24MAS today announced the release of its new racing title Kimi Räikkönen IceOne Racing for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, featuring the former Formula One World Champion, Kimi ICEMAN Räikkönen.
Available for download for free on iTunes today, the game takes players through Kimi’s racing career from carts through to rally, with four unique race vehicles and 16 different tracks. Users get the chance to race head to head all around the world in realistic locations with the multi-player match up mode along with the chance to race in arcade and career modes. ”I am really excited to see the game develop from a design document and drawings into something interactive that I can play myself. The game is fun whilst being challenging, the mix of cars and tracks give different experiences in racing and I love to be able to race head to head with my racing friends all around the world,” commented Kimi.
The game has been a joint project with IceOne Racing using their racing expertise to make the game a challenging driving experience. Users can increase the performance and customise the image of the cars along with unlocking new tracks through the in-app purchase in the game. As they progress their driving skills, they can share their racing experiences with friends and fans through Game Center, Facebook and Twitter. In addition to Kimi Räikkönen’s media presence behind the project, 24MAS has also teamed up with Metro International worldwide in a huge print and online marketing campaign across Europe and the Americas taking place over a six week period. ”Working with Kimi and the team at IceOne Racing has been a great project. The combination of a racing legend with a great game, delivers a real racing experience for fans around the world. This is the first in a series of new original games for iOS and Android that 24MAS is bringing to market in 2012,” added Tero Turunen, CEO of 24 MAS.
The Ice One Racing game is available for FREE download on iTunes at the following link:
Official Kimi Raikkonen ICEONE Racing Launch Trailer
Former F1 world champion Kimi Räikkönen made his WRC debut on Rally Sweden. Ben Barry followed him every step of the way. Literally.
This feels wrong. We´ve only just arrived at Färjestad – venue for the Super Special Stage that kicks off Rally Sweden – yet in a few seconds I´ll be standing next to Kimi Räikkönen, one-time F1 world champion, now full-time rally driver – the only F1 driver ever to make such a full-time switch. We´ve sneaked in to an autograph session and moved quickly up the line by pushing past small children and bypassing other drivers. Any second now I´ll be able to talk to Kimi, maybe even tickle him under the chin, and there´ll be absolutely no security guards or barriers between me and one of the world´s highest paid sports stars, just a flimsy wooden table.
I´m surprised how nervous I am – my heart spikes, my mouth dries and my carotid arteries pound in my neck. What to say to Kimi? What to say? Two girls ahead get a signed picture – no pleasantries exchanged – then walk off upright, breathless, eyes wide, before having an entire conversation of convulsive shrieks. There are male fans too, all dispatched silently. It´s only the youngest kids that Räikkönen goes out of his way for all of whom are too shy to make eye contact. He leans over the table, smiles, speaks briefly and places the signed card in their hand. My turn. Oh god.
“Hello Kimi, we´re from CAR Magazine and we´ve come to…” Räikkönen looks up slowly from under the oversized brim of his Red Bull baseball cap and fixes his wolf-like, ice blue eyes dead on mine. He looks absolutely furious, and I mean absolutely, genuinely ready-to-punch-me angry. “Ach, this is not the time for this”, he drones. “I just wanted to say we´ve come to follow you on the rally”, I stammer. “Look, well, take this,” he says, staring into the distance, handing me two glossy bits of signed card that depict his Citroen C4 jumping through the air. “Are you enjoying rallying?” I ask. “Yes”, comes the reply, one labored with the emphasis a child might use to assure his mother he will tidy his bedroom.
Later his PR will explain that Citroen – our hosts – hold no real sway over Räikkönen because he´s Red Bull´s driver. An interview is impossible; if I´m lucky I´ll get a stalky fan pic. Rallying is very much Plan B for the 2007 F1 world champion. Plan A was to contest the 2010 F1 championships – he was contracted to Ferrari this year, but Maranello pushed him out to make way for Fernando Alonso. Other talked staled, and so Räikkönen´s long held WRC ambitions took over, the Finn hooking up with follow countryman Kaj Lindström, one-time co-driver for multiple WRC champion Tommi Mäkinen.
