Alfa Romeo Racing team Formula 1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen, has confirmed recently that he would like to resume his World Rally Championship career and that he would love to get the WRC crown after retiring from Formula 1. The Finn has spoken about his plans in an interview for Red Bulletin, a magazine belonging to the firm of the energy drink.
The driver, who became F1 world champion with Ferrari in 2007, has already taken part in the WRC in 2010 and 2011. During his debut season, he drove a C4 WRC and in the following year, he took the wheel of the newest model, the DS3 WRC. In both occasions, he finished tenth in the standings and managed to successfully deal with some spectacular accidents.
The 40-year-old, and oldest driver on the grid, will drive for the second consecutive season with the Swiss-Italian Scuderia, a contractual relationship that is due to expire at the end of the year. It is still not clear if that will mark his definitive goodbye to the Queen category of motor racing.
After leaving Maranello in 2018, the driver from Spoo ended up in Alfa Romeo in 2019, Ferrari’s sister team. His second stint with the Prancing Horse had lasted for five years (2014-2018). The first one went from 2007 to 2009, year in which he lost his seat and started his rally career onboard a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000.
Following that first incursion in the sport, he debuted for a full season at the WRC. His best result was a fifth place at Rally Turkey in 2010. A year later, and as part of the Ice 1 Racing team, he took his second-generation DS3 WRC to a sixth place in Jordan and Germany.
After those rally years, he returned to the F1 with Lotus with whom he managed two victories (Abu Dhabi & Australia), before being re-hired by the Italian team in 2014 where he has stayed until 2018.
It was then that he was replaced by the team’s new rising star: Charles Leclerc. During this latest stage, he has been able to do nothing but witness the overwhelming hegemony of Mercedes who have dominated throughout the hybrid era.
It was precisely at Peter Sauber, parent scuderia of current Alfa Romeo Racing, that Kimi Raikkonen started his Formula 1 career in 2001. One year later he joined McLaren where he flourished as a driver. It was during that time that he starred in some epic battles for the title with Fernando Alonso until 2006 when he moved to Ferrari.
In any case, his new challenge seems to be to make it in the Rally world. His ultimate ambition, to conquer the WRC title and becoming the only racer in history to treasure both the F1 and the WRC crowns. He has a long and difficult path ahead of him if he wants to make his dreams come true.
When his new adventure at the WRC will start is still unclear for despite his contract with Alfa Romeo expiring at the end of the season, team’s director, Frederick Vasseur, has declared his intention to try and persuade the Finn to stay with them.
It makes sense given his results in the last campaign, when Raikkonen accrued 43 points on board the red and white single-seater compared with the meagre 14 of his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.
Moreover, Kimi Raikkonen’s performance during the first half of the past season was more than decent. Later on, he was let down by the poor development of his CS37. Unfortunately, during the second half of the year, the insufficient power of his car held the champion behind.