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Alonso and Raikkonen discuss helping team mates
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Alonso and Raikkonen discuss helping team mates
Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Aug 2009   |  5:15 pm GMT  |  79 comments

I went from the Kimi Raikkonen press briefing this afternoon to the Fernando Alonso one and there was an interesting little cameo which came to light.
Kimipresser

There were some quotes yesterday from Luca Badoer saying that he had no help from Kimi Raikkonen, but Badoer said sportingly that this was “Kimi’s character.”

This was interesting when taken in conjunction with the quotes from Felipe Massa to the effect that he had not had any kind of get well message from Raikkonen.

Perhaps mindful of this, when he was asked whether he had helped Badoer, who struggled today, Raikkonen said
“No I was busy with my own things, we can talk later if he needs, but for sure he has the help that he needs.”

Alono autog
Alonso was asked the same question about Grosjean. Raikkonen’s attitude to Badoer was mentioned. Alonso took the opportunity to present himself in a different way,
“He knows that I am here for anything he wants. I told him this morning, “Anything you need from me, just come. I am ready to help you in these first days, things with the car, ratios, which gear to take at this corner, how to use this kerb or not use the kerb, these type of things. Anything you want. At the moment he didn’t ask me.”

Racing drivers are selfish animals, particularly the best ones, the true champions. They have to be. In F1 they are obliged to reveal their set-ups and findings to their team mates and sometimes one driver will take another’s set up. But beyond that they try to give away as little as possible.

Despite this, between team mates there can be a warm and a strongly collaborative relationship, as there is between Button and Barrichello for example.

But with Raikkonen and Alonso at the moment the differences between them are very much in the spotlight and both of them must know that. One of them is a Ferrari driver and at some point the other will become one, possibly at the expense of the first.

When team mates are closely matched and competing for the championship, there is less incentive for one to give help to the other. We all know what Alonso can be like when he is pushed to the limit, as he was at McLaren. Ron Dennis famously said of Alonso after the infamous Hungarian Grand Prix of 2007, “Competitive animals know no limits.” Despite the pain Alonso had brought him by revealing emails about the extent of McLaren’s use of Ferrari data, Dennis said this with a tone of almost admiration in his voice.

In the current case the second drivers at Renault and Ferrari pose no threat whatsoever, so it makes sense to help them out and to be seen to. Alonso gets that, Raikkonen doesn’t.

Raikkonen is still shatteringly fast on his day. He has lots of supporters among the public, many of the readers of this blog included. But he hasn’t grasped that Ferrari has a family mentality born out of the extraordinary bond which formed over a long period between Michael Schumacher and the key people there. That teamwork was the backbone of their success.

Schumacher has gone, things evolve, but that “all for one, one for all” ethos hasn’t changed and Raikkonen hasn’t bought in to it.

He doesn’t really help himself and this, as much as anything, is Ferrari’s disappointment with him. This little cameo is a good example of that.

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79 Comments
  1. MrExasperated says:

    There’s always two sides to every story and I’m not buying into the fact that the problems with Alonso in McLaren were all Alonso’s fault, there was plenty of blame to go around there.

    Why also does Alonso always get the whole blame for Hungary, as people conveniently forget that whole charade was initiated by Hamilton not following TEAM instructions.

    1. alex says:

      Buy into whatever you want mate, History shows Alonso was so frightened by Hamilton’s speed that he started cheating before the season had even started, and tried to keep all the advantage to himself. Remember the laughable 0.6 of a second he claimed his incredible talent brought to the team ?

      In Hungary, he tried [yet another] snide trick to mess up Hamiltons quali, by deliberately slowing down so much that Lewis was in great danger of beng overtaken by Raikkonen also, so Lewis stayed ahead, then Alonso indulged in the most pathetic, petulant bit of cheating I have ever seen in my life.

      Fernando is a weak, deeply inadequate little man who has a legion of Nationalistic Journalists to big up his every move and repeeat lies and propaganda, but if you look at the facts, he got beaten by a Rookie, get over it.

      1. Mark A. Stephens says:

        If Nando is so weak why is he a 2 time WDC? It’s obvious you don’t like him, but that’s about all.

      2. MrExasperated says:

        Not worthing arguing about, you have your viewpoint and I have mine, just that mine isnt through rose tinted glasses.

        I readily admit that Alonso has blame (just not all of it as its always painted), but by the same token, Hamilton is no angel, and talking of Nationalist Journalists, there are just as many on Hamiltons side of the fence.

        Lets leave it there, all I am asking is that the story is told without the bias on either side as impartially as is humanly possible, neither you or I can know the full story of what happened and why and neither can the journalists who are ready to exact blame.

    2. VicWeir says:

      “Weak”? “Inadequate”? I don’t think those were the words that sprung to Ron Dennis’s mind re. Fernando Alonso in 2007.

