Kimi Räikkönen could still earn more in F1 than anywhere else. IS brings up 5 reasons why Räikkönen could be interested in a comeback.
Räikkönen is a wealthy man. He wants to drive but he doesn't want to fund his own driving anymore. Yet that is the situation he has got himself into.
Räikkönen has had to pay largely from his own wallet for this year's WRC-rallies. Red Bull's sponsor support has decreased significantly. If he would drive for Williams then he could still get at least 5-10 million euros salary incomes per year. Williams probably tries to make a deal with Räikkönen where the bonus for points is big.
Many wonder why Räikkönen would want to return to F1 with a car that most likely can't fight for podium positions. Yet he has during the last couple of years got used to the idea that he can enjoy driving although he isn't driving for victory.
Räikkönen could start next season with Williams-Renault without big expectations and take his time to get used to the new tyres, the DRS and other tehcnical novelties. Williams could be a brilliant stepping stone to get into some top team in season 2013.
Mark Webber for example will most likely leave a vacant seat after next season.
Williams is no longer a top team but it has great traditions and is one of the most successful teams in F1 of all times. The team is strenghtened by McLaren's former head designer Mike Coughlan who is a familiar man to Räikkönen. Of all midteams Williams surely is much more attractive than Force India for example. In addition to that, Williams is aiming for a wide co-operation with Jaguar. According to rumours Williams and Jaguar is about to start a LeMans -project during the next few years and that would surely also interest Räikkönen.
Räikkönen will be 32 years old in three weeks. Michael Schumacher came back to F1 although he is over 10 years older than Räikkönen is.
If Räikkönen wants he still has many racing seasons left, hence why wouldn't he do what he loves and what he knows best? Still a comeback to F1 is harder the more you have been away from it. After being away for two years a successful comeback is still possible.
5. OTHER GENRES
Räikkönen has now seen what WRC is like. When he left Ferrari he still had a dream of winning the title in WRC also, but not anymore. It would require a lot more training and harder work to get to the top in WRC and it might still not succeed.
Räikkönen has also become familiar with Nascar-circles in two races and he has tested Peugeot's Le Mans -car. He would surely be able to squeeze in a clause to the Williams-contract which would ensure that he could still continue rallying as a hobby.
By Janne Aittoniemi
Source: IS (paper edition)