’t automatically generate fans for a driver.

    It’s always sad to see a world champion quit the sport. But it’s especially sad to see one leave in this fashion, when he could still have achieved much more.

    Shades of schadenfreude in this post. Don’t know what happened here, but you really don’t have to pick an angle in all your posts – you can just lay out the facts.
    You wouldn’t have written the Spa comment if you weren’t working from a predetermined angle. That was very forced – you’ll probably realize that yourself soon enough.

    1. As far as I know, this is a blog, not a media outlet claiming objectivity. I don’t understand why people are so upset here. I guess in part it’s because I largely agree with the article, but also because I cannot fathom where everyone gets the gall to expect that the website admin somehow owes it to you to write his articles the way you think he should. Speaking of just stating the facts – if you don’t agree, just state your facts, and please spare us the lecture on objectivity -how many of the pro-Kimi comments here are objective, including yours?

      1. @ Maciek – again I have to agree with the way you put it.

        I must say that I’m getting rather bored and tired of comments from certain ‘contributors’, and in some cases don’t even bother reading their predictable dross and dribble.


      2. Hi Maciek,

        I don’t know which of your points apply to me and which apply to a broader “everyone” you mention, but I’ll give it a crack anyhow.

        As far as I know, this is a blog, not a media outlet claiming objectivity.

        I would like to see this blog be objective. I don’t think it’s a big deal if I express that. Most of the articles on here are in fact quite objective. I thought this one wasn’t for some reason, and I pointed it out. No doubt Keith will take the feedback and accept or reject it based on his judgement. He’s a big boy, he can handle it.

        I don’t understand why people are so upset here.

        I’m not upset about anything, but you are referring to some “people” so maybe this doesn’t apply to me. You seem to be a little worked up for some reason.

        please spare us the lecture on objectivity

        Who is this “us”? The comments were addressed to Keith, the author of this blog post. Unless he’s appointed you as his spokesperson, I don’t see where you get the gall to speak for him. They weren’t addressed at you at all. Just Keith. Not you. Keith.

        how many of the pro-Kimi comments here are objective, including yours?

        I don’t know about the rest of the comments. I don’t think my comments were particularly “pro-Kimi” as you put it. I was just pointing out some factual and interpretational errors in the post. My last paragraph was a general comment about the article and how it seems to differ in tone from the usual posts. I definitely stand by it.

        If you want to continue this thread, I’ll be honored, but please respond to my specific points, not to a general “everyone,” “people,” “kimi fans,” or other such strawmen. I really can’t speak for others.

        Have a nice day.

        1. Well, when you write things “to Keith”, I’m sure you’ll admit that in fact you’re writing for everyone to see – and leaving your comments open to criticism on the same terms as the article itself, right?

          I’m pretty sure that I haven’t claimed to speak for anyone. What I’m trying to get across, is that many comments, including yours, are on a charge to colour the article as lacking objectivity – through arguments that, to my eyes, have little objectivity in them.


          Kimi hasn’t complained. Well, not in words – but his actions and his manager’s statements strongly suggest that he felt miffed about not being snapped up at a high price.

          Kimi got absolute results – well, you can’t call his results absolute unless you take his results to represent an absolute reference – I think that looking squarely at the trend of Massa’s results vs Kimi’s, I’m at pains to conclude anything else than that Massa was the one setting the reference, and his unsuccessful replacements probably made Kimi’s end of season look better than it would have had Massa been there.

          Kimi only delivers at Spa – to me it sounds like a sarcastic way of saying that since some time it’s about the only track that has brought out a spark in Kimi’s driving. Matter of opinion, but I agree with it.

          The other points you pick out in the article – about Kimi’s inaccessibility and that he could have acheived much more – to my eyes you’re arguing against fairly objective assertions there.

          1. Thank you for responding.

            and leaving your comments open to criticism on the same terms as the article itself, right?

            Oh yes. Certainly. Wouldn’t have it otherwise.

            Well, not in words

            That’s just wrong and non-standard usage of “complains” then. You can’t really blame me if I pointed that out. Maybe clearer words should be used?

            well, you can’t call his results absolute unless you take his results to represent an absolute reference

            My point is that when you get podiums, a win, and almost beat the rest of the grid, comparisons with teammates are moot. If Kimi was languishing in the mid-field, the only benchmark would have been his teammate – and that’s when the Massa argument would have had merit. But he wasn’t languishing, so we have plenty of other standard benchmarks. In other words, if you just forget about the other Ferrari, it’s still obvious that he drove very well – the results show it (without comparison to teammate).

            Kimi only delivers at Spa

            Keith may have been using this as a rhetorical device to accentuate a broader point about Kimi’s inconsistency. I think it was unnecessarily snarky, and made the point very poorly. I still think it’s very forced and is simply untrue (backed by data). I similarly consider “Massa can only win from pole” to be snarly and a poor argument and hope to never see it when Massa retires, even as a rhetorical device.

            The other points you pick out in the article – about Kimi’s inaccessibility and that he could have acheived much more – to my eyes you’re arguing against fairly objective assertions there.

            Oh, the accessibility point was just me offering my perspective – I wasn’t picking on his point or offering an argument. Keith just said it made him reflect – no problem there.

            Most of my points were about the literal interpretation of Keith’s words, while your arguments are along the “spirit” of the article (which you happen to agree with, and so may find it easier to gloss over the wording errors).

            The point I was making in my final paragraph in my original comment was that Keith got carried away with supporting the “spirit” of the article and consequently chose poor words and unnecessary qualifiers (“complains,” “only in Spa” for example). This is unusual for Keith, so I pointed it out.

          2. Fair game, Hakka.

  23. You cant blame raikkonen for not wanting to risk his life if he has no chance of winning, with all the money in the world he does not need racing as a job, more as a hobby.

    And to say Massa had the upper hand on kimi , is absurd.
    Like they said he was brilliant since his first race with sauber, Massa was promising but erratic, Raikkonen was called by mclaren to fill the shoes of a double world champion and he delivered, Massa had to go become a test driver, and when promoted at ferrari needed half a year to get close to michael´s pace. When they were teamates, Raikkonen dominated 2007, and started 2008 clearly dominating massa, it was until the error at monaco all fell apart, he had the exhaust issue in france, hit from behind at the pitlane in canada, the spin in the rain at spa, with all those he could easily taken on hamilton and massa up to the last race.

    this year, he corrected his worse flaw from 2008, and outqualified massa, was faster at races, and the second half comapared to fisi he showed what a racer he is.

    Spa shows the real racer, and there only raikkonen´s name can be spoken in the same sentence as senna and schumi

    1. …it was until the error at monaco all fell apart, he had the exhaust issue in france, hit from behind at the pitlane in canada, the spin in the rain at spa, with all those he could easily taken on hamilton and massa up to the last race.

      Then why not count the points Massa and Hamilton lost through bad luck/penalties?

  24. India media reports very few formula one news.but they reported the “raikkonen to mercedez”.possibility,,that shows how much it is important for raikkonen fans in india..there are only a few handful fans of lewis hamilton and fernando alonso..here is the report:

  25. Personally Keith, I think you have been a little harsh on Kimi in this article. I think that he is the last of a breed of real racers, who love the racing not the PR. And he does perform at more races than just Spa(which is regarded as the toughest challenge, where the driver excels)

    1. Agree. Keith has been uncharacteristically harsh :(

  26. Not sad to see him go – I won’t have to listen to his voice again. They say he has charisma. No he doesn’t. They say he’s the opposite of the PC brigade because he has personality. Alonso has personality, Lewis this year showed he has once you get past him saying what he thinks he should be saying because he’s spent all his life racing and hasn’t really formed as a human yet (though he’s progressing) he does have some personality, Button does as well, Vettel and Webber have tons to dish out. Kimi doesn’t have more personality than these people, he has less. He was boring to talk to and made me lose the will to live every time I heard his voice. He couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in, particularly after his first season in Ferrari.

    1. Guilherme Teixeira
      19th November 2009, 17:10

      Do watch the races to see the driver talking to the media or to see them racing? O__o

  27. my head says button deal to mclaren was just to put raikkonen is Mercedes.Mercedes would never like to have two top drivers in mclaren .i still can see rosberg lining up with raikkonen..Raikkonen for past few points is lying to media alot first he said “ferrari will be his last team”..later when everyone was assuming fernando is on the move to ferrari he kept saying “i have a contract”..i hate to trust on his statement “mclaren or nothing”..yes it was his priority but he knows Mercedes is capable of delivering a good competitive car.and i think Mercedes wants raikkonen more than raikkonen needs Mercedes..

