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Ex-F1 stars hail Kimi's return

2012-08-02 10:58

IN-FORM KIMI IMPRESSES: Former F1 drivers Karl Wendlinger and Martin Brundle have praised Lotus driver Raikkonen's competitive return to the sport.

Former Formula 1 driver Karl Wendlinger has admitted he has been impressed with Kimi Raikkonen in 2012.

After sitting out two full grand prix seasons while he forayed in world rallying and Nascar, F1's 2007 title winner returned with Lotus in 2012 and after the first half of the calendar is within reach of the top of the standings.


Austrian Karl Wendlinger, who raced with Sauber in the mid-90s, said on Red Bull-owned Servus TV: "He is at a very high level.

"After a two year break, to have a lot of podiums already is sensational. He is very fast in the races and again and again is going for the wins.

"I think everyone up to and including Raikkonen in fifth place can still fight for this championship," Wendlinger added, also referring to Lewis Hamilton, the Red Bull drivers and title leader Fernando Alonso.

Wendlinger admitted Raikkonen is "quiet" and has not always had the best reputation in terms of how dedicated he is to his chosen sport.


But he insisted: "Kimi was not world champion for nothing. His lifestyle was maybe not the best, but whoever can fight in the temperatures we saw in Hungary until the last lap must be in good condition."

Martin Brundle, also a former GP driver and now a commentator for British television Sky, admitted he was impressed by Raikkonen's "face like a wet Monday morning" after missing out on the win in Hungary.

"It really impresses me that he takes that much pain on what by any standards is a very successful return," said the Briton.

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