Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber, Yas Marina

Raikkonen is “way too young to step away” – Johnson

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Seven-times NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson says Kimi Raikkonen is too young to step down from F1.

What they say

Fernando Alonso, Jimmie Johnson Bahrain, 2018
Johnson did a ‘seat swap’ with Fernando Alonso in Bahrain
Raikkonen, who will drive for Sauber next year, briefly tried his hand in NASCAR competitions.

I’m glad he’s still going to be around. I saw him a few years back when he tried NASCAR a few years back.

I know that there is something about the youth that comes in, they can do some special things, but I see the power of experience in NASCAR. Drivers really get in the sweet spot later in their career.

Of course there’s a point in time where everybody needs to step away but I think Kimi’s way too young to step away. He needs to keep going.

Many of the drivers, even Fernando [Alonso], it’s hard to believe that he’s stepping away at this point but I know he has other desires.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Does Lance Stroll deserve more credit?

I think he’s actually turning out to be a reasonably competent driver. A journeyman, as they used to say. Given how terrible the Williams was this year, he had some decent finishes and finished ahead of Brendon Hartley in the championship. And nobody doubts Brendon’s skill, or the STR13’s pace. Certainly Hartley was desperately unlucky, with five retirements to Stroll’s two, but Stroll finished ahead of him on several occasions as well.

Of course there are guys who ‘deserve’ to be in F1 more than him – you only have to look at the man he’s replacing for that – but he’s not bad. I honestly don’t believe a team like Williams would have given him the drive, all his dad’s money notwithstanding, if they’d thought he’d be an embarrassment. And, looking at it objectively, he really wasn’t.

I think I’ve said this before: he reminds me a lot of Pedro Diniz, another man who was ridiculed as a ‘pay driver’ when he started out but, while he’ll never be counted among the greats, gained some grudging respect over the years.
Duncan Snowden

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to James Kehoe, Blythe Schembri and Dan!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

  • Born today in 1948: Guy Tunmer, who made his only F1 start in the 1975 South African Grand Prix driving a Lotus 72E entered by Team Gunston

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

46 comments on “Raikkonen is “way too young to step away” – Johnson”

  1. The women of W all look and sound sponsorworthy, let’s hope that enough of them are sufficiently fast and competent to make the series entertaining and worthy of its stated aim. No doubt the pool will shrink after the first season.

  2. W is a dead end: who would pickup a female from the series for F1 or F2 if it’s impossible to compare their performance with the other drivers on the conventional ladder to F1?

    Though I know for sure the intentions are the best, this will only segregate and end these drivers’ careers.

    1. who would pickup a female from the series for F1 or F2 if it’s impossible to compare their performance with the other drivers on the conventional ladder to F1?

      As I wrote when it was announced, I think it’s wrong to assume W Series is intended as an alternative to F3 or other junior categories, but an addition to it. It’s only six meetings a year after all.

      1. @keithcollantine

        Reverse the sexes and see if it would fly. No? This nothing but sexism and discrimination. It’s only six meetings a year after all. Six offences that everyone will turn a blind eye to because it is for women. One rule for them…

        1. anon-e moss, sounds a bit of an overreaction, especially as there are in fact multiple existing series which have even more limited calendars and smaller grids (and yes, they are all male grids as well).

          Just look at some Formula 3 championships, for example – the Formula 3 Americas championship in the US in 2018 saw a grand total of just seven drivers across the entire season of five rounds: the most they could muster in any one race was six drivers (the opening three rounds saw a grand total of four drivers make the grid). The Asian Formula 3 series is also only five rounds in length, and they also had a smaller grid than what this series is planning – quite a few of their races saw only 12-14 drivers entered.

          There are other series which are only fractionally longer too – the Japanese Super Formula, for example, has only seven rounds, although in practise that has been six in recent years as usually the end round has been cancelled due to it falling in the typhoon season.

          Rather than it being “one rule for them”, it seems that there are quite a few all male series that get away with being shorter, or of similar length, and have smaller grids – unless, that is, you want to take offence to some of those other series as well?

