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'Raikkonen better F1 driver because of rally experience'

  • Published on 17 Sep 2013 14:40
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Kimi Raikkonen's rallying foray made him a better formula one driver. That is the claim of 2003 world rally champion Petter Solberg, who got to know the 'iceman' during his two-year F1 sabbatical in 2010 and 2011.

Finn Raikkonen returned to F1 with Lotus last season, impressing the grand prix world yet again after his career had flat-lined in his final two years at Ferrari. "I know Kimi and I believe that the rally made him a better formula one driver," Solberg told the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).

Like many observers, Solberg thinks Raikkonen's return to Ferrari next year, where he will become current 'number 1' Fernando Alonso's teammate, will be interesting to watch. "Alonso will certainly not like it," Solberg said of Raikkonen's impending move. "But Kimi is cool," he added. "He drives the car, and that's it."

Former Ferrari boss Cesare Fiorio said last week he would not have signed Raikkonen. "I admire his talent, but not his lifestyle or his technical work," he is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport.

But another former Ferrari boss, the current FIA president Jean Todt, backed the decision taken by the Maranello team's current chiefs. "Ferrari is a formula one institution, and very strong," he told the Italpress agency, "and I am absolutely certain they will also be at the highest level in the coming years." As for signing Raikkonen, "Ferrari has always known how to make the right decisions," Todt insisted. (GMM)

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Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 296
  • Podiums 1
  • Grand Prix 122
  • Country Spain
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (41)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, Spain
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix
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Spain
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Bahrain
18 - Mar 20
Bahrain
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia
8 - Apr 10
Australia
22 - Apr 24
Italy
6 - May 8
United States of America
20 - May 22
Spain
27 - May 29
Monaco
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan
17 - Jun 19
Canada
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom
8 - Jul 10
Austria
22 - Jul 24
France
29 - Jul 31
Hungary
26 - Aug 28
Belgium
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands
9 - Sep 11
Italy
30 - Oct 2
Singapore
7 - Oct 9
Japan
21 - Oct 23
United States of America
28 - Oct 30
Mexico
11 - Nov 13
Brazil
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
18 - Mar 20
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
8 - Apr 10
Australia Albert Park
22 - Apr 24
6 - May 8
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
20 - May 22
27 - May 29
Monaco Monte Carlo
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
17 - Jun 19
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom Silverstone
8 - Jul 10
Austria Red Bull Ring
22 - Jul 24
France Paul Ricard
29 - Jul 31
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Aug 28
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
9 - Sep 11
Italy Monza
30 - Oct 2
7 - Oct 9
21 - Oct 23
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
28 - Oct 30
11 - Nov 13
Brazil Interlagos
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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