Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next season?

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by ish678 » 17 Sep 2010, 17:09

There's a new article on Autosport called 'Commercial Side Key To Raikkonen Fate' Can someone post it here please, I'm on iPod so can't do it now, thank you :)

There's a bit from Lopez talking rubbish but worth a read.
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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by ish678 » 17 Sep 2010, 17:10

:lol: Thanks Julia, you read my mind :p

I know F1 is a business but still.
Last edited by ish678 on 17 Sep 2010, 17:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Vida » 17 Sep 2010, 17:15

commercially speaking.. renault needs kimi...

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by iceman1 » 17 Sep 2010, 17:16

Julia wrote:can somebody get to us the autosport plus story?

Spoiler:
Turn back the clocks a year. As Renault personnel began packing their bags for the trip to the Singapore Grand Prix, you could have forgiven them for feeling a bit of dread about the journey ahead.

The team was engulfed in the controversy surrounding its fixing of the 2008 night race, and it was bracing itself for an FIA hearing where, even if it escaped punishment, its parent company could choose to pull the plug on the whole operation. These were the darkest of days the Enstone operation had witnessed.

Fast forward to today, with the FIA hearing now a distant memory and Renault totally committed, and the mood within the team could not be any different. There is a spring back in the step of its personnel, the doubts about its future have long gone and you could argue it's been the most improved outfit of 2010.

Yet for Renault F1's new chairman Gerard Lopez, whose Genii Capital firm took a majority shareholding off Renault in a deal agreed over the winter, the progress made over the past year is not the case of job done. Instead, it is merely the beginning of what he hopes to achieve.

"I would consider it a mission started," he tells AUTOSPORT, sitting in the Renault motorhome. "The way we looked at it when we took over, we were negotiating with another team, which was BMW, when we found out that there might be a deal to be done with Renault.

"There was something that excited us with Renault - and that still excites us very, very much - which is that we had to deal with a team in Enstone that had won back-to-back world championships, so we knew that we were basing ourselves in a team that knew how to win.

"The challenge was how to take the existing base, which was a very good one, and bring it back up. So what we started doing, and I think we've accomplished, is to re-entrust people that know how to race, how to win, and give them self-belief.

"Obviously we changed some people, some key people, but that was essentially to re-galvanise - and not change what was there completely. So there have been changes in the factory in terms of processes, there have been changes at races in terms of processes and so on, but they're all based on an existing team which has been very successful in the past.

"So we have done the first bit, which is to re-energise or re-activate what was there and maybe change some things. But now we're getting into the exciting part which is to try to get back to the front."

Unlike Renault's previous chief Flavio Briatore, Lopez is a man who prefers to keep himself away from the public spotlight. He is certainly not a self publicist, nor a man who gets much of a thrill from seeing his name in headlines.

That stance has left him still a bit of an unknown quantity in the paddock - and prompted cynics to suggest he is no different to other businessmen who have come into the sport looking simply to make a quick buck.

He is adamant that is not the case with him and, although not denying he is in the sport for business reasons, he sees revenue streams coming from areas from outside the direct sphere of influence of the Renault team.

"From a business perspective I think our objective has always been misunderstood," he explains. "Our objective has always been to be a break-even operation. We know this is Formula 1, so we can't compare it to any other business.

"In any other business we have, you make an investment, you increase sales, you increase profitability, and then you take your dividends. In the case of Formula 1, if you increase the money that you allocate to your team there's always going to be a way to spend it. So there's never going to be a way to pay our dividends and so on.

"Our objective has always been to have a long-term view on Renault F1 as a break-even operation and then for us to use that operation to essentially do deals in the countries that we visit. That's really where we measure up.

"So I would say from a performance perspective, we have gained a lot on the car. From a financial perspective, I don't think anybody has signed more sponsors than we have in the paddock this year, and from a team perspective we've done a couple of deals, including with Trina Solar, that completely wasn't us having a long-term view on it. So I'd say it's all positive. "

All of this is not to say that things have been totally rosy in Lopez's back garden this year though. In July, speculation in the paddock cast doubt on Renault's future following a request for the outfit to get an advance on its television rights money - something that normally only happens when teams are in dire straights financially.

The request - which needed approval from other teams - was put in because Renault wanted to pump more money into developing its 2011 contender using future sponsorship money it could not lay its hands on at that time. Unsurprisingly, Renault's rivals vetoed it - and were quick to let the world know what had happened behind closed doors.

