Lopez: Raikkonen will disprove doubters

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Gerard Lopez says Kimi Raikkonen will prove his motivation on his F1 return next year.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Gerard Lopez – “It does seem like a motivational decision” (Renault)

In terms of motivation, I think he?s more motivated than ever. The more people that question it (his motivation) the better, because it?s only going to motivate him further. It?s a very important step in getting the team to where we want it to be, which is one of the top teams in Formula 1.

Team Germany wins fifth RoC Nations Cup (Race of Champions)

Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel secured the fifth consecutive ROC Nations Cup title for Team Germany to delight their home fans.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Tried and failed to get excited about the Race of Champions. I could if it was an actual race, not a rather inconsequential time trial.”

F1-Technik: So sehen die Formel 1-Autos 2012 aus (Auto Motor und Sport)

Diagrams showing how the 2012 technical regulations are likely to change the shape of the cars next year.

Red Bull?s Merci Mission To Renault Factory (Red Bull)

Adrian Newey: “I worked with Renault in the ’90s and was impressed with the commitment, innovation and drive of the team at Viry-Ch??tillon. Renault understands that the engine-chassis package is just that; it?s a joint effort. RSF1 has been crucial in the development of the RB7, so I?m really pleased to be able to thank everyone behind the scenes who has contributed so much to the success we?ve achieved this year.”

Fisichella meets the fans at the Bologna Motorshow (Ferrari)

“On the subject of his brief time as a Ferrari driver in F1, following Felipe Massa?s accident in 2009, Fisichella explained how difficult he had found it to adapt to a very different car to the one he had raced up to that point. ‘I was unable to show what I could do, but I am still proud to have been able to do a few GPs in Ferrari colours. The Maranello Scuderia is still the dream of all drivers and for me, as an Italian, it represented one of the most exciting moments of my career.'”

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Comment of the day

John H on the inevitable tension within FOTA:

FOTA was never going to survive because its always better in the short-term to put self-interest first, but the group in total would probably achieve more in the long-term by sticking together (especially in times of crisis). For example the FOTA Fans Forum was probably good for F1, but who is going to organise such things now?

Personally I think it?s naive of HRT, Ferrari and Red Bull but when chasing the dollars their actions are totally understandable.
John H

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Noel!

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On this day in F1

I’d forgotten about this proposal for an alternative qualifying system put forward by FOTA, which we discussed here three years ago.

F1 Fanatic readers said they preferred the current system or the old “12-lap” qualifying hours.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 38 comments on “Lopez: Raikkonen will disprove doubters”

    1. Good for Fisi. It was the wrong move at the time (he could’ve excelled at Monza that year considering how good the Force India was in straight line… Sutil finished 4th, for crying out loud), but he achieved his dream, so good for him.

      About the qualifying system, I remember I voted for 1 lap, race fuel. I still prefer that system (with low fuel instead, though).

      It was great to watch ALL the qualy laps entirely. Nowadays we only see the polesitter’s time at the end of the session and we’re lucky if there’s an onboard camera (latin coverage usually misses it, so you got to go to youtube a couple of hours before the session ended).

      Maybe, if they tried that way of qualifying, they’d solve the problem with the tyres too, because everyone would’ve go to once at least to qualify.

      1. I always thought at the time that Raikkonen and Massa deserved much more credit than they both got, as the struggles of first Badoer and then confirmed by those had by Fisi that the car was an utter dog.

      2. Funny, I never really liked the one lap qualifying format!

        There were far to many instances where luck/circumstances beyond control of the driver had a too big influence on the times. And the fact they had only one go served only to mix up the grid.

    2. Fantastic bit of work from @Guilherme there, makes for interesting viewing.

    3. I’d forgotten about this proposal for an alternative qualifying system put forward by FOTA, which we discussed here three years ago.

      Wow, some of those were a little ridiculous to say the least.

    4. Nice one team germany!

    5. Interesting article about quali. Now there’s no refuelling the current system for me is brilliant. Maybe quali tyres could be introduced to avoid only 6 cars running but, for me, thats not a big deal, TV can only cover the laps of about 5 at most anyway

      1. Maybe quali tyres could be introduced to avoid only 6 cars running but

        Pirelli suggested it, but the teams said no.

        TV can only cover the laps of about 5 at most anyway

        A possible alternative would be to do something the V8 Supercars do (but only at their marquee events). The first part of qualifying sets a provisional grid, with the ten fastest drivers promoted to the Top 10 Shootout. They each then get one flying lap, which will decide their final grid position, and the cameras get to follow everyone around the circuit. It would avoid a repeat of Sepang where the FOM television director decided to stay with Alonso for his final flying lap while Webber, Button, Vettel and Hamilton all came out after him and were setting faster sector times. We never saw any of that; instead, we watched a rather pedestrian lap from Alonso and then the McLarens and Red Bulls taking the final two corners.

