Raikkonen plans to start testing in January

2012 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen, Renault, 2011

Kimi Raikkonen says he intends to drive an F1 car next month before official testing for the 2012 season begins.

Raikkonen told
Renault’s website he expects to drive an older car, most likely a 2010-spec R30.

He said: “We don’t test the new car until February so it’s a long wait. However, I should be able to jump into a two-year-old F1 car in January.

“Of course, there will be the usual training, but I will also be working on getting to know the team better and making sure I fully understand all the changes since I have been away.”

Asked if he thought he would take a while to become competitive again following his two years out of the sport he said: “I hope not!

“I am more motivated than ever and I don’t think I’ve lost any speed. Getting on top of the tyres will be the hardest thing, of course, but I’m not really worried.

“Although the technical regulations don’t seem to change much, they apply to a lot of areas and quite a few elements will have to be re-designed. As a result, the cars will be significantly different next year. The order could be shaken up, which will make things very interesting.”

Raikkonen added he has made two visits to the factory of his new team, which will become Lotus in 2012: “The first one, at the team’s Christmas party, made me realise how much support I have there.

“The second one, last week, allowed me to understand that this team has not been world champion by coincidence. I also saw all the investments they have made recently: new simulator building, CFD upgrade, 60% wind tunnel… It gives me a lot of confidence for the season ahead.”

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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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46 comments on “Raikkonen plans to start testing in January”

  1. I don’t know why that news got me excited. It’s not like I’m going to be able to watch! Maybe just knowing it’s going on will be enough. ;-)

    1. I guess, @aka_robyn that’s because its quite a change for Kimi to actually go out there and do testing in an old car, just to get into a groove.
      Shows how he really is intent on making it a success and not taking anything for granted. Or at least giving us the hope that he will do that. Good news for the sport, now only Renault has to build a halfway decent car for the Lotus F1 team to race.

    2. There’ll be videos on Youtube, don’t worry.. :P I cannot wait for the season to start up! And I’m majorly happy that my first ever experience of F1 for reals will be during a time when the Iceman is back! And Alonso’s in a Ferrari.. Couldn’t ask for more.
      Forza Kimi!
      Forza Fernando!

  2. Looks like he isn’t so unmotivated afterall..

    What tyres will they be able to use on that car, does anyone know? Lets see how long it’ll take for him to get back in shape (if at all). Back when he was young and inexperienced it was one of his strengths to be fast in any car immediately so I’m hoping for something really good and looking forward to Spa.

    1. presumably they would use the super-hard tyres that pirelli supplies for photoshoots.

    2. well, considering they didn’t allow Ferrari to use proper tyres when Schumi tested for them in 2009, with a F2008 fitted with GP2 tyres, I guess they won’t allow him to use the 2010-spec Pirellis.

      1. i think it was an F2007

      2. 2010-spec Pirellis? I think it was Bridgestone who were supplying tyres in 2010, and Pirelli took over them so if they were using 2010-spec tyres, it would be Bridgestone’s.

        1. No, it would probably be the special demonstration run tyres (an extra hard compound) supplied by the current tyre manufacturer, that means by Pirelli.

        2. sorry, 2011-spec Pirellis… mistake :)

    3. all his motivation rumors started when Ferrari wanted to replace him with Alonso… he clearly has other interests apart from F1 but that should not be taken as lack of motivation… he is just a bit relaxed about the things around him…

    4. @bananarama @bascb @fer-no65 @thestig94 @demos12 @tifoso1989

      I saw this question so I asked Paul Hembry on twitter, and he said:

      2011 test allocation I assume


  3. there’s no doubt about Raikonnen’s ability of driving an F1 car under any circumstances & this 2 year stop won’t affect him
    Lotus when they let Heidfield go they said that he didn’t bring the leadership that Kubica brought to the team (same reason why ferrari let Kimi go & replace him with Fernando Alonso)
    In my opinion Raikonnen should be more involved in the development of the car with the engineers than he was in the past

    1. lool, him not being involved is just a myth that came from nowhere. Button said a couple days ago, that McLaren mechanics tell him Kimi is very involved, he understands the technicalities and that he is good at setting up the car. With Ferrari, not even “big leader” Alonso can make them win, so maybe it’s time they start looking at other aspects, not just the driver. When Kimi was there, at least they fought for titles, now..they play a side role…

