While the F1 circus makes its next stop for the first time ever in India this weekend, the big rumor buzzing around is that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, or better known to F1 fans as the Iceman, is making a comeback next season with the Williams team. Raikkonen was already spotted visiting the Williams factory earlier this season, and reports are that the visit was more than just a casual tour.
After winning his lone championship in 2007, Raikkonen’s F1 career tailed off, as he was outdriven in 2008 by teammate Felipe Massa, and in 2009 looked absolutely disinterested in what was a write-off season due to the F60’s lack of pace. To say that Ferrari is passionate about their racing is an understatement, and I imagine they must been frustrated by the Iceman’s unenthusiastic demeanor, and proceeded to give Raikkonen the axe at the end of 2009. At the time, he was the second highest paid athlete in the world behind only Tiger Woods. His separation from Ferrari and F1, while not exactly a surprise, was a big blow to the F1 community. While his personality off the track left some fans wanting for more, his raw speed was undeniable. And his persona in many ways perfectly complemented his racing style. Stone cold, no mistakes. To give you an idea of the enigma that is the Iceman, here’s a few clips from his storied F1 career.
You might be thinking the creator of that video was unfairly trying to portray Raikkonen as being stoic and emotionless about his winning his first grand prix. Here’s the unedited video of the post race press conference, you can judge for yourself.
Not convinced? Here’s the Iceman after winning his first Drivers championship on the last race of one of the most thrilling seasons in the modern history of F1.
Smile, Kimi, you just made history. My favorite moment is his response to a question from Peter Windsor at the 3:00 mark. And here’s Kimi after his last win in F1 back in 2009.
Starting to notice a pattern?
If Raikkonen does return to F1, his addition would make next year’s driver linup one of the most illustrious of all time, with six world champions on the grid(Schumi, Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Button). Raikkonen belongs in F1, and after two years of racing rally cars and inexplicably racing part time in NASCAR, it seems he’s ready to make his return. Given Williams’ atrocious performance this season, it’s highly unlikely that Raikkonen will be able to compete for race wins let alone the Drivers championship. But F1 fans, including myself, are eagerly anticipating seeing the Iceman back in the paddock.
It’s safe to say that Raikkonen is one of the most unusual personalities in all of motorsport. But if he could speak for himself I imagine he would say that his goal is to be a very fast driver who pushes his car to the maximum and he always makes sure to thank his team for their support and he appreciates the effort they make to make sure his car is fast and for that he wants to say thanks and he’s very happy for what they’ve achieved.