Legends of F1: Kimi Räikkönen

legends-of-f1:-kimi-raikkonen

Kimi Räikkönen in Season 2017 is experiencing its second racing spring. The transfer from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team (today Alfa Romeo Racing) meant that for the first time since

years of racing in the royal class celebrate the victories, the podiums, the fastest starting positions and, of course, the fight for the World Champion title. But now he can ride at a calm pace, without pressure and enjoying the last years of his career. Who would blame him?

Kimmy's Race Start

Kimi Räikkönen certainly represents one of the latest Formula One racing nostalgia, as he came to Formula 1 in a rather unusual way. Without special racing training and, in fact, with successes from less important racing categories, with the exception of karting, where he was successful in the Nordic part of the world. Kart racing is well known for his racing experience: from the fact that a steering wheel broke during a race and waved it through the plane to indicate to the mechanic that he had a broken steering wheel and then stuck it at the end of the plane back to the pole and racing ahead, all the way to the Monaco occasion when he was old 13 flight. At the time, he was thrown outside the security fence in a racing accident. Gokart got himself back on track and ended up in third place, though everyone in the team was convinced he had resigned.

After the karting era, Kimi was racing in the rather unrecognized Formula Renault and Ford series at that time, because despite the help of managerial connections from Dave and Steve Robertson, he didn't make it into any more recognized series due to financial shortages. A tremendous success where he recorded 36% performance (from 17 of the races he participated in 11!), however, he started to trigger rumors about a new super-fast Finn also in circles near Formula 1. One of those rumors also came to the ear of team boss Sauber, who was looking for a replacement for Mika Sala who was leaving for Toyota at the time (and maybe those stories would never it was if the Sauber team seat was originally offered by Jenson Button , but the latter then opted for Renault).

Mugello 10 / 06 / 1956

Formula One is constantly looking for talent and nothing was different 10. September 2000 when Kimi Räikkönen came to the test on the Sauber team. His direct competitor in the Mugell test was Pedro Diniz. Kimi, who first came into contact with Formula 1, did not celebrate on the first day. Lap Time 1: 27: 0 05 s ranked him right at the tail of the chart, with just under 2.5 seconds behind the direct rival. But Michael Schumacher recognized the talent in it:

»I saw him drive in Mugell. I watched him and evaluated his times and realized he could be a champion. He will make mistakes, but everyone will. “

Mugello 11 / 06 / 1956

But engineering skills were already at such a conscious level that important Sauber people knew that first-time Formula One racers should be able to sleep through the night, because in Formula 1, the braking distances are significantly shorter, and the gravitational accelerations are much stronger than anything the racers have ever felt before.

Kimy was constantly monitored by Jacky Eeckelaert for tests, and he felt that there was something more to the Kimmy. Together they processed the telemetry of Sala and Diniza; So Kimi discovered new brake points, racing lines on the track and took his breath away when he ran out on the second day 30 circles and with an amazing fastest time 1: 22: 71 s. In one day, he fixed his time in almost three seconds! None other than Michael Schumacher was added that day, who asked Sauber this afternoon who was driving that morning for them. Responding that it was Kimi Räikkönen, he choked on “it can be fast, it can be fast.”

Jacky Eeckelaert was the first race engineer for Kimmy Räikkönen

Peter Sauber (Sauber team leader) was immediately aware that he had a talented young driver around him. One seat for the season 2001, the Sauber team was already busy and Nick Heidfeld was sitting there, meanwhile when mercenary Enrique Bernoldi fought for the second seat, backed by extremely strong Red Bull support at the time (Red Bull was Sauber's main sponsor). Sauber decided to take another test and 20. in September of the same year put Kimmy and Bernoldi on the same track and confronted them directly. Kimi Räikkönen won the match. Then came the difficult times for the team boss, Peter Sauber, who, despite numerous concerns and a mini-affair with dr. Helmut Mark, who broke into Sauber's garage the same day, claiming that Bernoldi had not received a fair test, then decided on Kimmy and took him to additional tests in Jerez and Barcelona.