      1. i didn’t say that he was not good at setting up the car please don’t change the subject we all know that Kimi was good at setting up car because his driving style always demanding a specific set up of the car(just like Micheal Shumacher)
        Kimi not being involved is not a mythe came from nowhere even Montezemolo said that it was rumoured that the time spent by Alonso in the first 2 weeks in the factory was more than the time Kimi spent in 3 years
        by the way Ferrari were not fighting for the title in 2009 they last fought for the title in 2010

        1. @tifoso1989 I don’t think Montezemolo is the most fair and unbiased speaker when it comes to Kimi vs. Fernando…

        2. Yes, Ferrari were not fighting for the championship in 2009, but i doubt Alonso would have achieved better results than Kimi did in that awful car that Ferrari produced. I was amazed that Kimi was able to win a race in it. He actually had a pretty good second half of the season with, i believe 6 podiums in a row towards the end.

          Kimi won the championship for Ferrari in his first year with them, and still they released him early. In light of this I am amazed they are still sticking with Massa.

    2. I think Kimi’s problem with Ferrari is not technical side. it’s rather human side. Everyone knows Alonso did everything he can(not just on track, but massively in off-track) for team work. Kimi definitely didn’t. I can’t imagine Alonso eats ice cream when race situation is compromised but Kimi did.

      Ferrari have not been championship winning team for last 3 years. as they said numerously, it’s unacceptable to Ferrari. They desperately need such huge motivation, never-give-up energy. That’s why Ferrari choose Alonso and abandon Kimi. That’s why I rate Massa higher than Kimi in 2009.

      I don’t think Kimi’s such attitude is bad in most situation. for sure Lotus is not hastening like Ferrari. They just need solid team building and good driver line up. Kimi would do what he can do for development as well. so I expect Lotus&Kimi would be satisfied with each other.

      1. but the irony is that Kimi got them that championship Massa did not & Alonso in his 2nd year did not do it either. both Massa & Alonso came close to winning but it was Kimi who did it for them. They should have got clever engineers instead of letting go of Kimi… but then it would have let Santander sponsorship go down the drain. Money made Ferrari abandon Kimi. Santander bought out Kimi’s seat as he would have been a stronger driver which Alonso did not want. Hence we have a Massa who will happily accept team orders & Alonso at Ferrari.

        1. Well, the fact that Kimi won the championship for Ferrari doesn’t means he is worth more than Massa(2008/2009) or Alonso. Kimi would be serious contender when he has great car and good situation(+motivation?) but I doubt he could do something more than them if team is in serious trouble.

          1. Same applies to Alonso he can only win if he has a good car… more or less this applies to all the drivers…

          2. What doesn’t apply to Kimi is he tried everything what he can in 2009. I guess everybody would agree with it.

          3. Kimi won a race in 2009 at spa Fisi came in second & when Fisi moved to Ferrari you got clear evidence that the car was worst dog Ferrari built for many years. Fisi would have won race at spa if Kimi has no KERS and had he not moved from FI he could have won his home race as the car had pace to put Sutil on the front row finished 4th & set the fastest lap of the race… and less than a second behind Kimi who came in 3rd for that race. Fisi who was in great form struggled in that dog of a car… which clearly shows where the blame lies for that season… beside Alonso had seasons like that with Renault too, his 2009 was nothing special, his 2008 highlight is the scandal victory at Singapore. And in 2007 he got beaten by Kimi despite McLaren having the best car that season. Hamilton who was a rookie then scored as much points and finished 2nd. Had it been Kimi behind Petrov @ Abu Dhabi in 2010 you would have seen the red car ahead of the yellow car in a few laps & the mighty Alonso jus sat there complaining that he was quicker than Petrov.

          4. What do you want to say, Dev?

            Kimi did great job in Spa and Monza. but whatelse? How about Malaysia? also how do you explain Massa outscored him in first half of 2009? How was Alonso in 2009 Singapore?

            I have no doubt Kimi can be one of the greatest but if not, it’s his fault.

