THE TRUTH ABOUT KIMI RAIKKONEN, FERRARI AND SANTANDER IN 2008

Edit: 12th of September, 2013
As the sensational return of Kimi to Ferrari is now official, I thought it was fitting with a slightly updated prologue. The opinion of myself and the research of wrcva still stands. In fact, as is mentioned many times, the info used here is easily retrieved and found by anyone with internet access and a search engine.

Kimi has proven himself to be a far bigger man than I am. He has clearly chosen to let bygones be bygones. And he may look at what happened as “nothing personal, just business”. Because that is what it was: Business.

Speaking of business. Since you found this post, you should really really read this. I personally vouch and stand for every single word. After all, I wrote them myself. But seriously, this is awesome:
http://f1bias.com/2013/12/28/great-and-exciting-news-to-readers-of-f1bias/

Anyway, things have apparently been patched up between Kimi and Ferrari. And more importantly, new assurances have undoubtedly been made in his 2-year contract. What comforts me is that according to MTV3/Oskari Saari, one of the important things in the negotiations between Kimi and Ferrari was that Di Montezemolo and Kimi had a private talk, where Di Montezemolo personally apologized to Kimi about what had happened in the past and welcomed him to come back. Link to that story here: http://f1bias.com/2013/09/13/kimi-got-his-apology-from-montezemelo/

And now – on with the original article. Latest updates on 22 Sept, 13:

2008 was the year when Kimi won his second world championship. He breezed through the season scoring podiums and wins in most of the races. He did so with the full support of his team, Ferrari. Listening to his feedback and changing the components that he asked for. And so the legendary Ferrari team could celebrate another back to back drivers championship.

Or that is certainly how it could have been. That was in fact the way it was headed as well. Until money, sponsorship and the desire from a large Spanish corporation to see “their” driver placed in the Maranello based team got in the way.

Sensationalism? Conspiracy theories you may say? Far from it. The following segment consists of chronically collected articles readily available to the public. They are coupled with natural conclusions to be drawn therefrom. Now with hindsight and the luxury of time passing to better see the bigger picture, the truth is as ugly as it is sad. Full credit goes to the author of this piece, wrcva. A fellow forumer who took the time and energy to dig up and piece the puzzle together, forming the picture we already suspected.
My contribution is only minor edits and brushups for readability. With his permission of course.

I am aware that this is probably not news to a lot of people. But this piece was well researched and deserves attention. My hope is that much of the nonsense regarding Kimis 2008 season can be put to rest with this.

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Why Kimi was not on top of his game in 2008 by wrcva

The period between April-July 2008 is probably one of the worst periods not only in Kimi’s F1 career but probably in his life. All his life he and his family believed in hard work and doing their best to achieve good things on merit. In Kimi’s case this means putting his natural talents to best use in performing, and winning races.

2007 season was a dream come true year for Kimi. He won the closely fought Formula One World Drivers Championship and was ready for defending his title in 2008. From all indications outlook for the 2008 season was pretty good, arguably conditions were even better than the 2007 season.

Backdrop for 2008: The guy just won WDC the previous year, and he is already leading in points 4 races into the 2008 season. Life is good. Other than the management changes that took place at Ferrari as Domenicali replaced Todt as the head of Scuderia Ferrari, January 2008.

It’s no secret that Todt and di Montezemolo had a power struggle within Ferrari, something which lead to Todt’s eventual and swift exit. With Todt effectively out of the way from early 2008 and Domenicali in his place, the Scuderia was changed. Raikkonen was initially brought to the team by di Montezemolo as part of his power struggle with Todt. But to di Montezemolo’s dismay, it was Todt that Raikkonen bonded with and not di Montezemolo, who was the polar opposite of the “Iceman” (thanks to OSX).

(April 27, 2008), FIA post-race press con after winning Spain — Kimi – “It was a perfect weekend for us in Barcelona,” explained Raikkonen. “We were going really fast all the time and we didn’t have the slightest problem. Many times I have won and afterwards still had the feeling that it could have gone better. This time I did not have that feeling: this was probably the best weekend I’ve ever had in my career.

The guy won Spain just 3 days ago… then, all of a sudden PR stuff & “rumors” kicks in. I am not sure who started them but the mission was to melt the iceman because it would be terrible PR to get rid of a 2 times WDC, in the event that he managed to win the 2nd one in 2008.

In the following, partially narrated timeline, I have tried to put the main news item with the earliest approx. date of first showing up (in google news based on article posting date) out of 100s or 1000s regurgitated ones for each item. They give a good glimpse into what was in Kimi’s mind as he was facing a psychological PR war, aside from racing issues during 2008.

May 1, 2008 – Luca di Montezemolo: Massa’s future with the team is secure. It will be too damaging to partner Alonso with Kimi.
Keke Rosberg: Kimi has to make way for Alonso…
Domenicali: Kimi is motivated from head to toe, and I know he is not thinking about retiring.” here.

Note: You can tell that they have been talking about Santander coming in as the new long term sponsor but the plan is to not to talk about it externally… This is the first time appearance of Kimi’s “motivation” by Domenicali. It is not yet used in a negative way but it is a crucial PR keyword because at this point they cannot start talking about Kimi’s performance as he is in the lead. But this is where the decision has been made that Kimi has to go. Also note the disconnect between LdM & Dom’s statements. Yes, the date is correct - May 1 2008, and instead of talking about the win 3 days ago, they are forced to answer questions about the driver line-up, Kimi’s motivation, and retirement rumors.

May 8, 2008 – Niki Lauda “Last year Raikkonen was champion and now he is number one. Why must we now discuss whether Alonso is going to go there? They already have the perfect team with Massa, so why should they bang their heads together?” 

Note: This is an honest statement by Lauda wondering WTF is going on… as there is significant chatter inside the F1 world… here

May 24, 2008 – Alonso signs for Ferrari –
The word in the F1 paddock in Monte Carlo is that Fernando Alonso has just inked a deal to drive for Ferrari in 2010. No confirmation is expected for a year, and there may be denials of any arrangement, as there would obviously be some serious knock-on effects for other parties in the F1 paddock. here

Note: Spanish press is going nuts over this as well at this time.. You can use google news with date filters if you want to see for yourself. Emphasis: do not confirm and deny until next year — which they did…

June 6, 2008 – FIA interview — Kimi: “I still have a contract until the end of next year,” Raikkonen said during the press conference ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Thursday. “I haven’t made any decision as to whether I will keep going or not. That’s the last contract I have and we will wait and see during this year and next year what happens.” “I haven’t made my mind up and we will see.”

Note: (this is the GP that Hamilton rear ended Kimi) — why would this contract issue come up in the FIA press conference? You can tell internal discussions about his departure is well underway. Yet we are only 7 races into the season..

July 10, 2008 – According to popular German magazine Sport Bild, it would seem that Spanish bank Santander would be moving from sponsoring McLaren to become one of Ferrari’s top sponsors from 2009 onwards. The big bank would have their adverts on the front and rear wings, alongside lettering on the drivers overalls. Ferrari have been touting for a new top sponsor since cigarette advertisers were not allowed in many countries, Marlboro being the major backer for many years. With a contract with Marlboro still in place, hash markings would still be on the cars. For the Scuderia though, Santander have said the major condition of their deal is that former World Champion Fernando Alonso would drive for the team. He won’t confirm his future, and will not comment until Septemberhere

Note: Santander-Ferrari-Alonso deal is done at this time but negotiations with Kimi are in full force. Look at the desired date for the sponsorship… Now, how did Alonso come up with that September date, unless he read Kimi’s contract and is familiar with the performance/renewal options Kimi could exercise?? That is an accidental slip up by the Spaniard because the September date was significant only to Kimi’s contract. He cannot comment on what will happen because they do not know what Kimi will do yet – as Ferrari is still negotiating! (see Sep 12 news, in the following)

July 11-19, 2008 –  Kimi’s front suspension is updated sometime between these dates..

According to Interview with Ferrari team principle Domenicali on December 16 2008, this is the point where Kimi lost his front suspension. From all indications this was a surprise to Kimi, given how sensitive he is to changes made on the car.

Question to Domenicali by Autosprint:

Did Kimi share his problems with you?

- We always talk with each other and argue about general technical issues. From the technical point of view he was dissatisfied with front suspension, and it didn’t work the way he wanted. The front suspension to suit him was a recurrent topic of our discussions.

How fast did you discover that?

- In midseason. We changed the suspension in Germany and returned it for Kimi in Monza.

In this interview Dom misspoke. Kimi got his old suspension in Singapore, a race later, not Monza. This issue is also alluded to by Michael Schumacher who is in charge of car development and updates:

“In a way it is his (Kimi’s) strength that he has a very focused vision, and maybe sometimes it doesn’t always help him. We could maybe help him more if he would ask for it,”

said Schumacher in an interview for BBC earlier yesterday. The German insisted that part of Kimi’s loss in form in the second part of the season was because the Finn failed to adapt to the new developments introduced by Ferrari in the mid-season.

“I think I have to protect him in many ways, because in the middle of the season we made some developments to the car but Kimi simply didn’t get on with these ones. The moment we went back to those changes, we got him back to competitive lap times,” link

Here, if we look at the WDC points table, from mid-July to the end of September Kimi was able to score only 9 points in 6 GPs. Surely, there was some bad luck involved as well..


July 20 2008 – FIA - German Grand Prix Post Race driver quotes:

Look at Kimi’s reaction in the interview in his own words:

“This was definitely not the kind of race we had been hoping for. We have struggled all weekend and we have to try and understand why. Usually, our race pace is always good, but today that was not the case, because I almost always suffered with a lack of grip: only in the final stages did the situation improve a little bit, but it was never enough to be competitive. We have a test in Jerez, where we will try and improve the car so as to arrive in Budapest in better shape. This is definitely not a crisis, but we have to study carefully the handling of the car to understand if we have taken the right road in terms of development.” 
Source: http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/7/8126.html

Well, Mr. Schumacher definitely knew what the deal was but maybe he did not have a chance to inform Kimi that his front suspension was totally different for the German GP…  This also amplifies the communication and turf problems between Domenicali and Schumacher.

Now, imagine or try to visualize what Schumacher himself (as a driver) or Alonso would have done after learning the fact that their front suspension was replaced without their knowledge or they were not invited to driver debriefs… not a pretty picture, huh?

