Kimi Raikkonen Rubbishes Rally Skill Myth After Russian GP

Published 09/30/2021, 6:51 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 2, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during the FIA Press Conference Pool via REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard


The Russian Grand Prix had a mixture of emotions associated with it once it came to a close. While some drivers achieved more than what they expected, others lost out on a lot. Among the gainers, the one result that cannot be overlooked is Raikkonen’s eighth-place finish in his Alfa Romeo. However, Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t want to attribute his excellent driving skills in the wet to his experience accumulated in rallying.

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However, Kimi himself discarded this hypothesis during his post-race statements. When asked about it, Kimi replied in his usual manner. “No, they (the rallying skills) didn’t help me.”

Kimi continued, “I think our car is often not the best in wet conditions. Luckily we stopped at the right time and then had enough speed to allow me to overtake in the last two laps. We were the first to change tires when it was already quite wet – he concluded – and in the end, it turned out to be the right move.”

Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Haas’ Romain Grosjean in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Matthias Schrader

Therefore, it is quite clear that the result of this race is not a reflection of the skills that the ‘Iceman’ picked up during his rallying stint. But nonetheless, the result was enough to make Alfa Romeo’s team boss, Frederic Vasseur very satisfied.

Vasseur stated “The race was very close and we took home a good number of points. Despite some difficulties on Saturday, we approached the race with optimism, knowing that we would be in a position to fight. Kimi got off to a good start and climbed up to 10th, while Antonio had to regroup after being hit. He did some overtaking – he concluded -moreover, having no radio contact.

The Iceman made a statement with his performance

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After missing two races due to COVID, the Finn returned with a bang. He used all of his experience to make a decision of switching to the intermediate tires just as the first drops of rain appeared, while others were still on their dry tires.

SOCHI, RUSSIA – Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo talks in the Drivers Press Conference ahead. F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Kimi used to compete in Rally Racing during the hiatus he took from Formula One from 2009 to 2011. The excellent control of the car that Kimi displayed in the critical conditions naturally led people to think that Kimi had picked up these skills while rallying.

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This is Kimi’s last season in F1 and all the Formula 1 fans are going to miss his presence in the paddock. Before he leaves we hope we can see a few more of his brilliant drives.

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Riddhi Mondal

83 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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