We were just discussing the efficacy of Alfa Romeo’s plan of having Kimi Raikkonen on their team in our last podcast. On the heels of his performance in the last few grands prix, Kimi has proven that his veteran skills, understanding of Formula 1 and insight to what makes a team and car work well, has been a good asset to team boss Frederic Vasseur.
“The advantage with Kimi is before he signed last year we had hours of discussions, about the team, the positive and negative points, where we could improve, where we have to improve.
“We were very open about what is the real situation of the company.
“And I think now he is not surprised when we have issues because we knew that before.
“He’s fully committed on the project. I don’t know how he was last year with Ferrari, I was not there, but for us it is working perfectly.”
I doubt Kimi had any aspirations or notions of a title-winning effort in 2019 but his presence at the team adds a consistency and benchmark which the team can measure its progress and with the rookie, Antonio Giovinazzi, yo-yo’ing back and forth with his results, Kimi’s predictability is a nice addition.
“You have to do the job on Saturday and Sunday, and you have to be fully convinced everybody is pushing in the right direction,” said Vasseur.
“The psychological side of this is very important.
“To me, he likes the atmosphere. We have discussions, it is straightforward, black and white, honestly it’s quite easy to manage with us.
“I’m more than happy with the current situation. He is doing a fantastic job in the car, he is coming to the factory every single week, he’s fully committed.
“It couldn’t be better.”
The older, wiser…more patient Kimi
There was a time when I may have argued that Kimi could get demotivated in a team that trundles midfield and that keeping focused and committed hasn’t always been his strong suit and he could be distracted but perhaps age has tempered that a bit and according to Fred, he’s all in and focused even though they aren’t gunning for wins.
There’s a quiet anxiousness that can develop in those situations and I tend to think of how George Russell or Pierre Gasly or Lando Norris might feel but with Kimi, he’s been there and done that. He is now in a different season of life with a different role and I am elated he decided to stay in F1. I think Fred is pretty happy about it too.
Hat Tip: Autosport