Juli 31, 2008 – FIA Thursday press conference – Hungary –
Q: People are talking about you retiring, not necessarily at the end of this year but at the end of next year. Are there any thoughts on that?
KR: I never said anything like that. I only said that I have a contract until the end of next year and then somebody made up that I will stop at the end of this year or the end of next year, but I never said that.

Note: Guess who is propagating retirement rumors? This is a pretty major PR war against Kimi… and they are wearing him out. You know, in itself, it is pretty hard to fight for the WDC – even if you had full support from the team…

Aug 24, 2008 – FIA post-race press con Valencia –
Massa: “My win in Valencia moves me ahead of Kimi into second place in the championship. I’ve been asked if I feel Ferrari should favour me for the title since there are just six races remaining. All I can say is that I want to keep winning, to keep beating not just my teammate (Kimi Raikkonen) but others too,” Massa was quoted as saying on the Ferrari website. The Brazilian, who is on 64 points, six behind the leader Lewis Hamilton, further added that he has got nothing to do with such decisions. “I just do the best possible job for the team and leave the rest to the management,” he added.

Raikkonen is third on the table with 57 points. Meanwhile, Kimi has rubbished the claim that he lacks motivation. “Next week, we will go to Spa (venue of the next Grand Prix). I love this track. I will give it all to win again. If someone has doubt as far as my motivation is concerned: Go ahead. I want to win. More than ever,” he said on the Ferrari website.

Note: Since April, Kimi’s lack of motivation stories have been propagating into millions of articles, blog and forum posts. (Google is your friend). Motivation is the keyword because they still cannot talk about performance…

Sep 12, 2008 – Ferrari confirm Raikkonen to end of 2010 –
Ferrari have announced an extension to Kimi Raikkonen’s contract for a further two seasons, keeping the world champion with the Italian team until the end of 2010. With Raikkonen’s teammate Felipe Massa also under contract for that period, it means Ferrari’s race line-up will remain unchanged until at least the start of their 2011 campaign. Raikkonen joined Ferrari from McLaren last season, while Massa has been with the team since 2006. The announcement should end media speculation suggesting that Raikkonen may retire at the end of this season. Article: here

Note: This is just an automatic contract renewal option Kimi is exercising to increase the Santander/Ferrari payout based on exceeding his performance benchmarks on his contract. He knows he is done with Ferrari… and if he could find a way, he could have left by the end of 2008. He is loosing the PR war, but trying to secure finances in negotiations. I also think this is the point where Kimi’s generally cooperative relationship with LdM went south.

Sep 12, 2008 – Alonso: “Kimi deal has no impact” – Skysports.com –

Fernando Alonso insists that Kimi Raikkonen’s extended Ferrari deal has not put a dent in his plans for the future.  Ferrari announced on Friday that Raikkonen had extended his contract and would remain with the Scuderia until the end of 2010.   This put an end to reports that Alonso could be heading to Ferrari at the end of 2009. However, the Spaniard insists those were just rumours and that Raikkonen’s deal has not upset his future plans.

“I knew already that they will extend the contract,” he told Autosport. “Nothing has changed.
“Talking about 2010 and 2011 is way too far for me. I want to win before that!
Always my plans were more focused on 2009 and in 2009 there was no possibility of Ferrari so it was never in my plans.”

It remained to be seen which team Alonso would race for next season as while Renault are keen to retain their double world champion, Honda were also reportedly on the look-out to sign him. Link: here

Note:  Alonso knew Kimi had to exercise the automatic contract renewal option after negotiations with Santander failed.. I guess he could not convince Botin to pay up Kimi to walk at the end of 2008, so he could move to Ferrari starting 2009. It is interesting that Kimi’s contract renewal announcement date is the same date as Alonso’s statement: September 12, 2008.

Sep 14, 2008 – FIA post race int. Monza –
Raikkonen. “You don’t have to be Einstein to understand that this is not the right way to fight for the title. It’s not over yet, but now it will take a miracle, like one that makes lightning strike twice.

Note: He is not just talking about racing here. Even though he is still within mathematical possibility with 4 races left in the calendar (he is 20 pts behind Massa, and yet better odds than 2007); he is up to his neck in the swamp trying to fight/fend off elegators on multiple fronts:

1) Santander/Ferrari lawyers..
2) His relationship with Schumacher. It was never emphasized in 2008 but I think it was a very significant issue. For 2008, Michael’s role was, per LdM: “official 3rd driver, in charge of car development.” See footnote 1 (and check out Michael’s Ferrari and wiki profile for his role in 2008). Kimi did not like this at all because Michael was in charge of something (the car itself) that Kimi himself had been used to controlling/influencing all his career.
3) Pressure from LdM and Dom to help out Massa because if Massa wins the 2008 WDC, Santander will be thrilled given their upcoming 2009 IPO in Brazil. In my opinion, Dom or LdM never mandated this, but they highly encouraged Kimi to fall back because financial implications for Santander, the future sponsor, was in Billions of $. (not Millions, Billions) And because Massa is a native son of Brazil who can mobilize local investors even better than Alonso. Link: here.

In the end, Santander’s IPO gains were about $9 Billion. See footnote 2
Note: IPO means Initial Public Offering. Or the stock market launch for that company. In this case, in Brazil.

Sep 24, 2008 - Pitpass –
Spanish media is claiming that Ferrari’s recent decision to re-sign Kimi Raikkonen until the end of 2010, is a smokescreen, aimed at putting everyone off the real story, which sees Fernando Alonso heading to Maranello as early as next year. Spanish newspaper Marca claims that Santander, which headed to McLaren with Fernando Alonso in 2007, is behind a move which will see the two-time champion join Felipe Massa. The Spanish banking giant is due to take its account to Ferrari next year, and, having lost out when Alonso quit McLaren after just one season, wants its national hero back on board and in a winning (red) car. It’s claimed that the bank will not only meet Alonso’s financial requirements but will also meet any compensation demanded by Raikkonen.

It is fair to say that the announcement that Raikkonen is to stay with Ferrari for two more years caught many by surprise, especially since the Finn appears to have lost his sparkle in recent months, a situation not helped by the fact that he is now almost certain – barring a miracle recovery – of having to play second fiddle to his Brazilian teammate. While several teams, most notably Honda, have been wooing Alonso, the Spaniard needs to be back in a winning car, and other than BMW – which is backed by Santander’s rival Credit Suisse – Ferrari appears to be the only option.

Note: Looks like negotiations for buying out 2009 failed, probably to Kimi’s dismay — from here on it’s a Cold War within the team and Kimi is the unofficial #2 by corporate decision
 because they still need to ramp up Massa’s standing in Brasil for the upcoming IPO.

The only thing they could not foresee is Massa’s accident in 2009. Kimi’s departure was a done deal as early as May 25, 2008, latest Sep 14, 2008. They just had to make sure he did not accidentally win the 2008 WDC as Ferrari would have looked really stupid.. Very curious about that pit screw up in Monaco, if it was real or orchestrated because this is where it all started, it is a milestone event for things starting to go wrong for Kimi for the rest of the year, along with some unlucky situations.

QUOTE
May 25, 2008 FIA post race Monaco –
Kimi: “A very poor race for me, right from the off. There was a problem with a wheel before the start and we broke the rules, which meant I was given a drive-through penalty. During the race, my main problem was trying to get the tyres to work as well as possible. Then we decided to change the strategy as we expected it to rain again, but it didn’t happen. Twice I had to change the nose after breaking the front wing. So, as you can see, a long run of things going wrong which explains the 0 points. I am sorry for Sutil, who I hit with just a few laps to go. I lost control of the car under braking coming out of the tunnel and I could do nothing to avoid him. It’s a shame how things went today, as we had the potential to do well. It’s true that I’ve lost the championship lead, but I always said the championship would be a very long one. Now we must prepare as well as possible for Canada where we will try to make up for this disappointment.”

That is why, Kimi always said “There are many reasons. In F1 there is always a lot of money and there can always be different options. That’s what happened in the end. It’s nothing to do with racing or what I do in the team.

In short, Kimi was in the wrong team, at the wrong time stuck between Ferrari and future sponsor Santander, because he had the wrong nationality (the Latin lineup), relative to Santander’s business plans, and Ferrari’s role within.


Now, let’s fast forward to September 2009…

September 14 2009 – Formula1.com - Q&A with Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali   

Q: After all the rumours it would be helpful to hear one word from you regarding Kimi’s future. Is Kimi driving a Ferrari in 2010?

SD:
 I am definitely not going to discuss that now. As everybody is aware, Kimi has a contract with us next year and I am very happy with his performance because he is driving very, very well, especially in the second part of the season. The last five races he has always been on the podium and I think after Barrichello he has scored the most points, so he has shown true qualities of fighting for the championship. That is our position.

Comment:   So, Kimi’s ousting is not officially announced yet… but the new contract was already signed and sealed about a year ago, back in Sep 2008 that;

  • Kimi’s 2010 auto contract extension option will be honored
  • He will leave at the end of 2009
  • As to his severance he was given couple of exit options;
    • Option 1) 2 year full pay (2010+severance) provided he walked away from F1 for 1.5 years.
    • Option 2) 1 years pay (2010) + some severance + get the McLaren seat.

As we know Kimi took option 2 – you can read more about this here.

December 11 2009 – SportsPro discussion interview –   

The following snippets are one of the few direct mentions of Massa’s role within the Santander world from Mr. Cendoya, who is the Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Communications, Corporate Marketing and Research for Santander Bank (Mr. Botin’s number 2 guy for sponsorship affairs).

… Cendoya is understandably reluctant to place the bank in the pecking order of Ferrari sponsors and says simply: In Ferrari, we are on the podium and the podium is a very good place to be. Ferrari has a process and they are going to announce the car and image later on. We are a main sponsor; we are not a title sponsor. I cannot say more…

... Cendoya rightly points out that Santander is not in charge of driver selection and intriguingly suggests that, for example, the commercial appeal of current Ferrari driver Felipe Massa might be an effective way of growing the brand worldwide the implication being that, even with Alonso on board, the bank’s popularity might only increase in Spain by one or two percentage points, whereas the potential gains in other markets are significantly greater. Cendoya says it is all about creating an emotional link between potential new customers and the bank. 

How many Spanish people, for example, are today very happy because we are with Ferrari? I don’t know, but in my opinion a lot because I received more than 700 emails giving felicitations for this agreement. Every employee in our bank can guess a figure but it could be 10 million. In Brazil there are 50 million fans of Formula One, 80 per cent of them are Ferrari fans and they now feel happy and proud of being part of the Santander group.