  28. I’ll miss him when he can be bothered…

  29. The best thing about him is that he’s always concerned about his pride……
    Though he might not be that interested in F1 now…..he will come back to Settle the business with Ferrari…..

    And btw…..guys who saying Alonso being a world champion went back to struggling stages or a struggling team…….

    Well Alonso went because he wanted to……U cannot compare kimi and alonso on their decisions…..while alonso in order to wait for his chance to come, went back to renault…..Kimi never wanted to wait and just drive for numbers while he could make a mark at something that he tries….and i’m happy that he did that…….its just that he’s an honest driver that there many fans of him and haters as well….

  30. Read this:
    Even Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug does not want the quiet blond completely removed from the list. “Kimi hat meine Nummer. Er kann mich jederzeit anrufen.” “Kimi has my number. He can call me anytime.” Man kennt sich ja aus vergangenen McLaren-Tagen. They know each other even from former McLaren-days.

  31. Sure he’s a very good driver but why would I miss him? I didn’t miss Michael who was better. He’s had his time, and he’s another driver flattered by often weak or troubled team mates, and the single-lap quali era which played to his one-lap strength. After edging the championship in ’07 (aided by an illegal car in Oz, team orders in Brazil, and Mclaren self destructing) he never looked like he was ‘9x the salary’ better than Massa, and didn’t seem to enjoy not being a clear No.1 in the team at all. I can’t see how he could possibly readjust to McLaren, where he would be a certain No.2 this time, Lewis would have slaughtered him. If Montoya had been happier at McLaren, or had DC been able to single lap qualify Kimi’s reputation wouldn’t be so very great, it was built on being compared to mediocrity. Is it any wonder McLaren were willing to pay more for Button and Ferrari were looking to sign Alonso as early as the end of 07?

  32. wow Keith, you’re really p****d on Kimi for taking the 2007 title from Hammy..I wouldn’t call this article objective journalism, unless you’re a Brit that is..but still, why you hate him so much I can not tell..anyway Kimi will be missed, and those who can differentiate the passion for racing in a driver from drenching yourself in media adulation know what he was (and still IS) about, and you’ll see how 2010 will be filled with PR robots who drive an F1 car every now and then

    1. I don’t hate Kimi Raikkonen. If you’d read the other article I linked to you’d realise that:


  33. Kimi just want to drive….why people even ask him for more duties?? I´m sure if we ask: Kimi, would you consider much lower price from your servings, if you don´t have to do press conferenses and other stuff like that? Answer would definetily be YES!! He then gets payment only from driving, and then salary is not that much, but he would be happy with that…

  34. Räikkönen kann Haug anrufen

    “Kimi hat meine Nummer. Er kann mich jederzeit anrufen.” Man kennt sich ja aus vergangenen McLaren-Tagen.

    it says raikkonen has my number he csn call me anytime.haug want to be approached by raikkonen…here is the link


    1. Leider, zu spaet.

  35. I will miss not having a sportsman of Raikkonen’s calibre and talent on the grid. He leaves behind many drivers who are less talented than himself and I am confident that there is still more he will achieve in F1, so I’ll patiently await his return hopefully in 2011.

    1. so I’ll patiently await his return hopefully in 2011.

      For that to happen Hammy & Jense or at least their dad’s must fall out astronomically. Chances of that happening are very bleak.

      The best scenario for Kimi(if he doesn’t get a drive) would be, to hope that Nico Rosberg miserably under performs, in the process proving most of the F1 audience that he’s just a good looking guy who resembles Leonardo di vinci, but a mediocre talent.

      Kimi could replace him for 2011.

      1. Or Redbull?
        Personally, I think Lewis and Jensen will do alright together, or maybe that’s just me hoping they’ll conduct themselves in a gentlemanly manner. Also, I look forward to Rosberg in 2010, definitely one to watch.

        1. Yeah, I was thinking Red Bull too. He’s rumoured to be going in a Red Bull sponsored Citroen in the WRC (if not in f1).

          Kimi and his daredevil antics fit exactly with Red Bull’s image.

      2. Leonardo di vinci

        I thought more di Caprio myself :P

  36. i like him because he’s unique. doesn’t say much, no bs. no controversies. and he just gets on with the job. he needs a team he really likes to be with, not just the car.

  37. blah blah blah. i dont give a toss whether he signs every cap handed to him or never signs another one.

    In a top line race driver you have to ask of him 2 things, and its not : is he quick? thats a given. the question you ask is can he overtake if he needs to and can he carry a team to greater heights? the answer to both of these is no kimi cant. he did well in the uber pay era to get such a salary but then eddie irvine was on 12 and so was little schumacher.

    1. but then eddie irvine was on 12

      its an unfair world!!!

  38. the article says :

    Raikkonen may bring Haug

    Who’s eligible, you can imagine. Nick Heidfeld, while being on the list, but the Mönchengladbacher is not the only one. Even if Kimi Räikkönen speaking from a rally season, the train when the Finn did not yet left completely. Offers you the world champion of 2007 is the ideal environment, then that Formula 1 remains a priority. One, two rallies he can still ride alongside. Even Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug does not want the quiet blond completely removed from the list. “Kimi has my number. He can call me anytime.” They know each other even from former McLaren-days.

    Perhaps there are indeed still one or two surprises on the driver market. Renault intends to decide by the end of December, as it continues with the team. If the racing team will be locked or sold, and Robert Kubica would suddenly come back into the conversation.

  39. I can understand why kimi was so keen to avoid some of his fans – many of them seem to be obsessed with him. More than any other driver, Raikkonen seems to have a very strange bunch of ‘followers’.

    Any mention of Raikkonen in the press or the internet that isn’t 100& glowing praise will be savaged as being “racist” or “jealous” by this odd bunch of people who come from all around the world.

  40. I will/would miss seeing him race in F1, certainly. But “sympathy” is not exactly the right word. He made his decision to race only if whatever compromise he would have to make for a contract was acceptable to him, and he stuck to it. In any other area of life, that would be labeled commendable. But because he’s an F1 driver he’s labeled “greedy”. So I can’t blame him for making the decision and sticking with it and I hope he’ll enjoy whatever it is he does do next year, even if it is racing in F1 with Mercedes.

  41. It’s a bit much for Raikkonen to expect the likes of McLaren and Mercedes to be salivating at the prospect of putting him in their cars when he’s only delivering the goods once a year at Spa.

    Did he finish the year on 10 championship points? That is a really ignorant thing to say.

    1. An off-hand statement, the kind Keith doesnt throw about normally.

  42. Keith

    I love your blog and everything, but you not hiding your feelings to kimi very well!
    First of all you seem to ignore facts on this season and last season! Kimi hasn’t been outperformed by Massa at all, look at france where massa inherited a win of kimi or spa where massa inherited another win both of kimi and hamilton. This year also, Massa had better strategy than kimi for a few races, but what about monaco and all the races since? Kimi was 0.077 of pole at monaco in an inferior car to button! Didnt hear much fuss about that?
    Or at spa when again kimi had an inferior car to fisi and still kept him behind the whole race, hungary, monza,suzuka,valencia…come on

    Have some respect for the man, it seems a lot of selective memory is going on on this blog! You cant argue with wins, fastest laps and statistics, take a peek you might learn a few things about drivers that aren’t british!

  43. it is requested to all Raikkonen fans that keep it cool..just like “ICEMAN” .Keith has its own opinion.it doesnt make any difference to us or kimi raikkonen..we know how good he is ..and its going to prove next year as i still believe raikkonen is set to move to mercedes gp.

    1. There is no point discussing at all then, because everyone has their opinions and nothing is going to change them : )

      As I wrote yesterday, I have also noticed Keith doesn’t like Kimi and that is OK, everyone has their opinions, but it’s disturbing since it clearly shows on his articles, which sometimes are clearly not neutral. It’s a pity since I think this site is in many ways best F1 site.

      I challenge you Keith! You said Kimi was beaten by Felipe over first half of this season, I don’t think that is true at all. I hope you would make an article about this, analyzing Massa vs. Kimi throughout 2007-2009 taking into account every single detail as you normally do. How much influence did the fact that Massa was more often given lighter car thank Kimi? What about the rumors that Ferrari backed Massa more than Kimi etc. You could try to prove your point, but it would be anyway be interesting article since their three-year-long “team mate relationship” has just ended.

