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Raikkonen: F1 needs to be more dangerous

NEWS STORY
11/06/2015

Kimi Raikkonen blames F1's rule makers for making the sport slower and too safe.

At a time all and sundry are running polls and surveys asking the fans how they think the sport can be improved, one of F1's true stars has his own ideas.

"When I came in to Formula One, it was more exciting for everybody," he told another F1 legend, Jean Alesi, in an interview for Canal+, "it was like really the top, it was a long time ago.

"We would have expected that cars would be faster and more exciting, but there is the rules changes," he continued, "they try to make it slower. I’m sure something has to be done to make it more exciting to people to watch and also to really see the speed and make it a little bit more dangerous. It is part of the game. We don’t want anybody to get hurt but it also makes it more exciting."

Asked about driving for arguably the most iconic team in the history of the sport, and one of its nine world champions, the Finn said: "There are many good teams in F1 but Ferrari is still different, it’s Ferrari.

"Obviously, it was very nice to win the championship on the first year. After that lots of things happen but I’m back with Ferrari and I think the team this year is the best team I’ve been in, how it’s work, all that atmosphere, like I said, Ferrari is Ferrari. You would always choose it if you can."

"People call you Iceman but for me you’re not an Ice Man," says Alesi, himself always described mercurial. "You are more sensitive than people think."

"Yes but I think every people are different at work than if they’re at home," says Raikkonen. "At the circuit, my work is to do my best, there is so much non-sense going on there, I don’t want to get involve. In the normal life I’m as normal as anybody. Whatever they think about me is fine."

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1. Posted by Spartacus, 19/06/2015 0:33

"I gotta love Raikkonen's personality. I also like what I saw on another board with a recent exchange with the media on his current contract with Ferrari. I wonder where Ferrari would be with a Fernando Alonso/Sebastian Vettel lineup? He seems to be playing the political game and praises Ferrari any chance he gets which is not what he has done in the past."

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2. Posted by REV, 15/06/2015 16:39

"So, Kimi wants F1 to be more dangerous. Lauda says the drivers should be scared of their cars... Does Niki want more drivers to look like him? Maybe Kimi and Niki should visit Bianchi in the hospital."

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3. Posted by ghendoaus, 15/06/2015 13:35

"Thank you Kimi finally someone is saying what fans really want!
"

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4. Posted by karel, 15/06/2015 6:50

"a bit more dangerous, back to real engines and real racing, let it be a man's club again, no home for pussy cats complaining when the car goes 5 km quicker or when they are passed. No DRS, what is that ? The driver in front almost has no change except for some boost to withstand the attack. Let them hold the wheel with two hands again io some easy cruising"

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5. Posted by fredfrog, 13/06/2015 11:32

"Fully behind Kimi on this.
@ RDFox ... support everything you've said, makes complete sense. How about doing away with wings and going back (yes!) to the days of venturi undersides and side skirts to generate a mandated maximum down force and get rid of the aero completely? That should keep the aerodynamicists happily searching for design solutions and would see cars looking more like cars than inverted wings.
Wider tyres for more mechanical grip, more horsepower and a bigger fuel allowance so we see full-on racing. just imagine ... 20 laps to go and Kimi is in 9th position and making a full on assault for the lead, driving at 10/10ths to catch Hamilton and take the lead with one lap to go ... unable to sit down while shouting at the TV. That's what would keep me passionate, not the contrived crap we are being fed nowadays."

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6. Posted by Spartacus, 12/06/2015 19:24

"I would have to agree with Kimi on this one. I remember when drivers stated it took "a lot of confidence" to go flat out through "Eau Ruge", now the car bogs down. The tracks and chassis are very safe today. It seems that the latest accidents that could be in question were due to "logistics" and driver error, not from the drivers pushing their cars to the racing limits. The cars can't pass due to down force turbulence. Steve Machette describes the solution as increasing the mechanical grip and dropping the aerodynamic down force. I wonder what would happen if the cars had automatically adjusting wings when approaching another car? I guess the DRS is a variant but only applicable on straights long enough to allow the pass. The F1 is allowing wider tires which will help but the aero will be the final peg. We all want to see better racing and faster cars. We like to see crashes as well since it is exciting but we don't want to see any drivers get injured fatally or severely."

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7. Posted by RDFox, 12/06/2015 14:23

"...hard to believe that Kimi would say F1 needs to be more dangerous with Jules Bianchi still in a coma. It's not the danger that attract fans--if that was the case, just ban seat belts, firesuits, and helmets, and end all crash testing, and boom, instant appeal.

What people want to see is the *possibility* of danger. Not in the form of less inherent safety, but in the form of cars that make it possible to duel wheel to wheel. The biggest impediment to that has been, for DECADES, the fact that aerodynamic downforce is so crucial that a driver can't get too close to another car, lest he upset the airflow over his own, lose downforce, and fall behind.

If it was my decision to make, in a vacuum, the way I'd fix THAT problem is simple. Take all the wings and other downforce devices away--saw them right off at the roots--and make the teams try to get by on pure mechanical grip. This would both make slipstreaming and other close racing easier (as no downforce can be lost when there's none present in the first place), and make for a better show for the fans, since the cars would be struggling for grip, slipping and sliding, and constantly be *visibly* on the edge of out of control.

Now, realistically, that's not feasible. So perhaps a good compromise would be for FIA to change the aerodynamic rules to take away restrictions on *how* the downforce is made, but instead to place limits on how much total downforce the car generates, using wind tunnel test results at certain reference speeds to define those limits? It would, of course, require that all aerodynamic parts be approved by FIA using either rolling-road wind tunnel testing or straightline testing (with on-suspension strain gauges) to determine how much downforce is being made, and a book of permitted wing setting ranges created for each car (to allow the teams to trim the downforce forwards and aft without exceeding the limit), but it would still greatly increase the importance of mechanical grip with minimal loss of speed.

This would make the chassis and tyre engineers far more important, relative to their current levels, and with the opening up of the restrictions on methods of making downforce, it would certainly result in cars that looked different from one another again. And it would even keep the aerodynamicists happy, because they could spend all their time and money on finding more drag-efficient ways of making the permitted amount of downforce, rather than just trying to find ways to get more *total* downforce!"

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8. Posted by kiwi2wheels, 11/06/2015 21:24

"" "At the circuit, my work is to do my best, there is so much non-sense going on there, I don’t want to get involve."

Thank you Kimi for telling the truth. So sad that you are an endangered species."

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