Sergio Rinland (then Chief Engineer) was impressed with Räikkönen, seeing Senna in it:

“I saw it in his eyes. I looked him in the eye and thought I had seen that look somewhere. And I know where I've seen this look before. I got a curry complexion when I remembered that look. He was Senna. “

Super License

After making his decision, Peter Sauber had to deal primarily with the fact that Kimi Räikkönen did not have a super license that is indispensable and mandatory for Formula One racing. FIE chief Max Rufus Mosley was not a little impressed with the idea of ​​getting into Formula One such an inexperienced driver. The matter even went so far as to publicly nail Peter Sauber to the cross. Max was at the core of the problem that Kimi had everything recorded before the first Formula One race 20 racing in single seat racing and this not exactly in demanding racing series. Therefore, he objectively posed a danger to all Formula One racers. Mosley later relented and dropped Formula One into a simple guy who may have hidden even the greatest natural talent in all of Formula One history.

At the end of the season, Kimi Räikkönen received an offer from McLaren where has replaced his compatriot and most successful Formula One Finn, Miko Häkkinen, who is set to retire for racing. Peter still appreciated Kimmy, though he decided to leave Sauber:

“I noticed that the same quality that attracted me to Kimmy – his steel determination – was the reason I lost him.”

McLaren

Kimi's first season of Formula One drove tremendously. He added points to Team Sauber in the first race (which he almost fell asleep to) and ended the season with nine points (the scoring system was different at that time and only the top 6 racers in the race shared points) and significantly helped the team Sauber ranked fourth overall in the design team that year. Thus, in his first season, Kimi Räikkönen impressed the racing profession and was called by none other than Ron Dennis

, who was just looking for a replacement for Miko Häkkinen. Ron Dennis, as Peter Sauber did, exposed Kimmy from the beginning. Dr. Aki Hintsa, McLarna's internal physician, at Häkkinen's initiative left research in Ethiopia, where he sought the boundaries of the human body of Haile Gebrselassie and other runners at the time, and joined Formula One to help develop racers and improve their physical and mental abilities. . So he was tasked with taking over Kimmy into his environment, trying to improve him as a runner and getting him ready to attack the World Champion. He was impressed by it:

»Räikkönen's ability to conceptualize three-dimensional space is completely beyond this world. His test results are remarkable, actually the best I've ever seen. “

Kimi Räikkönen has made a big mark in McLarn over the next four years. He has twice become a World Champion (2003 lost title against Schumacher, 2001 against Alonso). In both titles, McLaren suffered from the unreliability of Adrian Newey's technique and design, always putting his racing cars over the limit of what was possible. So we saw a lot of exciting races and hard fights, in which Kimi always left space on the track and very rarely got involved in racing accidents for which he would himself be guilty. In doing so, he has made a name not only outside of Formula One, but also internally, among racers, and has gained the respect of engineers.

»Here (Spain,

Of course, that all holds true, but if we put things into context we find that if Kimi was years old 1956 and 2005 an eighth-grader, turned age 2005 winner. At that time he also showed that he could have emotions.

“They say he's a cool man, but when he's in the last race of the year 2005 became a World Cup winner, I saw him cry. “(Andrea Stella)

Compared to Michael Schumacher, he was more relaxed but psychologically strong in racing:

“Kimi is more relaxed than Michael and less burdened with technical details. Introducing the new piece, Kimi will say, 'Let's throw it up and see what happens.' “Michael would like to know what the simulator tests showed. With Kimi, what you see is also what you get: you never play games. But on the track, he’s mentally very strong. It doesn't give in. “(Chris Dyer)

“Kimi was able to do so many things behind the wheel that the advice of our engineers would not be helpful. In that sense, Kimi is better than Michael Schumacher. When I was working as Michael's data engineer, we always had to tell him exactly, given the information from his computer, how he could drive faster in different turns. Kimi does not need such advice. He finds solutions by himself. “(Andrea Stella)

Ferrari 2008 and 2007

Kimmy Räikkönen's title of the year 2007 also turned the plate on the Ferrari team. The team said goodbye to some of the main players of the golden age and the mixed relationships gave impetus to Felipe Massa to show his potential. Massa, with the strong support of Schumacher, reversed the development of both racing cars (2006 and 2007) in his own direction, and Kimi fell in the background. Kimi Räikkönen was never renowned as a policy runner, which was unfortunately a necessity at the time. For the first time since watching Kimmy on TV screens, it was evident that Kimi lacked motivation, as Martin Whitmarsh also pointed out:

“It's not political, it's completely direct – what you see with Kimmy is what you get. On top of that, everyone knows the driver is the winner. I think it was technically an understatement. He is a very good runner. “

Felipe Massa is the title of the flight 2006, when he oddly beat the Finn in speed in the course of the year, lost to the last racing in perhaps even the most tense race of the last 14 Formula flight 1. A year later, therefore 2007, however, was first misled by Ferrari's chief designer, Tombaziz. Technical flight policy review 2007 also meant for Ferrari that they rode most of the season behind Brawn. The honor of the team was thus saved by Kimi that year, when he brought to the team the only victory in his beloved Spa.