          5. His 2008 highlight is the scandal victory at Singapore

            @Dev Somebody stopped watching the 2008 season before the next race…

        2. 2007 car was arguably the continuing of Michael and the dream team developement in 2006 so Kimi entering in a car that already been developed. After Michael and the dream team slowly fading from developing in subsequent years the result quiet showed. I don’t mean that Kimi didn’t deserve the 2007 WDC but if isn’t the ongoing Lewis-Alonso-Mclaren issues, the WDC could be between Lewis and Alonso. Kimi is no doubt a fast driver but i doubt he is a good team building/leader(my view might chance in the future from what he could done in Lotus). In terms of Team leader/building between Alonso-Kimi have to say the highest point go to Alonso, from the speed itself Kimi might edge Alonso.

          1. same can be said about Alonso, he did not yet build this Ferrari team… despite his second season. Too much is talked about team building & other stuff apart from Michael nobody comes even close to doing that… Team Managers build the team & are responsible for everything in the team. Alonso made his contribution for building the team, the money from Santander will for sure help build a few cars.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        22nd December 2011, 13:19

        @eggry excellent point, I don’t know who were Kimi’s sponsors but obviously giant Santander can brush them off the map. It’s impossible to think about Alonso as a “paid driver” but obviously he wants to be the only top driver in Ferrari (Massa WAS a top driver but that accident gave him some bad decline much before expected) and so Ferarri or somebody else invented that “lack of motivation”… I still remember 2008, and I don’t think anyone can tell me Spa 2008 was an unmotivated Kimi fighting wheel to wheel with Hamilton (until he crashed, but because of that barely legal, or slightly illegal Hamilton overtake that made Kimi push more than necessary).
        Kimi was off because he was a good driver who could really challenge Alonso (almost champion in 2007 but Kimi made it). He just didn’t want to move into a medocre team in 2010. Alonso moved to mediocre Renault after harsh time in Mc Hamilton, (now Mc Button).
        Well, Renault is still midfield but probbably Kimi has realized that is now or never to opportunity in F1 in a still decent car.

  4. he will use GP2 tyres. i hope the car is good in Spa, so Kimi can have a good result..after that it looks like 2012 GP will be the last one there :(

    1. the 2012 spa gp won’t be the last there. there is a possibility/rumor that it would alternate with the french gp from 2013 but even if that happens spa will be back in 2014

  5. I hope procurement have suitably stocked up the bar for the Xmas party.

  6. Asked if he thought he would take a while to become competitive again following his two years out of the sport he said: “I hope not!

    Look! An exclamation mark! He is motivated after all!

    1. COTD RIGHT there!

    2. Or maybe the journalist just stuck it in for a game :P

    3. Wow, definitely he is!

  7. I so hope both mercedes and Lotus Will build championship contending cars! Schumi, Kimi, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Button fighting it out.

    1. @verstappen That’s exactly what I want to happen. I was hoping that would be the case for 2011 also, but it never was.

    1. In other words, they’ve taken his visit to Grove and blown it out of proportion.
      Although, to be honest, I hope that next year I am eating my words and he does drive for Williams…

  8. If these are Kimi’s words,than this whole thing seems very promising. They just need to give him a nice ,DRIVEABLE and competitive car so he can make the most out of his comeback.
    Would be nice to see him fighting for the wins because it would get more action in the sport if more teams would fight for the victory,not only two,or one. Best of luck for Kimi.
    p.s- I think he will need to do some hard work to get back to the shape,because it seems like he has a bit too much weight for now.

  9. As far I know he never used to like testing so this time he is serious? I think we will see a new Kimi from a driver perspective.

  10. Why other teams don’t do this when they introduce rookie? because he’s a world champion?

  11. I guess this is really the least you can expect from Raikkonen in the circumstances. He seems motivated. Would be a bit difficult to think otherwise to be honest.

  12. I think many spectators might be surprised by Raikkonens return to F1. Raikkonen probably has more raw talent than any other driver on the grid. People should remember that he entered F1 with just 23 starts in competitive racing to his name and made an instant impact. Most other drivers have been groomed for years and years before they enter F1.
    Raikkonens biggest challenge will be to figure out the Pirrellis. But i wonder whether the new tires will turn out to be a blessing for him. In the past he used to post fastest lap towards the end of races even in cars that were not competitive. This could be because he`s got a very smooth and fluent driving style and kept his tires in good condition for longer than most of his competitors (I for one allways thought so). If this is the case the Pirrelis will suit Raikkonen perfectly.

    Raikkonen is capable of driving anything on wheels and be competitive. What he did as a privateer in WRC was impressive. He showed from time to time that he could be as fast and sometimes faster than the best drivers in WRC. Let the games begin.

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