      And, the last I heard from Lewis Hamilton regarding the subject of your mostly incorrect diatribe was that he was a”big man” for offering his congratulations in the McLaren garage after the driver’s sucess in 2008.

      But, perhaps you know FA better than they do, Alex.

  2. artorwar says:

    This is crazy really, Badoer is no threat to Kimi, even if he won all the remaining races it seems unlikely he would be taking Kimis seat. Why not maximise the potential score for the team? At the very least he would havea a tail gunner to hold of some of the other cars. I think its highly unlikely Kimi will ever be a multiple champion to be honest. He needs some upgrades to his outlook really and I hope that the off season gives him some time to reflect on this. And we should all spare a thought for Felipe, a team player and a damn fine driver. Get well soon!

  3. Lady Snowcat says:

    Now come on James… despite all the camaraderie and “family” attitude you mention I don’t recall anyone before Felipe suggesting Michael was remotely helpful to them…

    And Felipe only got help because of the clear No 2 status…

    He also came into a team that revolved around Michael and gratefully got all the crumbs…

    The idea of Kimi helping a Ferrari employee who is more of the fabric of the team than he has or ever will be is laughable…

    And comparing a complete rookie to someone who already has F1 experience and probably more miles than any other driver on the grid (albeit not in racing) must also be a joke…

    Luca has Michael who is revered by all in Ferrari so I’ll bet Kimi would be asking for the brush off if he even offered his help….

    Renault revolves around Alonso and we all know exactly how he helped Junior…. pretty much not at all….

    I am amazed that you believe all the spin without considering the substance….

    1. Werewolf says:

      Perception is interesting isn’t it? Does perception really constitute reality or merely opinion?

      My perception, based solely on what I have read or heard in interviews, is that Michael Schumacher offered Kimi Raikkonen his consultancy but this was rejected. Assuming Michael has a genuine loyalty to Ferrari, which seems reasonable, passing this support to Felipe Massa is only logical, particularly considering the latter’s support of the Red Baron. One could also speculate that Schumacher only truly appreciated the benefits of Rubens Barrichello’s teamwork after that Brazilian left the team, possibly fuelling the normal human reaction of reciprocation.

    2. Nicollers says:

      I completely agree. Ferrari knew what they were buying into when they nabbed Kimi from McLaren. They saw his raw talent and wanted it. He was quick and won the Drivers’ Championship in his first year with them. They must have known he was a PR nightmare too, he’s always had a stand-offish approach to the media, so why would he change with Ferrari?

      1. Marybeth says:

        16/2/10 WRC.com
        “‘Raikkonen effect’ rockets WRC figures to record highs
        The start of the 2010 World Rally Championship season and the arrival of superstar driver Kimi Raikkonen have generated unprecedented online interest in the series around the globe.” Kimi is obviously not a PR nightmare. He is bringing WRC more attention than they ever hoped for. They are already trying to sign Kimi for a 2nd year!!!

      2. James Allen says:

        Yes and I’ve seen more in the newspapers than before.

      3. Nicollers says:

        What I was trying to convey is that this attitude compared to others, at press conferences especially, could be conveyed as unhelpful.

        That said, I’m one of his fans. I was very disappointed to see him leave F1, especially with the current drivers we have at big teams in 2010. Just imagine if he got a drive at Red Bull for example in place of Webber. Anyway, that’s all heresay, but I think he will be missed somewhat.

      4. Marybeth says:

        Thank-you for taking time to reply. When Kimi said that he was leaving F1 to go to WRC my brother said that he thinks that Kimi had a very rough year politically (at Ferrari), media, etc. and just wants out for awhile. Bobby may be right. I think that Kimi still loves the top level of racing itself, but he also seems very happy in rally racing. It is all new and different and a challenge. Next year is a toss up as to whether or not he comes back to F1. He may miss us…? :)
        Marybeth

  4. Red Kimi says:

    HA James you kill me. Schumacher is famous for not even letting his teammates see his telemotry, and they were not even allowed to race agianst him. You had no problem with MS being a jerk to his teammates and to this day all of them dislike him other than Massa. I am stunned how much venom is going towards Kimi these days. Both Kimi and Alonso said they have not helepd thier new teammates but James and the press get an entire story out of the way Kimi answered it vs Alonso.

    1. LynnD says:

      Red Kimi: Why are you surprised that the media tend to be negative about Mr Raikkonen? It’s their job to write stories, to give us background and insight. Kimi is renowned for being uncommunicative with the media. He does the minimum of press conferences required by the FIA and Ferrari – in which he tends to give short and uninformative answers – and nothing more.

      If you were a journalist, who would you like better – Kimi, or cheerful, chatty drivers like Massa, Button or Hamilton? Who would make your job easier?

