Raikkonen's managers taking a back seat

By on Thursday, March 15, 2012

Raikkonen at the Australian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen's managers have revealed they only now take a back seat in the career of the 2007 world champion.

Britons David and Steve Robertson have guided the famous Finn throughout his motor racing career.

But Steve told Finland's Turun Sanomat that they only intervene now when the 32-year-old driver requests it -- such as when he needed to negotiate last winter with Williams and his ultimate 2012 employer, Lotus.

"We came to the end of the road really in late 2009," he said.

That is when Ferrari bought out the rest of Raikkonen's contract, and he headed to world rally.

"We can't honestly say that we are real rally fans -- it's alien to us, while we know F1 through and through.

"When Kimi wanted to go back to F1, he turned to us for help with the agreement. After a few months Kimi got what he wanted."

Robertson, however, explained that the father-son duo are no longer involved in the "day to day" running of Raikkonen's career.

"I have known Kimi for 11, 12 years, and he has become really close to us. When he asks for help, he knows that we are always ready to give it," he continued.

"I was delighted when he wanted to come back where he really belongs (in F1)," said Robertson. "There is so much nonsense about Kimi's problems with motivation.

"The truth is that he wanted to come back for one reason only -- because he is super-motivated to race in F1 again.

"By taking Kimi, it shows the (Lotus) team's desire to succeed. I think Kimi and Romain Grosjean are a good combination.

"By changing the drivers the team has showed that it was not satisfied with the level of last year and that they want to come back to being among the big teams," he concluded.

In other news, Raikkonen has revealed that he would have preferred to keep racing in 2010.

"I was never planning to leave the sport in the first place," the 2007 world champion told the Times of India. "I had a contract for 2010 anyway."

Indeed, at the end of 2009, Ferrari bought out the Finn's deal so that Fernando Alonso could arrive early with the backing of the Spanish bank Santander.

Raikkonen headed off for two years of world rallying but is back with Lotus in 2012, fending off all the old questions about his motivation.

"Since I started in F1, I have always preferred the time we spend in the car from anything else happening in the paddock. It's still the same," the 32-year-old insists.

Even now, he would prefer to split his F1 racing with more rallying, but has agreed to abide his team's wishes that he stay off the gravel.

"Ah, it's normal with Formula 1 they try to ban everything," he told London's Telegraph. "Unfortunately with what happened to Robert (Kubica) last year... but even before that it was written into contracts.

"Maybe in the future if you can do some good results you can get a release or something. I still love it," said Raikkonen.

"If I could do it this year at the same time as Formula 1 I would. I think it's good practice and it's good fun."


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