Former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has expressed a desire to compete in other forms of motorsport, whilst still maintaining a seat on the Formula One grid. In the modern era of the sport many teams have opted for a strict policy on allowing their drivers to compete outside of the F1, unlike previous decades when drivers could compete in various other categories alongside their duties in the sport.
After a relatively frustrating start to the new season for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, the Finnish driver has once again hinted at a desire to compete in other categories alongside F1, reminiscent of the likes of John Surtees who became World Champion in 1964 whilst also competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours and Mario Andretti who also won the Championship in 1978 after competing in the Indianapolis 500.
However, as the sport has entered the modern era many teams and sponsors have elected for a strict approach to allowing their drivers to compete in other forms of motorsport, especially with the risk of injury. Prior to the start of the 2011 season Robert Kubica suffered serious injuries on the first stage of the Ronde di Andora rally, which in turn forced Renault to find an alternative driver for the forthcoming season. In 2008 Mark Webber also sustained a broken leg whilst competing in his own charity challenge in Tasmania after colliding with a car, however the Australian ace luckily managed to recover in preparation for the following season with Red Bull.
“Obviously it would be very nice to do all different classes and all different cars at the same time,” explained Kimi Raikkonen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend. “But these days obviously the sponsors and the teams have a big say in it. In the past when [John Surtees] used to race they had much more freedom. So I would love to do different categories at the same time as Formula One because obviously you’re not racing all the time and we hardly have any testing. Unfortunately we’re not allowed right now but hopefully it changes one day.”
Kimi Raikkonen previously left Formula One at the end of the 2009 season to pursue a career in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR, however after a string of poor results in both categories the 2007 World Champion returned to the sport in 2012 with Lotus and immediately rediscovered his competitiveness with the Enstone-based outfit. However, with the Finn currently sixty points behind team-mate Fernando Alonso in the Championship standings after only eight races, Raikkonen’s future in F1 seems to be in doubt once again.
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