It was perhaps Lopez's first big lesson of life in the Piranha Club - although he insists things are much tougher in the outside world than they ever are in F1.

"Surprisingly, it's much more cut-throat outside of Formula 1," he smiles. "At the end of the day it's only F1. Something like that happens, and internally our employees maybe question things and we have to tell them that everything's okay, but I don't lose any sleep over it. In the real life, a letter like that is way more damaging.

"F1 is quite an ego-centric environment, so you have jealousy. You've obviously got people coming in, taking over a team, and people who've been around a little while expecting you to fail, to go straight into the wall.

"You've got the first announcement of sponsors, then you've got a world-class driver like Robert Kubica who everyone expects to leave, and he actually signs for two more years. Then you've got a second driver that everyone expects to fail because supposedly he's a pay driver, so there's all these reasons that people will then start looking for bad things to hook up on you.

"And honestly, in that case, it isn't any different to your neighbour finding out that you just bought a new car and he starts saying that you didn't buy it, you had to go and get the money from someone. It's the same thing.

"It's a little bit funny because people take themselves a little bit too seriously. And, at the same time, it's a little bit… it's not very intelligent. At the end of the day, it is a sport where the sport would benefit from the teams trying not to help each other because it's a competition, but trying to think of ways to help the sport together.

"So just jumping on something, jumping too quickly to conclusions, assuming certain things like a team is not interested long-term, or that a team is just two guys that came in, just had a little bit of fun and they're already bored with their new toy and they're moving on to something - these are shortcuts that people shouldn't take. Pride pushes us to prove even further the opposite."

Working with Eric Boullier

Despite his key involvement in helping guide a fresh future for Renault, Lopez never intended to have a day-to-day role in running the operation. Instead he drafted in Eric Boullier for the position of team principal - with the Frenchman having previously been head of the Gravity Sport Management company that Lopez helped found.

The dynamic of the pair - with Boullier concentrating on the racing aspects and Lopez focusing on the commercial elements - appears to a key factor in having allowed the team to make progress.

"I think that's what it is," agrees Lopez. "I think that Eric does a really good job at the core business of a racing team, which is racing. We help him out - and probably work much more on the economic side, the financial side and also on the political side so that kind of frees his back up to focus on the core business."

So how much involvement does Lopez have personally, and how much is simply left to Boullier to decide?

"We were very hands-on at the beginning, but not from the strategy, and not from a technical perspective. Even though we sat down with James [Allison, technical director] quite a bit, we were not going to tell James, 'that wing doesn't look right, you have to redesign it!'

"But we did sit down to try to understand where the deficit in performance came from after the first test and try to get an understanding from him what he needed, from an investment perspective, in addition to what had been allocated. He wanted to bring the car back up in performance, so we were very hands-on in understanding.

"We were very hands-on in helping shift the culture a little bit with some key nominations at the factory while always trusting the team that was there. We were lucky enough to be basing ourselves on a team that had been a world champion team. And, on the other hand, Eric got full support and full trust.

"Eric had worked for us and again, it was one of those positions where people said, they're putting someone there who doesn't have F1 experience, and so on and so forth. He's a quite intelligent guy, his maturity's better than a lot of people running around here, even without a lot of Formula 1 experience and, on the other hand, he does know racing.

"He's very passionate about it. He's got a technical background, he knows how to handle drivers, because that what he's been doing, so he had all the prerequisites to succeed. And knowing that we really didn't have any before, he has full authority, if you want, on the team from a racing perspective. He has full authority on the team from a drivers' perspective.

"Obviously we weigh in, in terms of discussing things with him and knowing each other for quite a while, but now it's more of a dialogue than us telling him what to do. He knows what he has to do and he does it and he gets judged on that, and obviously with discussions when things don't happen the way they should. But he is the boss and he makes those decisions."

Drivers

The biggest intrigue among fans at Renault this season has been surrounding its drivers. There was much talk earlier in the year that rival outfits were sniffing around Robert Kubica - with the Pole finally able to regularly show his talent in the R30 this year.

In the end though, just as he did over the winter before Lopez's takeover was confirmed, Kubica committed himself to Renault once more. He knows he has around him an outfit that is willing to give him everything he needs - so why risk going somewhere else where the politics or internal strategy could be different?

The main question at the moment, though, is who Kubica's team-mate will be. AUTOSPORT revealed last week that Kimi Raikkonen has been on the phone sounding out Renault about the situation for next year - while other drivers including Adrian Sutil, Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen have all been linked with the second seat.