      Some fans feel that a driver does his talking on the track – I’d have to guess you’re one of them! My own feeling is that while they have to have the ability on the track to get to the top, many people (including me) are also drawn to the human drama of the men behind the wheel, and in that competition, Kimi comes dead last.

      It’s a pity, because by all accounts he’s a terrific guy away from the cameras.

    2. Bobsta says:

      To understand why many people question Kimi’s attitude, just take a look at the “Get well soon Massa” video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXGBjwNyOMY – Compare Kimi’s contribution to everyone else’s. That’s not the behaviour of a team player.

      1. Charlie B says:

        The last message with the video is nonsense, why would Kimi want to do a piece of PR about Massa getting better, it was a worthless video that include people who are genuinly sad and some that take the oppertunity to seem all nice.

        Also Kimi and Barichello were the only two drivers to visit Massa in hospital. Nobody else cared about Massa, obvously.

        I don’t like how Red Kimi has made it personal to JA but I agree with the point.

        Another point is that Luca will only be there a while so the info Kimi could have givin would not have been useful for so long. And even if Kimi is a good driver, his info will not suddenly make Badoer the best driver and score points regualary.

        There is my argument, you may disagree and you have the right to, but like Kimi I don’t care about it and it’s your opinion just like this is mine.

  5. Andrew Watson says:

    James you got the Schumacher ethos haf right it was actually just “all for one !”
    Couldn’t resist it. See you in Abu Dhabi
    Regards
    Andrew

    1. Mark A. Stephens says:

      You guys are so hard on Schuey and yet the world of F1 misses him because nobody else can draw a crowd like he can when he is in the car..

  6. PaulL says:

    I recall reading Mansell’s otherwise excellent autobiography where he complains about Piquet at Hungary 86 and Spain 87 hiding technical info.

    Surely part of a driver’s quality is his ability to set up the car. Why ‘should’ he receive help from his teammate?

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s the bit I mention about how things change when drivers are fighting each other for the championship

    2. Silas Denyer says:

      Why ‘should’ help be forthcoming? Because F1 is a team sport, and the drivers are the employees of – or otherwise contracted-to – the teams.

      If I pay you to do a job of work then you do it or get fired. If your job includes helping your colleagues then ditto.

      The team pays the piper, so should pick the tune. Drivers who don’t like that are free to find another team :)

      1. PaulL says:

        I understand what you’re conteding Silas, and it’s true they are employees.

        If you think about it more broadly, one driver’s skills, experience, and performance are in fact an intagible asset – something which is used for “revenue production” if you want to continue with a business model. It’s probably in the teams best interest to safeguard this asset from other employers who could use it for their own “revenue” purposes.

        I guess in Rubens’ case with Barcelona and Germany (where he found a better setup) he doesn’t have much bargaining power, but that’s not to say that it is UNFAIR for one driver to hide his setups from a rival teammate.
        I love Mansell, I think he was Senna’s closest and greatest rival, but Piquet was right to keep his technical info to himself in those two occasions.

  7. Lin Morris says:

    But how do you know Ferrari are disappointed with Raikkonen, James? Raikkonen is never going to give the press chapter and verse about what happens behind Ferrari’s closed doors, nor is he keen to chat for longer than necessary so he gives short direct answers. Who knows whether he too hasn’t said that he’s there for Badoer if he needs it? All Badoer has said is that he’s had ‘no help’ from Kimi which is pretty much what Grojean has had from Alonso! It’s strange, you hear or read interviews with team personnel past and present, (who know Raikkonen a damn sight better than the journo’s do), Martin Whitmarsh being one of them recently, who say that Raikkonen offered/s a lot to the team, gets along with everyone, is quiet but focused,is generally a decent guy. At what point then do journalists decide they know better?

    I watched free practice today and remarks were made regarding Heidfeld – he doesn’t say much, you wouldn’t know he was in the paddock he’s so quiet, he doesn’t help himself by being so quiet…..the drivers probably say enough to the people that matter in their teams and I’m sure if they don’t, they won’t last long.

    1. Werewolf says:

      “I watched free practice today and remarks were made regarding Heidfeld”

      I am not normally at home on a Friday to watch free practice and it would probably be incorrect to do so in a school when pupils are supposed to be learning! I was, however, quite struck today by Ian’s comments on a number of drivers. My reaction was that unless you were probably a great (Schumacher, Alonso), then you were significantly flawed. Maybe this is true to a degree but I would have personally been more comfortable hearing it from someone with a stronger track record.

  8. Tomys says:

    Very well chosen example of reasons why Ferrari will let Kimi go…

  9. Jim says:

    “Alonso was asked the same question about Grosjean. Raikkonen’s attitude to Badoer was mentioned.”

    I wonder what his answer would have been if Kimi’s “attitude” hadn’t been mentioned? Would it have been much different than Kimi’s answer?