This SportsPro article is very telling about why Kimi had to go without mentioning his name even once.  Mr. Cendoya further states;

Cendoya makes clear, a cold, rational business decision, just as was the decision to sponsor McLaren three years ago. We started at the McLaren team, with an English pilot and a Spanish pilot at the beginning. We had a low presence in the team but we paid a lot of attention to every penny, peseta, euro that we were spending. We don’t give money away. We have given a lot of attention over the last 100 years to caring for the money of our shareholders.

Source: http://www.sportspromedia.com/notes_and_insights/sport_is_playing_its_part_in_the_santander_story/

Comment: This article also sheds light into Massa’s continued presence at Ferrari without results (read update on this here).  His presence alone is enough to produce the expected Return On Investment (ROI) at the levels that are even better than what Alonso is able to generate as a Spaniard. Santander’s ROI does not even depend on Alonso or Massa winning races.  Given their demographics they have enough appeal in the Latino world to satisfy Santander’s financial expectations by just driving the red cars around to boost credit card, insurance, other financial instrument sales as well as merchandising.

What I do not understand is how the journos/media could not connect these dots to show what really went on in 2008. You do not have to do any major investigation because pretty much everything is in the public domain. While I understand all commercial pressures on the racing business, 2008-9 was anything but sporting for Ferrari. They should have just let him go after 2007 instead of playing all kinds of games, and engaging in a PR war to give it an appearance of performance problems.

I suspect, even Massa will not bet against Kimi’s performance this year, or when he appeared to beat him back in 2008-9 as he knows what the deal was relative to his role within the Santander world. I think Kimi understood the business aspect of the issues, and in line with his character never washed any dirty Ferrari laundry in public. Yes, he did have several unlucky situations but his fate was already signed and sealed mid season 2008 purely for business reasons. 2009 was essentially continuation of the 2008 theatrics until Massa’s accident. On another front, an almost identical scenario (to Santander-Massa-Brasil situation) was in play for Perez in a Santander sponsored car (McLaren) - Perez-Santander-Mexico, from the same playbook.

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November 8 2012 – Spanish sports newspaper Marca –   

Asked by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca to recall his memories of racing for F1′s most famous team Ferrari, Raikkonen answered: “Neither good nor bad.

I won a title with them and had some good times. I am satisfied with the three years I spent there. 
“I don’t miss anyone,” he admitted. “To me, leaving there (Ferrari) was a relief.
The situation could have been better, but it’s the past and what is done cannot be reversed,” said Raikkonen.
“Things don’t last long if you’re working somewhere and the relations are not good.”

He explained that, in contrast, he enjoys working with Lotus.

“I felt good from the start,” said Raikkonen. “People work hard and calmly, but they want to win and the sport and the technical sides come before the politics.” – Source.

December, 4 2012 – Mercopress.com –   

For Spain’s Santander bank, Brazil is the number one and ‘absolute preference’

Emilio Botin chairman of Santander Bank, the leading financial institution in Spain and among the top largest in the European Union said in Sao Paulo that Brazil is the “number one country in Latin America” and the absolute preference of his institution… read full article

Footnotes.
1) As to how things evolved with the car I am not totally sure but the person who had a front seat was Chris Dyer.
We had a tough and hard season but Kimi did exactly the right thing within the team and everyone respected what he did and how he reacted to this situation. We had a fantastic car but unfortunately we made mistakes when thinking about what’s best for our driver (Raikkonen).
I believe the situation he is talking about is the Ferrari corporate decision to support Massa – not exactly sure when, but possibly Sep 24. (he was told that they have to do this because they are stuck with this request from Santander).
I think “we made mistakes when thinking about what’s best for our driver” bit is referring to Michael Schumacher, because I remember reading somewhere that Michael wanted Massa as the official feedback/debrief driver sometime around Monaco. I think all of Michael’s initiatives were well intentioned organizational efficiency related enhancements trying to help Ferarri without favoring any driver but because he was closer to Massa probably Massa benefited more from them.

If you recall, recently Kimi said there was only one person at Ferrari he did not like… he did not name that person but I believe it is Michael, because Michael was officially in charge of the car. I think he was/is on good terms with Dom and LdM because he understood the Ferrari business situation that he could not control but Michael was in charge of something (the car itself) he has been used to controlling all his career. In any event, this area – Michael’s role — needs more research because it is mostly opinions. I suspect Dyer will talk or imply after his departure mid year.

2) Massa was at the right place, at the right time and with the right Sponsor, given his nationality. In fact Botin personally made sure Massa was taken care of even before the 2010 Ferrari sponsorship started: (Massa-“I’m glad to get this support from Santander. Lately I met President Emilio Botin twice and he is absolutely excited about the potential of the Brazilian market) Being Brasilian, going into the IPO Massa became the brand ambassador for the bank (read the last paragraph in the link relative to the date of the article. Alonso was supposed to be in the list but not Massa, on that date) sometime during the summer of 2009, well before Santander-Ferrari relationship kicked in on Jan 1, 2010 (Alonso had been the brand ambassador for Spain for a while). This was a direct Massa-Santander payroll relationship ~$5-7M per year.

Fast forward to Nov 2011, Botin decided to personally fire him because he was upset with Massa for the results of 2010/2011 seasons. To understand the importance of Latin America to Santander, just look at their annual reports. So, to those who have been wondering why Massa has been with Ferrari despite underperforming? Because his nationality has been more important than his performance. And remember this stuff was not supposed to take place prior to Jan 1, 2010.

Global recession further increased the importance of Brazil for Santander as they are desparately looking for new markets to offset losses in Spain. Therefore, they couldn’t afford to drop Massa despite his not so stellar performance between 2010-2012, so they had to renew his contract.

This area could use some more research – journos: talk to some ex employee perhaps…

——————-

Again, a big thank you to wrcva for writing this piece. There is still a lot of meat to be picked from this bone. And even if it is a sad tale of Ferraris stupidity, it would also be fascinating to get the full story unfolded some time in the future. For now the truth, even in crude lines, is pretty clear to everyone.

One might ask why F1 journalists didnt pick up on this at the time. Plenty of bloggers did. I am sure several journalists did as well, but it was such a hot potato at the time that the easier way to go was to not rock the boat. If you blurt out something as controversial like this, it would be easy to lose face in the paddock. Not to mention lose favor with the Scuderia.

Had it been any other driver, we would probably have known every detail by now. But Kimi is pure class. A gentleman that does not kiss and tell so to speak. He has never spoken out on these hard times or blamed anyone. An example to follow for a lot of people. The only thing he candidly said on the matter after his departure from Ferrari was announced, was basically “money talks”. And that is the typical Kimi way of summing up this entire post.

The irony is that Ferraris decision has only made them look foolish when it comes to accomplishments in the sport. Their last drivers championship is 5 years ago, courtesy of the driver they did everything to get rid of. It boggles the mind that they went down that road. So much for the passion for racing they tout to have, when the primus motor here was the almighty pesetas. Or euro as it turns out.

So why have Ferrari done a u-turn and rehired Kimi? Well, even if Massa is hugely important when it comes to sponsorship, there are limits to how far the rubber band can be stretched. Massa is clearly not the same driver as he was before his Hungary accident. And this is Ferrari we are talking about. They need titles, revenue alone is not satisfactory. So, swallowing their pride in order to take the fight to Red Bull and Mercedes they have decided to take back their prodigal champion, Mr. Consistent and put together a super team to go after the titles. The question is: will Alonso stand for that pairing? Time will tell.

That does not mean that I would want a Formula 1 without Ferrari. On the contrary. But since 2007, the team has been riddled with bad decisions which is again down to a leadership that is not well. Some decisions were intentional as we have seen. But even they have seemingly backfired. 2012 was yet another year without any titles. The gamble has not paid off so far. It might do so in 2013. But even then, it is much too late for what the sponsors were expecting (and paid for). The ROI may have been satisfactory enough due to their lineup, but titles were certainly something they anticipated.

Seems that Fernandos “good luck wish” in 2006 became more true than he hoped for.
Alonso: As long as the car is not red, I wish you the best!”

This is Soren,
signing out. Peace y’all.

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109 Responses to THE TRUTH ABOUT KIMI RAIKKONEN, FERRARI AND SANTANDER IN 2008

  1. icegirljenni says:

    Thank you for sharing this fabulous article. Everyone has always wanted to know what happen and yet nobody seems to get a proper and trusted sources.

    I think despite all the dramas in Ferrari, nothing is paying off for them right? Yes couple of race winning on and off but they once build the champion car and it surprised me the talent to build one now looks to be harder than we thought.

    I believe in Formula 1 money is everything. We have seen a lot of drivers come and go all because of sponsorship. But in reality money doesn’t maintain the performance of a team. I don’t think they regret though not that I wished they would. People make mistake in their life.

    At least despite all this unfortunate things happened the iceman stills returned to this once a hell place. He is even more determine and happier, to be precise.

    Maybe to see him back on track is more important than what had happened before so I tend to forget the painful drama. But it is good to be able to read more facts and proofs.

    Once again thank you fr sharing. We Kimi fans will always supporting him :-)

    Take care.

    Have a nice day.

    • Soren says:

      Thanks for that. F1 has really become such a huge marketing and money making entity. And then it is inevitable that decisions will be made that doesnt have what is best for the racing as top priority. Those days are long gone.
      But it is the way that this was done by Ferrari and Santander that is appaling. They had an open goal for a consecutive championship. And they sold out to appease a huge sponsor. And did so by sacrificing Kimi in a shady PR game and a shift in support to Massa. They got cocky. They thought that we will just make a world champion out of Massa instead. But it backfired. Karma is a bitch one might say.

      • Damir says:

        This one and other article about Kimi-Fernando accidents at Suzuka are the best written articles I read in a long time. Not only becouse I’m Kimi’s fan, but also becouse lot of humour and jokes alongside the naked true facts. Keep up the good work Soren!
        As for Kimi, for this season I just hope he will have at least one victory, and give repugnant spanish asshole more trouble in securing a championship for a Ferrari. Although I think it has been arranged from the beginning, and no matter what Vettel might think, Alonso will be champion this year. “Money talks”, as Kimi would say…

      • Soren says:

        Thanks Damir. I will do my best ;)
        I’m not sure that it has been arranged from the beginning that Alonso will win this year though :)

      • icegirljenni says:

        I respond to the following reply from Damir :-) Sorry, didn’t see a reply button on his post so I use this reply instead.