Yet, for now, Renault's priority is to give Vitaly Petrov the opportunity to prove his worth. The Russian has shown flashes of speed this year, but has equally frustrated Renault by his failure to produce that form at every moment of a weekend. Too often there have been needless errors - like the qualifying spin in Spa or blocking Timo Glock in Monza qualifying - that have wrecked his weekend's hopes.

Renault readily admits that a high part of the motivation for getting Petrov on board was because of the commercial opportunities he opened up - through Russian sponsors willing to throw their cash at the team because of his involvement.

Yet while getting money was vital at the start of 2010, the improved fortunes throughout the year would point to the fact that perhaps the decision will not be so financially driven this time out.

Plus, teams are always weighing up the balance between straight sponsorship money in the coffers and the extra finances they get for good Constructors' Championship finishes. If Renault had two men performing at Kubica's level this season, it points would have lifted it from its current fifth in the standings to fourth - which is worth many, many millions of pounds.

Lopez concedes that the decision on drivers will not, however, be taken purely on a skill basis - and that there has to be commercial considerations.

"It's very important," he explains. "As I said, we use Formula 1, and we have to push our team to succeed because we use the platform to do business. And you know, it's a question of image.

"People like to do business with winning teams, so it goes hand in hand. For us still, the main consideration in this outside of Eric's mission and the team's mission to start winning races again, is the business one. And it has become more important now that we've solidified the team, that we've found the sponsors, that we're bringing the sponsors, that we're doing whatever needs to be done.

"It's even more important now to build the team, to use that platform for the business side of it. And the fact that we're doing more and more deals with companies that come through Renault Formula 1 because we provide other things, I think it's even more important for 2011 than it was for 2010. In 2010 we had to rebuild. In 2011 we can focus on business."

What about the bid to get the team revolved around Robert Kubica - just as Ferrari was once based around Michael Schumacher and Renault used to be all about Fernando Alonso?

"We've extended Robert's contract by two years, so that obviously means that we're building on Robert, but honestly I do not like the term 'star driver'," says Lopez. "Anyone that would become too much of a star here would probably drop back to earth, and Robert doesn't have that sort of character anyway. So that's why there's a really good faith.

"I think he's really passionate about racing. I've known a lot of drivers even before taking the team on and he's probably one of the most… I mean that guy just thinks about driving, whether it's an F1 car, whether it's a kart, whether it's a rally car, whether it's a bike, you know.

"So I think he's the ideal driver to be helping out in rebuilding this team. His ego is well in check, he's very intelligent. But, you know, he's not a star driver - he is one of the faces of the team. He is a key building stone for this thing, which is why I said we've decided to sign him for another two years.

"It's funny because people now think things are going well and we're going to change drivers, and there's a certain rally driver that wasn't interested in Formula One but now has made contact and is interested in coming back to F1, funnily enough with us, but we're not there yet.

"So Robert we're building on, and Vitaly we're building. As a driver we know he can do it, so we're building him up as a driver and then again, typically for us, there is an economic consideration.


"It's not that Vitaly is a paying driver, because he's not, but certainly the sponsors that he brought or that came, which is Lada, have been very good sponsors. But Vitaly was not bringing the kind of money that people were saying.

"And he's a good driver. Vitaly was second in the GP2 championship last year and could easily have won that championship if he hadn't had six failures last year. On top of all that, he is a driver that has 250million Russian-speaking people that are convinced in him, so we'd be stupid not to assume that there is a business behind that. But we have to build the driver. He is to us a very important element, just as Robert is. "

Reading between the lines, Petrov's commercial possibilities make him the most attractive option for next year - but he needs to start delivering better results on track to prove it.

The future

Despite the resurrection of Renault, Lopez still finds himself at the centre of speculation about his future.

Recent comments suggesting that his F1 investment had been greater than he originally anticipated, allied to speculation suggesting he was considering finding a way out of his F1 involvement, prompted rumours that Renault was evaluating buying back its team.

For now, though, Lopez insists that he is wholly committed to the team and making a success of his F1 operations.

"There's not even a question," he said about the possibility of him stepping back from his F1 involvement. "There's a difference between the terms of costs and investments. If it starts to become costs, just because things are that way, we would be committed to the cutting down these costs.

"If it's pure investment for performance, and what it does is bring us closer to where we need to be, then honestly we'll always be close to the maximum. There are also things like the Resource Restriction Agreement, which is now coming into place. We'll always try to be, in an intelligent way, as high as possible. If that wasn't the case, we'd have pretty much stopped looking for sponsors now and just say "no, we just continue on what we have now."