      1. Or instead of rumours, we could just use facts. Here is a summary of Raikkonen and Massa’s results at Ferrari up to the point Massa had his accident:

        2007 Wins Pods PP F. Laps Pts WC
        MASSA 3 10 6 6 94 0
        RAIKKONEN 6 12 3 6 110 1

        2008 Wins Pods PP F. Laps Pts WC
        MASSA 6 10 6 3 97 0
        RAIKKONEN 2 9 2 10 75 0

        2009 Wins Pods PP F. Laps Pts WC
        MASSA 0 1 0 1 22 0
        RAIKKONEN 0 1 0 0 10 0

        2007-9 Wins Pods PP F. Laps Pts WC
        MASSA 9 21 12 10 213 0
        RAIKKONEN 8 22 5 16 195 1

        So Massa has more wins, more points and more poles, whereas Raikkonen has one more podium, more fastest laps and one more world championship.

        So now you have the facts. Let the statistic twisting begin!

        1. Hey, I spent ages perfectly spacing this reply and now you can’t read it!

          1. Can read it just fine James…thanks for the effort.The results surprise me but,can’t argue stats.

        2. Well you can give Kimi’s win in Brazil 07 to Massa, that was handed over for the sake of the championship :D

          1. What about Massa’s 2nd place in China ’08? It’s a slippery slope… and what counts in the 1 championship. Kimi was also runner up twice.

        3. Thank you, nice effort :)

          I don’t think it can be said Massa beated Raikkonen when looking at these statistics. It’s a tie in wins and podiums. Massa has more pole positions, Raikkonen has more fastest laps. Massa has 18 more points than Raikkonen and Kimi can blame himself for this, his second half of 2008 was terrible. However, he beats Massa in the most important statistic: Championships. Looking only these statistics, I would call it a tie.

          However the statistic I’d like to see most is how many times Massa was lighter than Kimi when they both made it to Q3. That might explain why he has so many podiums more than Kimi and maybe also why he has 18 more points, since “one lap lighter than your team mate” is often said to be the better one.

          1. Sorry, “That might explain why he has so many podiums more than Kimi” should be “That might explain why he has so many pole positions more than Kimi”

  44. I have little sympathy for Kimi. Take the Ferrari money and run mate as that’s what you only really care about after all.

    F1 needs people who are crazy hungry and prepared to fight tooth and nail every step of the way and not have it all handed on a silver platter to them as he seems to think is his right for some strange reason.

    The publicity and PR are par for the course and he should just get on with it. I too would hate it but then again he is extremely handsomely rewarded for it.

    And therefore if he does not return to a F1 grid as a racer, I for one will not be to sad or sorry. You make your bed and you sleep in it, end of…

    1. And you assume he’s not hungry because he doesn’t whine on and on in front of a camera telling everyone?

      do you live in a world where everyone has the same personality?

      End of the day he’s a world class driver, he will go down in history as one of the most SUCCESSFUL drivers of all time no matter what you say!

  45. I will only miss his lively post race interviews. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

  46. I still hope that he might join Mercedes.
    He said that he thinks that Mercedes would prefer German drivers.
    BUT this is not true, since Zetsch and Haug said that Mercedes is an international team and it is not a pre requisite to have German drivers.

    So, I can’t vote yet.

  47. Most people seem to think that Kimi’s aversion to the press and adoring public have to do with him being a bit arrogant or simply a bit of a dink.

    However, there are a lot of people who are introverts and find social appearances and participation to be difficult, uncomfortable, and tiring. Maybe Kimi is one of those people. Sure, he gets well rewarded for what he does, but that wouldn’t make it anymore pleasant.

    I’ve always tried to give Kimi the benefit of the doubt on this particular facet of his personality. I don’t know him, so I don’t know why he doesn’t like to do that kind of stuff.

    There are things at work that I hate doing. I try and avoid them if possible, but do them them when they’re absolutely necessary… but not with a smile on my face. I think everyone has that right.

  48. Pedel to the Vettel
    19th November 2009, 17:14

    I’ll be back………….after a sh/t

    1. And it’s these little nuggets of his character that make him actually a very entertaining and fun driver to follow. Much more so than PR monkeys towing the company line at Press Conferences.

      I almost voted that I’d stop watching F1, but that would be a lie. It crossed my mind, the same way it did when the Mansell / Senna era ended. But who am I kidding.. I’ll always watch F1.. ‘cos I am a racing driver, which is another reason why I appreciate Kimi’s perspective on the F1 Circus.

  49. @UnicornF1

    yes its not over yet..ive came across a link which says:

    Raikkonen may bring Haug

    Who’s eligible, you can imagine. Nick Heidfeld, while being on the list, but the Mönchengladbacher is not the only one. Even if Kimi Räikkönen speaking from a rally season, the train when the Finn did not yet left completely. Offers you the world champion of 2007 is the ideal environment, then that Formula 1 remains a priority. One, two rallies he can still ride alongside. Even Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug does not want the quiet blond completely removed from the list. “Kimi has my number. He can call me anytime.” They know each other even from former McLaren-days.

    Perhaps there are indeed still one or two surprises on the driver market. Renault intends to decide by the end of December, as it continues with the team. If the racing team will be locked or sold, and Robert Kubica would suddenly come back into the conversation.


  50. I’ve voted I will miss Kimi Raikkonen if he finally don’t be part of next year grid, just because one simple reason:

    I prefer to have another fast and challenging driver in the grid than other untrained rookie two seconds off pace.

    When was the last time we had the opportunity to watch 4 world champions fighting for a title?

    1. I prefer to have another fast and challenging driver in the grid than other untrained rookie two seconds off pace.

      Fair point.

      1. And Keith’s harshness continues :)

        1. Guess he’s sad his medals nonsense is not on the cards anymore …

  51. If Kimi joins Mercedes in 2010 then Alonso would like to drive for Mercedes in future, ’cause where ever Kimi goes Alonso follows…….

    2010 belongs to Mercedes + Kimi No maths in it. No speculation. No doubt. No worries. No predictions If Kimi joins Mercedes the rest should stop worrying for Pole Positions, Fastest Laps & Podiums

    1. I totally agree :-)

      1. I have to agree also.

        Keith’s take on it was fair overall, but at the end of the day the “army of fans” are not interested in his PR work. They are interested in seeing him drive and win. End of story.

  52. And the Kimi fans come out of the closet. Listen people, an article that disagrees with how you feel isn’t necessarily biased. As far as I can tell, it says what it says- Kimi used to be interesting to watch, he hasn’t been for a while, and now he’s decided to leave because he’s not being treated like the superstar that he used to be. He was outscored by Massa and he can scarcely conceal his dislike for fan events. All in all, a disappointing end.

    I can’t believe how horribly…. factual that is.

    1. being treated like a superstar is the last thing he wanted and the last thing he has been wanting throughout his career..and I don’t consider the article biased because it disagrees with my opinion, I’m saying it’s biased unjustifiably, with subtle and, excuse my french, pretty lame references..”can only deliver in Spa”? come on..”Raikkonen’s absence means someone else will have to win the next Belgian GP” this is supposed to be fine subtle and stinging irony towards him, whereas it’s only something that makes me question, for the first time, the author of this article..I can understand criticism, but only criticism that is well founded

      1. Raikkonen has only delivered one win this season which was at Spa. That’s the fact.
        I didn’t read anything negative into that ‘someone else will have to win the Belgium GP’ just that it showed Kimi’s utter dominance of that track. It’s just interpretation. Anyway, at least the article is making us comment :P

        1. did he only deliver in Spa? was Spa the only good race from him this season, and previous seasons for that matter? that’s what I was underlining

  53. I’d rather discuss the reason he is off today: he had too many requests for McLaren, the days for the sponsors, the money, the rally. So I’m not surprised of the fact that the team said “no”. And I also think Mercedes will not decide to do everything he wants. So, in 2010 we will not have Kimi on the grid.

  54. A lot of people says he is an old school racing driver, just gets in and wants to drive without the bull.

    But he won’t drive unless he’s paid a massive salary.

    Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction???

    1. I wonder if McLaren would have granted his wishes for near-zero PR and the chance to go rallying and do Le Mans if he had agreed to drive for nothing? It would be interesting to see if McLaren will go into any more detail about this.

  55. I am a fan of Raiikonen so I will miss him in F1, but I don’t feel sorry for him, if he really wanted to race in F1 next year he would have compromised on something to make it happen.

    I can understand why he doesn’t want to be in F1 next year, he has won his Championship and only wants to race on if he has a realistic chance at another one. If the rumours are to be believed the offer from McLaren would have meant he would have lost money racing in F1 and wouldn’t have been allowed to go rallying or race anything else.

    If he hadn’t been champion yet I think he would have signed with McLaren and would still be in F1, but when he won his title he lost some of his hunger for F1 and set his sights on racing in other series.

    I doubt we will see him back in F1, as apart from the fact that a seat with a top team may not become available, I think Kimi will probably go rallying in 2010 and decide he would prefer to do that in the long term.

