Yesterday wasn't a particularly good day for Kimi Räikkönen, a freak crash ending his Rallye de France. But how does the longer term look for the Iceman, with all those F1 return rumours swirling round?
by Anthony Peacock, Oct 1, 2011
While warming up his tyres for the start of stage three in Alsace yesterday, Kimi somehow managed to run into the back of Ford driver Henning Solberg – who was doing exactly the same thing. With his suspension terminally damaged by the impact to his Citroën, Kimi was off for an early bath.
As his co-driver Kaj Lindström pointed out, these things can just happen: it’s nobody’s fault. When the person ahead is braking while the person behind is accelerating, the end result tends to be inevitable.
And maybe it’s karma kicking in, making up for the time when Lewis Hamilton ran into the back of Kimi in the pitlane at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
But this does mean that Kimi has a little more time now to consider one of the big issues of the moment: what will the Iceman do next year? There’s been speculation linking him to a Formula One return with Williams, while other people think he might keep on rallying. As Kimi himself says, there’s the third option of doing nothing at all. So what are the chances? Let’s speculate…
Go back to Formula One
Kimi’s been to visit the Williams factory and he certainly knows his way around Formula One, having won the title in 2007.
Pros: There are no road sections, it’s familiar territory, and you can make a lot more money in F1 than rallying.
Cons: Williams aren’t a top team any more, he’s been there and done that, it means dealing with the piranha-like F1 media. Again.
Keep on rallying
The Iceman has got two years’ worth of experience invested in rallying and he’s beginning to get the hang of it now. Why not persevere?
Pros: It’s beginning to get easier now, it’s a lot of fun, there are only 13 rounds a year and the journalists seem quite nice.
Cons: It seems harder to win than it is in Formula One and rallying is not especially lucrative. If you go off in Sweden, you might freeze to death.
If in doubt, sit it out. Money’s not exactly an issue for the Iceman and it’s a shame to have a great collection of toys at home but not have the time to play with them.
Pros: Who wants to work for a living when you don’t have to? And it’s a neat solution to what might be a difficult decision. Also, it buys you time. Sounds appealing.
Cons: You might get bored. Apart from that, not much really.
Go racing but not in F1
Kimi’s tried NASCAR and also Peugeot’s 908 Le Mans car. But neither of those seems to have exactly grabbed him. There’s always DTM too.
Pros: There’s less pressure, not as much media attention, and it’s not as time-consuming as F1 – but you still get the chance of racing a car. Best of both worlds?
Cons: Do you really need to do any other sort of racing when you’re already a Formula One world champion? Wouldn’t it be just a bit boring?
So there are the options. Now over to the Iceman…