        Santander might be wealthy but not wealthy enough for fixing winner. :-)

      • Damir says:

        Don’t you ever ask yourself?
        To me, sometimes it feels like somebody is shuffling cards. Just when you think all is going by the logic, something happens as it was not exciting enough so a favourite have a catastrophic engine or gbox failure, and the next race his oponent got the same…
        Think Bernie’s got not enough pull to manage something like that?
        I don’t say I’m right. I hope I’m not :)
        This article is about conspiracy theory isn’t it?
        If I said that Bernie can fix my brakes to fail at 250 km/h becouse I’m trashing him on the net I would be paranoic. But to fix the championship? I realy believe it CAN BE done

    • John says:

      Great post with lots of insight. For me, it clears up the mystery (to me) of Raikkonen’s lost performance as 2008 wore on and into 2009. If he did lose his motivation, who could blame him? He seems like a new man at Lotus. All the best to him.

  2. Tension_36th says:

    Your article forgot one key point, everything started with the phony suspension changes in testing which again caught up in Barcelona. You can PR outwit a man but his speed is hard to curb. Ferrari had to sink much lower and thats where the suspension trump came in. It all fell into place with that game in place. Its very easy to cripple a car than to play games with the mind, though that also helps with other drivers not the Iceman.

    And this is coming from the person who runs an Alonso fan site.

    But thats all academic now, there is a better driver on the scene and santander cant do anything to help demolish that german driver.

    The season has only started, Kimi will score podiums and a win with that Lotus, its simply that quick and with Kimi it will is more than enough to do just that. Ferrari and Alonso’s stock are running out. Alonso is on borrowed time, he time was over with his rash move to Mclaren in 2007. Nothing earth shattering you can’t be number 1 forever someone will take you down, he was finished for a long time now. He has his work cut out now to save his stock against people like Kimi making a come back in what seems like the right car at the right time.

    • Soren says:

      You are right, sir. The suspension change was one of the things that was used to shift the focus to Massa. Quite possibly courtesy of Schumacher as mentioned above.

      Your comment is classy and appreciated. And your site looks very good too. Cheers.
      In Alonsos defense, his stock climbed a good deal with his win in Malaysia. Even if it was in crazy conditions. Interesting view nonetheless and I cant wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds for all parties.

      • Riz says:

        Great Article Mate…! And keep up the good work..! All of these things makes sense and nice to see people with a good mind all accepting the truth here..! We all know the results this year..! Kimi will surely be WDC next year with Lotus..! Alonso and Ferrari would be in the 3rd or 4th places from hereon..! Mark my words… It would be a Kimi, Vettel battle and maybe Alonso would be 3rd..! Unfortunately Mc Laren lost Lewis..Wonder if that was a Satander move aswell.. To have less competetion for FA..

      • Vlada says:

        I think there is one more thing related to 2008 season and Ferrari`s decision on Alonso and `making sure Kimi won`t be champion that year`.
        At French GP that year, we saw very strange exhaust explosion which happened and never manage to minimise performance of Kimi`s car but only managed to cover up Masa`s overtaking Kimi for first place :)
        They(team) apparently understood that this kind of thing could not hurt Kimi`s performance so this could be the time they may have decided to go for a bigger change on the car, like front suspension change, which they actually did. And that worked for them well. Unfortunately, not for Kimi.

      • Vlada says:

        All in all, Kimi`s attitude is why I really love him, and because of his driving style, also.
        By the way, someone up there in the sky is looking everything and judging just. And if we look back on 2012 season, we can see that Alonso missed his, never deserved title, beside other things, but also of his driving style. Particularly I mean on Suzuka when he was pushing Kimi outside of racing line out to the grass and even Kimi was moving away to leave Alonso space, little thing decided, KR`s front wing, against his will, gentle touched FA`s tire and we know the outcome. But FA didn`t missed opportunity, due to his attitude, to complain and wonder why KR didn`t gave up?!?!?! But actually Kimi did give up. The touch happened afterwards.
        If Kimi says `money talks` I would say, hope other agree, God knows that justice win.
        P.S. I understand why Kimi is not angry on Ferrari as a team, but only on someone considering acting on him. Kimi Raikkonen(as many of us) did make his dream come true with them and that is fact. He was dreaming since he is little kid of James Hunt winning title for a single point and that become truth in 2007. He was happiest man on Earth I`m sure, just like millions of us. So he put bad things behind and got over.
        I wish to him good health and so many things he love to enjoy and that is it.
        All the best for Kimi :)) Love to live at age You drive F1!!

    • John says:

      *1 from a huge Iceman fan :)

  3. Lynn says:

    Just thought I’d add this footnote to your intriguing article:

    After two years away from F1, a lot of people feel they are seeing a “new Kimi” this season but the 2007 World Champion says he is simply more relaxed due to the vibe at Lotus. “I’m still the same person as I was before,” Raikkonen said. “Maybe people see me as more relaxed, which I think is down to the team. It’s a different atmosphere to what I’ve experienced before; everyone is very open and laid back but at the same time they work extremely hard and pay a lot of attention to detail. “I feel comfortable here which helps me to focus on racing; I guess that’s why people seem to think I’m a different person, but I’m just as focused and motivated as before.”

    The Kimster is back because he’s got unfinished business – the title that he should have/could have had in 2008. Oh, how sweet the championship will taste if he takes it in the Lotus with four other champions on the grid left in the dust…..!

    • Soren says:

      Well spotted Lynn. Seems Kimi is saying quite a lot between the lines there. And yet he is just stating the obvious. The past is behind him and he has a steely determiniation to just race and do what he loves. Thankfully, Lotus looks to be the team to let him do that – without any politics.

      And he would be leaving 5 champions in the dust actually ;) I dont think that will happen this year. But you never know in F1, especially when the car looks to be fast.

  4. Yvs says:

    What an enlightening article, Soren!

    I was always aware of Michael’s involvement with Ferrari after his retirement and was also aware of the tension between him and Kimi. It made me think of a documentary about Frank Williams I saw years ago where he stated that his drivers were paid to drive his cars and it was up to his test drivers to give input etc. Michael was effectively the ‘test’ driver at Ferrari and Kimi ‘just’ a driver. It smacks!!

    What I never thought of was how Ferrari had orchestrated and manipulated the whole PR thing against Kimi. When I used to read how Kimi lacked motivation, etc I got mad at the stupid, ignorant journos who were putting such crap into the media. Clearly my anger was misdirected!!

    Now the pieces fit regarding Massa, too!! Money counts and Santander obviously feel that having their brand splashed all over his car is vitally important in bringing their bank into one of the fastest emerging markets in the world today…ie Brazil! I wonder if Perez and his Mexico connection will be as important??? Hmmmmm……

    Out of all of this Kimi comes out as a shining beacon of light! His integrity, honesty and modesty (and damn clever reading of the situation at the time of Ferrari’s machinations) is such a rare thing in this cut throat business of F1. My heart swells!! I SO wish I could have a little of what Kimi has, but, sadly, I too often hold grudges and hang onto past infidelities. Note to Vonnie: look, listen and learn from Kimi how to keep your head while everyone is determined to chop it off!

    PS: I’m off to buy a bottle of Clear Anti-Dandruff Shampoo now…I don’t need a new bank, my current one is just fine :P

    • Soren says:

      Thanks for that. wrcva really hit the nail on the head.
      And yes – the Mexico market will play a big role Im sure.

      Dont forget the Rexona! ;)

    • Riz says:

      Perfectly said Mate..!! And Guess What… Now We know that Santander had brought in Perez to McLaren..! It surely seems a deal that has pushed Lews away to McLaren to such a poorly performing car so that he cannot be a threat to FA anymore..! That’s BS you Santander fools… ! FA’s time is over as said by the modest fans here… It would be Kimi, Vettel and maybe Lewis somehow who will shine in 2013..!

  5. ari says:

    es increible lo de algunos, (LDM) en particular, Kimi podria haber sido bicampeón con Ferrari, no lo dejaron e incluso creo q pasaron aun mas cosas q no sabemos, ya de entrada massa no lo quiso a kimi, pobre de el q no aprendio de un campeón como Raikkonen y ahora se arrastra en la pista mientras q Kimi ya se lo comio en australia y malasia je salu2

    Translation:
    Some people are just too much, (LDM) especially. Kimi could have been a double champion with Ferrari, they didn’t let him and I even think that plenty more things have happened that we don’t know about. Since the beginning Massa didn’t like Kimi, poor guy who didn’t learn from a champion like Kimi and now he’s crawling in the track while Kimi already ate him in Australia and Malaysia… hehe, greetings.

  6. mike says:

    Very good article
    Thanks very much

  7. Pink Pony says:

    So whats the point of this?

    To bash everyone around and make Kimi look like a saint?

  8. KimI says:

    Excellent read.
    Thanks very much

  9. Hrvoje Vrbanc says:

    This is about just as probably as any average C-production SF movie out there.
    “A biased view of racing” from the title at its worst.

    • Soren says:

      Oh congratulations. You found the tagline for my blog.

      I have never made any attempts to hide that my posts may be biased. However, that does not automatically mean that they cant be true. I think plenty of people were well aware or suspected this beforehand. We merely put it into words. But – everyone is free to make their own conclusions ;)

      Let me drop something that seems like it may be a bombshell to you. Do you think that all articles and journalists are non-biased just because they dont say they are biased? Not always my friend. Everyone must read between the lines. Which is what we have done here. If you reach a different conclusion, well good on ya and Godspeed.

  10. Lubos says:

    It would be my dream that Kimi would win back to back China and Bahrain, and then more. :-)) Kimi, do it….

  11. swarad says:

    This was the best article I have read since 2008 describing and connecting the dots with the whole Kimi-motivation-money-Ferrari-Santander saga. For the past 3 years whenever I read an article about Kimi lacking motivation, I am like WTF…

    Kimi won DHL fastest lap award in 2007 and in 2008 with 10 (thats right 10 :D, which is to date a record since the awards introduction ) fastest laps and most have been put in the last 10 laps of the race, sorry but YOU DONT DO THAT UNLESS YOU HAVE SERIOUS DESIRE TO BE FAST AND PUSH THE CAR TO MAXIMUM.

    It would be so sweet of a revenge if Kimi wins back the title with Lotus, Ferrari already are struggling and somewhere I think the recognise what huge mistake they did when the let go the driver that won them their last F1 championship.

    ICEMAN will and always RULE !