    I saw Schumi laugh and stick his tongue out when Alonso ran into Heidfeld in P2. He seemed very pleased with Alonso’s ramming ability. Alomost like a coach pleased with his student…

  10. diseased rat says:

    “Alonso gets that, Raikkonen doesn’t.”
    Surely it is entirely possible that Raikkonen does get it. He simply does not care.

    1. Werewolf says:

      “Surely it is entirely possible that Raikkonen does get it. He simply does not care.”

      Apologies if others have replied to this before me but surely that is even worse. I remember David Coulthard saying something about driving for free and taking the salary for the rest of the job (last word paraphrased, if I remember correctly). Protecting your position in a championship battle is one thing but, in my opinion, you take the film star money you support your team. Ferrari have allowed Kimi Raikkonen freedom to opt out beyond that which would be granted by most manufacturer teams on the basis he was the second coming, which has not quite proved the case.

      I admire Raikkonen’s driving hugely but I see little else to attract similar respect. On the back of his seemingly erratic performances at Ferrari (even his title owed something to McLaren’s failure to support either Alonso or Hamilton) and apparent failure to engage, what presently seems the imminent end of his topflight F1 career is as much deserved as it is a waste of his enormous talent.

  11. Andy says:

    Did you take into account the fact that Luca is Ferrari’s test driver, not needing help with gear ratios and such, while Grosjean is a rookie, driving his first weekend? This is what Badoer had to say about Kimi just a few days ago:

    “We’ve got an excellent relationship and I’m sure that we’ll work very well together as team-mates,” he said. “He’s got his character, but that’s nothing new; I feel very good when we’re together.”

    Doesn’t sound like there’s any problem between them. Moreover, what Kimi and Fernando said sounds more or less like the same thing, only Kimi’s statement doesn’t have the PR spin.

  12. As I stated before in a previous post, Nando is one very good team mate, a very supportive member of the team and will be a great addition to Ferrari should it all transpire…

  13. C.M. says:

    Kimi answered about Massa: that it’s not his kind to call in these things. When he heared Massa was healing good, he didn’t find it important to call. About Badoer he said that he had too much to do himself to help Badoer, he said he will meet with him after practices in a ferrari meeting and will see what he can do.
    It’s weird to say but when I see Kimi, I see myself, so I understand why he does what he does, others may not always understand. :)

  14. Ani says:

    “He has lots of supporters among the public, many of the readers of this blog included”

    yep … i’m one .

    If my memory serves me right , Kimi and Felipe share data .they test different things and they share .

    and from ur blog
    “No I was busy with my own things, we can talk later if he needs, but for sure he has the help that he needs.”
    he says if he want he can talk , and also alludes to the presence of a certain schumacher i guess .
    ( some people are more explicit … like Alonso )
    and here is a Ferrari website article … “Raikkonen : “We will try and help Luca ” ” http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/090820_F1_Raikkonen.aspx . ( even though there isnt much for that headline )

  15. monktonnik says:

    Fascinating insight as ever James.

    What this shows, as you suggest, is that Alonso is a more savvy political player. I think that this will mean that he will fit in with Ferrari. After all, it took Schumacher until his 5th Season with the Scuderia to get his first drivers title and they kept the faith in him. Kimi won his first race, and first drivers championship, and still he is being told he isn’t doing enough. Perhaps Ferrari feel they gave him his first drivers championship and he ought to repay this with a bit of hard work! I probably agree with this a bit, but you have to say that as long as Alonso is seen to play the game Ferrari will love him.

    Perhaps this is also why Kimi faired better at Mclaren, won 8 races in those years, which is not all that impressive when you consider that Alonso won 4 in his one year at Mclaren and he was paired against Hamilton, who was his equal. I bet they would rather have Hamilton and Raikkonen together over Hamilton Alonso.

    Saying that, Hamilton has always maintained that he has no issue with Fernando after their year together. Perhaps he is nice to rookies, for a bit anyway ;)

    1. Werewolf says:

      Interesting observations. My take, for what it’s worth, is that Michael Schumacher, as a double world champion, joined a Ferrari team still needing a title after sixteen years and took a significant role in driving the team forward. Kimi Raikkonen, as the pretender, joined a Ferrari team off the back of multiple drivers’ and constructors’ victories and was expected to carry on the success.

      I suspect Fernando Alonso learned more than he cares to admit from his year at McLaren but, as a great and highly competitive driver, I imagine he could never, hand on heart, fault Lewis Hamilton’s ambition or self-belief, particularly having viewed his speed at such close quarter; his issue would have been with McLaren management, from whom he had expected number one status (not unreasonable from someone who grew up watching Ayrton Senna and racing Schumacher) and assumed would accept himself as the logical safe hands in which to deliver the championship. Taking the year in isolation, he would probably have been right but the issues would only have manifested more strongly the following year, when Hamilton would have been even more certain of his remarkable abilities.