“We first talked when I worked with Tommi [who retired at the end of 2003!]. Kimi said he´d like to do rally one day, and I said I would be his co-driver”, says Lindström, revealing a more deeply-held desire and sense of loyalty on Räikkönen´s part then his icy, stoic demeanour can suggest. Making – and trusting – pacenotes is something Räikkönen has struggled with after the predictability of F1 circuits. So, how do they build that trust? Through simply driving? “Well, you have to do things to get to know each other outside the car too”, says Lindström. “What like?” “Well…things”. All Räikkönen´s inner circle are desitant when it comes to fleshing out details. The pair has done five rallies so far, this weekend´s 2010 season opener being their sixth, and Räikkönen´s first as a fully fledged WRC driver. He´s driving a Citroen C4 alongside Sebastien Ogier in the Citroen Junior Team, a peg below world champion Sebastien Loeb and Danni Sordo´s factory effort. When you look at the awnings and the slick team transporters, the tow outfits look pretty similar, but where as many as 70 people work at the factory team, just 17 work with Räikkönen and Ogier. Testing is far more limited too, and the car – though similar – is to Loeb´s 2008 spec. Meanwhile, Räikkönen´s engineer, Cedric Mazenq, is a young chap whose motorsport CV dates back to only 2006 and whose WRC career began only in 2009. No red carpet here.
“Kimi rang me personally in October last year to ask if he could do this”, says no-nonsense Citroen Racing boss Olivier Quesnel. “I said he would need to bring the budget. Red Bull paid; we met in January. Does Räikkönen get preferential treatment? “No, he has to go fast first. He is like a young driver, Rallying is very complicated and he has to learn. But I know that he´s doing it very seriously and really wants to succeed. After the first hald of the year we´ll see, but I´m sure he´ll do well.” “He is professional, open-minded and clever”, adds engineer Mazenq, “and his feedback – because of F1 – is very precise; he feels every click on the dampers. But he knows it´s a new challenge, that he can´t yet compete with the top drivers and that he has to lean slowly. We have tried to set up his car so it is easier for him, so that he can concentrate 70% on driving, 30% on pacenotes. He has a slightly softer suspension set-up then the others so he can easily feel the lateral and longitudinal grip and have more confidence. But he is smoother on entry with the steering than normal, so he gets understeer. We have to half-way adapt the car, half-way adapt Kimi.”
Some moen that rallying isn´t as grueling as it was, but they´re still long old days on the WRC. It starts on Thursday at 8pm with the Super Special, two cars racing Scalextric-style in a stadium. The next day starts at 8.18am in the forests, the drivers carely stopping until gone 8pm. Saturday is “just” 4.58am until nearer 6pm; Sunday 7.52am until 3.30pm. During that time the drivers will pound 345km of difficult stages, trusting pacenotes entirely as they commit to blind bends, later navigating a further 445km on public roads as spiked tyres rumble coarsely below them. F1 it ain´t.
At 8am on Friday we drive to the stages with studded winter tyres clawing at icy, snow-dusted roads, grateful for our multiple thermal layers and waterproofs and thick boots as the temperature dips to -21degC. We park and walk into the forests, and the sun spears through evergreens laden with snow, backlighting smoke from fires that fans have lit to keep warm and cook food, a smell of sausages wafting through the sharp, cold air. There´s a lot of beer about, kids roaming, Finnish flags waving and just a handful of marshals who´ll blow a whistle seconds before a rally car roars by at 75mph in a place where you´d barley top 30mph.
Loeb is past first in a blur of guttural induction slurps and thunderclaps, then he´s slightly sideways and airborne over a crest, a snowy mist enveloping us in his wake; Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen is next, clearly faster, absolutely on it. Räikkönen´s seventh – quick, committed, but visibly slower. Later he´ll spin, then compound his error by sinking into the soft snow banks at the side of the road while turning round. Twenty six minutes will tick by.