  12. ronaldsieber says:

    I’m not sure what makes for better story in F1: the manipulation of racing by large corporations, which is what we seem to have at present, or the manipulation of racing by whole countries, which is what we had in the sport’s past. In the end, we all get a circus to watch, both on and off the track. And those who participate get to walk away with bruised egos but lots and lots of money. Methinks this is much ado about nothing.

  13. Frique says:

    What has happened to Kimi in 2008 (I believe every word) is happening every where. It’s called globalisation. You name it if it can be a commodity, Corporations/banksters are going to manipulate it to their own ends. This sounds so much like what is happening at Mclaren over the last couple of years.

  14. G says:

    Kimi will win with Lotus! That’s a FACT :)

  15. Fash says:

    Wherever there’s competition, there’ll be politics. Like it or not, thats fact. And F1 deals in billions so the level of politics will also be as much. Only thing that amazes me is the level of maturity Kimi has shown when all this had been happening around him. And it is for the very same reason (for no lack of talent) I want Kimi to win with Lotus. I dont hate LH or SV but I certainly think $hit would’ve hit the fan if they were in Kimi’s place.

    • Soren says:

      This is true. And very good point about LH and SV. But then imagine FA in the same position. His paranoia and number of fits would have no end.

    • Frique says:

      I beg to differ mate. Lewis is getting the exact same thing done to him by Martin Whitmarsh(MW) at McLaren, since 2009. The difference is Lewis is the most bankable asset in F1 and is only behind Bolt, Messi & Ronaldo in all of sports. So it would be far more difficult to undermine him in the same way as Kimi. The methodology employed by MW and the BBC is to question his mindset (A la Kimi’s motivation). Due to Lewis popularity in and outside the sport they’ve got to be far more clever and a bit less obvious.

  16. Ebi Bozimo says:

    Talk about connecting the dots! A very revealing article that put much of what puzzled many onlookers in context. Kimi, truly, comes away very well from all this and the big yahoos are LdM and Ferrari. Thanks.

  17. Pingback: KIMI RAIKKONEN BY THE NUMBERS, SUMMER 2012 | F1 Race Reviews

  18. “Kimi is pure class. A gentleman that does not kiss and tell so to speak. He has never spoken out on these hard times or blamed anyone. An example to follow for a lot of people. The only thing he candidly said on the matter after his departure from Ferrari was announced, was basically “money talks”. And that is the typical Kimi way of summing up this entire post.” – INDEED!

    A true sports-man. Kimi is the only F1 driver who does not have to be friendly with the BOSSES. Kimi is Kimi, and he will always be on of the most remarkable F1 driver in history. He never lacked motivation, I think he just lost the appetite to give good results to the team(SF). Who would? Knowing that the team is secretly signing a contract with your rival.

    They say Kimi is reckless, who looks reckless now? Certainly not Kimi. :)

  19. Pingback: HOCKENHEIM RACE REVIEW – FEISTY KIMI INHERITS PODIUM | F1 Race Reviews

  20. hemanth says:

    Kimi Raikkonen, You may like him or not, but he lives his way. He does the things he has identified as worthy for him and he is not trying to be everybody’s darling. At least he doesn’t give that impression.Yes. He is straightforward and honest and he tells you if he has a bad day. Period. He is real. He’s not political. He’s never up to something. If he doesn’t want to tell you something he will say so and not hum and haw. He doesn’t beat around the bush, never coming to the point.
    –In the words of Vettel!

  21. Mark says:

    Great article… I would be curious to know if you could dig up and see who’s the next No.2 Driver would be at SF as Massa clearly is not performing?

  22. Swarad says:

    I would like to place my bet on Perez …

  23. dawe says:

    This is something I have searched information of. Thanks for the dates. I would really like to know what has been Ferrari’s staff reaction of LdM politic. Hopefully someday Kimi or Kimi’s racing engineers will tell us more about 2008-9. God does exist if Kimi beats Ferrari this year with Lotus. Hopefully with 1 point. Then I would like to see Ldm’s face. Go Kimi!

  24. Tomi Tallgren says:

    This stuff makes just GREAT reading! As a long time Kimi fan and, unfortunally, ex-Ferrari fan I have had pretty much the same idea of what was going on in 2008-2009 but this definitely summed it all up by presenting logically all the neccessary backgrounds.

    However, the fact that the ALO deal took place as early as in the spring of 2008 surpriced me, even though I believe it now. My own conclusion was more related to the fact that the world economy collapsed in september 2008, basically over one (Monza) weekend, only days after Ferrari had announced Kimi´s contract extension for 2010 in Monza. Coincidentally, I was in Monza in 2008 and when I went there on Thursday, there were basically no news what so ever about the crisis but when I flew back next tuesday, all the newspapers that I read in the plane were full of Lehman Brothers etc. This lead me believe that it was actually the rapidly deteriorating world (and Fiat) economy that made Ferrari to desperately try to close the “surviving package” deal with money giant Banco Santander in late 2008. But as I said, I have no doubts about the earlier date now.

    My personal feeling is that this story needs to be published in a big way so that it will find it´s way to the hands of the really indipendent press. It is very clear that the regular journos in the F1 paddock have too much to loose and that´s why none have so far really dig into this subject. A “persona non grata” from Ferrari is not the nicest thing for them if they want to succesfully continue to do their jobs also in the future. That´s why the easiest way to write about Kimi & Ferrari is to always mention “the lack of motivation” – and this has made me sick for the past 4 years.

    And finally: do you remember how Kimi´s performance level just exploded sky high from the very moment Massa had his accident in Hungary 2009? At least to me it confirmed that until that point Kimi had not had a car to his liking in his hands but because Massa was suddenly out it was crucial that Kimi would bring in as much points (read: money) as possible for the Scuderia. This lead to a period where Kimi many times exceeded the limits his of mediocre Ferrari and scored some great podium finishes, including his beautiful Spa victory. The Ferrari personnel still praise him for those performances.

    • Soren says:

      Thanks man. Yea, the lack of motivation thing has always basically stemmed from people not getting his unique character. One proof of that is what happened when Massa was out of the game in 2009 as you say.
      People may dismiss this piece for whichever reason. And I am aware that my humorous “f1bias” url doesnt do it any justice either. wrcva did an excellent research job and the story deserves a wider audience than what I can provide. Even though I am still getting plenty of hits on it all the time. However, this is just scratching the surface. If someone were to dig deeper and really investigate this, I can guarantee that a ton more stuff would come to light. Not to mention only confirming what is being said here. Perhaps we will just have to wait for Chris Dyer or someone to write his memoirs. But someday we will hear it from the horses mouth I’m sure. And probably even then it will get dismissed by some people.

      • Tomi Tallgren says:

        Another curious thing that pretty early indicated Ferrari´s decision to sack Kimi at the end of 2009 was their willingness to allow (or even support) Kimi´s rallying hobby earlier that year. He drove 3 rallies, including Rally Finland, during the spring and summer of 2009 with his Abarth Fiat Grande Punto. Had Ferrari been keen to use his services in the future, they would never have encouraged him to do this. I bet LdiM would not have minded some sort of small rallying incident, broken leg etc., that would have prevented Kimi from driving F1.

  25. Pflite says:

    Interesting article!
    Even if I live 30km away from Ferrari HQ, I’ve became more of a F1 competitions fan rather than just a Ferrari fan. 1982 accidents and turbo era lack of competiveness (2-3 drivers dominating the rest of the pack with full minutes of gap) played a big role on this, so, even though I was a fan of Schumi’s ride over the Pranching Horse, I’ve also noticed how Ferrari’s main sponsors were always main sponsors at almost all of the F1 events, which IMHO is the clearest indication of who would have been the most desired winner, and that is also happening with Santander right now…
    That said, latest F1 WCH has been decided by rule issues..Ross Brawn taking advantage of tech rules he had collaborated to write in his sabbatical post Ferrari year; last year Red Bull cleared by FIA to use the previously banned exhaust blown diffuser, just while Ferrari had cutted the gap in Silverstone.
    In Schumi’s era tyres development along the year was the most dominating factor in deciding the car to finally triumph in the championship.
    F1 and economy have really closer links than we could imagine…and most embarrassing thing is that guys that really are ahead of it have proven quite controversial human value and debactable personal conduct.
    So given the deep connection between economy and F1, maybe we have to worry about more than just our favorite sport…
    Kind regards to you all and thanks for great article!

    Peterflite

    • Soren says:

      Thank you for your 2 cents. You have a point there. Unfortunately.
      Personally, I will try to remain naive and believe that the sport in itself will triumph.

  26. Piyush Agarwal says:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2008/07/06/uk-motor-racing-prix-idUKL0655990520080706

    another piece of straw that added to Kimis exit from Ferrari—the British GP is one of the most aggressively sponsored race by Santander and dare i say such naive mistake was made by such an experienced team. And if we remember it was after this race Kimi was completely lost and really out of motivation…eg in Germany where he started 6th and finished 6th. In hungary he was 6th only because of the retirements infront of him he got a podium and in Europe he was agian full flat as Massa took the pole while he was distant 4th on grid. He however sparked off at Belgium as it was his signature race only to crash on last lap. After that except the chaotic Italian GP he always qualified either 3rd or second in the grid and the same thing when seen after the British he was always outside top 3 atleast 4th or sixth.

  27. Ahmed says:

    Hey Soren,
    You should have a look at this video that BBC did with MSC in 2008

    Notice at the 1:55 mark when he talks about Kimi, you can see that he clearly states that the development path they chose was the reason behind the slump in form, how true that is, is anybody’s guess, but it proves that MSC was still pretty much in charge of the car development(whether Kimi liked it or not cannot be confirmed). The ‘one’ person Kimi said he doesn’t like was most probably LdM as recent reports have also proved during the Kimi-to-Ferrari rumours.

    I enjoy the bit where he rubbishes the reporter for doubting Kimi’s ability by comparing himself with Kimi while seeking advice, it was apparent of MSC meant, “You are not Kimi!” duh…

    IMHO, MSC had nothing to do with Kimi’s dropping from Ferrari, it was a lot more political. He also tries to give a hint of how complicated F1 is at 1:09.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Juan says:

      Even though it is more than a year later, I just discovered this article and wanted to say I completely agree with you, Ahmed.
      There is a fact that I could not find in the original article, and that is that Alonso demanded Michael to leave Ferrari as well for him to go there. Santander made sure Kimi AND Michael were “moved out” of the team. That’s one of the main reasons Michael didn’t stand in for Felipe in 2009. He knew he was getting out of Ferrari anyways.
      I was never a Ferrari fan, but I find really sad that, the most traditional team in F1, they sold themselves to Santander’s money and therefore their conditions.