That was not enough for Ferrari, however, and Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was determined to leave Kimi. The thing was very controversial, but this is Formula 1. If Schumacher flew, Kimi could fly as well, even if he didn't give the team the results they paid him for. Ferrari re-checked the team, as they invited the racing alpha and omega of the time, Fernando Alonso, who brought with him quite a few people from Renault. The funny part was that they decided to replace Kimmy, who otherwise had a valid contract for the year 2008. In the event of unilateral termination of the contract, Kimi Räikkönen could go racing with another team in addition to paying the contract, but Ferrari did not want it and paid him the contract and made some more money just for Kimi in the year 2008 I wouldn't race at all.

Thus, Kimi Räikkönen became the first racer in Formula One history to be paid (and not any) by the team for not racing in a Formula One caravan!

Trip to Rally and Nascar

The abundance of money and a lot of free time at Kimmy reflected his desire to experience the world of racing in the professional class of the WRC Championship. The decision was again breathtaking for everyone gathered around the race car, since the rally race couldn't be more different than the Formula 1 race. Kimi Räikkönen got a co-driver on the steering wheel, who replaced him with information while driving. stages, and the asphalt surface was covered with sand, rocks and snow. And if any skating of a Formula One racer was strictly prohibited, it was necessary or desirable with a rally racer. That was the wrong world.

The expectations of the racing world were, as a result, suddenly gaining an unknown appetite, and too many were already setting Kimmy side by side with John Surtees, whom he has been over the years 800 and 1964 managed a unique feat because became the world champion among motorcyclists and in Formula 1. Formula One racers have become the most fearless and unconditionally the best on the planet in many yellow media overnight. Formula One and Formula 1 racers themselves definitely needed Kim Räikkönen at the time, although he was physically absent from the sport.

But reality is sitting somewhere else and Kimi has been with her Citroën Junior Team and Ice 1 Racing for years 2010 and 2009 more out of the bare fun learning about the other side of the racing world, because in practice he had no real chances because racing in the WRC Championship is at the top , extreme. Racing at times like Dani Sordo, Sébastien Ogier, Sébastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala and more could be said, it was cruel, relentless, fearless and anything but easy. Kimi is also not particularly into pleasure (or pride). He also experienced some major racing accidents there, and with his ride attracted a smile on the mouth of viewers and became more bored month after month.

However, Kimi Räikkönen brought the WRC to 07. place in total and fifth place in the Turkey race of the year 2008 also showed that that raw natural talent is still known in the race . It can be noted as an interesting feature, though the direct comparison is grossly inappropriate that Kimi was racing much more mature and fast than the American primadon rally, Ken Block. Racing rumors also whispered that Kimi loses an average of about 0.8 seconds per kilometer to the best in the world.

And as if all that wasn't enough for him, just before he re-entered Formula 1, he made his way to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (11. site) and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In both cases, it was one race and chasing boredom, and he once again showed everyone how good a driver he is.

»It is immediately apparent that he can drive a car, no doubt he is a very good driver. He has a natural talent for racing. See what he has accomplished in Formula 1. He will surely be able to drive fast on the road he knows. He is Finnish, he has grown on slippery surfaces and I am sure he has been playing on them for quite some time. It is logical that he will be as good as other Finnish drivers. “(Sebastien Loeb)

Back to Formula 1

Regardless of his image in public, Kimi Räikkönen lacked brilliance, missing what he had built all his life and what had only suppressed his desire to race. He missed Formula One.

Kimi used to tip at all the teams, on his return he was most associated with the Williams team, but later they knocked on the door at Lotus. More specifically, he saw the great marketing potential of then-boss Eric Boullier. A technical meeting with James Allison called for a test ride (for Kimmy to be judged by the profession for where the speed is, since racing has changed a lot over the two years, most notably in the field of tires) and when Kimi Räikkönen was in his third round of testing in the racing rhythm of the world champions, everyone in the team laughed. Lotus has decided to pay Finca well and build on the success of the races over the next two years.