When he rolls into service after dark, Räikkönen is mobbed by the press as we abandon the leaders for a guy who´s now half an hour down on them, 47th out of 54. Barely able to open his door in the crush, he leans out and pushes gently at a photographer. We all sway backwards, and the driver who´s kneeling behind us trying to fix his car gets crushed and pushes back; nobody´s in control of this tumult of flashbulbs and notepads. Räikkönen talks to no-one, but his co-driver does. “For a guy who´s done five rallies, his driving is absolutely incredible,” says Lindström, buzzing with adrenaline. “You ask Petter Solberg, anyone, it´s incredible. Okay, it´s unfortunate we went off, but these things happen and Kimi Räikkönen himself was digging us out with a shovel! I just hope people focus on his driving, not making some kind of scandal newspaper story.”
With that Lindström´s gone, checking the car into service, tailed by more reporters. Later we´ll eavesdrop on a WRC TV interview, the only media who get access, but Räikkönen says nothing revelatory – “it would be nice to go faster”; “it´s much more challenging then F1” – then, remarkably, pushes past me with what I´m sure is a horrified glimmer of recognition, walks over to the inebriated Finnish fans who´ve been incessantly shouting his name on megaphones, then laughs and signs their crash helmets. Is my approach too subtle? Saturday sees some impressive performances on what even leader Hirvonen describes as very difficult stages: “There are deep ruts; loose snow, ice and gravel. You take chances all the time.” Räikkönen remains consistent, if unspectacular – 54.4sec off the pace on stage nine in 11th; a minute down in 32nd through 10; 22.8sec down but up to sixth on stage 15.
We continue to follow him everywhere. When he gets out of his car to check tyre pressures at a remote refuelling station, we bound out from behind a pile of logs; when he takes the back way into the service area, he doubletakes as I wave from the side of the road; when stake out his motorhome, he slips out of another door and merges between two tents. I stand next to his car for an hour at evening service as my feet freeze, then discover he´s eating in Citroen´s hospitality area. He is as well; Kimi Räikkönen eating his dinner right there. We can just walk in.
I take the horse whisperer´s approach – walk in timidly, look at the floor, take a seat at the opposite end of the marquee, sit there for a few minutes, then approach his PR while WRC TV grabs an interview. One picture with Kimi. One picture. “Kimi. One picture,” says his PR. Kimi Räikkönen rolls his eyes, then walks over and stands next to me. “Thanks Kimi,” I say. There´s no reply. Mark Fagelson takes the snap. Räikkönen immediately retreats to safety. That´s it. We´re dine. Wow. The rally ends the next day after 21 demanding stages. Hirvonen finishes 42.3sec ahead of Loeb who´s 33.1sec ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala. Possibly the world´s best F1 driver finishes in 30th, 37min 47.2sec off the winner and over 30 minutes behind fifth-place teammate Ogier. “In F1 the only big change is when you´re on slicks in the wet,” he tells WRC TV later, “but in rally every corner can be different and usually is. I have a lot of respect for the top-level guys.”
Will he be back for 2011? Team boss Olivier Quesnel hasn´t ruled out promotion to the works team, but I doubt it. Räikkönen says he enjoys the WRC´s no-bullshit ethos, but with that comes an autograph session that anyone can gatecrash; a service park where journalists roam in wild packs; the necessity to drive on roads where the public can simply follow you. The WRC won´t change to accommodate Räikkönen, and you wonder if he might not crave a bit of F1 bullshit – some properly defined barriers between him, the public and the press – from time to time. It´d certainly get me off his back. As we leave to catch our plane I figure his PR is getting me off his back too when he tells me to email some questions and Räikkönen will answer them. It feels like emailing Father Christmas. Then, four days later, a response pings into my inbox. I can´t quite believe it.
“Do you have rally heroes?” I´ve asked. “No, I never had any heroes in F1 and it is the same in rallying,” writes Räikkönen. “But I´ve always been friendly with rally drivers like Tommi Mäkinen, who has run my car for me in the past. He has been a great champion.”
“Is rally scarier than F1?” “I´m never scared in the car so it´s hard to say. It´s true that in rallying you are close to the trees, but the speeds are lower than F1. At the moment it is more difficult than F1, certainly!”
“Will rallying make you a better F1 driver?” “I don´t think so as it´s another style of driving completely. In rallying you are competing on such a huge variety of surfaces and conditions, and technically F1 is very different with all the parameters like aerodynamics that don´t really play a part in rallying.”
