“I’ll only stay in F1 if I can find a team that can guarantee me a car I can use to fight for victory. Let’s see what will happen in the upcoming weeks.”
Those, folks, are the “final” words from Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen. By “final,” I mean it literally. That is how Kimi wraps up his last blog today at Ferrari’s team site .
As always, I have to respect Kimi for speaking his mind. And I’m assuming that because his blogs always were so plain-spoken and to the point that he had at least something to do with their creation.
His last post is no different.
Maranello – That’s it. My story with Ferrari ended last Sunday in Abu Dhabi: with the “Reds” I had the possibility to make one of my dreams come true, while now I’m looking ahead, waiting for new challenges. What’s for sure is that I’ll leave Maranello with lots of very nice memories. Over the last three years I’ve won nine races and a Drivers’ Title and I contributed to winning two Constructors’ Championships. I made many friends at Ferrari and we spent some great moments together. True, this year things didn’t go as we had expected, but in the world of racing you can always have a year where things go a little wrong. The package wasn’t competitive, but nevertheless we managed to finish fourth, just one point behind the third in the standings. We had problems with the car, but nevertheless we brought home some good result, starting with the victory in Spa. The team demonstrated that it knows how to react, what we could see after the bad start into the season.
We didn’t do well in Abu Dhabi, but we knew that gaining points would be difficult: this circuit has lots of corners and we were lacking downforce and grip. Furthermore we had problems on the kerbs, worsening the situation. When you start from the eleventh position and cross the line twelfth, you don’t have to say anything. The circuit’s structures are just breathtaking, but the track didn’t offer too many possibilities for overtaking and in the end the race turned into some sort of parade.
Now everybody is fully concentrated on the next season, as Ferrari has already been for several months. There will be further changes – refuelling won’t be allowed anymore and the front tyres will be thinner – but they won’t be as radical as this year. At the start of the races the single-seaters will be fairly difficult to drive with all the fuel on board and it will be crucial that we don’t stress the tyres too much. The qualifyings will be lots of fun, because we’ll drive with almost empty tanks in Q3. I’ve been racing for nine years in Formula 1 now. I still want to win races and titles, but I’ll only stay in F1 if I can find a team that can guarantee me a car I can use to fight for victory. Let’s see what will happen in the upcoming weeks.
There you have it. The big news is that we should hear something — something – in the next few weeks. And it is good to read his saying he still wants to win “race and titles.”
A grid without Raikkonen next year would be for the worse. And Kimi back at McLaren is the final piece to what should be an incredibly competitive 2010 for both the drivers and constructors championships.
Work those details out, okay?