Will Kimi Raikkonen Lead Ferrari’s LeMans Initiative in 2023?

Published 02/26/2021, 12:40 AM EST
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Ferrari will be making its return to endurance racing in 2023. They have announced the start of a Le Mans Hypercar Programme from 2023, which will see them taking part in the premier class of the World Endurance Championship.

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They have undertaken this proposition after much deliberation and due diligence. This follows what Ferrari called ‘a period of study and analysis’ looking at the development regulations of LMH.

With this announcement, they will also join companies like Audi, Porsche, and Honda’s Acura in setting up LMH programs for 2023.

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The Italian team have had success at Le Mans in the past, having won the race outright nine times. So, to replicate this success, they will want to finalize the correct driver lineup.

Kimi Raikkonen to swap F1 for Le Mans in 2023?

According to reports by Scuderia Fans, Ferrari could look to place Raikkonen in their first challenger for 2023.

The Finn has expressed an interest in competing at Le Mans and has prior experience of driving an LMH, when he test drove the Peugeot 908 car at Motorland Aragon.

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)

After the experience, he reportedly told Finn newspaper Turun Sanomat that he would love to take part in Le Mans but would want an extensive number of races in the lead-up to the event.

He said, “It would be great to do Le Mans. But if you race there, you should do some races as a test as well. It could be tricky to get all the schedules working well.”

Can Kimi take Ferrari to victory at Le Mans?

Raikkonen has taken part in other motorsport series in the past. During his two-year stint away from F1 between 2010 and 2011, he had taken part in the World Rally Championship.

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During his time in the WRC, he finished regularly in the points but was never close to race victories. He has also taken part in NASCAR for a single race.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 03: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari on the drivers parade before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The Finn will be 43 by the time the 2023 WEC rolls around. So, that will have to be a factor in whether he wants to take part in the competition. His success in other series also leaves a lot to be desired.

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But, WEC has seen old, retired F1 drivers get success. One prominent example has to be Mark Webber when he won the series in 2015. So, Kimi surely has a chance at succeeding in the series.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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