    If Ferrari thought they were getting a replacement for Schumacher when they signed him, then that was never going to happen, Raikkonen has never come across as the type of team leader that Schumacher was.

    Some of the things people have been criticising him for are probably some of the things his fans like about him, only wanting to get in the car and race not wanting to do any PR events.

    1. I kinda wish F1 was less like that but some events give people the chance to meet their idols, part of whose pay checks come directly from their fans.

      If it comes out that Kimi really could have done no PR and raced in other series in exchange for less or no pay (that’s on top the money he’s already getting from Ferrari, of course), then I’ll be very disappointed in him. Button is already taking a relative pay cut to do what we all wanted and thought Kimi would do, I have to ask Kimi fans what their reaction would be if the above scenario was confirmed as a possibility Kimi turned down?

      I think stuff like this separates out the real fans – if Hamilton had quit earlier in the year because of the bad press, I for one wouldn’t have been impressed with him!

  56. Will I miss Kimi? Very much so. It’s very sad to lose someone of his caliber, but I don’t think his absence will affect the sport (when Schumacher retired, people did not stop watching F1).

    I think people tend to forget that we’re all different. Just because he isn’t flambouyant and in front of the cameras constantly, doesn’t mean that he has no passion for what he does. I’m a very introverted person like Kimi. I absolutely hate parties, crowds of people, and public speaking. I’m really out of my comfort zone and actually feel emotionally and mentally drained in such situations. Kimi not wanting to do PR appearances is just who he is but then again, it is part of the business and something he must do.

    Another thing to consider is that people are also motivated differently and have different capacities for motivation. I’ve read quotes from his former team principles saying that you didn’t know which Kimi you would get at any given race. Self-motivation takes a ton of energy and self-discipline. Maybe Kimi wanted to channel his motivation into something worthwhile? Also, wouldn’t having a dog of a car deter one from trying their best (or hide their true ability)?

    For those who say that Kimi has no personality, what is the definition of a personality to you? When I see or hear the term personality used to describe a driver, it puts significance on said driver’s ability to communicate with the press, fans, etc. and generally has a positive connotation. This interpretation, to me, is what some people base their aversion towards Kimi for.

    That said, I’ll miss him but will continue to watch the sport and follow his career in other venues.

  57. i dont see how he is sooo popular…the guys personality can barely rival that of an individual blade of grass in an open field. yes his racing is great and can be regarded as one of the top 3 drivers in F1 today, but other than that he is invisible.

    1. exactly..some of us don’t like the Hamilton type of people..and if you think his personality can be read through his interviews, then you should stick with Hamilton’s “I’m not everyone else” and “monkeys at the back” and you’ll be fine

    2. Personality……do you know him?
      What drivers have a stand out personality?

      you dont know any of them and therefore know very little about them to base your wafer thin opinion.

      Kimi doesn’t go out of his way to throw words in peoples face, he says what he needs to, people are different, would be a bit boring if every driver spoke the same dreary, pr crap in the same fake way.

      1. lol because i dont know him personally means i cant see his ‘type’ of personality? everyone has their own opinion so i guess everyones is wafer thin huh theo? ppl tend to connect with personalities that are similar to theirs…n his is nothing like mine so i find him uninteresting..fact. but i DO like his driving so props to him and i hope to see him back because he is a great racer!

  58. Despite what you say, at Spa this year, at the VIP exit of the circuit, he did stop his car just for 3 people who had a piece of cardboard with “KIMI PLEASE STOP!” written on it. He did stop and signed 2 autographs, then fled away (I took a picture that proves it!). It looks like he’s committed to the fans, not so much to sponsors’ PR.
    Ok he had won, but he could have very much not stopped altogether.

    1. do you have it uploaded anywhere? :)..if not, could you send it to me?

  59. I was going to vote for: “I’m glad he’s gone”, then I realized that I will have to find another driver to hate so much. (Its Nico Rosberg, BTW)

    So I changed to “I won’t miss him”. Kimi was extremely over-rated in my opinion. Somehow, people assumed that if God has gifted him with exceptionally low people skills, then he probably must be gifted with exceptionally high driving skills.

    The cold exterior was assumed to be the sign of a driver focused on ONLY his driving, which endeared him to a huge legion of fans. IMO, the cold exterior was nothing but a sign of his personality. He didn’t care about anything. Neither Ferrari, neither Mclaren, neither his huge fan-base, neither his driving.

    I don’t think, he cared about money either. He had decided to go to rallying irrespective of Mclaren’s offer.

    He was no better than Massa or Alonso or Hamilton.

    1. Why will you “have to find another driver to hate so much” ? why do you have to “hate” any driver ? there are some very strange comments made on this site.

      1. lol…

      2. Much more fun to root your team or drivers on.Life is to short to waste on hating.

      3. Yes, you always need a villain.

        And any F1Fanatic inevitable “likes” some drivers and “hates” some drivers.

        It takes guts to say it out loud though.

        1. “It takes guts to say it out loud though.”

          Yeah,It takes real guts to type some words on your screen for people you never actually meet to read.

      4. Why will you “have to find another driver to hate so much” ? why do you have to “hate” any driver ?

        It is like the rivalry in football, you love one team but ‘hate’ the other. Of course you can’t really hate them, as if there were not any competition a match/race would be very boring.

        Lighten up man.

    2. I actually like Kimi, but I understand what you mean by needing a driver to hate. I think it makes it more enjoyable to watch when you have a villain.

      1. lol alonso is my villan…love to see him lose :D…

      2. Like Dick Dasterdly and Muttley for instance?

  60. sumedh

    have you been watching f1 for just this season?

  61. I actually voted “glad to see him gone”. I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment of Keith’s article – he didn’t have to go, and he had very good options as well! Sure, he quit because he hates PR stuff, but I know someone who met him at the opening of Ferrari world and it was one of the best experiences of her life.

    Even if you discount the argument that her and others’ enthusiasm for him go directly into his pay packet, on the grounds that he’d gladly trade no PR money for no PR, a grown man should respect the fact that it’s not as simple as that anymore and a gentleman would take the trouble to please his fans. It reminds of that video where an idiot fan inadvertently hurts her own kid in the rush to try and get Kimi’s autograph, but he doesn’t help her in the slightest. People say Hamilton’s arrogant, but what kind of man does that? It’s not even to do with his nationality and culture, as some have argued to me when I’ve talked about his character on other websites; you certainly wouldn’t see Mika Hakkinen behaving ungentlemanly.

    I can respect if he wants to leave to do other things because his hunger has gone or there’s no chance of a good drive, but apparently neither was the case with Kimi. This was a decision of convenience which I understand on one level, but it makes me miss him as a racing driver even less.

    Sorry that this has turned into a rant but the way I see things, the things to miss Kimi for have been mostly gone from the F1 world for a while now. I feel sorry for his fans that he’s going, and the potential of a Kimi returning to form next year is enough to cause the prospect of his absence to make an empty space in F1 that will be hard to fill, but personally once those lights go out and we see Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Massa, Button, and Webber fighting it out in Bahrain, Kimi’s absence will be well and truly gone from the equation.

    1. yeh but one less driver capable of fighting for the championship wont be there…which ever way you look at it f1 will suffer for it, to me mst of the thrill of f1 is finding out who really is the fastest. Who ever wins in 2010 i’ll think would they of beaten kimi?
      The top drivers will probably be delighted!

  62. Will I miss him YES! YES! YES!! Will I stop watching formula 1 … no but I’m tempted, it’s just…. well too addicting!! I had a bad day yesterday, but when I heard this I nearly collapsed lol! I suppose I will start to support one of his mates, Vettel, Alonso maybe?

  63. Mouse_Nightshirt
    19th November 2009, 18:52

    If Kimi was a true racer, he would have brought his wage demand down and raced at McLaren. We know they are capable of building winning cars year in and year out.

    For this reason, I won’t miss him. Racing to win should be what it is all about. Money means too much to him, so he isn’t a true racer in the slightest.

    1. How could money mean too much to him when he has an ambition to go rallying where salaries are considerably lower?

  64. Alonso has spent 2 years in an uncompetitive car and took it like a man. No reason Kimi cant do the same thing

  65. Now that my comments have been deleted from this website.This website is turning out to pro-maclaren site rather than F1FANATIC.I hope many feel the same.

  66. the man, the myth, the legend. the complete enigma. i miss him already. he was an awesome character, and the sport needs more character and less salesmen.

    1. Truly agree. That may be the reason he got tired of F1 itself. Too much about business, not enough about racing.

  67. Well, What many people regard as Kimi’s aloofness is in fact the right attitude against everything I despise about modern F1 – a bunch of dull PR robots whose only interest in shaking hands with sponsors, team owners and the like lies in their swollen moneybags.