"So no, we have an interest that this team does win races again, that this team does win championships again and hopefully if everything's goes fine we'll still be around in 10 years. And regardless of how often people ask us the question, it is not our intention to sell this. It is not a company like any other company. "

So any truth in the recent Renault takeover talks?

"No, no. The best person to ask would be Renault themselves, and they will tell you the exact opposite. I mean, Renault is in F1 because it wants to be in F1. If you think about the results that Renault's getting out of this, the visibility and the cost - which is for them honestly close to zero now - why would they want anything else?

"I always have to smile when I read articles about those kinds of things, and I don't laugh about the journalists that write it, I just laugh about the paddock. There's never a journalist that launches the worm, it's always the paddock.

"Just pure logic will tell you that if Renault were to do that [takeover the team again], they would be completely crazy. It's actually the opposite. They're pushing us as much as they can to do more, just because they like the partnership, you know. Better results for them, a much more visible image and no investment for them. It's quite interesting."

Indeed, very interesting times for Renault. And a world away from how it was a year ago.

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Kriss » 17 Sep 2010, 17:18

iceman you are fast as lightning :thumbsup:

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Vida » 17 Sep 2010, 17:18

thanks iceman!

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by iceman1 » 17 Sep 2010, 17:19

Kriss wrote:iceman you are fast as lightning :thumbsup:

It's just copy/paste :p

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Julia » 17 Sep 2010, 17:19

ish678 wrote::lol: Thanks Julia, you read my mind :p

I know F1 is a business but the idea of there being any kind of a contest between Kimi and Petrov is still hard to deal with.


Im going through my potential kim-news pages at the moment :lol:

I actually think that Lopez is speaking smarter than Bullier... and I dont think its bad Pr for Kimi.... they thinking hard at the moment are they ready to have a wdc in their team already next year... its no idea to put money on a driver i you dont have the winning car and team.
Last edited by Julia on 17 Sep 2010, 17:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Boudica » 17 Sep 2010, 17:21

Serious I wish Renault will just keep quiet, they are contradicting themselves. On the one hand they are talking about how important commercial viability is, and then they turn around and say that Petrov's place in the team doesn't depend on money. So what are they actually saying? It seems like they are just talking to keep their name in press and unfortunately they are using Kimi to do so. I bet the Robertsons wish they have never spoken to Renault.
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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by sleenster » 17 Sep 2010, 17:24

Boudica wrote:Serious I wish Renault will just keep quiet, they are contradicting themselves. On the one hand they are talking about how important commercial viability is, and then they turn around and say that Petrov's place in the team doesn't depend on money. So what are they actually saying? It seems like they are just talking to keep their name in press and unfortunately they are using Kimi to do so. I bet the Robertsons wish they have never spoken to Renault.

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that Renault have no interest in Kimi.

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Ice-Ludy » 17 Sep 2010, 17:25

sleenster wrote:
Boudica wrote:Serious I wish Renault will just keep quiet, they are contradicting themselves. On the one hand they are talking about how important commercial viability is, and then they turn around and say that Petrov's place in the team doesn't depend on money. So what are they actually saying? It seems like they are just talking to keep their name in press and unfortunately they are using Kimi to do so. I bet the Robertsons wish they have never spoken to Renault.

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that Renault have no interest in Kimi.


I agree with you Sleenster! :O
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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Vida » 17 Sep 2010, 17:26

"It's funny because people now think things are going well and we're going to change drivers, and there's a certain rally driver that wasn't interested in Formula One but now has made contact and is interested in coming back to F1, funnily enough with us, but we're not there yet.


Now i'm sure that kimi wont be driving in Renault next year... i'm sure that the robertsons regreted the phone call to renault...
Last edited by Vida on 17 Sep 2010, 17:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Boudica » 17 Sep 2010, 17:26

Julia wrote:
ish678 wrote::lol: Thanks Julia, you read my mind :p

I know F1 is a business but the idea of there being any kind of a contest between Kimi and Petrov is still hard to deal with.


Im going through my potential kim-news pages at the moment :lol:

I actually think that Lopez is speaking smarter than Bullier... and I dont think its bad Pr for Kimi.... they thinking hard at the moment are they ready to have a wdc in their team already next year... its no idea to put money on a driver i you dont have the winning car and team.