      1. Martin Collyer says:

        Just one thing here Werewolf, McLaren have run joint number one drivers for ever, well ever since Ron Dennis took over the team. If Fernando did not realise that, he hasn’t been paying attention, even if he is a double champ and expected undisputed number 1 status.

        It’s not that I think McLaren’s policy is correct, it’s good for us, the spectators, mind you, it’s not necessarily in the team’s or their sponsor’s interest.

  16. Janet says:

    I am a big fan of Kimi. I think he is a superb talent but I have to agree with you on this. He certaily is not doing himself any favors with that attitude of his.

    1. Mark A. Stephens says:

      This is how the media interpreted Kimi’s comments, not necessarily how Kimi mean’t them. Kimi is a good guy and his actions speak much louder than his words.

  17. KAV says:

    Badoer is an experienced driver already, maybe not in this years car and track but he still is quite experienced. If he wanted help, he could ask, Raikkonen offering would have been nice but why is he required to do so, he said if he needs help they can talk later. That’s enough really.

  18. ZENOBIA says:

    Hmm, isn’t this making a story out of nothing?

    Kimi’s Ferrari preview:
    “ll have a new teammate at Valencia. Instead of Felipe – and I want to wish him all the best for a speedy recovery again – there will be Luca Badoer. He has been the official Scuderia test driver for many years, and I’m glad that he finally got the chance to race a Ferrari. I really wish him good luck and I’m sure that we’ll work well together.”

    Luca Badoer on Kimi:
    “We’ve got an excellent relationship and I’m sure that we’ll work very well together as teammates,” he concluded. “He’s got his character, but that’s nothing new; I feel very good when we’re together.”

    Stefano Domenicali after free practice:
    Given his situation – a long time away from racing, an unknown circuit – the first day can be considered a positive experience for Luca. Clearly this weekend is something of a test session for him and that is how it must be judged. At this Grand Prix, it falls to Kimi more than usual to bring home a useful result to defend our third place in the Constructors’ classification which, at this point of the season remains our realistic target.”

    I think it is kind of obvious why Kimi said he concentrated on his own things, he is obviously the only one who is doing setup work for the weekend. And at the same time Michael is also specifically there to help Luca. Luca isn’t a rookie afterall. Basically Kimi and Alonso said exactly the same thing they just say it differently.

    Chris Dyer:
    “A reasonable day, with our two drivers running different programmes. For Luca it was a case of regaining confidence in the car and learning a new track. For him, obviously the more kilometres he completed the more the situation improved and we are confident about the rest of the weekend. Therefore, Kimi worked on his own in terms of race preparation and on evaluating tyre performance.”

    Kimi did went to visit Felipe in the hospital. He and Rubens were the only drivers who did. He also forwarded Felipe a card. They are not best friends they just work together. That is usually the normal conduct, if you have a sick college.

    I can understand the speculation of Alonso and Ferrari. But is it really necessary to have this negative campaign against Kimi? He is a good driver and it will be a shame if he leaves F1. F1 is suppose to be about the best drivers competing. Next year test drivers De La Rosa, Wurz or Gene are being considered for racing seats. While they are all very nice guys, it will be a shame to loose a WDC, while test drivers have racing seats.

  19. knoxploration says:

    To be completely fair to Kimi, this comparison ignores one important detail. Grosjean might be a rookie, but Badoer has turned more testing miles than much of the current grid. He shouldn’t need handholding to set a competitive laptime. Setup should be second nature to him by now!

  20. Jyrki Välimäki says:

    One is a hypocrite the other is not. Alonso knows that his time at Mclaren did not do any good to the perception of him as a human being or a race driver. This view of him is the one thing that Alonso knows he has to change to be regarded in the way he wants to be seen, and as he probably sees himself, especially in front of the people inside the F1 community. Wether or not he is this helpful team player is a completely different thing. But you are right about one thing though, it is all about the sell. Raikkonen on the other hand has always been true to his believings and actions no matter if it is to stand up for a mechanic who has made a mistake and are about to be fired or if it is about a teammate who he wishes to get well but without doing things that is not him just to score some points with the media. Just one question to you, why do I get the feeling that you want Raikkonen out of Ferrari and Alonso in? Is it because something personal or is that you would prefer a continuation of the Hamilton vs. Alonso battle?

    1. artorwar says:

      I think what we all want to see is Alonso AND Kimi in the red cars. That would be Win Win for all of us and a great battle if they would let them race!

  21. Mark R says:

    Hi James,
    Did you see the interviews Kimi gave at the Finland Rally on Dave? It’s probably the most smiley I’ve ever seen him & his body language was very positive. I got the impression his mind is already made up for next year & he’ll be rallying. I’m a big Ferrari fan & do rate Kimi very highly but I’ll disappointed if Ferrari miss out on a top driver if Kimi digs his heels in & stays next year.
    Keep up the good work James.