“Was Sweden more grueling than an F1 weekend?” “In some ways, yes. We were leaving at 5.30am, then not getting back until after 10pm. You have just half an hour at service halts, then a bit longer in the evening, so there is not much time to do everything. On the other hand, the physical forces on your body are not as big as they are in F1.”
“Everyone says this is a learning year for you in the WRC, but can you really see yourself in the 2011 WRC?” “There´s no point in thinking about that until halfway through this season, but for sure there is a possibility that I might stay in rallying next year.”
All that time stalking, freezing and travelling and a simple email answers more then we´d probably have covered in person. “The trick,” says the PR, “is to get him when he´s bored.”
As we´ve learned, that´s harder than Räikkönen´s apathetic glaze suggests.
Watch here Kimi´s Saturday Interview and Review Interview of Rally Sweden 2010:
For almost a decade, the name “Kimi” has been shorthand for outrageous F1 speed and car control. This year, with a switch to the Red Bull Junior World Rally Team, he reckons he´s taken on the biggest challenge of his career.
The carbon fibre disc brakes on his Formula-One Ferrari have barely cooled down, but already Kimi Räikkönen has moved on to something new: a drive for the very same Red Bull Citroen World Rally team that has just taken Sebastien Loeb to his sixth consecutive world title. The arrival of Räikkönen is a huge coup for the World Rally Championship: for all his occasionally mute press conference performances, the guy´s a superstar. And while some might question the move from the “pinnacle of motorsport” into a parallel universe of mud and trees and ice and snow rather than lap upon lap of pristine tarmac, the man himself has no doubts: this is a hugely serious attempt On an equally prestigious world series, one which he´ll attack with all the commitment for which he became famed in F1.
So, Kimi, let’s talk dirty. What’s the earliest rally car you can remember?
My brother’s Ford Escort. Of course, as a good Finn, I saw rally cars on TV from an early age. I liked Ari Vatanen and Juha Kankkunen’s Peugeot 205 T16s the best. The first rally I actually went to must have been the 1991 1000 Lakes Rally, which Kankkunen won in a Lancia Delta Integrale.
Were rally drivers your childhood heroes?
I didn’t have any childhood heroes, I was a fan of the sport, not individual drivers. During my childhood, Kankkunen, for example, was a world- class driver so he could have been an idol. I’ve met him since then. He’s still got a Peugeot 205 at home and a Group B Audi Quattro from the 1980s. He might even lend it to me if I asked nicely.
Was it inevitable that you would end up on the racetrack?
I always wanted to give rallying a shot, but I did get into F1 very quickly [Räikkönen was only 21 when he made his F1 debut, for the Red Bull Sauber team at the Australian GP, scoring a point for sixth place]. So it became difficult to move sideways into rallying, which meant I just had to lump it. I didn’t get the chance until very late – I was almost 30 [Räikkönen competed in the 2009 Rally Finland, in a Fiat Grande Punto Abarth]. I also think F1 helps you as a rally driver and vice versa.
But it would be a bit ungrateful to say that you were biding your time for nine years in F1 and had to become World Champion so that you could ultimately become a rally driver?
That’s just how my career has worked out. Now it’s the right time to go for it with the right people and the right car for however long. I did negotiate with another F1 team for next season, but we couldn’t agree 100 per cent. Then Red Bull came and made me an offer to drive in the WRC for a season. It felt like the right thing to do straight away.
A lot of racing drivers in your position would have just bought themselves a world rally car and had some fun in it. But you’ve joined the Citroen Junior Team for a whole season where you’ll be up against Sébastien Loeb, the best rally driver in the history of the sport. Haven’t you made things difficult for yourself?
It’s definitely the biggest challenge yet. I’ve got to learn everything from scratch. But I want the challenge. I have to get to know the car, the rallies, how to work with my co-driver [Kai Lindström], everything. I’m looking forward to it. And you’ve got to set yourself some competition if you really want to know how good you are. I’ll still be able to drive around the forest in a private rally car.