Mmh I dont know all of the bashers have jumped out of the woodwork and they are relishing in the fact that Kimi isn't good enough for Renault. :p
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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Julia » 17 Sep 2010, 17:29

sleenster wrote:
Boudica wrote:Serious I wish Renault will just keep quiet, they are contradicting themselves. On the one hand they are talking about how important commercial viability is, and then they turn around and say that Petrov's place in the team doesn't depend on money. So what are they actually saying? It seems like they are just talking to keep their name in press and unfortunately they are using Kimi to do so. I bet the Robertsons wish they have never spoken to Renault.

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that Renault have no interest in Kimi.


.. or they know that they probably cant get him ... but they still seem to be in shock that they got th phone call and are going to hype it so long as they can... as I said I dont actually think its bad PR if you have to choose between no PR at all... the amount of speculation about it is very good when robertsons are negotiating with RB.

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Re: Speculation-thread: Will Kimi be in WRC or F1 next seaso

Post by Julia » 17 Sep 2010, 17:36

Boudica wrote:
Julia wrote:
ish678 wrote::lol: Thanks Julia, you read my mind :p

I know F1 is a business but the idea of there being any kind of a contest between Kimi and Petrov is still hard to deal with.


Im going through my potential kim-news pages at the moment :lol:

I actually think that Lopez is speaking smarter than Bullier... and I dont think its bad Pr for Kimi.... they thinking hard at the moment are they ready to have a wdc in their team already next year... its no idea to put money on a driver i you dont have the winning car and team.


Mmh I dont know all of the bashers have jumped out of the woodwork and they are relishing in the fact that Kimi isn't good enough for Renault. :p



the bashers are always going to be there... and the goal is not to change their opinion but to get a good deal to drive next year... there are also a lot of articles hyping the magical kimi ...


Should Renault gamble on Kimi Raikkonen?

Sep.17 (Daniel Chalmers) If Renault could bring the best out of Kimi Raikkonen then it would prove a huge coup, but much would depend on the car and changes to his demands and work ethic.
Kimi ponders his future

Kimi pondering his future

There is no doubt that the on-form Kimi is a driver any team should sign without hesitation. When he is in the mood he is potentially quicker than any of the current generation of drivers.

His incredible win from 17th in Japan 2005 is evidence of that. The speed, race craft and bravery he demonstrated that day was at good as anything we have seen in F1. When he chased down Giancarlo Fisichella in those final stages he delivered lap times that just shouldn’t have been possible.

McLaren always seemed to extract the best out of the Finn. In 2003 Raikkonen nearly won the championship in a car that was two years old. In 2005 he was regularly quicker than champion Fernando Alonso but was let down by reliability issues.

Many forget about these performances earlier in his career, with too many mediocre performances at Ferrari being the dominant memory.

Raikkonen could well have left F1 in 2009 having the same number of titles as Ayrton Senna.

A huge plus with Raikkonen is that he is uninterested by F1’s politics and just does his talking on the track. The benefit of that was evident in the last third of 2007, when Kimi ignored the spy-gate saga and the in house battle at McLaren, and snatched his first and only driver’s title to date.
(L to R): Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault; Ho-Ping Tung (CHN) Renault Third Driver; Eric Boullier (FRA) Renault F1 Team Principal; Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL) Renault Reserve Driver and Robert Kubica (POL) Renault. Renault R30 Launch, Valencia, Spain, Sunday 31 January 2010.

Renault have recovered from the turmoil of 2008 and 2009

Renault is very much a team on the up with the turmoil of the last couple of seasons all but forgotten. Having two top drivers would send a huge statement of intent to the likes of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.

There is positivity and huge spirit back at Renault. That would only get stronger with two top drivers in the team.

The first stumbling block to this move happening would be money. In 2009 Raikkonen topped the F1 driver salary rankings with a wage of 45 million dollars. When he was looking for a drive in 2010 he priced himself out of the market, when teams were looking to trim their budgets significantly.

Kimi would have to lower his wage demands considerably to have any chance of joining Renault. Renault pay Kubica around six or seven million pounds, whilst Vitaly Petrov brings money to the team.
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Sunday Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain 14th March 2010 Eric Boullier and Gerard lopez on the grid. World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _Q0C4917

Gerard Lopez with eric Boullier on the grid in Bahrain

Therefore it would be a huge jump on Renault’s wage bill. It’s true that the team has solid finances, but possibly not so much to invest a large amount on just their drivers. Gerard Lopez already admitted recently that F1 is costing more than he anticipated, and that’s with a relatively cheap driver bill.

An argument Renault will consider is whether it would wiser to put Kimi’s potential wages on car development instead. This could potentially give the 2011 Renault the extra few tenths they need to win races.