    What the masses like about Kimi is his collective spirit and sportsmanship (you never saw him launch a searing attack on his team mate, the tem itself or the engineers), honesty and a brave attitude to racing. Over the last three years, since Hamilton’s advent in F1, Alonso, Lewis and Massa have spent more time complaining about their teammates, poor cars, poor team relations..than Kimi did in his whole career in F1 (in fact I struggle to recall that he ever complained about anything except in extreme circumstances, like in Canada ’08 when Lewis rammed his Mclaren into the back of Kimi’s Ferrari).

    Honesty, Humility, modesty both on and off-track, contempt for artificial, soulless PR ********, cool approach to life (his well-documented Monaco ’06 and ’08 antics and other stuff), and, astonishingly and most appealingly, his excellent on-track performance despite his forays into the latter – that’s why we like Kimi and that’s why he is, with all his aloofness, the most colourful and naturally fastest guy in recent F1.

    Kimi please come back in 2011!!

  68. The laziest driver I have ever seen in my life. Good riddance.

    1. So, the laziest driver you’ve seen wins 18 races in his career, is a world champion and finishes 6th in the 2009 championship in a dog of a car. Making your statement the most ridiculous I have ever seen in my life.

  69. StrFerrari4Ever
    19th November 2009, 20:47

    :( Man i’m gonna miss Kimi so much there was something about him that just made you hooked to F1 the performances he could pull out of the bag France 07′ springs to mind were amazing.
    2010 without Raikkonen is going to feel a bit weird especially at the Belgian Grand Prix we wont see Kimi winning it next year unless F1 throws us yet another shock.(here’s hoping)

  70. I cant say I’m not happy to see that brazilian TV channel Globo was wrong! hahaha
    and I wont miss him at all.

  71. I won’t miss him because I watch other racing as well as F2. :D

  72. This makes me sad. Since I started watching F1 in 2003, I’ve been a fan of Kimi Raikkonen. His qualifying laps were sensational. He could have won his first title as early as 2003 if only there was no issue with the Michelin tyres.

    I don’t think that Massa has outperformed Kimi. If we want to see a fair season between the two where they equally didn’t have much bad luck, look at 2007.

    2010 really looks exciting, but now that there’s no Kimi, there’s a big hole needed to be filled.

    I still hope that he’d drive for Mercedes since Haug has said it’s unnecessary to have an all German line up. I don’t think it’s the time yet for him to end his career in F1.

  73. How could anyone not miss Kimi. He came closest to beating Schumacher in a fair fight than anyone else. In 03 he missed by just two points and if it weren’t for the late season tirade against the Michelin tires, I think he or maybe Montoya would have become WDC. In 2005 Ferrari suffered horribly due to tire issues, and Kimi to reliability. He clearly out performed Alonso that year. Alonso beating Schuey in 06 has a lot to do with Renaults’ mass damper before it were banned. In equal cars, on an all out qualifying lap, Kimi would beat every modern driver hands down.

    1. Except for Lewis. You were forgetting there.

  74. LOL compare the poll results to Keith’s article… he’s in the minority on his own blog!

    1. Well, for one thing Keith doesn’t say that he won’t miss him. Second, not everyone who will miss him, was a fan of his. Not all so black and white.

  75. Keith must be starting to feel like there are downsides to site popularity. People, if you don’t agree, then just don’t agree. State your point and be done with it. Many comments are starting to sound like they’re coming from huffy teenagers who’ve been told that their idol isn’t quite as OMG TOTALLY AWESOME as they feel. It’s a sport and everyone is allowed to have an opinion, especially the person who takes the time to run an enjoyable site – at least one that has been enjoyable until now, and hopefully will remain that way if we can have some quality over quantity in the discussion comments. That’s my two cents, anyways.

    1. Nice to have another Adult contributing!

    2. Lets talk about how Kubica got totally trashed by Heidfeld. Again! That guy should not be in F1. He’s too ugly, can’t race, is too busy with his karting. Absolute bore in a press conference with his big nose and according nasal sound.


      1. Umm, what can I say Patrickl? My arguments crumble when faced with your razor-sharp logic. You’re a formidable adversary in debate. Always well-considered and to the point. Hats off.

      2. He only got the seat at Renault becuase he’s on the The National Minimum Wage rate £5.80 per hour. Most PGs run for 1 and 1/2 hrs so that’s £8.70 per GP. You would’nt get a British driver for that.

        1. … and the level just keeps improving.

    3. @ Maciek – Well put…

  76. I will miss Kimi, but I guess the bright side is that I will have a new sport to follow in WRC if he decides to go there. I see people are already making “Red Bull and vodka” jokes, lol.

  77. well since i started following f1 casually around 2002, coulthard webber and kimi were my favourites and it was kimis stunning drive in suzuka 2005 that got me hooked. since then i’ve collected just about every dicast model of kimi, including his 2001 sauber. i will be very sad to see him leave. i love his attitude of “just let me get on with it”. i really do hope he returns in 2011 but im not holding my breath.

  78. There is still hope!
    Kimi and Mercedes are on talks:

  79. Well the poll certainly shows that there are a lot of you who are going to miss Kimi.

    I have some good news for you, although it is going to be a long sad off season, rest assured that by the second race of the season you will back enjoying F1 and not missing him much at all.

    In fact, if you are still pining for him by Monaco, I’ll buy you a coke.

    1. the second race is when i’ll miss him the most! i’m going to melbourne for the race and i was planning to get his signature…

      1. Terry Fabulous
        20th November 2009, 0:44

        Hey I’m going to Melbourne Too!
        Sitting in Jones for Sunday.
        Should be awesome eh!

        1. what a coinkydink, so am i. fangio thursday, brabham friday, clark saturday and jones sunday. can’t wait.

  80. I cannot understand this atmosphere of negativity surrounding Kimi. He has done nothing wrong, simply drive the wheels of F1 cars for the past nine years. He will be much missed in F1, as one of the all-out fastest drivers ever to have lived – especially in his Mclaren years – and the coolest, most mentally airtight competitors in any sport. His wonderfully apolitical style, refleshingly flying in the face of the grinning, neatly packaged automotones which is what so many drivers have become, was what marked him out as such an inspirational figure to so many.
    What we also cannot forget is his supreme raw talent and car control. I’ll never forget his ‘lap of the year’ in Monaco qualifying 2005, when Alonso supposedly wrung the Renault’s neck to put it over a second clear of third-place man Webber’s Williams. Raikkonen then blitzed the lap to put it 0.481s clear of ‘Magic’ Alonso. If there was any driver since Senna to conjure a feeling of transcending a car and making it go faster than it should ever, Raikkonen was the man. Look at his 2003 season – taking an antiquated truck of a Mclaren to within 2 points of MS’s vastly superior Ferrari. 2004 was incredible in that he even won a race, whilst 2005 was brilliant but frustrating in equal measure as he was by a mile the fastest man but continually hamstrung, ironically, by Mercedes engines. There was noone that deserved the championship more in 2007 – his good fortune at the end just about atoned for all the mechanical failures he had suffered in his career up to that point.
    I actually believe his 2009 season was one of his best. Who else could have won at Spa in what was probably the fourth or fifth best car?
    Raikkonen was and is a unique driver. Almost otherworldly talent coupled with an abject refusal to temper his ways and be something he isn’t. F1 will be far poorer without him, and should he not continue after 2010, it is clear it has lost one of the modern greats.

  81. it’s sad because what ever way you look at it many people watch f1 because of kimi, he fit’s into the alonso and hamilton bracket (i think mr vettel has just joined up also) he wil be missed on sunday afternoons in my house, but to be honest i don’t think he care’s. which in a way makes him more likeable.

    the georgie best of f1 (in a rouge type way??|?|?)

  82. “But when there’s at least 11 seats on the grid for 2010 he could have taken, this sympathy seems misplaced.”

    Keith, what the hell are you talking about ???

    Misplaced sympathy ??? Because he only wants to race for a team that will give him a realistic chance of competing for the WDC ? Because he is a simple, straightforward and honest person who never once criticized anyone and not once was involved a scandal (unlike Michael, Alonso, Lewis, etc, etc) ?

    Here is a suggestion Keith: get a nice cup of coffee to help you wake up, then rethink what you wrote.

    If anything was misplaced it was your own comments on this issue.

    Come on Keith, you are much wiser than that.