        2. It’s almost as if context is important – but if that were the case then you would be being deliberately disingenuous… that surely couldn’t be the case could it? So that means context can’t be important, which means that you are equally offended by the men only suicide helpline in my country – just because only 1% of women accounted for those suicides in the year before, and it helped reduce suicide tenfold in combination with the regular service doesn’t matter right? Because context doesn’t matter all that matters is immediate, cold turkey equality, with no nuance in it’s introductory.

          Unless you are being deliberately disingenuous.

      2. I say we have Maldonado start from the back in an identical car. If he ever wins the race, we shut the whole thing down.

    2. I’m not really in favour of a W series either but maybe having a few fp sessions with the very best out of this championship is not a big risk.

    3. Considering that almost 100% of the women who have done a full season of gp3 or fia f3 have gotten to do f1 in some form or other I think it is pretty much guaranteed that anyone who wins the w series is going to have f1 test after it.

  3. That’s a good comment of the day. And, even more to the point, Stroll beat his team mate which is the only objective comparison to be made in F1.

    For me the embarassment of the year was Stoffel Vandoorne getting beaten in every qualifying session and heavily out-pointed, even despite Alonso’s excellence.

    1. Stroll beating his team-mate is a very debatable opinion. I don’t think he’s an embarrassment but don’t think he should be in F1 either

    2. Should Stroll be paired with Alonso the score would be no different. Beating your opponent is a good thing, but Sirotkin isn’t the next Alonso…

      1. But Vandoorne was worse than Stroll, that’s the poimt he is making

        1. Vandoorne was worse than Stroll, assuming Sirotkin and Alonso are comparable, which we know they are not. Vandoorne also outscored Stroll. Ergo, it is not correct to say that he was worse than Stroll, soapbox cars notwithstanding.

          1. Spent most of the season fighting with the Williams, enough for me to conclude, that he wasn’t nothing special.

          2. @sundark, I think that the feeling is that Vandoorne has disappointed more than Stroll when you consider the expectations that people had of Vandoorne’s abilities and the way that he seems to have failed to show them once he has arrived in F1.

            There is also an argument that, if anything, Vandoorne seems to have regressed slightly against Alonso and performed worse in 2018 than in 2017, despite this being his second year in the sport (when you would have expected that additional experience to help him close up on Alonso).

            It wasn’t just the fact that he was outqualified by Alonso in every round this season – it was the fact that, on average, the difference in qualifying position grew from 1.9 to 3.4 places between Vandoorne and Alonso, plus Vandoorne went from being 0.26s slower to 0.38s slower in qualifying trim than Alonso. That is the aspect that seems to be most notable – it’s the feeling that, rather than progressing, he has gone backwards that seems to have done for him.

        2. @johnmilk – we’ll have people claiming that Stroll is better than Bottas next…

          1. @tribaltalker is a straight comparison. Forget your opinions about Stroll and Vandoorne, their past wins in junior formula and how they managed to get an F1 seat.

            Objectively their seasons are comparable, and Stroll had a slightly better one when you take into account their cars.

            Vandoorne was the next big thing, didn’t deliver, the hype is over, the sooner people realise it the better. If he was named Marcus or Lance people would be destroyed him around here.

        3. @johnmilk – Don’t get me wrong, I have defended Stroll in several discussions in recent weeks. However, I think this whole “Driver X > Driver Y” comparison makes no sense except for team-mates, and then only if they had the same opportunities (car, contract) throughout the year.
          People tend to pick the metric that favours their chosen driver, too – should we look at total points? Or start positions? Qualifying time gaps? Finishing positions? Overtakes? Penalty points?… So in general, driver comparisons are just a way to start an argument, amongst people like us who care and have an opinion.
          And my original comment was meant to be funny – you are well known for a keen sense of humour. Obviously I failed totally.

          1. @tribaltalker it is definitely a fair statement, and arguably we are limited to comparisons between teammates.