  22. Colin says:

    Kimi is the only hope for Ferrari to finish 3rd in the championship and Badoer has already said he would test. Reno with their 13 points can sit around and let Alonso baby sit who probably doesnt mind much at Reno. Reading the Ferrari pitwall speak, it sounds like they would rather have Kimi working on normal race weekend stuff then helping Badoer get his feet wet.

  23. Jeff De Vera says:

    I don’t think it’s fair that Raikkonen gets press about being a “bad” teammate. His job is really to drive the car, not babysit his teammate. (Especially one that hasn’t raced competitively in almost a decade) I mean he may be apathetic, but shouldn’t feel committed to helping his teammate. It is Badoer’s responsibility, who has countless engineers and facilities at his disposal, to acclimatize quickly. He wouldn’t be driving if Ferrari didn’t think he’d be up to the task.

    I mean Autosport reported Luca Badoer had FOUR pitlane speed violations in ONE practice session? The 60kph (race weekend) to 100kph (testing) pitlane speed limit difference is no excuse. I still think Marc Gene would’ve been a better stand-in for Massa.

  24. Antoine says:

    Hi James,

    How committed are GP2 drivers to their teams (Contract), because it seems like whenever there’s an empty seat in F1 they don’t hesitate. Is it that GP2 is simply a road to F1?

  25. Jay says:

    Let’s face it – Raikkonen’s a [mod]. Always has been, always will be. Can’t understand why anyone would support, follow or root for him. Selfish to the core.

    1. A Realist says:

      Apparently you believe that selfishness is somehow “bad”.

      All great things involve selfishness. Ferrari wouldn’t even exist
      as a company without it.

      We’re discussing RACING here. Racing is not an altruistic activity. If you think it is, or should be, you have a lot left to
      learn.

      1. Jay says:

        His attitude stinks. What does he give back to the sport? To the fans? He will never do an interview on the grid. He speaks like a monotone robot. Compare him to Massa and you will see that a Ferrari driver can be fast AND a nice likeable guy.

      2. Sri says:

        Why should Kimi give a nice press coverage? His job is driving the cars fast and as long as does it, who cares whether he speaks montones or not? Actually he is more honest than many drivers who make a show to press.

      3. Jojo says:

        Who is more robot than a driver being told to lie and follows just to gain a point?

    2. Werewolf says:

      “Let’s face it – Raikkonen’s a [mod].” Odd, I had him pegged as a [rocker]!

  26. Carl says:

    I think Kimi is his own man and it is fair enough that he is that way. A win is over due but don’t forget the car he has been driving this year is probably worse than the 2005 car that Michael Schumacher had to put up with. That season Michael got, 3 podiums and that lucky win in Indianpolis 2005.

    Kimi has 2 podiums this season, and I can see at least 2 more podiums and even a win in the last 7 races. And for that reason Ferrari have to keep him for 2010. Alonso ain’t exactly done much this season other than qualifying on pole with next to no fuel on board.

  27. Tapio says:

    Google: finnish mentality

  28. Raj says:

    I appreciate knowing this little role-play. But I have question. We have always been saying that Raikkonen has not grown as a man, as a teamman, as Ferrari driver. But has he really grown as a driver, as a racer? My answer will be a big NO. When Raikkonen and Alonso burst into F1 scene, we all knew Raikkonen was more capable and had more potential than Raikkonen. But has he been able to build onto his natural ability? Has he been able to add enough weapons to his armoury which come with experience? I do not think so. If you watch Raikkonen drive of 2002 and then watch a drive of 2008; sadly there is very little difference. On the other hand, Alonso has evolved as a racer much faster than Raikkonen despite of having a modest start. His learning curve has been much steeper than Raikkonen might even fathom. Hence, apart from their conduct we should look at their overall career graph as well.

    1. Andy says:

      When Raikkonen and Alonso burst into F1 scene, we all knew Raikkonen was more capable and had more potential than Raikkonen.

      This is some funny stuff here! :-)

      1. Raj says:

        My bad :(! I wanted to mean Kimi looked more talented of two. Thats what happens if you start foruming well past midnight after slogging for 15 hours.

  29. Chris says:

    Why should Kimi offer a hand to Badoer? The Iceman’s absolutely correct in saying that Luca has enough help at his disposal. He’s been a member of the Ferrari family for ten years, and regardless of the fact that he’s only driven the F60 at a promotional event, he’s so firmly entrenched that he has all the necessary help at hand. Despite his ice cool exterior, im sure Kimi’s contract negotiations are more on the agenda than offering a hand to a close-to-retirement backmarker…

  30. J. Hunter says:

    This is weird stuff. Allmost as weird as the one where you made assumptions that Williams is disappointed with Nico’s lack of performance.

