There are many things that can be said about Kimis return to Ferrari. But sometimes it’s a joy to see that others from time to time express some of your own exact sentiments. So I will let Mr. Rendina from http://www.blogf1.it speak for me in this case. His article deserves attention from english readers as well. For Italian readers, the link is at the bottom of the article. Enjoy.
Ferrari – Raikkonen: The Dark Knight Returns
-Written by: Anthony Rendina, 11 September 2013
“Ferrari will be my last team in Formula 1.” Kimi Raikkonen said this on several occasions between 2007 and 2008, when he was the no 1 driver for the Prancing Horse. There are some kind of things you can feel, some passions are irrational flames, able to destroy space, compress time and heal wounds. The one between Ferrari and Kimi is a particular story, born from an intersecting destiny and an affection that borders the attraction between two poles so different, and so close at the same time.
Raikkonen has already been, and probably will be again, the man of destiny for Ferrari. He came to the team in 2007 with his silence, his poetic arrogance for everything that was not about driving, finding it hard to fit into a whole new team after five years in McLaren. Yet he won that year, and so he entered into the hearts of the tifosi worldwide, thanks to his epic comeback. One of the most exciting conclusions to a World Championship in the history of F1, equal to the run-up that his idol James Hunt completed in 1976 against Lauda. At that time it was a McLaren to challenge a Ferrari. In 2007, it was the Ferrari of Raikkonen to challenge the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
He won the WDC in his first year in red, the third Ferrari driver in history to do so after Juan Manuel Fangio and Jody Scheckter . But that’s not all, because Kimi was also the one who won race number 200 driving a Ferrari (China 2007) and sealed the 200th pole position of the Scuderia (France 2008). Those were the kind of signs that should have been enough to make it clear for Ferrari they had found a man to bet on, that they could have won anything together. It did not end that way – you know the story. There were misunderstandings between the team and the driver, caused by Raikkonens love of a good party. But also because of a beautiful car – the F2008 – that was designed (and especially developed ) to fit Felipe Massa, with an unstable, soft limber, and abrupt insertion on corners, which created more than one headache to a driver accustomed with a neutral behavior in a very stable car. And this crisis began in the first half of 2008, a technical difficulty which gave life to many urban legends about this guy who was asleep at the wheel, or drunk while driving.
For goodness sake, Kimi is a true character, who loves to live, a driver from another era, heir to the best approach to competition and a character like the heroes of the seventies and eighties. Raikkonen is a rebel, he is politically incorrect, he smokes, he drinks, he fucks and he teases. But he’s a phenomenon behind the wheel. Even the most skeptical noticed in that September afternoon of 2009, when Raikkonen stormed and won at Spa (for the fourth time in his career) with a mediocre Ferrari. That victory, a genuine achievement, established him permanently in the eyes of Ferrari fans.
The Iceman may not have a great respect for the media, for the sponsors, for all the things he deems unnecessary. At the same time he is a professional driver, he’s devoted to the cause, communicative with the engineers (in spite of what people say) and above all, loyal. You won’t see him tweeting from the podium, or speaking Italian during team radios. It’s very unlikely that he’ll flatter the team. Yet in 2008, he helped Felipe Massa, who was fighting for the championship. Also showing that he could sacrifice for the team. It is no secret, in fact, that the Ferrari mechanics worship him and that everyone is excited about working with him again. Both for the feedback and the confidence this guy is able to convey. In his own way, Raikkonen, (and we have discovered this over time) is a silent but true leader.
Above all, the person behind the mask of ice has feelings. He did show the whole world when he left F1: “There are too many economic interests, it’s just business and politics, this world makes me sick.” Kimi was betrayed, stabbed in the back by the team that he himself had called “A family.” And you should realize how much weight these words have, coming from a person who made coldness his creed. As an abandoned lover, Raikkonen bided his time, he raced in the WRC and he amazed the world with his comeback as a Lotus driver, appearing even stronger and more focused than in the past.
“Some loves never die, they just do amazing laps and then return “. The choice of Ferrari was the best possible. Maranello will bring back home their last world champion. But it is not just an emotional choice. The introduction of the new turbo engines will require all of his talent, sensitivity and technique, his ability to exploit the asphalt to the limit, but with surgically clean trajectories. Accuracy, speed and consistency of performance. Trying to rebuild together what was abruptly interrupted.
Because it is clear that Ferrari in 2009 behaved badly with Raikkonen (out of respect we do not go into the details of a family situation that was difficult for the Finns). But the dark Kimi is like the Dark Knight: He is not the hero that Ferrari deserves, but what, (between Alonso’s whims and an ever-increasing competition) Ferrari needs.
Link to the original article: http://www.blogf1.it/2013/09/11/ferrari-raikkonen-il-ritorno-del-cavaliere-oscuro/