Kimi is not a racer

Brought to you by TJ13 contributor: The Grumpy Jackal

Is it really 11 years since Kimi Raikkonen won on his Ferrari debut in Melbourne – going on to beat the cheating Mclaren team and its drivers Lewis and Fernando?

By the way, I’ve been told that I should use the full name to introduce the villains to my piece but I’m sorry if people reading this don’t know who Lewis or Fernando are respectively then there really is no hope..

Anyway, back to the story. I really don’t get Kimi Raikkonen.

I’ve never been able to understand his apparent popularity with the fraternity of F1 fans. In the early days, the general rule of thumb was to admire his bravery and speed. His monosyllabic responses had more in common with moose in mating season than they did to any coherent modern day language. Yet his supporters spoke of a unique style all his own – this fabled Iceman.

No doubt part of Ron Dennis’ balding complexion has been caused by his failure to control the Kimster – we all know how anal Ron was about order within McLaren. But how many times did we hear of this crazy Finnish man leaving nightclubs in states of inebriation that on one occasion meant his companion was an inflatable dolphin? Or falling off the upper deck of his boat and landing on his head. Possibly, the most eye-opening of all his blatant refusals to play by the rules was entering a snow mobile race, dressed as a gorilla named James Hunt…

It appears that I was in a minority of not appreciating Kimi but back at Spa in 2002, I was watching in absolute horror as he kept his foot buried to the bulkhead and speared through a cloud of oil-smoke left by Olivier Panis’ self-detonating BAR on the Kemmel straight. At this point, the drivers would have been accelerating beyond 180mph+ and this imbecile was applauded for his bravery!!

I have seen Tom Pryce and a marshal killed during the 1977 South African GP when both parties were unsighted over the crest of a hill, and unlike many, I held my breath hoping the Finn would navigate through safely. Thankfully, no fire marshals were running towards the burning car and none had decided to cross the track otherwise the carnage would have been unspeakable.

I doubt Mr Iceman would have uttered anything beyond a grunt – he has a persona to uphold – yet as the world found out in recent seasons, he demanded to be left alone as he knew what he was doing in Abu Dhabi. Yet, still I do not understand the idolatry surrounding this individual.

Maybe my resistance to Kimi is entrenched by the fact I am one of the Tifosi. You see, Ferrari fans have come to expect certain traits about drivers employed by Maranello. There are the heroes – Villeneuve, Alesi and Mansell were all adored for their warrior spirit. In the early days Schumacher’s valiant efforts against the tormentors was roared across Italy; but he blotted his legacy with the team-orders fiasco at the 2002 Austrian GP.

Counter to the heroes, of course, is the anti-heroes and Kimi joins an expansive collection of wannabe’s. When I think of Kimi, I add in Alain Prost, Felipe Massa, Michele Alboreto, and Eddie Irvine amongst many others. All top quality drivers but not one of them a racer.

Stirling Moss was quoted, ‘I’m a racer, not a driver. There’s a big difference” and I think it’s this tangible quality which sadly is missing from most of the drivers on the grid.

Advertisements

14 responses to “Kimi is not a racer

    • Than you’ve clearly just started coming here a year ago. This is back to how tj13 was before the troll era. People posting articles with their opinions. Not the suck up journalism you can find everywhere on the net. Just some fans having fun

  1. I would argue there are no real racers in F1 today as the teams have too much invested in their drivers to let them do that.

  2. I do not agree! (… although …)

    I liked Kimi a lot. First and foremost because he was fast. Very fast! Being fast is what this game is about. Isn’t it?
    Secondly, I liked Kimi because he was … Kimi. No political correctness, no pleasing his team boss, sponsors, the press – cutting off and walking away from a reporter with the words ‘I have to take a dump’ – hardly willing to please the fans. Kimi was in there for the racing. The rest didn’t / doesn’t matter.

    I like that! I like an honest and genuine ‘Bhoahhh’ above a not so genuine ‘You guys are amaaaiiijjzing! You guys are the best fans in the world!’ (every fortnight).
    I liked it especially because Kimi was being Kimi despite the fact that he raced for McLaren and not for some Hesketh like rebel team. McLaren. the team that in those days thought they should accentuate their ‘superiority’ by giving their pit crew fancy ‘space suits’, the team that distinguished themselves with marble clad pit box floors. The team that, after having lost the 2006 championship due to a not so reliable Mercedes engine, not listening to Kimi when he wanted new front tires after flat-spotting them (resulting in a disintegrated front suspension and a crash) and other things, told the press they had lost the championship because their drivers had made mistakes…

    Kimi should have been world champion in 2006. Kimi was the 2007 champion after a highly impressive summer and autumn campaign for Ferrari. Kimi was a racer!

    Kimi hasn’t been a title contender for years now. The clear number 2. Not showing his speed nor race craft. Scoring points and sometimes a podium on experience alone.

    Winners can do whatever they want. We all accept that. We all admire them for that.
    But in my opinion Kimi can still do whatever he wants, too (although age and being a father seem to have somewhat mellowed him). Kimi can do whatever he wants as long as it’s genuine, despite the fat that he isn’t a winner anymore.

    Come to think of it, you’re right. Kimi is not a racer…

  3. Poppycock! Kimi is obviously in the later years of his career, and perhaps not as quick as he was in the past, but he has always been one hell of a racer. He should have two world championships, but Ron Dennis “defiled the pooch,” and cost him his first championship.

  4. we fans of Kimi get shat on because we are a fan of someone with and actual personality? one that doesn’t come out of a F1 incubator? the FACT that he raced on a snowmobile in an ape suit and then called himself James Hunt to “hide” from his bosses is why we love the guy. He’s that much needed middle finger to everything that is so square and precise about F1. And then, when the stars align, he’s sober enough, and his car in on point, he can really bring the fireworks. That, good sir, is why he’s loved.

    And we cannot forget his love for the media, “kimi, where were you?”, Kimi- “I was taking a sh1t”… utter perfection.

    • 1) I’m flattered you call this journalism.

      2) these are just blog type opinion pieces based on watching F1 for over 40 years.

      3) I like people sharing their points of view of my ideas. These are written as casual pieces reasoned out in the neurological pathways in my head.

      4) I’d love to read a piece written by you. Or if your surname is ‘Hughes’ I LOVE reading your pieces 👍

  5. I used to like Kimi, but there must have been a point in which his detattchement became apathy and at least he became Irvine 2.0.

    I think, or guess, he was so talented he never really had to become obsessively competitive as others. And it was fine during his first stint in F1 because none of the changes introduced in that period was profound enough to demand real change and readaptation. When he joined in F1, it was flat out sprint racing with refueling and tyre changes. And it was the same still in 2009, but with a smaller and toothless engine paired with KERS.

    Then it was a whole new ball game by the time he returned in 2012, but Pirelli’s incompetence and resulting madness allowed him some surprising success. When Mercedes became dominant and nothing would ever come easy again, he did not bother to dig deep. Why would he? Ferrari was already coughing up ridiculous ammounts for his services and he had no title chance at all. He knew he wouldn’t even have a chance of winning races without any incredible sequence of events.

    That was it. He bacme the Kimi we have seen since 2014 and in nothing reminds us of the one between 2001 and 2009, except for his unreasonable fandom, total disregard for PR activities and fan engagement.

  6. How many human beings could get on the pole at Monaco, in his car? Maybe 5? He just got third place at Melbourne, in a car many say is third fastest e.g. 5th or 6th out of 6 cars. How can you say he’s not a racer? Click bait?

Leave a Reply