Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Behold, the Iceman returneth!!

And Lotus Renault GP, it shall be. For 2 long seasons!!

After 2 long years, we can finally expect to see Kimi Raikkonen inside the F1 cockpit!! I have been waiting for this news since the time he left!! I tried following rallying, but just couldn't enjoy it. And F1 became a tad monotonous with all the changes happening and with Sebastian Vettel winning almost every race (similar to the Michael Schumacher era). There's hardly any competition for Vettel now. Something has to happen to change this. In the long term, Kimi Raikkonen could just be the answer. Raikkonen's comeback is not only great news for his fans but also to the F1 community in general. It will boost the viewership throughout the world, thereby bringing in more sponsorship. Hell, it's a win-win situation for everyone!! The last time such a thing happened was in 2010 when Schumacher returned. We know that didn't work out pretty well for Schumi. But this time it'll be different for sure.

Here are some of the reasons why Raikkonen's comeback is important to F1 community in general:
  1. F1 will be cool again: As mentioned, a lot of things have changed in F1. We now have a youngest 2 time World Champion in Sebastian Vettel. We have 2 world champions in McLaren F1 team - Hamilton and Button. Ferrari has Alonso. Massa had a freak accident while driving and hasn't been the same again. Michael Schumacher made a comeback but isn't the same old destructive one!! Lots of technical changes - KERS and DRS among others, lots of rule changes - no refuelling, same tyre rule, engine changes etc. The bottom-line is: F1 is now becoming more and more monotonous with every single race. Rain is the only aspect that make F1 interesting!! With Raikkonen coming back, lots of F1 fans will have something to cheer about. When Raikkonen left F1, he left a huge void which wasn't filled by any other driver. Void was not of a world champion (we have that every year). Void was that of a "cool, no-nonsense driver who needs a car and he will do the rest" kind of a personality.

  2. Raikkonen is (honestly) going nowhere in Rallying: By his high standards, Raikkonen has had a forgettable rallying career. He left F1 to do something he loved: Rallying. However, he realized that rallying is a lot different than F1 and there are some really talented drivers over there. Also, not all of Raikkonen fans are following his rallying career anyways (including me). It makes much more sense for him to come back to a sport he (almost) dominated.

  3. Unlike Schumacher, Raikkonen still has some racing years ahead of him: Raikkonen is more than 10 years younger to Michael Schumacher. Ten long years!! If Schumi can make a comeback, Raikkonen surely can. Schumacher's comeback was the biggest news in 2010. And 2 seasons later, it remains the biggest news. Schumacher hasn't really set the track on fire!! In fact, his much younger partner in Mercedes GP, Nico Rosberg, has performed better than him. This leads me to the obvious question: Will it be the same for Raikkonen? The answer, quite frankly, is NO. Unlike Schumi, Raikkonen still has atleast 4-5 years of racing left in him. Raikkonen didn't leave motor-sport, he just switched from F1 to rallying - which means his racing experience is still very much there!!

  4. Business sense for Lotus Renault F1 team: 2011 season started with a blow for Renault team with the accident of Robert Kubica. And Renault were not the same again. They were expected to pose a serious challenge to the Red Bulls, McLaren's and Ferrari's. They eventually ended up as the best of the rest closely followed by Sahara Force India team. Lotus Renault has planned a lot of changes for the 2012 season and Raikkonen is one of them. Also, Raikkonen will be coming along with a sponsorship deal for the team which they will obviously welcome with both hands.
Personally, I have been a huge fan of the Iceman. I love the way he drives - no confusion, just pure racing!! Ask any Kimi Raikkonen fan. He / she will admit this is the biggest news in F1 circles!! However, don't expect him to start winning races immediately. The team is going through a series of changes and will need some time to adapt. Raikkonen needs some quality time with the car and race experience with KERS and DRS. We can however expect him to compete with the best cars and show them what they missed in 2011. And hey, he can switch teams right? Who knows, he might just switch to Mercedes GP with Schumi eventually retiring and Rosberg eyeing a Ferrari seat!! And Kubica is also considering Ferrari as one of his options for 2013, which is quite possible with Massa under-performing. You never know what happens next in the world of F1.

As a fan, I only hope that this time, the iceman will remain in F1 till his retirement. I can't wait for the 2012 season to begin. It's still 4 months away, but guess what? Now it's worth the wait!!