    1. And by the way .. “Raikkonen complains there is no top team able to take him on for next year” is misplaced as well.

      Kimi never complains. Not even when he gets burning gasoline in his eyes because of another driver’s/team’s mistake. He just gets on with it. Never complains. You must be mistaking him for Alonso (“the team doesn’t like me”) or Lewis (“the team is favoring Alonso”), just to name a couple of the others.

      1. You’re just going to have to accept that people sometimes have different opinions to you. I know that its frightening and disturbing to find that someone doesn’t think exactly like you, but that is the way of the world.

        I’m sure that Kimi is grateful you are supporting him against the evil lies on f1fanatic!

        1. This has nothing to do w/ people’s perception and everything to do w/ facts. The facts are exactly as I stated them above. The truth is one and based on facts. The comments made about Kimi by others are not based on fact, therefore misplaced.

  83. And just to echo what has been said above, Raikkonen has never complained about no team able to take him on. He kept his trap shut, as he has done throughout his career. The apathy and complete lack of appreciation for what Raikkonen has done over the last nine seasons, particularly from a real F1 fan like Keith, baffles me.

    1. Roland, right on !

  84. Vettel to Mercedes and Kimi to RBR in 2010!

    1. yap!
      I thought the same think…
      …except if he comes to Mercedes on 2010!!!

  85. I’m a big fan of this site, I visit it everyday. However this discussion is bordering on the embarrassingly juvenile. I think I’ll just stick to reading Keith’s blog entries and I’ll give the comments a miss for a while

    1. And that would be doing us all here a favor. Thank you.

  86. Maybe Kimi just realizes there is more to life than F1 and that there are other things to enjoy.

  87. Guys Kimi is a man who never thinks while he is driving he just know one thing that is flat-out.Surely he is a natural talent.But today I read a interview about Kimi saying he have decided to take a one-year sabbatical.Here is the link

    But hope he is back in 2011,with a competitive seat open for him.

  88. Please stop speaking bad of Kimi. Yes he is lazy. Not only him, any talented person in any profession is lazy. Because they know that they are talented and they accept challenges only when they think it is right. I cannot complain that Kimi didn’t have coffee with me. He is not here to have coffe with me or do some nonsense work. I want him to race and he does that extremely well. And those who want him to smile see him when he gave back the place to Massa in 2008.

    This year most of the races were boring why ’cause Button didn’t have competion from Kimi, Alonso and Lewis. Not only Kimi fans but all F1 fans should pray that Kimi and Mercedes come together for us fans to have a great 2010 season.

  89. I will miss him.
    He is the only reason I watch F1. I watch him because he is the fastest driver I have ever seen. He is like a robot in his precision and its inspiring to watch in car footage.

    Some people take his calmness for a lack of enthusiasm are sorely mistaken.

    It is his relaxed and composed demeanour that make him fast.

    I dont know why he didnt take the seat at McLaren. If I was him I would have raced for 1 dollar to prove a point and set about punishing Ferrari.

    But I am sure he has his reasons and like most of his fans I respect his decision.

    The thing that I like about him most is that he doesnt and wont give a **** about anything that I, anyone else on here or the media say, he does all his talking on the track.

    So good luck Kimi in whatever you choose to do.

    The sport will be so much less of a spectacle in your absence.

    1. Soumya Banerjee
      19th May 2010, 9:22

      Well Kiwi to be seen as enthusiastic and motivated in this sport you have to behave like a baby throwing toys out of his pram every time you do not win a race(Lewis,Alonso,etc). How is Button motivated? Frankly my interpretation of his poor performance in the 2nd half of 2009 was because he knew he had enough points and too many inconsistent rivals(Vettel,Rubens,etc) to lose the title. So he dawdled through the races.

  90. Thank you for writing this article, Mr Collantine.

    It’s really sad to see Räikkönen leave ( for a while? ) in this way. Some say that he doesn’t concentrate on driving a Ferrari car, so it’s better to get rid of his seat. It’s even worse that Ferrari stopped enhancing their car since the middle of 2009 season and then Santander cut in. I think he won’t come to Mercedes (Brawn) GP because they can’t pay that much, that’s the main reason why Button had a departure. Somehow I wish he may go there.

  91. Overall I still firmly believe that Kimi’s time at Ferrari was hampered by bad team strategy (on his side of the garage), bad car design (it was a dog the entire time he was at Ferrari), and a team culture that favoured Massa time after time.

    Given all that he was sure to disappoint.

    On the few occasions he got to run with a good strategy, a reasonably setup car (considering it had no further development work done on it) and got team support we all saw what happened.

    Prior to 2009 I had no feelings either way about Ferrari. I follow drivers, not teams.
    Since 2009 I actually loathe Ferrari as a team, and my only real interest in them next year is to see how delicious the Massa / Alonso brawl will be…. ;-)

  92. F1 without Kimi is poorer as he stood alone as a driver who would only do things “his way”…

    The others are happier to work the treadmill to get on and it’s interesting that he’s had top drives from 2002 onwards despite the aversion to PR…

    He’s also someone who appears totally comfortable with himself… if he’s fastest he’s fastest and if he isn’t he isn’t…. he’s more comfortable with himself than the others who all seem happy to lie, cheat and denegrate to gain an advantage…

    We’ll miss him…

  93. I do miss Juan Pablo.

  94. he should have ended up in Toyota. i cant help but to think, WHAT IF KIMI SAID YES to Toyota? the team would have a real purpose and a sense of direction. and with that they surely wouldhave won next year. and it may have been enough to convince the board in japan to continue for one more year. lack of top drivers interest would have been one of the major deciding factors in Toyotas pull-out. this years Toyota was fast enough to be a race winner but unfortunately the team and the drivers werent performing when it mattered. Kimi would have had the number 1 status and a team built around him. what more would you want? ah well…he shot himself in the foot with this one

    1. possibly you are right!

  95. I couldn’t be bothered,

    But I agree with Keith that is no way for a champion to be let go. I still don’t fully understand why Ferrari bought out his contract… he’s still got speed in him, it’s not like he grew old and irrelevant overnight…

    but i do suspect that Ferrari have lost respect for him, and don’t really make much of his 07 championship win, because i still do believe that McLaren threw Lewis and Fernando’s chance away deliberately in the last couple of races…especially that last one for Lewis.
    Imagine if Lewis had won the championship in his first year, a year where MCmerc faced the Spy scandal, the Alonso/Hamilton fallout etc… the darkest year in their history… if they had claimed the WDC, i think things would have gotten more complicated with a tainted reputation having stolen technology and information from their arch rival.

    i might be wrong, but I’ve heard from a very close source from Bahrain, very close to both McLaren and Mercedes that they knew they wont seal the championship about 3 weeks from the last race in 07. the Merc dealer(also connected) got wind of it and canceled a large order of merchandising material (with WDC all over it) that were set to be delivered before the race was to be run. it might be insignificant, but i think there is something to it…

    1. Ronman,

      there is no doubt the entire almost 2nd half of the 2007 season was manipulated with, due to the McLaren spy scandal. Rather than having both drivers expelled, they agreed to throw away the WDC. They had no choice. However that’s not to say that Kimi did not deserve at least one title for all the bad luck he had w/ McLaren. In my mind he should and would have won 2 titles, were it not for unbelievable circumstances of bad luck, meaning reliability issues w/ the car. To lose races in the last lap is surely bad luck. But it is refreshing to see that there are others on this forum who think beyond what is presented by the F1 industry and media.

    2. Santander and not Ferrari bought his contract to make way for the Spaniard. I totally respect Kimi’s attitude. He is a low profile driver but delivers on races. That is what F1 Fanatic like me really wants. “Follow races and not PR interviews.” If you enjoy interviews, why not follow F1 if there are a lot of talkshows.

  96. Ferrari stopped developing the F60 in order Kimi to fall at the back of the grid, underperforming and having a good reason to sign with Alosno.
    However, even under these circumstances, Kimi overperformed, had several podiums, won at Spa and lost from Lewis and the 3rd place for Ferrari from McLaren not until the GP of Brazil and he still had some hopes regaining his position at Abu Dhabi after Lewis abandon.
    Kimi was excellent in 2007 and 2009.
    There was a small dip in his performance in 2008 but contributed a lot for the WCC!

    end of story.

  97. You know, besides Heikki Kulta, I can’t think of anyone in any way shape or form connected to news reporting about F1 who likes Raikkonen. Pretty much all other news reporters, certainly the ones I can think of at the moment, are pretty reserved in their praise of him if praise is forthcoming at all.

    1. How can you not like Raikonnen? Except for maybe Webber nobody else comes off as quite as genuine.

      F1 can’t be all girly men and daddy’s boys.