  28. Gio says:

    Thanks for putting this up.
    From a business perspective, I wouldn’t blame Ferrari because they are just part of the system and the system rewards those who survive and seek more and more capital brushing aside any type of moral issues.
    From a contractual perspective, you can also not blame Ferrari, Alonso or Santerder. Again, that’s how the system runs and remember that Kimi also had something signed before his contract expired with mclaren.
    As a die hard Kimi fan and from a competitive/sporting perspective, I condemn Ferrari for such a “heinous” act. Negotiating in 2008 is ok, but publicly denouncing them in encoded messages is just pitiful (I hope karma comes back at them tenfold). They gave Shumi 5 years of unconditional support, what? they couldn’t give Kimi a one year unlimited backing (he was defending champion for gods sake), I knew all along that massa was a puppet but when the puppet suddenly turned hero you know that something is unjust. And the argument that Kimi had to give back what massa did for him in Brazil is naive and people should watch other sports (yes, I’m talking about you massa fans) any driver in massa’s position (even kimi) would have done the same and it wasn’t for Kimi per se it was for the team.

  29. iesthel says:

    Reblogged this on Iesthel.

  30. Riz says:

    Probably one of the Greatest articles…. Be’coz it doesnt have any false and made up stuff written in it like the journos do… This is good stuff where modest readers could read and understand…! Im a diehard Kimi Fan like most people in this blog… So i know we all believe that Kimi Would have a great shot at paying back with Lotus in 2013… Even though for the Ice gentlemen it would be that way..! He would simply give his best in what he likes doing.. that is to Win races.. then the WDC’s will come to him automatically..!!

  31. Vlada says:

    Dear Soren,
    I am sure You`ll find this very interesting ;) Please think about this.
    Your article made me think on this.
    I understand that this article is about Kimi`s time at Ferrari but I would like to ask for Your opinion on one thing which is crucially connected to:
    1. Ferrari`s drivers policy (promising place in team for a favor- Fisico`s role at SPA 2009 and his move to SF afterwards),
    2. Santander bank Brasil(driver which brings much profit in Brasil)`economic moment` mentioned here and
    3. Crash of Brunno(brasilian) into Vettel which happened in very last race.
    My quote is:
    I was rewinding the crash video about 30 times and what I saw is very very strange.
    Bruno Senna was coming from inside line which is ok until the curve. BUT!! He went into curve not fully on inside line but over a meter from kerb?!?!?! Other drivers, who passed it before him on inside line, were on a kerb!!!! He was much distant of it. Result is that he crashed directly in Vettel.
    Note, 1. He is Brasilian(big market for a bank). 2. He lost seat for 2013 at Williams and he got that decision pretty calmly?! 3.What if this guy went to Ferrari in future, will that confirm my theory of reason for this accident?
    Now, I must say i am not sure about this and all of this could just be my imagination, but the facts are here and I am just trying to puzzle things in mosaic.
    I apologize in advance if You or someone disagree on my personal opinion. :)
    Greetings for everyone!!!

    • swarad says:

      Interesting note there Vlada.

      Vettel started from p4, so in an ideal world I dont see how Senna would have messed up or rather planned to messup with him, unless Ferrari new they can count on Webber to have a shitty start :P and on top of that Senna getting ahead of Vettel or near him, he qualified in p11.

      Looks a little far fetched to me, but knowing Ferrari I would not put this options past them . If someone on the grid is cunning enough to plan such things its them.

      Cheers,
      Swarad

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  33. Rikhman says:

    this is enlightening. I never realized before, and as far as I know, I was one who believed that Kimi indeed lacked motivation when he had decided to be in favor of WRC instead of keeping racing in F1.

    • Soren says:

      Thank you for commenting, Rikhman. This is the exact purpose of this post. To reveal the true story behind the scenes. And thus extinguishing some of the misconceptions of the Kimi-Ferrari saga. The man is not vocal himself and he probably doesnt care if people think he was motivated or not. But some of us like to set things straight. And I also think as time and years pass by, we will hear more about it in detail from people on the inside.

      • Prassanna says:

        Thanks for the beautiful article. I am a huge fan of Kimi. I stopped watching F1 when he was not racing. Now I am really enjoying. He is the best. I always believed that Kimi never lacked motivation and Ferrari are creating these retirement news about Kimi. I was thinking, am I the only one who thinks this way and now I believe that all I think is true. I am 100% sure Ferrari will suffer. I have cursed enough. The only way for them to come back to the winning ways is to bring back Kimi. I really hope this does not happen. I want Kimi either to drive for Lotus (my preference) or Red Bull. He will get what he want rather than what was thrown at him. I remember the interview from Domenicallo. He said that if the Car is good then Kimi is a better driver but if the car needs development, Alonso is the man and they are still developing….. Good luck Ferrari. You will never succeed.

  34. Manoj says:

    A very informative article. I never knew the right reason as to why Kimi was leaving. Because I thought that it would be Massa who will move out. Kimi is a real gentleman, a man of class…he never spoke of this. I had hoped Kimi would stay in ferrari but apparently it was the other way around.. Very sad to hear that.. You don’t get drivers like Kimi in F1 everyday.. He is one of the most talented drivers ever.. Maybe even better than Michael. Good luck to him with team Lotus.

  35. Paul Ricard says:

    When I was in Maranello Sept. 2004 I mentioned that Kimi will replace Schumi when he quit F1, I saw many red faces and nobody said anything for a minute. Later that year I got confirmed from a person at McL that there were negotiations going on.

  36. Felix Carlsson says:

    So you spend hours and hours to create this conspiracy theory when the truth might bi so simple that Ferrari believes that Alonso is their man for the future? Kimi who himself says has no interest in developing and adapt himself in simulators and preparing himself with walkabouts on the circuits before the races is to oldschool. Thats why he did a fool of himself on brazil last year on the last laps. Ferrari fired Kimi because they wanted Alonso. Very easy and extremely painful for some Kimifans to handle.

    • Soren says:

      I’m glad to see you reading my blog so extensively. Unfortunately you are a foolish man. Can you please show me where Kimi says he has no interest in developing? He has never said any such thing. Ever. But you can ask every team he has been in, how hard he works and how his feedback is second to none. Tons of articles of past and present teammembers praising him in that area. What you are quoting are some myths constructed by morons because they dont get Kimis demeanor.
      As for the simulators – he gets nausea when he uses them. It has nothing to do with interest. And whats the use when he learns the track faster than anyone anyway?
      And you are wrong again in your final paragraph. Ferrari got rid of Kimi because SANTANDER wanted Alonso. That was the condition for the Santander deal.
      The blinders that Alonso fans carry around never cease to amaze me. And we are 3 years into that Alonso future you are talking about. And he still hasn’t produced a single championship. Very easy and extremely painful for some Alonso fans to handle.

  37. john says:

    I wish ferrari and there asshole spainsh driver never win a championship again for what they had done to kimi. I would like to see them struggle again this year as for kimi he sure will win at least one championship with lotus before retiring.

  38. jai says:

    Greatest article in my knowledge F1 records.
    Chonological: Why if McL only wanted the MONEY, didnt deny Alonso? In McL had a “context” unworthy, the magic from alonso and the money of Santander/thief were not enough, to play with the same cards againts the whole England :P Do you remember those games?-.^ Karma does justice, precisely because in Ferrari, he is (they are) in the opposite “faction”. And Santander was, as McL team for him, an oppressive limitation for a plenty performance of results. Oh Nevermind, the thing is that ferrari wanted the money, but they lost the benefits of Kimi driving. So, the team were not even thinking about having two title contenders..

    Moreover, let’s see, if at the end, Ferrari or whatever, rather than winning, prefer to receive money directly, to dismantle the competition.
    -With a good bank i will just see the race from house, with the mechanics XD. they said.

    This is like when the gov rulers make or break the bureocracy at will, to do business as large as possible. I know what im talking about. Its a shame that money talks more than talent. It was depreciate in England, Italy, and obviously, despised and used by Santander. 2 teams for now which Alo&Bank, it is a very bad business.

    I writted drunkt, by the way.XD sorry for my english, i expect it could be understanded

  39. JB says:

    Kimi is not the type that gets beaten by a teammate so it was strange to see Massa defeating Kimi. But the media said many things about him and really try to ruin him somehow.
    Then when he was forced out (albeit with a big paycheck) to make way for Alonso, he had to rebuild his career in WRC. His talent continued to drive him forward and indeed he was exceptionally good for a n00b/rookie. But you can’t challenge WRC top drivers who grew up driving on the dirt, not at least for another 5 to 10 years of learning.

    Fortunately, Lotus was smart enough to keep an open mind about hiring him again. I wish them all the best in getting into their winning ways again. After all, they made Schumacher (2 WDC) and all of Alonso WDC.

  40. Kimis awesome comeback last year with a car that was not greatly competent of winning but it was just sheer determination and Class of Kimi that earned him a well deserved 3rd place in WDC.. This year is going to be even better as now with more development on the car and the Iceman more focused and determined than ever, he is my best bet for Drivers Championship and Alonso & Vettel to follow him.
    but it was sad and really bad for the sport to see such a passionate Driver exit while you see numerous clowns still being there on the grid.
    I really enjoyed Jackie Stewarts reaction when Kimi won his season opener this year at Australia.
    and also it shows the dark side of so called Legend in Michael Schumacher who played a bitch/Pimp to feddle around with kimis car.. I guess he got what he deserved a very unceremonious exit from the Sport after racing back markers in 2012.
    In the meantime our Flying Finn is back and this time to shut them all up.
    Go Kimi

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  42. Sixto Hartamn says:

    Excelente articulo!
    Por otra parte, recién pude enterarme que en la web que desde hace varios años se comenta que: Fernando Alonso, es GAFE o JINX; Kimi tendra que tener cuidado, se supo que el año pasado Massa al enterarse del mal de Alonso, se lo habría visto en el Mato Grosso (Brasil) en consulta con unos macumberos (brujos) para buscar un amuleto que lo proteja.
    Por mi parte no creo en supersticiones, pero recordemos cada cosa rara que le paso años atras a Massa desde la llegada de Alonso, y actualmente parece continuar la historia (dos pinchazos en el mismo lado y el DRS trancado) hasta el mismísimo Alonso desde el año pasado a estado hablando de la suerte, como se puede ver.
    “Tiempo al tiempo” :)

  43. Tim says:

    Self interest… whatever profits them the most.