  1. Man your knowledge of Michael schumacher is not really accurate. He is the same one that drove in 1993. the only difference is that back then grip and gravity were less of a factor than now. With clamp down on resource for saving small teams on the grid Aerodynamics and grip came in instead of huge power engine along with tiny tires. The effect is simple you need a very accurate balance to drive, and an ever attacking schumacher needs a forward G balance. It is for a simple reason, he steers in a sudden to the direction he wants to get to and hold the wheel steady, which make the car slide narrowly, and to ease the centrifuge force, he hold his leg steady on the acceleration pedal, that gives him superiority to other drivers which prefer to lift and push chronically the gas pedal. Now since the Mercedes was an inherent of Button's style. it has a short wheel base which makes it harder to adjust the balance toward the front, in order to be of Michael's liking, the challenge for Mercedes is simply to be able to do that which is by itself a huge task

  2. I'm not a big follower of F1, but you write like a Pro. Even the other post, regarding F1 in India I guess, was written with so much of passion. Your writing style is great :-)

  3. @Ashwini: Thanks yaar.. Am not a pro, but I follow F1 and passionate abt it!! :)

  4. @Anonymous: What you have mentioned is the technical aspect of why Schumi cannot be the same as he was in the late 1990's and early 2000's.. Though what you have mentioned is somewhat true, I cannot buy the arguement completely. Mercedes cannot make a silly mistake of continuing with the same / similar car they made for Button in 2009 and hope Schumi continues the dream form. If Mercedes was unable to drastically change the aerodynamics of the vehicle, they shouldn't have had Schumi in their team, and if Schumi was aware of the same, he shouldn't have returned in F1 with Mercedes GP. So, I believe there's more to it than meets the eye.

    PS: I would have preferred to know your identity as we could've debated this a bit more!! Anyways, thanks for the comment buddy..

  5. Looks like you are very passionate about it. I have a racing track very close to my place. It pumps some energy when you drive past it. Great post Binu.

  6. And all this while it thought Iceman was Mika Hakkinen :)

    I used to follow F1 when Mika and Schumi were arch rivals. And used to love original Iceman - meaning hated the Bad Boy. However, things changed. I started admiring Schumi - a guy racing after mothers death and winning it? car on fire still winning it? starting from the back of grid and still managing win (or was it just points?)... Certainly a man with oil in his veins!!

    These days F1 has become boring. Lewis did show some spark but comes nowhere close to the biggies.

    Comebacks are dicey things... But Kimi has good amount of time with him. Hope he gets his 'team' in Lotus Renault!!

  7. Thanks Saru :)

    @Abu: Both Mika and Kimi are from Finland, and thats why the common 'petname' :D I agree with you, F1 has become more and more boring with every race!! Some change has to happen. Hope Kimi is of the change we like to see..

  8. Love your passion for sports!Good read!

  9. I have heard about Schumacher!
    I do not think we have any Norwegian here.., but in Rally we have Petter Solberg:-)

    Thanks for your visit and nice comment.

    Regards Tania

  10. I agree with anonymous here. Schumaker is the same that he was when he started off in 1993. It's the car and the sport's dependence on technology that's letting him down. It's nice to see Raikkonnen back, but I doubt his entry is going to make things interesting. He's going to be fighting in the midfield. I loved him when he was with McLaren, but I consider his defect to Ferrari one of the biggest in the history of motorsports. Never could bring myself to like him after that.

    True, it's sort of boring to see Seb win all races. What will be interesting is how things proceed if he does not get a car which is the best on the grid, and he starts qualifying where the Ferraris did this year.

  11. @Vishal: You know that's one of the sad things I find in F1. Huge disparity among the cars. As far as Raikkonen is concerned, I believe it could be a blessing for Lotus Renault as Kubica was doing really well with the team before he had an accident in Rallying. This means the vehicle is good enough for a driver of Raikkonen's class.. And he is a no nonsense driver, give him a car and he will do the best he can!!

  12. I am a big fan of F1 and specifically of Kimi. After he left I didn't like anyone in the current line up. I just loved the way he drove. But I am really happy that he is coming back to F1. The sound of F1 cars zooming past is unmatchable by anything, wish I can go to Noida to see it live...Good post...:)

  13. @Prashant: Nice to know a fellow blogger who is a Kimi fan!! Next year, we can have a ball buddy :) Let the engines start!!


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