  98. If Kimi leaves F1, I will STOP watching this game ’cause I see no justice in it.

    1. I am contemplating the same thing, Kassandra (lovely name, by the way).

  99. they lie

    the truth: Schumacher/Raikkonen 2010 MBGP ;)

    1. it would be the best outcome!!!!

    2. Please let us know where does this news came from!

  100. the guy is clearly dreaming over his salary demands. if he doesn’t do rallying cause no top team wants him or agrees to his salary demands then he doesn’t deserve to race cars any longer.

  101. I said I will miss him, but that doesnt mean I have sympathy for him. He is a world champion, rich as all hell, and is actually bored by F1. I dont think he deserves sympathy, especially after pricing himself out of the sport. But on his day he was INCREDIBLE to watch, a true racer.

  102. I started watching F1 as a teenager in the very early 90’s. Back then, commentators on BBC were big on Senna and Mansell (1992, I recall), and this young guy named Schumacher came out of nowhere and showed some real pace. I got hooked watching Michael move up the field race by race.

    Kimi did the same for me when I got back into F1 after college in 2002. He ‘for sure’ was not the fastest or most consistent, but when the conditions were right, his pace would bring that ‘whoa’ factor that gets your heart beating while watching the race at 4 A.M. (in California).

    So, yes, I will miss him. I will miss the magic I witnessed at Suzuka 2005. He has impressed, thrilled, excited, disappointed, and frustrated me over the years. But, then, he sure has done a lot more to keep fans hooked than, say, Button or Webber…

    I guess I will have to temporarily root for Vettel until Kimi comes back…

  103. “It’s a bit much for Raikkonen to expect the likes of McLaren and Mercedes to be salivating at the prospect of putting him in their cars when he’s only delivering the goods once a year at Spa.”

    How can you say that Kieth? we all know how the F60 a dog was. And he didn’t only deliver at Spa, he also have a number of podiums this season.

  104. You miss the point entirely Keith. Raikkonen’s fans love him precisely because he’s the only driver who isn’t a cringeworthy corporate yes man. They also recognise the devastating drives he’s produced given the right equipment and more tellingly, those drives without it where the track demands a special talent (Spa being a case in point). He also knows how to keep his own counsel and must be the only person in the whole of F1 capable of that these days. That’s all the more admirable when you consider he has the likes of you berating him. Maybe try criticising him once you’ve won a WDC.

    1. I’d say that Keith is entitled to his opinion, and that Kimi couldn’t give a sh/t what Keith thinks. ;-)

      From my perspective I think you describe exactly why I am a Kimi fan.

  105. The ice cream salesmen will go out of business!

    We’ll miss you Kimi :(

  106. kimi…

  107. kimi最棒!!!

    1. Kimi 昔使兴奋 近来睡着…

  108. I’ll miss Raikkonen. The real reasons for his departure only he knows for sure, but I believe he felt he had achieved all he wanted to in F1 and thats that. As for him leaving whilst his career ‘still had some life in it’, the same could be said of Montoya for instance.
    Kimi had driven for both McLaren and Ferrari, Montoya for Williams and McLaren. Why didn’t Juan go to a smaller team in 2006 and ply his trade from the back of the pack? The answer to that is in the question!
    These drivers ‘are’ some of the best in the world. Montoya has proven that by his performances in America and Europe over the years, and there is no way in heaven guys like that would be content to prop up the grid.
    In the case of Alonso, you have to remember that the disastrous year at McLaren he had left him with limited options. I am convinced that Fernando has always desired to drive for Ferrari, and was content with his lot knowing that the call would come sooner rather than later. In the past eighteen months, many have debated whether the Ferrari/Alonso deal was already a given, as an excuse for Raikkonen’s poor performances.
    It is not too far fetched an scenario. The Spaniard, afterall, signed to McLaren over one full year before even seeing the inside of one of their cars. Ferrari, in more ways than one, have found it difficult to move on from the Schumacher era.
    It always amazed me, how Kimi must have felt, to see the German in the Ferrari garage at every race weekend. I cannot imagine for one minute a Senna or Mansell type of driver handling that in a positive way, or even Montoya for example. That, in my mind, was a huge problem within the Ferrari team of 2007/2009.
    If Schumacher was ‘so’ important for Ferrari, why change drivers in the first place, and why have him on the scene at all? It was always a recipe for disaster.

  109. Kimi Raikkonen > Michael Schumacher

  110. I’ll always be there,waiting for him and keep him in my heart forever,no matter what happens,no matter what others say.
    Kimi Raikkonen is my hero,my angel and the best world champion in my heart.

  111. lok anand kumar
    21st November 2009, 19:56

    i think the job of a formula 1 driver is to race n race hard i don’t think there is a greater driver than kimi cause in all his years in F1 he has not made 1 controversial overtaking.Each n every overtaking move was very clean no wheel banging nothing…. PUBLIC RELATIONS PR as u say is the least important thing…yes we love to see a F1 driver without his helmet but wat we really enjoy is to see him race…he is one of those old school drivers who does a job wit the car given to him n does a great job…never complain a bit about anything….how many time have we heard jenson shout on the radio to his team “this car is sooo bad i can’t believe this was the car i was driving wen the year began!!!” kimi does the job wit wat is given to him.
    One of the MOST important is that wit the BAN ON REFUELING a driver like kimi will surely be missed cause he is THE BEST HUNTER IN F1 shoots down the car ahead of him very cleanly

    1. Very well put.

  112. lok anand kumar
    21st November 2009, 19:59

    will surely miss kimi :(

  113. Are u kidding me? What’s NOT to like or “miss” for that matter about Kimi? People like Kimi in spite of himself. No one has any idea what it is like to be an F1 driver (except other F1 drivers), particularly one with a World Title attached to his name. The fame that goes along with that must be excrutiating. Everyone loves to say that being an F1 driver is the most enviable job, but I’m guessing it’s not. Money doesn’t replace family, free time, & privacy. Their lives are dictated by grueling fitness regimens,travel, and PR schedules. Every minute of their day is scheduled. They are told what they can and cannot do, say, and wear. Most are required to communicate in a language that is not their native tongue. Their job is one of the few professions that carry out their work in front of worldwide audiences of millions who are quick to jump on their every mistake. On top of this, they have a job that can be fatal in an instant. Kimi is a perplexing, “wrapped in a riddle within an enigma kind of guy. Makes him strangely fascinating. On track, he is blindingly quick and talented seemingly wasting as little mental and physical energy as possible; off track he is shy, reclusive, quiet. In his private life, he seems to be humorous, witty, rambunctious and cares a great deal about his family and animals. He is a very perplexing yet simple person. I find myself wondering what is going through his brain all the time, and when he so rarely expresses this, I am ALWAYS surprised. He is an independent “I want what I want when I want it” kind of person as well when it comes to racing, and he has earned this. All of these traits, make Kimi very, very human. I think he is poweful without even being aware of it, nor does he care. He can drive like hell, without wasted mental or physical energy. This comes across to so many critics as laziness, but you don’t become a World Champion by being lazy; this trait works in his favor. He works his ass off, but chooses not to brag about nor discuss it. For all these reasons, so many people like him, can relate to him, and are his loyal fans, regardless of the fact that his wealth and talent are far beyond average. He drives like a shark, looks great in red, and I will miss him. I hope to see him back. We need “big dogs” on the track!

  114. not only miss….

  115. DON’T GO! KIMI!

  116. YES, I WANT KIMI TO STAY IN F1. Without Kimi, F1 is not interesting at all.

  117. I’ve watching F1 for seven years .KIMI is the only racer I’ve admired and supported.Apparently,he is bad luck,always missing victory .But he is the strongest as us fans see.Games without him won’t have any charm to me.Goodbye!Foolish Ferrari!Goodbye!Endless F1.

  118. kimi = MBGP 2010 bet on it

  119. Let me add my voice to the massive number of pro-Raikkonen responses here.

    Maybe you either ‘get’ Kimi and his approach or you don’t. There is something actually very cool about his attitude towards the 2010 season – ‘I’ll do it if there’s a chance to drive in a car that can win the championship’. It shows someone who knows his value (after x many seasons at the top in F1, in which time he’s won the WDC) without being over-assertive; and shows a level of honesty you don’t often see. It is a stance utterly devoid of PR statement and BS. I think that’s very cool, to say you won’t drive in the top driving championship in the world, in a merely good car, to make up the numbers. It has the ‘cool’ stylishness that Kimi’s fans love him for.