    Ok, Räikkönen did not promise to walk hand in hand with Luca around the pits(for what Luca has Schumi), but didn’t he just say he’s willing to help. Just like Alonso did, only with more words. Alonso also mentioned that Romain hasn’t asked help yet, and that is because they are at Renault – just as Kimi&Luca at Ferrari – working separately with their own engineers during the practices.
    So they are basically saying the same thing. And Kimi already yesterday said: “all of us in the team will get behind him and try and help him as much as we can – - we will try and help Luca in whatever way possible” (http://www.f1technical.net/news/13106)

    So what exactly should have Kimi said that would have sounded as good and wise as what Alonso said? To mention few car parts and technical terms??

  31. Barry says:

    James, I think you were way wide of the mark on this one. I think Alonso is more alert to ways of making himself sound like the great guy he wants to be thought as, where Kimi doesn’t give a north bound rats south end what people think about him. He’s not a “have a nice day” type of person. But in my opinion, he’d make a more sincere real friend than would Alonso, and were you to be able to ask his real friends what kind of person he is, you’d hear a much different take on Kimi than you wrote about here.
    It seems to me that getting the car set up optimally for the race is his main and most important objective for this weekend, and helping his teammate is secondary. I would also assume that the engineers will give badoer any improvements that they develope with Kimi concentrated focus. Points is the name of the game, and F1 isn’t kind to underachievers or rookies. That’s just the way the sport is, and although I like Fernnando, I think his comments at this interview , if they were quoted exactly, were much the same as you attributed to Kimi, with maybe a bit of spin. In my opinion, Ferrari are a dissappointmentto me most of the time. They don’t seem to feel that contracts mean anything at all if they want to break them, but if some wants to break a contract with they’d be srceaming bloody murder for the whole season. Sportsman , they are not.
    Furthermore, how many people stepped up to help Kimi when he first arrived in F1, He achieved what he did, by paying attention and learning, and I hugely admire his distain for the press. There aren’t that many journalists that are worth giving time of day, and most love to tear down anyone that doesn’t play their game willingly.
    In my opinion, kimi is not at fault in the least, and should be admired. Hell, we;ve been hearing that Alonso is going to Ferrari now for nearly 2 years, and the fault lays in Ferraris lap as far as rumors go. I do however admit that Kimi benefitted from the same situation in 2006, and some thoight he was the reason Schu Left with what some called a loving shove.

  32. Red Kimi says:

    I say Kimi and Alonso in 2010…. the world would prefer that much more than Alonso and Massa

    Why would the guy with no title and half the wins keep the job and Kimi have to shove off… Plus Massa makes less, so Ferrari have less to lose dropping his services.

    ..ooops I forgot he is managed by a Todt and MS is his buddy, sorry!

  33. Red Kimi says:

    WOW… I think the responses show how amazingly popular Kimi is…. Ferrari gave him trash this year…. last year he had some bad drives, he also could have won more races not do to his own fault(France, Canada, and Japan)

  34. Werewolf says:

    Possibly not entirely on topic, especially if James is intending posting separately on Luca Badoer.

    I have stayed silent on Badoer’s potential as I had no real view, other than the obvious disappointment at Michael Schumacher’s enforced withdrawal. I guess I was unconvinced but I was intrigued by Ferrari’s reported view that Badoer was faster than Marc Gene, who to me was the logical choice for a Spanish race.

    Without wanting to crucify the man, I have to say Badoer’s performances in free practice today were less than impressive (displaying a mastery of under-statement, as Murray Walker might have said) and I can only imagine the imminent vitriol from the I-told-you-so brigade. If Ferrari are really serious about 3rd place in the Constructors’ Championship, they do seem to need another solution. So, as much for entertainment as anything else, I’d like to suggest (in order of preference) Anthony Davidson as the most deserving free driver, Takuma Sato as the one who would perhaps enthral the most on track and Jacques Villeneuve as the one who would generate the most column inches – and controversy on fora!

  35. LeighJW says:

    “Ferrari has a family mentality born out of the extraordinary bond which formed over a long period between Michael Schumacher and the key people there”.

    It is easy to share everything when you know your team mate isn’t allowed to beat you.

    1. Jojo says:

      I agree…

      ..and maybe Kimi does not understand that “Family mentality” but I bet he undestands lot about “FAIR” competition.

  36. The other cold one says:

    Hi James.

    A most interesting comparison. I’m not up to speed on Spanish character traits, but having lived in Finland for four years, can say that here, they tell it like it is, in as few words as possible. Otherwise they keep the trap shut. Witness the (infamous?) Brundle interview at Brazil 2006. Brundle: Why weren’t you at the Pele presentation? Räikkönen: I was having a …. Also for more garrulous Finns see Häkkinen at post race interviews. As has been observed by all and sundry, Alonso wants desperately to improve his image to increase his marketability. Kimi isn’t going anywhere (except out?).