            However I feel people still held Stoff as a high quality F1 driver, when he failed to show us a glimpse of it in my opinion, and when he spends his teammate fighting with cars below his, it is my duty as an internet commentator to point it out.

            Honestly I didn’t took your comment as humourous because Stroll really better than Bottas, not as a wingman though, wink wink

  4. I am curious whether historically there has been an instance like Stroll’s in the past – where Daddy bought an f1 team to give him a seat?

    1. I think that’s more admirable than the father who buys his kid a sugary drink.

      Let alone the company that buys an F1 team to market sugary drinks to kids ;)

    2. mog, when there was greater flexibility on team entries (from the 1950s to 1970s), it was more common for rich individuals to just create their own private race teams, rather than taking over another one – you might have family run teams too, such as Sterling Moss’s father, Alfred Moss, creating the “Ecurie Moss” racing team so his son could race in F1.

      1. Small point, but not criticism:
        Wasn’t Stirling already in F1 before Alfred created their own team…? Which I think was because Stirling always wanted to drive British cars but was unable to get into a British team, after Vanwall, when he was almost Champion.
        A tad different to Stroll’s experience…

        1. BlackJackFan, he was in F1 before that, but in a number of those instances it was through using customer cars – it should also be noted that Alfred had set up the Ecurie Moss team several years earlier to support Stirling’s junior career (when he was still racing at a national level).

          1. Hahaha – I’m starting to think you might almost be as pedantic as me… :)
            Nice chatting with you.

        2. Didn’t Bill Aston set up a team for himself?

  5. Constantijn Blondel
    1st December 2018, 7:06

    Hi Keith, and thanks for posting that awesome bit of karting action. That was pretty awesome, and a nice way to augment my morning coffee, viz. waking me up a bit more :)

    And to pip into the other topic: go girls! As long as you have fun out there, and put on a good show for anyone who invests their money in whichever way, into your series and wherever else you decide to put your four (or two) wheels, I’m good, and you’ll have my full support <3

  6. Okay, I’m totally lost at W series. So can someone explain how it gonna work?

    I originally thought it’s just an exclusive championship but for women with Formula Asia grade chassis, which I won’t debate whether it’s a correct move or not, but the winner (and hopefully her main rival) will undeniably get a much more spotlight which is good.

    However, why their video shows a staggering number of 55 qualifiers? Not to mention it’s not professionally shot, more like they asked to record a selfie and send it to the organizer without any effort to establish a theme (what point to talk about, background, casual dress or racing gear, what background to use, etc). Not that it’s important but it shows a lack of properly “long term plan” for them. For me it’s all look like a reality show.

    With 55 qualifier and only supposedly 6 round how can they declare a winner? It’s impossible to provide 55 chassis and 55 driver in a track would be too much too. So a knock-out tournament? Or a qualifier before season start? I genuinely curious. I will hate if it’s a knock out tournament since serious racing can’t be a tournament. If it’s for fun then it’s fine.

    1. Not that it’s important

    2. @sonicslv, I think that it would be better expressed as being 55 drivers whom they have decided are eligible to compete in that series. They are not all going to compete at the same time – I believe that the plan was for there to be about 18-20 drivers each season, which would be comparable to, for example, what GP3 had in 2018.

      As an aside, whilst you label the Tatuus T-318 a “Formula Asia” car, that is not quite correct – it is a full Formula 3 car (it so happens that, due to Dallara basically having a near monopoly on Formula 3 series, especially in Europe, that the T-318 is being used in the Asian Formula 3 championship, but it is held to the same Formula 3 regulations).

      1. If it planned for – let’s say – 3 season in advance, it’s still weird. With 55 driver announced now and 20 driver competes per season it means you need to reset almost all the field. It sounds just more like they’re making a reality show instead of proper developmental place. Not to mention 3 years is quite long wasted time if you aim to be in F1, assuming you want to get into Formula W because you can’t enter regular championship series.