Obviously having the finances and facilities to develop a quick car is at the forefront of the team’s thoughts. There’s no point in having two of the best drivers in the world if you don’t have enough money left to deliver them a quick car.

The vital question is do the team really need to sign Raikkonen?
Robert Kubica has rejuvenated the Renault team

Robert Kubica has rejuvenated the Renault team

In Kubica they already possess a super fast and reliable driver who is more than capable of challenging for the driver’s championship. In 2008 he challenged for the title in a car inferior to the McLaren and Ferrari.

However it would be reasonable to suggest that they don’t have the pairing to win the constructors championship. For this the team must have two drivers bringing home big points.

Petrov isn’t doing that, having scored only a tenth of Kubica’s points in 2010.

In 2005 and 2006 Fisichella was comprehensively beaten by Fernando Alonso. Despite that he still contributed enough points for Renault to win the constructors titles both seasons. It’s possible that Petrov could improve to this sufficient level in his second year.

Would we see the best of Raikkonen alongside Kubica? That’s debatable.
Race winner Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren celebrates in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, 9 October 2005. DIGITAL IMAGE

Kimi Raikkonen celebrates after winning the 2005 Japanese GP for McLaren

It would be very similar to the current McLaren situation where you have two drivers who are complete opposites on the driver’s spectrum.

Kubica is the ultimate under steer driver. Raikkonen is similar to the likes of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton who love a touch of oversteer on their cars.

We didn’t see the best of Raikkonen at Ferrari because understeer featured heavily on their cars.

Although such a sheer difference in style isn’t necessarily a disaster. McLaren appear to have effectively accommodated both Lewis’s aggressive and Button’s smooth driving styles

The other notable difference though (which doesn’t apply to Lewis and Jenson) between the pair is their work ethic. Kubica has to be one of the most dedicated and hard working drivers in F1. He will happily work with his engineers to the early hours of the morning to get his car exactly how he wants.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Preparations, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday 29 October 2009.

Casual Kimi during his final F1 race weekend at Yas Marina

Raikkonen on the other hand is far more content just to turn up and drive. This is precisely what could lead to Kimi’s downfall alongside Kubica.

Whilst Raikkonen is out enjoying himself between race weekends, Kubica will be with his mechanics taking the Renault in the direction that suits his style, and away from the iceman’s style.

Exactly the same thing happened alongside Massa in 2008 and Kimi was soundly beaten. Interestingly after Felipe had his horrific accident Kimi suddenly re-found his form.

Clearly this indicates that when the team focuses on him, as McLaren did when he drove for them, that he produces results. However it’s hard to see this happening in a team that Kubica is currently making his own.

There are other issues such as whether Raikkonen can adapt to the non-refuelling era of cars. His main rivals will already have had a year’s experience of them. Kimi was never renowned for nursing the car or his tyres, something that is critical under these regulations.

The new Pirelli tyres could also make or break his success. If he gets on well with them as he did with the Michelins he could fly, but if they are similar to the Bridgestone tyres, which he was never been as at ease with, he will struggle.
Fans banner asking for a smile from Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday 6 June 2009.

Fans miss Kimi

It goes without saying that having the Iceman back in F1 would be great for the sport. He provides some thrilling moments on the track, along with moments of comedy gold off the track.

If one of the Red Bull drivers wins the championship and Kimi returns we would have the tantalising prospect of six world champions going to wheel to wheel next season.

Ultimately if Raikkonen is serious about a return to racing he needs to change. He has to be realistic about his wage demands and work much harder with his mechanics if he is to be repeat the form from his McLaren days, and his championship winning season with Ferrari.

Whilst this huge gamble could pay massive dividends, it would be costly if Kimi didn’t deliver the goods.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), FIAT Punto Abarth crashes on SS19. World Rally Championship, Rd9, Neste Oil Rally Finland, Jyvaskyla, Finland, Day Two, Saturday 1 August 2009.

The rally world would miss Kimi

Overall finances is going to be the decisive factor here which is why I predict Renault to retain Petrov and seek the potential commercial opportunities in Russia.

Or they will go for Sutil who will cost far less than Raikkonen and has all the ingredients to be the second top driver the team need

If the teams can negotiate to receive more of F1’s revenue or Renault regain a larger stake in the team then signing Raikkonen would become more viable.

If Renault can easily afford Kimi they should sign him, but if they can’t then there are better options.
Last edited by Julia on 17 Sep 2010, 17:40, edited 1 time in total.

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