After snubbing Mercedes GP and confirming his temporary exit from F1, Autosport is reporting that Kimi is closing in on a deal that would see him in a C4 backed by Red Bull. While he will have little implications in any title fight, this raises a couple questions about the Kimsters career as a whole.
We have to establish one thing up front and in the clear, Kimi Raikkonen will have no implication in the 2010 WRC title if he gets this deal. I know I know…Shaun, how do you know…his performance in the Abarth that ended in his flipping five times has a bit to do with it and the fact that Petter Solberg had a hard time coming to grips with the Citroen( remember he was driving one of the better machines in the field). With that established, we will now proceed. There is a chance that eventually he may be quick enough to race for podiums and his being in the WRC will add more of a reason to watch to people who usually don’t. His sponsorship with Red Bull is the key to the whole equation. It would be interesting to see how a Kimi C4 with Red Bull will work with the Citroen factory effort who also uses Red Bull sponsorship. Granted Red Bull does have two separate F1 teams, but how much money do they really have to give? Kimi is the personality that Red Bull likes to sponsor, the guy who cares about nothing…he is lazy…and does stupid stuff all the time while not racing. So I can totally see this fit. The other question I have is this: Is a Red Bull backed rally effort a holding pattern for his 2011 F1 return?
We know that Mark Webber will be at the end of his contract after this next season. His performance this coming season will dictate his future for sure. Kimi indicated that he only wants to sign with a team that has championship capabilities. Red Bull and Vettel showed the F1 world that RBR is a real deal in the F1 realm. That would match the first point. Also, Kimi loves to rally…obviously we know this. The option that Red Bull provides Kimi is the outlet to do side items like the WRC whenever he wants. Red Bull is always pushing its drivers and athletes to venture into things outside their everyday duty. This is another plus for the Kimster and something that may bring him back into the F1 mix. The sponsor outings that he complained about with McLaren would also be no prob, due to the fact that Red Bull sponsor days are more parties than speaking or autographs. Another plus for the Finn.
This is all completely speculation on my part, but really sit and think on it. It makes perfect since and satisfies all parties involved. When Kimi signs with RBR for the 2011 season, I will finally be able to tell you that for once my crazy thoughts actually came true. We shall now wait and see if Kimi secures the seat and then go from there.