    I wouldn’t call it “Ferrari Stupidity”

    They are just acting as any business does.

    Pretty disgraceful treatment of a World Champion though.

  44. Krishna says:

    Amazing article, always knew something was cooking against Kimi in Ferrari. To the best driver in F1 –> Iceman…:)

  45. Michael says:

    One of the best articles i’ve ever read. Thank you for making clear about this situation.
    I’m a Kimi fan since his McLaren days and i was really amazed by him since his 2005 Japanese GP. I always thought that he is one of the best ever.
    I am also convinced that Ferrari will NEVER win a championship until Alonso leaves. He is so overrated, even if he is a very good pilot. And since the day they “dropped” Kimi, i started hating them. They are so hypocrite and LdM is so ungrateful for what Kimi has done for them.

    Kimi is still the last pilot who has won a title for Ferrari. Enough said :)

  46. samuraj says:

    30.7.2013 Ferrari offered a mountain of money to Kimi. Make us World Champions again, Please. They know, if Kimi goes to RB to drive with Seb, Ferrari has no change. The’ll look looser team, even more than now and also Santander is more unhappy. They have seen it now some time and hired a top ins. from Lotus to be top ins. in Ferrari. This man knows Kimi allready from McL. and just a week after they made a proposal to Kimi. You ‘ll hear rumours that Alonso ” starts to loose his motivation” and you know as well what this means in Ferrari team.

  47. Damudi says:

    I could always smell something fishy when massa started outqualifying kimi(albeit on lower fuel load) in 2008, at first i thought it was okay because massa was struggling without traction control. But the turning point in 2008 are,

    The german GP,
    Kimi qualified with 4 laps more fuel than massa, toyota(truly), Alonso and a BMW outqualified kimi with lower fuel, so he was stuck behind those car during first sting. but when he rejoin after 1 stop he was 4th place. Now after deployment of safety car, Ferrari bought both massa and kimi. That was absolutely baffling to me, because he’d stuck behing massa on pit while other drivers will get ahead. Which happen that day. Then kimi overtook torro rosso(vettel),renault(alonso), Toyota and BMW(kubica) on track, and finally behind hiedfield, LH,HK,FM,NP. At that point i was thinking, why didn’t ferrari let kimi infront after safety car, Hamilton who had atleast 4 lap less fuel didn’t stop(who wins), Heidfield who was behind Kimi didn’t stop finish ahead of kimi. I thought i’m being paranoid.

    Hungary
    Again qualified with more 4 lap more fuel, i ask why you fuel kimi 4 more lap fuel on circuit where qualifying is critical? if the driver is struggling with qualifying on circuit where starting position is critical, you qualify with lower fuel(like alonso did in 2003,08,09 etc), again i thought i’m being paranoid.

    Valancia
    Same old story, massa “outqualifying” with 3-4 lap less fuel. I hated fueled qualifying era, ppl wrongly claim to be better in qualifying when infact it was because of fuel it look better.
    Anyway during race, kimi was 4th stuck behind HK, after massa pits he comes right infront of Kimi but behind HK. Now, if ferrari was logical and sane, they’d have let kimi pass massa because kimi was lighter thus probably faster, then after 2-3 laps nothing change, HK increase the gap to kimi, massa was holding kimi behind. then both kimi and HK pit and here kimi was eager to get ahead in pits and the pit lane incident.

    This race was the last straw, i knew something was going on. Whole 2008 season it was fisy, Like monaco 2008(wheel issue), or australia 2008 where ferrari didn’t pit after LH and HK pitting and safety car came because of massa crash.

    Then malaysia 2008, its was back to normal, and i realise one thing, Todt was there in garage and controlling everything, then in mid season when todt officially was out of race team, all this started.

    Most importantly how come Kimi outqualified Massa running older spec car in China and japan if he lost is mojo?

    Also in 2009, Massa didn’t beat kimi,
    Kimi was first point scorer for ferrari in 2009,(bahrain)
    Kimi was first front row starter and podium in 2009(monaco)
    Kimi had to mechanical failure in spain and in nurburgring where massa score good points.
    In silvertone, Kimi qualified in top ten but massa couldn’t, and becuase of it massa was on alternate strategy because of which he finish ahead of Kimi who was stuck behind williams( i believe Nakajima)

    Then after hungary, he scored most point behind LH(1 point less i believe) in second half of season with no development in car till the end of season while mclaren did develop till the end of season.
    In spa where driver like LH, SV and JB couldn’t qualify in top 10 even though ferrari was slower than all 3(mclaren, redbull and brawn) he qualified in top 10 and win almost impossible to imagine win considering Ferrari was nowhere in pace. Even Force india was faster in that race.

    And most importantly, all this non sense made by media is all proved wrong last year. All the myth regarding Kimi were decimated and continue to get better results. Lets see the myths
    Car breaker? Check
    No idea about car development? Check
    Weak in qualy? check(2013)
    Lazy with stuff other than racing? check (considering he’s the most active PR guys it seems with all extra activity other than racing)

    What i hated the most is how media portrayed Kimi, even when every team member from sauber to Mclaren to ferrari and finaly lotus praise his skills and his commitment as well as his technical knowledges.

    Funny thing is, wherever Kimi goes, Team is considered top team and car to be near fastest or fastest while wherever alonso goes its car which is not fastest, 2nd best at most but mostly 4 or 5th best.When alonso was driving for Renault(lotus or team enstone whatever you call), it was not top team, Alonso left because it was not top team, Alonso claim renault to be 8th best team in second half 2009 when renault was backing the team, with no decent backer now, people are saying its top team?

    I really hope someone from Ferrari leak or whistle blow regarding whole Ferrari-Kimi nonsense, I’d love to hear it from Chris Dyer, He’s the guy who know what really happen.

    Thanks for the detailed and documented post, People see what they want to see but for me its clear, its smell of Ferrari Politics, and they deserve all the technical setback and lack of results. The more i see Ferrari issue(like wind tunnel calibration) more i smile,

    I admired Ferrari during Todts era, i was never fan of MS, but i always respected Ferrari during Todt era. Now, not so much.

    Regards
    Damudi

    PS: ignore spell and grammatic errors

    • Soren says:

      Damudi – thank you for your brilliant commentary on the article here. I only just sat down and read it thoroughly after the author of this article, wrcva, brought my attention to your comment. You have some very astute points that hurts to read since Kimi really got a raw deal back then.

      Now Kimi is back in Ferrari – and with a bulletproof contract in his backpocket this time around. It will be exhilarating to follow next years events. I believe he could have gone to Red Bull, but it seems like he wanted to come back to Ferrari all along. Leo Turrini has in fact revealed that there were talks last year, but LdM said, not yet. Kimi is out to prove a point. And his final years in F1 could very well be his most spectacular.

      • damudi says:

        I really hope someone would post race by race analysis of Kimi’s Ferrari stint and compare it with massa for each race. For me, massa “beating” kimi in 2008 and 2009 is a myth, i can provide anecdotal evidence for each race, i have lot of race coverage from 2007/8/9 and i have good memory, we can collect information from multiple source and create subjective(“biased” if you will) analysis. At the end of the day, what we should look for is sign where we can show non kimi fan that 2008-09 is not what media want us to believe especially certain section of media. Yes Massa outscored kimi in 2008 but there were lot of factor out of Kimi’s control but was massa faster in 2008 or 2009? certainly not, fastest lap shows that, what it doesn’t show is results and how quali trouble affects race results during 2008-9 bridgestone ultra durable tire era. No wonder Kimi is thriving under tire marginal era of F1.

        For example, People assume massa beat kimi in 2009, the fact remain, in almost all race Kimi was faster, Kimi scored First point for ferrari in bahrain even though he’d have scored in malaysia itself if not for ferrari idiotic strategy, Kimi took first and only front row start in 2009 in Monaco, first podium in Monaco but kimi suffered car failure in 2 race where massa scored good points(spain and nurburgring) and multiple KERS issue including malaysia and in silverstone only reason massa outscored kimi was because of strategy which happen to be good only because massa couldn’t qualify inside top10 while Kimi did easily. But best of all, how the hell kimi scored so much point after massa was out and car development was stop(after hungary)

        For me 2008/09 if total ferrari fuc*edup mess. They thought by supporting massa they would win both title and get excuse to fire. I really hope Ferrari learn their lesson and they’d actually support Kimi like they should have done. I guarantee both alonso and kimi will be the most powerful driver pairing in past 15 years, and if ferrari build good enough car, it will be difficult for any other driver to beat not only one but two of the best driver of this era.

        On the other side, what lotus did to Kimi was very reminiscence of Ferrari politics. The way team boss supported the other drive above and beyond their duty to justify his place(just like how massa was supported by Ferrari after AUS, malaysia, silverstone spins) in F1 while not supporting Kimi when they knew he’s not going to stay.

        I really like Enstone team from 2003, i thought they were most efficient team of last decade. But Eric is not fit for the team boss, and team strategist are slow at best. They messed up Kimi’s race countless of time by not pitting on right time or not keeping him on right strategy. Most obvious was during Indian GP, i was telling my room mate how lotus was stupid with pit window, the whole second half of the race and not pitting kimi 10 lap before the end after seeing Sutil struggling with tires but they pitted at penultimate lap. Totally illogical if you ask me.

        Lotus pretend to act like top team, but they are not top team by operation, car design was good but team operation was not. Currently only Ferrari and redbull operation side is near perfect(bar webber). I’m convince that Lotus will fall back to 2011 level again because i don’t believe that grosjean is that good and maldonado will be second fiddle because of EB role.

        hope to see more of your POV.

  48. krishna k says:

    Just look at the japanease GP 2005 Where an unreliable car.. justCame back all the way from the back of the grid to win…
    Just look what Perez did to kimi from 5th place to 13th in monaco 2013.. He simply overtook three cars on Final lap and get the championship point…
    I surely bet FA,SV ,LH Could ever do this feet agian…. Common Kimi.Get the Chapionship we are all cheering for you

  49. krishna k says:

    Monaco… Where overtaking is higly impossible…. Fastest man on the planet for sure.. Needs some luck with car…

    Mclaren2002 -06 (Poor and unreliable car always— At the same time ferrari has much better reliable car)
    Mclaren 2005 The best raw speed car on earth but no relaibulity..
    Ferrai 2007 – 2009 Pure politics
    (Master mind of kimi 2010-11) – Just took his 51 millon sal for two years and joined the lotus angin with new contract for 2 years…

    Ferrai has too feel for this.. they lost most tallented and natural racing driver like kimi than alonso

  50. SRV says:

    my all curse for Ferrari and Alonso….. They will never win together a championship…such bastards.