But when you entered the WRC last year, at the Rally Finland, it was a much more professional effort compared with other well-known converts.
If you’re going to do something, do it with the best team. My car’s been prepared by Tommi Mäkinen’s team; these guys are super professional. Of course it’s a smaller operation than an F1 team, but they’re professionals. Even though the driver plays a bigger overall role in rallying than in F1, the best driver won’t win in a bad car. That’s why I wanted an experienced co-driver so at least one of us would know what he was doing. I met Kai Lindström through Tommi and we were ice spies for Chris Atkinson during the 2006 Monte Carlo rally. Kai is outstanding; he and Tommi were World Champions together. Kai was also the one to make first contact with Citroën Sport.
Does entering the World Rally Championship feel a bit like it felt when you first test-drove for Sauber F1 in 2000?
Yes, I’m finding a bit of the young Kimi in me again. A world rally car is quicker and tougher than the S2000 car I drove last year on the Rally Finland; it’s 10 times better to drive and has more power. It’s why you can still come out of critical situations. If the Fiat ever went sideways with its non-turbo engine, it was game over.
So what about rolling the car in Finland last year?
It wasn’t because I was going too fast! It was the opposite. The car had already begun falling apart, so I just wanted to get it to the service park. The Fiat definitely wasn’t the quickest car in the S2000 class, nor the most stable. My line going into the left-hand turn was maybe 2m off and we turned over.
Why was your line bad?
I was driving with my eyes and not my ears. But in rallying you’ve got to pay 100 per cent attention to what your co-driver says.
Is that something you still have to learn to do?
It is. The driving itself shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you know the special stage, there’ll hardly be any difference usually. What makes the difference is the pacenotes [the co-driver’s notes on the road conditions for each stage of the rally] and your trust. That’s my main disadvantage starting out – I only know the Arctic Rally and Rally Finland. I’ve got to work the rest of the events out for myself.
Can you use other crews’ pacenotes?
It’s always better to have your own. If you want to be really fast, you’ve got to have trust. And you’ll never have complete trust in someone else’s notes. Does it help to follow other drivers’ tracks to get your bearings? No. There’s no way of knowing what the car in front of you might have done. You’ve got to do what the co-driver tells you.
When was your first roll?
I was 14. I rolled my brother’s Lada. We had a 3km track close to home. Marcus Grönholm [Finland’s two-time world rally champion] also trained there. I over-braked the rear axle and rolled twice. The roll-bar [the car’s internal safety cage] also broke.
Your brother Rami was seen as a great rallying talent. Does he still drive?
No, he’s a family man now. One year he was runner- up to Mikko Hirvonen [runner-up in the 2008 and 2009 World Rally Championships].
Have your nephews caught the motorsport bug?
Absolutely! They’re only three and four and they already go karting. I’ve bought them a quad bike.
Are you a good co-driver?
No. I’ve been co-driver to Tommi Mäkinen [four- time World Rally Champion] once. I have complete confidence in him, but I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience. Maybe I’ll sit alongside Loeb during a test. I don’t think he’d do the same for me.
Are you expecting a couple of rolls next year?
Of course. Over the course of the WRC there are bound to be a couple of shunts. Everyone makes mistakes in this sport and, as a rule, a mistake usually means you wreck the car. How many cars must Jari-Matti Latvala [WRC winner] and Hirvonen have destroyed before they won their first World Championship rally? The only driver who hasn’t rolled is Loeb. He’s an exception.
Do you think you’ll be more intuitive on tarmac or gravel surfaces?
We’ve been amazingly fast on gravel, but tarmac will probably be more my thing. Snow will be the hardest. Your lines have got to be spot-on in the snow, whereas on tarmac it’s no big deal if you brake a meter too late and have to turn more sharply. You have to be able to read the gravel. On some types of gravel you’ve got incredible grip with rally tyres and on others you haven’t.
What sort of results are you expecting?
The first few rallies are bound to be tough. Until I know how fast the other drivers are, I’m holding back on any personal expectations. I’m sure I won’t manage to keep up with the top four (Loeb, Dani Sordo, Hirvonen, Latvala).
When you look back on your F1 career, is there a single moment you value above all others?