    A little to one side, but thank you for all of this great insight and indepth intelligent analysis from the frontlines. Long may it continue. I have also been impressed by the vast majority of comments being articulate, well thought out, and to the point. I’m guessing that some of your regulars are probably sitting closer to trackside than the average punter…

  37. Alien says:

    Typical Michael Schumacher fanboy’s assessment of Kimi. Anything he says or does is twisted to make him sound like he doesn’t belong at Ferrari.

    Tell me this. Why did MS decide to leave Ferrari when he knew Kimi was coming? He wasn’t ready to retire, was he? He’s hung around the Ferrari pitwall for the past 2 years like a bad smell and then offered to fill in for Massa so that he can excuse being beaten by Kimi on lack of time in the cockpit.

  38. Alien says:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77840

    “am also grateful to Michael who wanted to be here this weekend. It is important for me to be able to count on his support, especially from the human point of view and of course, also in terms of technical matters.”

    So, Luca has his old pal Michael to help him and Kimi is focussed on getting his car to the front of the grid… while still being available to answer any questions if needs be.

    I don’t see what the problem is.

  39. Red Andy says:

    Forget the whining from Kimi fans – we all know, and Kimi knows, that his time in F1 is nearly up. Since coming to Ferrari he just hasn’t stepped up to the mark, he was supposed to emulate Schumacher and he simply hasn’t done that. Kimi’s fast, but in modern F1 that is only half the story. No point in being quick if you crash halfway through the race.

  40. El Shish says:

    Can’t help thinking a little too much has been reasd into this. Kimi has received so much stick in the press that you can’t blame the guy for not telling the press what they want to hear. Maybe he’s just more of a private guy, less approachable. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s paid to drive and, thus far, in two full seasons he’s delivered one title. Regardles of who you have in that car, Ferrari wouldn’t win the title this year so his ratio isn’t bad. The guy should be judged on that, nothing else. It’s fine for Alonso to come across as the nice guy in front of his own fans and press but where was this support for Piquet earlier?

    Also, it’s not like Alonso has already been like this. He certainly wasn’t at McLaren and what choice does he have now he’s not contending, but to play the good guy. After all, with a seat at Ferrari assured, it’s not in his interest to act the diva in what is largely a lost season.

  41. Vinay says:

    James,
    I have noticed from your blogs, articles on ITV-F1 and elsewhere that you tend to downplay Kimi a lot. Also, you don’t let go of a chance to demonise Kimi. You are at pains to explain how he is not like everyone out there.

    But I cannot fathom why you haven’t been able to understand Kimi’s character. He is like that by nature and he is probably the only one on the paddock who speaks his mind.

    I really like your journalism in other areas but when it comes to Kimi I see you are overly critical to the point of being unjust. In the same way you are overly sympathetic with Lewis Hamilton.

    I hope I will be able to brush off this article from you and I really hope to follow your journalism in the future.

    Cheers!
    Vinay

  42. Callahan says:

    I don’t understand why you are making such a big fuss over this, James. Kimi is Ferrari’s only hope this week end so he is obviously busy finding the best setup possible. Besides, isn’t Schumacher there to tutor Badoer?

  43. Andreas says:

    Hi James, why you’re always blaming Kimi? Please be a real men and give an answer to this question !

  44. Peter says:

    Kimi is THE pure racing driver, probably one of the fastest and most talented ever. He is also honest and straight-talking whilst Alonso is far more political. For me that worth much more than the stupid PR stuff and other rubbish.

  45. Charles Kane says:

    (Translated by She wolf from Planet-F1 forum)

    Kimi Räikkönen told surprisingly that Ferrari’s drivers don’t share the data they gather during practice.

    Luca Badoer didn’t get in Valencia Kimi’s data and Kimi didn’t get Badoer’s data.

    - Usually we operate more or less separately and only when the other one has really big problems we share data. Here I fully concentrate on my own performance during the whole weekend. Usually the data we share has something to do with the tyres but this time we didn’t have any problems with the tyres, Räikkönen told.

    MTV3 – Erkki Mustakari

  46. Nicollers says:

    Just one more view on this, even if Kimi had helped Badoer re setup, it’s no substitute for talent. I was quick to praise Ferrari for giving Badoer a chance, but perhaps I was too quick off the mark. Luca was way off the pace, rusty and never looked like finishing in the top 10. Perhaps this isn’t surprising but I think it proves even if he did have Kimi’s setup and limited knowledge of the Valencia circuit, he wouldn’t have fared much better…

  47. Jojo says:

    James,

    What about the help Kimi did for Felipe lat season? why didnt you write about it? Does it not fall into your category of “Ferari Family Mentality”?

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