        That being said, I don’t want to be a naysayer for Formula W, not before I watch a few races at least. Is there a place where I can get more information about it: the tracks, schedule, format, etc?

        As for the car, my mistake. But it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s the same chassis used by other championship and hopefully they also share few same tracks so we can get an indirect comparison of the times.

        1. @sonicslv, I think that you are getting a little too fixed on that “55 drivers” figure and are misinterpreting the situation because of that.

          If you look at most of the major Formula 3 series, you will see that they generally have around 20 drivers competing per season. Now, it’s not uncommon for drivers to spend a couple of years at the level of Formula 3, so between seasons you are likely to see, say, half a dozen different drivers being replaced – you don’t see the entire field changing all at once between seasons, but rather a much more gradual cycle of drivers coming and going.

          All that figure of “55 drivers” means is that there are currently 55 drivers who are eligible to compete and have shown enough interest in competing in that series. It doesn’t mean that every single one of them will definitely drive in that series, nor are they limiting themselves to just that particular pool of drivers – it’s just that is the current shortlist of eligible drivers.

          The plan seems to be to operate this series in a fairly similar way to most Formula 3 series, which is the closest comparison – that is, with a gradual turnover of drivers over a period of a few years and gradually drawing up more drivers from lower series into this series, and hopefully onto other higher ranking series. Think of it more in those terms – i.e. as operating in a fairly similar way to most Formula 3 series, just one where all of the participants are female drivers.

          As for the circuit list, as they are going to be one of the support races for the DTM championship for the first six rounds of that championship, the calendar should be as follows:
          Brands Hatch

  7. I disagree with Johnson to an extent. Kimi is in his late-30s, so I wouldn’t claim he’s ‘too young’ to step away from F1.
    Nico Rosberg, for example, stepped away in only his early-30s.
    – I thoroughly agree with the COTD.

    1. @jerejj – But Nico had a WDC to his name and knew that realistically, he wouldn’t ever get a another chance. Oh… Kimi too. Ooops.

      1. That’s your assumption that he wouldn’t win again, he reached his goal, so retired, get over it. Mansell won at 42, you mainly need a good car..

      2. Kimi had some sort of “Number 2” clause in his contract with Ferrari, so for most of the season he wasn’t really in a position to win a race. I don’t know if Charles has a similar clause in his contract, but he’ll have to win a few races early in the season to make sure he doesn’t end up with the Number 2 status.
        It will be interesting to see the Sauber in action.

  8. Superb bit of racing in that karting clip, loved it :)

  9. That Force India quote about the budget cap sounds very much like what was coming out of USF1, HRT, Virgin and Lotus back in the day. And look where they are now, thanks to the proposed budget cap not appearing. I hope daddy Strolls plans extend to properly financing the team for the current situation, and not just scraping by until the budget cap is introduced. Otherwise, when the cap is delayed or scrapped it could end very badly for the team.

    1. @mcjamweasel: No worries. Lawrence inherited his hubris from his son. He knows full well, that to make a million dollars from F1 he just needs to start with a billion.

  10. Keith you might like to re-phrase, “Pick up a female from the series”….

    1. OK, would “give her a ride” be more appropriate?

      Oh, wait…

  11. Still laughing at the idea of NASCAR going hybrid….

    1. Wouldn’t be the first racing series. Don’t both the WEC and F1 run hybrid technology?

      The problem for NASCAR is that the manufactures are going to stop selling cars altogether. Ford will only have the Mustang and the Focus Active, while GM will be ending production of 6 different cars in their line-up.

  12. Mark in Florida
    2nd December 2018, 0:44

    Now I know where all of those unemployed paddock girls went, Formula W. If they can compete and show enough talent maybe the should get a shot at F3 or F2.But if this is only a dog and pony show just to sooth the feelings of the women who think that they can drive then this is a colossal waste of time. Maybe they should recruit Danica Patrick to be a headliner for the series. If they can’t beat her then they are not good enough for anything else except a W series.

    1. Seems that someone is intimidated.

Comments are closed.