It has become a tradition in F1 that once a year Peter Sauber invites long-time reporters from the paddock in smaller groups by countries for an evening snack to his VIP-premises
Now the invitation came on Thursday night. One Finn, two Dutch, two Belgian, one Japanese, four Brazilians and four Mexicans accepted the invitation.
So it was quite a mixed group.
It has always been a habit with Peter Sauber that the talk at some point turnes into Kimi Räikkönen's time in the Swiss team and how it has gone after that.
I asked Sauber wouldn't it be nice if Räikkönen would come back to F1-tracks. Surprisingly he shook his head and said that it isn't the same Kimi anymore.
As a matter of fact Sauber went right away 10 years back in a time machine to the stage when young Räikkönen was shining in his car and helped the team come in 4th in the WCC-serie.
– Kimi made a mistake going to McLaren. After that he was never the same Kimi who left our team, Sauber claimed.
The comment was so stunning that I had to ask for more clarification. Then what should Räikkönen had done then?
– Ron Dennis promised to make Kimi the all time youngest WDC in McLaren. He promised a lot but nothing was given. For Kimi those 5 years went down the drain and he was never the same driver he was before, Sauber justified.
The aged team manager admitted that for many drivers that McLaren-seat would have been really good - but not to such a talent as young Räikkönen was.
According to Sauber switching to Ferrari for season 2007 was okay. He got the WDC but Ferrari would have got an even better Räikkönen at an earlier stage - without the frustration from the McLaren-years.
Sauber was fuming with anger back then when Dennis snatched Räikkönen. He will probably never forgive it...
Back to the original question about how fascinating Räikkönen's possible comeback would be, Sauber did say later on that it would be a really juvenating thing for the sport.
Turun Sanomat, Monza