        In order for it to work for Formula 1, two changes would have to be made: first, any driver who qualified in Q3 would have to run in Q3. The FIA would have to make an extra set of tyres available (and probably ditch the qualifying compound rule) in order to make running in Q3 attractive. And secondly, the drivers would have to pick their running order (this could be based on Q2 times, with the fastest driver in Q2 choosing when he wants to run). The reason for this is that V8 Supercars ran a rain-affected Top 10 Shootout this year, and the last three drivers – who had been fastest in provisional qualifying – all got caught out.

        1. one reason of the current Q3’s problem is drivers who get into Q3 should use used tyre if they have flying lap. also drivers who didn’t get into Q3 are allowed to use fresh tyre.

          You can call it quali tyre or extra set but both of them would force chance that rule because quali tyre or extra set mean Q3 drivers could use fresh tyre on the start of the race.(that’s why they called quali tyre or EXTRA set)

          If Pirelli gives teams QT or ES, then out of top 10 drivers’ opportunity should be quite slim than now. I don’t think it’s very serious because most of top 10 finisher is Q3 runners but certainly it won’t help out of top 10 starter.

          1. sorry I misunderstood about extra set. My opinion only applied to quali tyre.

    6. I watched the Race of Champions and thoroughly enjoyed it, but even I have to admit the very last (deciding) race seemed a bit unfair. I say “even I” because it was Hänninen against Vettel, and it was *supposed* to be in the Skoda, which would have given Hänninen (a rally driver who drives Skodas!) quite the advantage. Still, I was really looking forward to seeing that race!

      However, at the last minute, they changed the car to the ROC Buggy, which Vettel loves and basically kicks everyone’s butt in. Hänninen hadn’t even driven one at all during the competition. So that was a bit disappointing, I thought.

      1. Even so, I don´t think it was that disadvantage… every driver has a chance to practice in the cars on friday afternoon and satuday morning, so they both knew the car…

        anyway here is a funny video of Vettel taking by Pastrana backstage at ROC

        1. Hahaha! Maybe he just really knows his US history, since we do actually have our own song set to that tune, which apparently was our informal national anthem before we had an official one!

          Anyway, as far as the cars go, I could see them changing it from the Skoda to something else — but to the ROC Buggy? Might as well have picked the RB7! ;-)

          1. Maybe they though it will be closer and since it is like no other car… The poor organizer guy ev en said he though it will a closer fight… And hey ythey didn´t allow him to used his Kinky Kilye so it was a fair fight…

            And poor Vettel, where will he listen to the US anthem???

            1. I should add that I just thought it would be fun to see how Vettel would do against Hänninen in that Skoda, and the worst that would have happened would have been that a tie-breaker would have been needed — meaning more fun! That’s why I enjoyed the ROC so much, I think: everyone just seemed to be having fun, no matter what happened. I loved when Button spun while racing Vettel and then turned it into doughnuts. :-D

              And yes, I will not hold it against Seb: no reason he should have heard the US anthem before — certainly not on any podium! Maybe that will change someday…

            2. I have been watching roc for a number of years and it was unfair they should have switched to the wtcc’s if anything. How ever that is roc i mean jenson had to drive the car petrov smashed right after he’d done it.

    7. Seems a little harsh on the ROC. A proper race is impractical for a stadium, so ‘inconsequential time trials’ (aka, rally) is the best that could be done. And it is a race to an extent if one driver is knocked out. If it was simply time trials then they’d all go once and best time would win rather than knock-out. I went to it in Wembley a couple of times and other than the freezing temperature the atmosphere was good, if a little empty. Also got a young Vettel’s signature. The choice of cars seemed a bit random though. I think I remember them using a pretty boring one for the finals for some reason.

    8. Never knew that ROC was this weekend.!

      1. The main events is at 1pm uk time on


        apparently it only works for those in countrys where no tv channel is broadcasting it.

        1. Wow awesome. Owe you one.

    9. The reason the buzz is so much greater than with MSC is that we didn’t, at least I didn’t, expect Raikkonen to show up at Renault, if back in F1 at all.

      After the rumours last year proved to be without substance and the talk this year about him going to Williams, Kimi showing up at Renault is much more newsworthy than Michael joining Mercedes (an announcement which was, by the time Mercedes made it, largely a formality due to the whirlwind of rumours that built in the off-season.