  51. Lynn Carapella says:

    Soren, thought you would like this one:

    F1 Racing August 2013 “You Ask the Questions” article:
    Fan question to Kimi: “Who would rather punch? Sergio Perez or Luca di Montezemolo?”
    Kimi: “I don’t answer this one.”

  52. Carl Robinson says:

    And now, 19th August 2013, Eddie Jordan say that Raikkonen will be a Ferrari driver in 2014 with the announcement being made in Monza.

    Holy s*** balls….

  53. MistressofSpeed says:

    “2008 was the year when Kimi won his second world championship.” [Sic]

    I almost didn’t bother to read past the first sentence, because, Kimi has won the WDC once and this is confirmed in his bio (WDC in 2007).

    I know you’re a Kimi fan and biased with it, but don’t ruin your ability to read between the lines and reinterpret PR machinations and media compliance with wit and intelligence.

    Therefore, if your introductory sentence is meant to be ‘ironic’, then punctuate it accordingly.

    So why was I reluctant to read the entire article? Well, if this, most easy to verify, fact is incorrect, I have to look for reasons to read the rest of the article?

    I have long realised that it is best to first look at the headline and then scan for the direct quote. If the two make sense, I read on; but, if they demonstrate the journalists ability to create a story out of nothing, then I move on. All too often a ‘sensational’ story is generated from the answer, an answer that only has context in relation to the question that it was responding to. But, hey, how else could an approved F1 journalist increase their stature and readership.

    • Soren says:

      That is one way to look at it, of course. Another one is that it is a way to get the attention of the reader. Which is working just fine for me and many others. If one cannot read past the first 3 sentences after which I clear things up, then I guess they were not interested to begin with. Thanks for your input though. And even you got past those first sentences, didn’t you.. ;)

      • krzysztof says:

        What thrilling stuff. I remember myself 2009 praising ferrari for extending massas contract when he was in coma, i almost couldnt believe it. now i see it was the other reasons for that. now i start to dislike felipe more than i always did with alonso.
        one more hint: does anybody believe that hamiltons canada 2008 accident on kimi was arranged in any way? or the crashgate was arranged from the beginning by alonso?

  54. Distant Viewer says:

    Hey Soren, what a great article given to me via a poster from another forum I feel sorry for Kimi I can see that he is true gentleman to keep it all to himself as well as a great driver , as he said money talks .Santander had lots to gain with the IPO in Brazil paying Kimi $51million was nothing compared to the $9 billion float! One thing no one has said is that Alonso despite being a truly great driver himself yes he got there with talent just like Kimi did but Santander were not with Kimi so Alonso is basically a pay driver as are many in this sport now Massa has endured at Ferrari because of money Massa was a great driver prior to his horrific accident but since then he hasn’t been the same . There are so many points to this story Todt, LDM, MSC, Dom, smaller teams can only dream about the money being thrown around by sponsors of Ferrari

  55. Well it seems Kimi and Ferrari have patched things up as he is headed back to Ferrari.

  56. Nikhil says:

    And now Kimi is back in Ferrari :D Lets see how the come back with the Prancing Horse goes this time around :D

    • Kartoose says:

      What a good article ! Clears up a lot of suspicions I have had about the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

      Reading this makes me wonder if the left rabbit in Lotus’s tweet was actually a reference to Ferrari or someone in Ferrari :)

  57. Tariq says:

    I want you to write an article about Red Bull running Formula1 these days. RedBull has two teams RBR and STR. I have understood this puzzle well, but I want someone to write an article on it, as mine would be uploaded or published lol… Both RBR and STR’s 100% ownership is with RedBull. Now, these teams cant talk to each other but their drivers can and that what Ricciardo did in YDT. He first drove for STR in the morning and then RBR in the evening and gave valuable race data to RBR and then STR alike as he is an STR driver. Thats how the jump in performance of both teams happened after YDT. Also remember that if any team runs a regular driver with more than 2 race appearances then he has to run the YDT in specific conditions, and I dont know what the conditions were set, but clearly RBR used Ric to give them data from both STR and RBR runs. I wish someone reads this and I wish someone says something about F1 becoming a RB puppy in an article form.

    • Soren says:

      I see your point. But I believe Ferrari could de facto do something similar with the Sauber team. And if they have, it has not benefited them all that much. But someone could certainly do some research. That will not be me at the moment I’m afraid ;)

  58. timppoo says:

    It’s Räikkönen – not Raikkonen.

    • Soren says:

      Yes, I know that. But for quicker writing, we use Raikkonen. Are you going to send the same message to every english F1 news outlet as well? You’re gonna be real busy in that case.

  59. Juan says:

    This is an astonishing recollection of material about the matter.
    Verry well done, it’s been a pleasure reading it!

  60. f1Fan says:

    Kimi is a class act and very underrated driver; I think mainly because he doesn’t play the PR game the same way as Alonso or others manage to do. Everyone talks about the championships Alonso shoulda/woulda/coulda won with a bit more luck but never remembers the years at Mclaren where the same could be said for Kimi – 2003/5/6…. heck even 2008 at Ferrari if they hadn’t shafted him mid season.

    I think both Kimi and Fernando are now past their absolute prime but it should be interesting to see them go head to had next season. I hope it is clean racing with no toys being thrown out of the pram on either side. I suspect Alonso will have the edge because he seems to have less ‘off’ days than Kimi AND he has the massive advantage of having the whole team already dancing to his tune; Kimi has gotta go in and demand respect and equal treatment… which is going to be tough.

    • ToTal73 says:

      to F1fan: I´m still not at all convinced that ALO is going to drive for Ferrari even next season. He´s definately not going to be there in 2015 but like for example Mika Salo said in Abu Dhabi, many signs indicate that he´s probably going to leave even before next season. We´ll see…

  61. f1Fan says:

    ToTal73: I agree, I’m not convinced Alonso will be sticking around either, relationships seem a bit strained on both sides. I feel Ferrari believe they have given Alonso 100% backing but perhaps he hasn’t quite delivered what he could (especially in qualifying), where Alonso feels that the team simply haven’t produced the quality of car required.

    I do find it interesting though that while Kimi, Hamilton and Button have shown they are not afraid to go up against the other top rated drivers in the same team, Alonso clearly isn’t so keen – because I think there is no way he would be considering leaving Ferrari if they had resigned Massa. This is kind of odd really because everyone rates him as the best and all the pundits reckon he will beat Kimi over a season, so why look for the exit door?

    The thing is though were does Alonso go? Redbull are full, Mclaren have been disappointing the last year or two and past experiences may put both sides off. I guess Lotus are an option but could they afford to pay him or have enough cash to keep up the development race all season – they didn’t do either of those these last 2 years with Kimi. Mercedes are full and seem to have a happy pairing with Rosberg and Hamilton, can’t see them wanting to rock the boat by booting one of them out.

    • Michael says:

      I am pretty sure that Alonso will move to McLaren. Honda is pushing hard to get him and he could even move at the end of this season. McLaren is not sure to resign, they don’t need anymore his sponsors because of Honda’s future partnership. But if Alonso leaves Ferrari, who would be Kimi’s team mate? Hulkenberg is Lotus’ priority.

      • f1Fan says:

        Well this is entering into fantasy land now as I can’t see Alonso leaving really…… However Ferrari might sign Hulkenberg if Alonso leaves? Or how about they do a complete U-Turn and decide to hang on to Massa? Massa seems a lot more competitive when he is allowed to come out from behind Alonso’s shadow.

        Have Mclaren officially confirmed Button yet?

  62. Michael says:

    Sorry, i wanted to say: McLaren is not sure to resign Perez, they don’t need anymore his sponsors because of Honda’s future partnership.

  63. Iceman says:

    Great article. I knew bits and pieces of this already but this really put it into chronological perspective. It was of course, a great READ but any fans of the Finn will have suddenly felt their hearts drop if they did not know this… alas this is pretty much how it went. It is no conspiracy.

    I always say Kimi Raikkonen is the best driver of our generation and although it is an outlandish and biased statement – something about him must make me feel that way… his ability to destroy rivals when he is having a good weekend with good car setup and momentum? His constant ability to take his car round a circuit quicker than anybody else on race day? His hilarious approach to the press? What about the way he handled his Ferrari exit?! I’ve been a fan of him even at McLaren so his move to my favourite team and his 2007 championship did not make me a fan – I was already. Nothing is to say I don’t think Michael Schumacher is the greatest driver alive (Forza Michael for a speedy recovery) or that Ayrton Senna was the most mystical, wise and fucking destructive qualifier ever. I just warmed to the Kimster. Every F1 fan has their driver you know? If you’re reading this – you do as well.

    So before people start saying “Kimi fans” this and “Kimi fans” that… just read the article, and come to a conclusion yourself. Actually think about it. Think back to that season and what suddenly happened.

    I don’t care who you are, you cannot treat a professional like that – especially not a World Champion. Your last World Champion. Your last driver to win consistently and rack up points and fastest laps – drawing every bit of performance from the car. Incredible.

    All the pundits and ex-members of the paddock seem to think that the fire will melt the ice next season but I don’t think so. He dreads having a good teammate and doesn’t handle it well. 2007. Kimi could not give two shits – he is just there to do his job. Finally, I’m going to say that Kimster is held in my regard as a double, probably triple world champion and no cretin fanboy in this comments section can throw me enough abuse to make me change my mind. Alonso shouldn’t be worried then should he? WIth his reputation and all the predictions – he has this one in the bag…

    And to the people in the comments saying Fernando has done nothing since his “blasphemy” of a team switch… you can bet your fucking tits that no one would win the races and finish in the championship positions he has in 2010, 2012 and 2013 having to race 2 Newey cars that are conveniently designed by the only man who knows what to do with the post-2009 chassis layouts and configurations when designing them. So shut up about that. You know nothing, clearly. Fernando is world class, even if he has had his toys out of the pram moments before.

  64. Pingback: F1 2014: Predicciones | Donaldo F1

  65. Pingback: Totuus Kimi Räikkösestä, Ferrarista ja Santanderista vuonna 2008 |

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