Only a few weeks ago was the Scrutineering Bay discussing the future of one Kimi Raikkonen – whether the 2007 World Champion was going to sign for Williams and whether it was a good idea. Some of you got the opportunity to respond – and not all of it was positive!
Then, in his own unique style, Kimi goes and throws us all a curve ball by signing for Renault instead, which prompts us to ask;
“Is Kimi Raikkonen joining
Williams Lotus the right move for both?”
Some of us at Badger absolutely adore the Iceman – indeed, Jimmy Von Weeks is a big fan – but we all know that there are some of you who aren’t. He’s a divisive character. So, here in the Bay, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of his return.
Yes – it’s great Kimi is back!
There are two sides to Kimi – the one we all want to see is the hard charging racer who lit up the F1 world while at McLaren. There are plenty of examples of how he acquired his fanbase – accelerating through the smoke at Eau Rouge is one that immediately springs to mind, as is his charge through the field at Suzuka. We’ll have plenty more of that please Mr. Iceman.
The main thing is that his motivation seems to be back. He’s signed for Lotus/Renault, which is a team he so bitterly fell out with over a comeback not so long ago. Williams was an option and, while he could’ve signed for them for the money, it would probably have led to a strained relationship (media commitments, corporate appearences). Instead, he’s he’s signed for a more competitive package. He wants to be a force again.
He’s stated that trying other series like the World Rally Championship where he just raced the clock and NASCAR, where he raced with others in a more aggressive manner, stoked up the fire for him to return. If he’s still got that passion then why not come back and try his hand again? That’s the anticipation he brings to the sport, and that’s why people are excited for his return.
No – it could be a mistake!
Then there’s the other side of Kimi that we all know so well. It’s usually most prevalent when things aren’t going well, and involves an ice cream and a pair of flip-flops. When you have a sulky driver, it takes a lot to get him out of the doldrums.
Now, we’re pretty sure that the Lotus/Renault team is a good environment to work in. Kubica moved there from BMW and loved it, which then bred success on track, which then made him love it even more. That’s the environment Kimi will need to do a good job – but the team hasn’t come up a against a force of nature like an unhappy Iceman before.
Then there’s the media commitments. A team that’s trying to be successful will need to have a driver at the forefront of their PR exposure. Kimi is perfect but reluctant at the same time and Vitaly Petrov has pretty much shot himself in the foot with his little outburst before Brazil so he’s off the table. This means Kimi will have to step up to the plate. Lotus is a big car manufacturer so the PR is important. See where this is going? Could be a bit awkward.
Not to mention that Kimi with a microphone can be a bit…volatile. Ask Martin Brundle. The recent foray into NASCAR is also testament to that strange skill Raikkonen has, this time on the team radio (warning, may contain strong language, thankfully there’s asterisks!)
“The car is just so ******* bad”
“The car is **** because I cannot get it turned! It is so frustrating! I cannot get the ******** car turned!”
“We’re so ******** ****, it’s unbelievable.”
Remember, team radios are available to everyone in 2012!
That’s just our take on the signing, but what’s yours? Are you a Kimi fan excited to see him return, or are you worried it’s the lazy Iceman that may cometh? Let us know below!