    10. Strange headline at tha LRGP-site. After reading tha article, I think what hè means is: it seems to have à positive impact on personel already. Where I read: Kimi seems to be motivated. Which are two different things…

    11. Look out! There is a link to a positive article about Kimi, haven’t seen one of them for a while!

    12. I was watching the ROC nations cup yesterday with my kids and we were talking about the team of Timos in the Group A German team.

      My wife, who was in the room at the time asked “is Timo Glock a driver?” to which I replied “yes, what else would Timo Glock be?”. Her response: “I always thought it was a Formula 1 team with an Irish background; Team O’Glock”.

      1. Team O’Glock


      2. That joke has such a beard :-D

      3. Team O’Glock

        That is brilliant.

    13. I’ve been guilty of it too, but I think it’s all too easy to get caught up in old habits. Raikkonen has been away from the sport for two years and two years can do a lot for a person. Admittedly we can only go on what we know, which is fledgling commitment to the top level of motorsport, however, i’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I really don’t think he’s stubborn or stupid enough to commit to something without seeing it through, especially after having a break.

      1. I think if he lost motivation with the WRC it’s because he missed F1. He has tried to get back in here, so he must want it.

        1. Maybe he just misses being competitive.

          1. @hohum A lot of people have said that, but he couldn’t have really thought he was going to be competitive so quickly, surely?

            1. I agree it takes a lot more than talent to become a champion in any field, which means of course that there are a lot of very talented people in the world that no-one has ever heard of.

    14. We will see. But im happy to have the iceman back.

      1. Lets wait and see. Renault could have done worse for a driver, and it does at least add a bit of interest (will he be fast, won’t he, will he outdrive the car, how long until he gets on the podium / a win …) so that adds to the season already.

        But I am even less exited then when Schumacher returned to F1. Personally I would rather see exiting new drivers on the grid that can offer us a new thrill than harking back to the past with drivers (and even worse with teams/liveries).

    15. The more people that question it (his motivation) the better, because it’s only going to motivate him further

      I actually didn’t think Kimi’s performance dropped much at Ferrari. In 08 he had some bad luck but the year before Massa had an unreal amount on problems (not just with the car as he had a couple of mistakes) but generally they were always on a similar pace. I thought once Kimi was in the car he was in his element and didn’t drop as disastrously performance wise as Lewis did this year when his head wasn’t in the right place. That said, Kimi got sick of F1 once because of all of the rubbish surrounding the sport (not that I blame him) but who knows how long it’ll be this time before he gets sick again. I’m not a fan of the move but I hope he does well and proves me wrong because then at least the talents of Sen, Gros or Pet weren’t wasted while Kimi figured out what he wanted.

    16. I just don’t want to see podiums like we had in the naughties, that were more like funerals. The flags were more interesting.

    17. themagicofspeed (@)
      5th December 2011, 22:29

      Why would he want to come back?
      Bored, skint, desperate, tempted by wages. Thats the only things i can think of, and i doubt its wages – he was on a 5 year contract at Ferrari worth 51million, and was by a country mile the highest paid driver in F1, theres no way Renault will be paying him that much, so he will have taken a massive pay cut, which (maybe) confirms his motivation, but i think he is probably bored.

      Kimi HATES the commercial/corporatised nature of F1, and Renault has more sponsors than i dont know who, so he will be over run with PR work, which he will detest.
      Renault are not in a position to provide him a competitive car now or in the forseeable future, so if he thought the F2009 was a crapbox, he’s in for a shock..
      Eric Boullier isn’t known for his compassionate approach to driver relations, so Kimi could end up falling out with him too.

      I can’t see this lasting. If you are not motivated by being a World Champion, in arguably the most coveted seat in F1 (Ferrari #1), then what will?

      1. Great point! The problem Raikkonen had at Ferrari was that he was the driver who had to fill Schumacher’s role at the team, a team that Michael had help rebuild for a decade.
        Everytime your saw the Ferrari garage on tv, there was Schumacher in the background, lurking around and that must have been annoying to Kimi. When Alonso left McLaren in 2007, the Ferrari rumours started about Fernando joining the Scuderia. From then on, it was downhill. I suspect that Raikkonen knew, for longer than most realise, that Ferrari had already decided on Alonso and that his cards had been marked. There is no doubting the fact that Raikkonen has talent, and when he is on his game he can beat anybody out there. At Ferrari I think things turned sour very quickly after Kimi’s title win in 2007. Lets not forget one thing, Michael Schumacher was shown the door to make way for Raikkonen in 2006! So this is not unprecedented.
        Lotus obviously hope they have made the right choice in signing Kimi, time will tell.

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