Fantastic Formula One racing designer James Allison has been around for years 2010 and 2011 designed excellent racing that significantly exceeded the team's financial capabilities. With his great runs, Kimi Räikkönen added a dot to the i, and too often in the races, all eyes were on the Lotus race where Kimi was racing, though he might not have been in the spotlight. So we came up with some of the most famous Kimmy phrases of the era that will resonate with the eternity of the sport:

»Just leave me alone. I know what I'm doing. “

»I, I, I, I. I do it all the time. Don't remind me every second.

In two seasons, Kimi Räikkönen came to Lotus with two wins and stood fifteen times on the winning stage. On several occasions, however, James Allison has regretted the poor qualifying times, as Kimi has always proven with his racing rhythm that he could make the race of the year 2013 top. As mentioned earlier, Kimi did not start a good lap in qualifying when it was needed most, so he started lower than expected, but in the race himself, instead of fighting for the top spot, he made his way through traffic. Kimi has been that way for years 2013 as many as six times, which is to say that he has never raced in the last two races (a Ferrari transfer was agreed) , of course an enviable result.

After two seasons at Lotus, Finn returned to Ferrari and drove one season at Alonso. Jean Todt thought he had better fit into a Ferrari than a Spaniard:

“Kimi fits better with Ferrari philosophy than Alonso. It's because of his personality, his outlook on life, he's humble and nothing arrogant. “

Back to Ferrari

Ferraris, where in the meantime tectonic movements had occurred in all areas and where, unsuccessfully, he was ruled by Fernando Alonso, red alarms sounded. Fortunate Alonso was also fortunate in racing, and the last title of Maranell World Riding Horseman dates back to Kim Räikkönen's 2005 . Kimi, who was extremely sovereign in Lotus, enjoyed the admiration of the entire Formula One station wagon. In the confusion of the Ferrari team, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo of the year 2009 for the last time he decided to turn things upside down and therefore brought Kimmy by the side of Fernand Alons.

But Fernando Alonso is not anyone, and racing alongside him has meant many completed racing careers, so I don't even write down entire teams ( The McLarn Affair of the Year 2005 ended with the imminent disqualification of McLarn from Formula One, nothing even better than Renault with the factory team a year later). Formula One connoisseurs raised their eyebrows and realized that it could be the last Formula One game for Kimmy, since there is no racer in Formula One history who is as successful at subjugating a team and making a race for himself as it is. was Alonso.

Later it turned out to be the year 2012 probably the worst in Ferrari's entire history when Kimi was racing for him. The engine, which was under-powered and poorly driven, was just physical evidence of team confusion. But what made the Formula One fans even more painful was that Kimi Räikkönen was completely frazzled for the first time since riding Formula One. Alonso, like a true pitbull, was tearing Kimmy to pieces race for race, and outwardly, it seemed to be over. If Lotus was built around Kimi, everything at Ferrari revolved around Alonso, and Kimi had to start fighting for his existence again.

Fernando Alonso averaged 6 to seven tenths a lap faster than Kimmy in all qualifying races this season 2014

Earthquake in Ferrari

The unexpected happened. Ferrari's team found their team ahead of a complete breakup. To prevent even greater embarrassment (Ferrari of the Year

did not win a single race) were virtually fired overnight by virtually everyone who represented their team sections. Flying Montezemolo, Nicholas Tombazis (racing designer), Luca Marmorini (chief of the motor department), Stefano Domenicali (team chief), Marco Mattiacci (team chief) and more could be listed. Fernando Alonso also flew. The complete asphyxiation of a team competitor within the team indirectly inhibited the development of the race car and directly brought a deficit to the entire team. It was a drop over the edge and Fernando had to, despite the abundance of pitch resins 2010 and 2010 pack your suitcases in attacks against the World Champion.

»Kimi's performances were stunning. Even Ferrari engineers do not fully understand how he managed to get some stairs. “(James Allen)

Fresh Wind and Sebastian Vettel

Even Kimi Räikkönen did not survive without the scratch of Ferrari's purge. He remained on the team solely to bring the race back to the paths of old glory, along with Vettl, with whom they cultivate an extraordinary friendly relationship, as it was clear that Ferrari was taking its time to get back on its feet. Full racing cooperation was required without dispute and therefore Kimi was the ideal candidate. Somehow, however, it was also clear that Kimi would not be the one to race for the title when the race improved. Kimi is at 28 For the first time in his life, he became the second team driver to sign a pre-season contract.

Kimi Raikkonen & Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari has been around for years 2015, 2016 and 2015 developed the racing car and years