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Kimi's return 'easier' than Schu's

2011-12-21 10:39

KIMI RAIKKONEN: ...in an earlier incarnation with Ferrari.

LONDON, England - McLaren doctor and fellow Finn Aki Hintsa says Kimi Raikkonen will not do a Schumacher on the crowd when he returns to Formula 1 in 2012.

2007 World champion Raikkonen's decision to come back to the sport with Lotus after a couple of seasons away has been compared with Michael Schumacher's recent struggle to readjust after a three-year sabbatical but Hintsa, who knows Raikkonen well after the now 32-year-old's five-year tenure at McLaren until 2006, played down that comparison.


"Physically, Kimi is definitely as strong now as he ever was," he was quoted as saying by Turun Sanomat newspaper.  "It is clear that a return to F1 for Kimi will be easier than it was for Michael Schumacher two years ago.

"First, Kimi is so much younger than Michael; second he was not away for so long and while he was away he kept driving in a very demanding category - World rallying."

Indeed, while Raikkonen only turned 32 a few weeks ago, Schumacher is clearly F1's oldest active driver as he approaches his 43rd birthday in January, 2012.

"At that stage of life a 10-year age difference is a major factor in top-level sport," Hintsa said. "When an athlete turns 40, the response time begins to slow down - there's nothing you can do about it.  It is not possible to turn back the clock."

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