And so it came to pass that the first and last day of the F1 2012 pre-season testing was topped by none other than returning F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen.
I know it is difficult for us Kimi-supporters to take this with a grain of salt and not as some sort of an omen from the racing gods–but we have to. In fact, we must.
The Red Bull still looks strong, and the McLaren is not too far behind. Mercedes looks like it’s finally ready to mount a serious threat, and even though Ferrari does not seem like the force that it used to be, it still is very much unclear where Raikkonen’s team Lotus stands in the pecking order.
So below are some “Kimi Supporter Orders” that I shall impose on myself for the 2012 season (barring any meddling or complaints from Bernie, the FOM or the FIA):
Thou shalt not expect a race win, or even a podium finish, immediately.
I know that I, along with millions of Kimi fans will be praying to the racing gods that his first race, and his first full F1-season in two years, will be an emphatic one, but we have to give Kimi enough time to completely acclimatize himself back to F1 and to “get to know the car”, so to speak. No doubt that he has the ability to surprise us all, but it’s always better to keep expectations in proper check.
Thou shalt not expect a more verbose Kimi in pre- and post-race interviews.
While I am grateful that the so-called “post-WRC” Kimi seems to be more open and willing when it comes to doing press duties, we have to remember that the constant, and sometimes-suffocating media attention and circus is partly what led to his sabbatical in 2009. And let’s face it, his racing skills are what gained him scores of fans through the years, not his elocution skills. So bring back the code-breakers and let’s try to decipher Kimi’s infamous mumblings once more!
Thou shalt maintain an objective eye on performances and results, and refrain from “feeding the trolls”.
The Kimi Army is famous (or should I say infamous?) for standing by and defending the Iceman to the moon and back, and while it is tempting to keep the rose-tinted glasses firmly in place, we must expect that not all results will be positive, and there will inevitably be criticism. It is already a fact that the media and some factions of fans are well-fond of finding faults in Kimi, and the least we Kimi fans can do is to have the class to be indifferent to the negativity.
Thou shalt be patient, accept the good, the bad and the ugly. Above all, enjoy the “ride”.
Pretty much sums up everything in a neat, pristine bow.
The days are quickly passing by, and the tension and excitement are mounting. It has been said and written innumerable times before, but when you have 6 World Champions on the grid this season, there is bound to be some epic battles on- and off- the track. Bet on it.
It is not an easy task, but in the crazy world of F1 where the only predictable thing is its unpredictability, we have no choice but to Keep Calm and Hold On.