In F1, every lap is more or less the same. It’s more difficult if it rains, but otherwise it soon becomes routine. In rallying, every corner or hill might be different from what you expected. The most fun I’ve had in recent years was fooling around with friends on snow-scooters, for example. I’d find it difficult to pick a single moment from the last nine years.
How about this as a moment to go down in history? Kimi Räikkönen overtaking Giancarlo Fisichella on the outside at Suzuka on the last lap of the 2005 Japanese GP, to win the race?
Yeah, that was really good.
The 2009 Ferrari must have been really difficult to drive when we see how badly Giancarlo Fisichella struggled when he stepped in for the injured Felipe Massa. Not to mention [Ferrari test driver] Luca Badoer.
The car wasn’t bad. It just didn’t have enough grip. It was hard to drive but I liked the 09 Ferrari more than the 08. I didn’t cope too badly [Räikkönen won the 2009 Belgian GP]. But it made Fisichella age 10 years in two races!
If you couldn’t get a neutrally balanced car, would you prefer oversteer or understeer [a car that has more or less front/rear grip]?
I’ve never liked understeer. How can you push the car if you don’t know whether it’s going to steer? You lose time on a circuit but in rallying, you end up in the trees because you run out of space.
How much communication does motorsport need?
As a driver, there are some things you just can’t communicate. No F1 driver in the world can talk to an aerodynamics engineer on an equal footing because they have completely different levels of understanding. All you can do is tell your race engineer what you’d ideally like. Mechanics are important too but they do what the engineers tell them to. So your communication is limited to two or, at most three, people in the team. And then what’s made of your input depends on the team.
In rallying, you’ll sometimes have to work on the car yourself. Do you know how to?
I enjoy it. In Finland, I’ve always repaired my own cars. I tweak my bikes too. There’s nothing wrong with getting your fingers dirty.
Did you foster the ‘Iceman’ image to survive in F1?
No. ‘Iceman’ goes back a long way. In F1, politics gets in the way of the exciting side of things. The atmosphere in rallying is much nicer and there’s a lot less politics involved. It’s much more about how the driver performs.
You’re a celebrity, especially in Finland. Now that you’re moving over into Finland’s national sport – rallying – you probably won’t dare to go out on the streets of Helsinki at all.
I don’t care about that. It can’t be any worse than it already is. I’ve learned to deal with it.
You did military service. What did you find most difficult about it?
The first couple of months were stressful. We were constantly roared at. By the end we were bored and messed around. Apart from military films where everyone’s roaring, getting up early was the worst.
What’s your favourite toy during the off-season?
A snowmobile. It’s huge fun tearing around Lapland with friends on one. But Motocross comes close.
What makes a good road car?
What’s the last sport you’ve tried?
I started climbing last year on the recommendation of my fitness trainer, and it’s fun.
Who’s going to win ice hockey’s Stanley Cup?
The San Jose Sharks.
Who’s going to win snowboarding Olympic gold in the half-pipe?
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the Finns, but it’ll probably be hard to beat Shaun White.
Who’s going to be the next World Rally Champion?
Loeb or Hirvonen. Loeb.
Hard to say. I don’t know what Ferrari’s plans are. Mercedes will probably have a good car, so will McLaren. Red Bull Racing probably will too. So I’m going to have to award the title based on who I like: Sebastian Vettel. He’s so down-to-earth.
Do you have much contact with him?
I know Heikki Kovalainen [a fellow Finn] better. As a rule, I don’t have that much contact with people from F1. Sometimes I play badminton with Vettel. He’s moving to my part of Switzerland so we’ll probably see more of each other.
How interested will you be in F1 if you’re not in an F1 car yourself?
I’ll watch a race on TV every now and then. Maybe I’ll go to the Monaco Grand Prix. I could get an F1 drive again any time, but lots of bad things are happening in F1. Manufacturers are pulling out. Let’s have the same conversation in a year’s time. Let’s look way into the future.
What would a WRC title mean to you?
More than my F1 World Championship title. I’m just starting out and I can sense what a long journey it would be to get to that point. No one’s done it before. That’s another thing that makes it interesting.