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Maybe it wasn't the last GOODBYE !

We live exciting moments at the eve of the F1-season. Four champions race in the serie at the same time. A fifth could have been possible unless Kimi Räikkönen would have decided to jump over to rally challenges.

The last time we saw five champions during the same season was in 1970 when Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, John Surtees, Deny Hulme and Jackie Stewart were on the grid. The next two champions - Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi – raced that year as team mates in Lotus.

For his age Räikkönen could had well continued in F1. At least five drivers who made contracts are older than Kimi.

Not one single rally or F1-test has been driven yet so Räikkönen's views for continuing are completely hidden under the winter fog. The chances for one way or another could be expressed fifty-sixty using Räikkönen's mate Matti Nykänen's saying.

As known the test regulation in F1 is too strict. The free testing doesn't help Räikkönen who moved over to rally. So far he has only one test drive behind him with Citroen C4 WRC-car. Kimi will actually have his warm-up to the WRC-season in Arctic-rally that starts in a week in Rovaniemi.

We will get some kind of reference of Räikkönen's pace when Citroen also sent their first team's second driver Dani Sordo to the same rally. Sordo gets to practise on snow and Räikkönen gets to test his own pace against a similar WRC-car on roads that are familiar to him from last winter.

Recently Ford's Finnish aces Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala gave a cold prognosis of Räikkönen's defeat marginal. According to them Räikkönen will be 6-12 minutes behind the lead in every rally.

If a difference like this will continue for a long time it's a certain fact that the thought of returning to F1 will sneak into Räikkönen's subconscious. Michael Schumacher returns after three years and has already put the F1-world on fire just by his announcement.

Räikkönen won't lose his F1-speed even though he would drive rally for 2-3 years in a row. But the longer he stays on the rally paths, the more certain it also is that Abu Dhabi GP in November was his last F1-mark. 


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