    There is simply no-one around approaching Kimi’s non-BS attitude. He likes to win full stop; getting on the podium virtually doesn’t count, in the pleasure stakes, for him (remember his facial expression whenever he was second or third, in his years with McLaren? It was only ever when he WON that you’d see a proper Kimi smile). he likes to win, and he doesn’t like to ‘play the F1 game’, ie to get involved in all the corporate sponsorship side of the sport. (In other words, it is the sport side of the sport – the desire to win – which is purely why he is in it!). Perhaps perversely, to people like Keith, it is very appealing to see this kind of refreshing attitude, because we’d all like to be able to take this approach in life: turn up, do the essentials (in his case, drive), leave. So much of our working lives is taken up with small politicking, gossip, stuff not directly to do with the essentials of our jobs themselves. People understand this instinctively – that’s why it appeals. Kimi exemplifies this stripped-down, ice-cool attitude to everything; and has justified it by his unusual level of talent, displayed plenty enough for his fans, thank you very much.

    Keith you should ‘get with the vibe, man’! Stop judging him by the expectations of all those other drivers and F1 sports-based people, who are all engaging with the ‘F1 as an arena with a lot of PR and corporate sponsorship and gladhanding issues and politics’ type view of the sport.

    1. Jimbo- Amen. Love your comments on our working lives. Maybe that is the core of Kimi’s appeal. We all wish we could afford to take that approach to our own lives. Glad you get him, glad you like him! I believe we’ll see him at MB. Fingers crossed. The Iceman will return!
      Ann in Indy

  120. F1 as a sport will miss Kimi. I am one of those who are seriously thinking of giving up on F1 if Kimi isn’t there anymore. And I am not just a Kimi fan, I started watching F1 before he was there, and I also watch other motorsports.

    But seriously if he, or anyone else for that matter are a bit bored with F1, then it is quite easy for me to understand their reasoning. I myself have grown quite tired of F1 as well during this last season.
    Every year before the new season starts, during the off season, you will always find that one thread on a F1 forum where everyone is existed by the prospect of a new year, and every year people always predict or “hope” that there will be more racing and less controversy, politics and scandals. But for the last few seasons the controversy and scandals have just gotten more and more, each one bigger then the other. While at the same time we have to watch more and more “races” like Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. Beautiful scenery and all of them very nice places I am sure, but this racing not a traveling show!
    It was during this year that I switched off my TV voluntarily for the first time ever, while free practice was still running, because the commentators would rather discuss things like crashgate then what is actually happening out on track. The whole crashgate saga was really like the last straw, I didn’t follow any updates on that subject, and I still dont know much about the whole subject, and most of all, I dont care. Then we had FOTA and the FIA, who were just trying to string the fans along like usual, while they dont actually care anything about the fans. And the list goes on and on…
    But it does make you wonder, is F1 really about racing these days, or does sponsors, PR officers, politics, scandal seekers and a fat-cat minority really rule or rather ruin everything about the sport? Sure some of these elements have always been present, but we could take it because the racing was at least good. But these days, I just dont know?
    Something is wrong with the sport when people are complaining more about a WDC asking for a bit more money, while at the same time someone like Bernie is taking millions from the governments of the countries that you live in, in other words your own money?
    Although, that being said I honestly dont think money was the sole reason why the deal between Kimi and Mclaren didn’t work out.

    As for Kimi he never bothers anyone or says anything bad about anyone, however this has never stopped others to act the opposite, rather then to follow his example, with the same decorum. Kimi showed true class this year while being fired in public, he always stayed professional. That takes a tremendous amount of self control, it hurts to be fired and especially in such a public manner. Money doesn’t just fix everything even if it is millions, F1 drivers are still people, and they still have their own feelings just like normal people, even if they are paid in millions and even if some of them doesn’t always show their true feelings. In fact I think that might have just perhaps have been the last straw when it comes to Kimi and F1, perhaps he has just had enough after that humiliation, he does have lots of pride. And yes, considering everything I dont blame him one bit. Sympathy might just be the wrong word for the situation, I will say I have empathy.

    But luckily for me I will still be able to follow Kimi, because Kimi is a racer at heart and he will always be racing something whether it is a snowmobile, motorcross bike or a rally car. Kimi has a dream of becoming the first driver to be a F1 champion and a WRC champion, and I will fully support him to reach this goal, it will make him one of the really great drivers, a legend. I can see why he finds the prospect of WRC so alluring, there is much less nonsense and more racing. But it also takes a tremendous amount of skill and bravery to navigate you way around unfamiliar terrain at silly speeds.

    Kimi might not be the best F1 driver as an overall package, but he is certainly one of the best. He has been fighting and competing at the top now for many years. It seems like F1 will again have a few pay drivers next year, it is therefore even more of a loss to lose a F1 champion, when he still has a few years of racing in him. F1 after all is suppose to be about some of the best drivers competing against each other.
    There is quite a few drivers who I like, and who’s racing I like. But none of them really captures the imagination quite like Kimi. On the one hand Kimi is a fierce competitor and extremely fast driver, but unlike the most drivers in his league, he at the same time is also a gentleman when it comes to his sportsmanship. He is painfully honest in such a way that he is often criticized by the press, he always admits his own mistakes and he always reflects very honestly on himself. After nine years in F1 he hasn’t changed one bit, he has always remained true to himself. He follows his own will, and most often gets his own way without a fight. He is a bit of a rebel, when it comes to PR, and some people will always like a rebel. While on the other hand Kimi also have a bit of a maverick streak, how many F1 champions enters boat races dressed up in gorilla suits, or falls asleep clutching a blow-up dolphin? At the same time Kimi is also fearless in all of his racing pursuits, driving through the smoke at Spa or driving with fuel burning in his eyes, or his adventures on snowmobiles.
    While others see someone who is boring in front of the cameras, he actually often displays a very clever sense of humour, if you dare too listen a bit more carefully. While most people often say that he doesn’t give back to the sport, he is actually one of the few drivers who really does, by having his own racing team. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more apparent that Kimi actually belongs to the way that F1 used to be, it seems like he is really the last of his kind. Kimi has many faults and he is far from perfect, but the truth is, no one else is really perfect and at least Kimi doesn’t pretend as much. Perhaps people can relate to him because he isn’t perfect and he doesn’t try to be. Many people have tried to change him, but they never will. Which brings me back to may original point, I have realized in the last couple of days, that perhaps Kimi was one of the last few good reasons that really made it worth being a F1 fan. I honestly cannot say, if I will find the energy to watch next year’s F1 season.

  121. I placed my vote on, “I’ll Miss Him” is because he is the one who brings me the “REAL” joy & excitements in F1 over these years!!!!

    Come on, please dont tell me that Massa is any better than Kimi.

    Cause what I can see is, most Massa’s victories are from pole positions. So Massa havent really beaten Kimi yet!

    Sorry, Massa… but you’re still a worthy driver too.. I was sad when you lose to Ham in 2008, and I prayed for you after Hungarian GP’s incident. So knockdown your team-mate, Alonso next year!!

    From my view of point, without Kimi in F1.. the F1 fans will missed the excitements brought by Kimi!

    So we shall see what gonna happens in near future.. as long as Merc GP is yet to announce their second driver. I have strong faith that Haug & Brawn will pick their best choice, to have Kimi Raikkonen for their second seat. Come on Merc!! he’ll will worth your every penny!

    In 2010, I hope to see Kimi giving all his best to show the rest of the F1 fans that he’s capable of beating current F1 aces: Alonso, Hamilton, Massa, Button before he set to retired from F1!..

    By the way, Vettel & Rosberg will be the future F1 aces in no time!! Love them too!!

  122. Yes I will stop watchin F1 in 2010. I will surely miss Kimi too. Maybe the press don’t like kimi, some people don’t like him too.. but he’s the reason I love the sport.

  123. I’ll stop watching F1 . KIMI is the only reason for me to watch F1 and love this game.

  124. I can’t believe all the people who say they will stop watching F1 if Raikkonen isn’t around.

    To me that says they are primarily Kimi fans rather than F1 fans.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the popularity of F1 suffers in Spain when Alonso retires because he is the main reason for it’s success there, but I didn’t realise so many people started watching F1 because of Raikkonen, or perhaps this site has attracted a higher proportion of Kimi fans than there generally are.

    I understand that sport is always more enjoyable if you have someone to support, but even if all my favourite drivers and teams left F1 I don’t think I would say I would stop watching it.

  125. Soumya Banerjee
    19th May 2010, 9:39

    Im sure if it were Jenson or Lewis retiring,Keith wouldnt have seen any “sympathy misplaced?” 1 last question to Keith-just why the hell do you hate him so much?

    1. Have you read the article? I said I was “disappointed” he was leaving and “said it’s some to this”. I don’t hate Kimi Raikkonen, I think that’s pretty clear from what I’ve written.

      You might want to read this article as well: Being Kimi Raikkonen

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