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Don't write of Raikkonen, warns Whitmarsh

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has warned F1 not to disregard Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus as a title rival.
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is refusing to write any of the leading contenders out of F1 title fight with nine races still to go, and includes the returning Kimi Raikkonen among those who should be watched.

The Finn, a former McLaren driver who went on to clinch the world championship with Ferrari ahead of the Woking team's Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in 2007, has returned to the top flight this season after a two-year sabbatical in the WRC. Initially linked to Williams, Raikkonen eventually ended up signing with the rebranded Lotus (formerly Renault) team, where he partners GP2 champion Romain Grosjean.

The pair have proved to be a potent, if slightly unfortunate, combination, racking up podium finishes without yet making it on to the top step. Raikkonen has finished each of the eleven rounds to date, with just one non-scoring result when he came home a tyre-afflicted 14th in China. Among them, five podium finishes - from Spain, Monaco,, Valencia, Germany and Hungary - have had the consequence of putting the Finn fifth overall in the individual standings, one point behind Hamilton and 48 off leader Alonso, and former team boss Whitmarsh insists that the Raikkonen-Lotus combination should not be written off.

“He is very talented, one of the fastest men on the planet," the Briton told Brazil's TotalRace, “People tend to underestimate Kimi, because of how little he talks, but he is a very intelligent and impressive driver.

“Kimi does not make many mistakes, [and] always does a good job, so I'm not surprised [at his championship position. I think he has the ability to improve even more throughout the season, and the Lotus is a good car, so they're a real threat.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
McLaren-Mercedes driver, Kimi Raikkonen celebrates his Monaco GP win with Martin Whitmarsh
27.07.2012- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
20.07.2012 - Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
24.06.2012- Race, 2nd position Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Bradenws

August 09, 2012 9:23 PM
Last Edited 364 days ago

Kimi may not be a PR person's wet dream, but I've read nothing but almost universal praise from people he's worked with. Whitmarsh knows who they're dealing with, and, like anybody who knows anything about racing, doesn't take him lightly on track. Roll Spa.



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