Opinion: Raikkonen's post-F1 rallying call

Now that he doesn’t have to drive the company Fiat any more, what would appeal to him are the big adventures: events such as the Safari, the Arctic Rally, perhaps even the Dakar. He’d probably love to sample the classic cars, too: machinery like the MkII Ford Escort or Impreza WRC – although there is nothing set in stone.

“No plans for now, but I don’t want a schedule,” he says. “Last time I did rallying, there was always a schedule. I don’t want that. I’m not in a rush.”

Luckily for someone who often likes to pass unnoticed, there’s a tradition of drivers using pseudonyms in rallying – as Räikkönen has done when entering powerboat races in the past, borrowing the identity of his favourite Formula 1 driver. If you see ‘James Hunt’ on the entry list of a rally next year, you’ll know who it is…

How it works: F1’s penalty points system

Along with his three-place grid penalty for the Russian GP, Max Verstappen also earned himself two driver penalty points for the Monza clash with Lewis Hamilton. The system works much like the one we all face for our conduct on the public road. Drivers accumulate points for a list of offences dictated by the FIA and can earn them on top of sanctions such as grid drops or race time additions.

Tot up 12 on the road and you face a driving ban. Likewise, in F1 the same number of points means a ban, but for one race rather than anything stretching on for longer. Verstappen used to have a bad reputation for picking up the points nobody wants, but these days he’s cleaned up his act.The two from Monza were his first of the season, so he’s a long way from a ban. Plus each driver’s tally is reduced with good behaviour over 12 months, and as yet no F1 driver has made it to the dreaded dozen.

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Motorsport greats: Gordon Spice

Gordon Spice, the archetype of how amateurs used to race against and beat the pros in the 1970s and ’80s, died recently at 81 after a long illness. Spice was a serial winner in saloons and sports cars while juggling his businesses, which included a leading car accessories firm.


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