Also wondering if Raikkonen wouldn't have been the superior signing.
Here are some of my thoughts and I'd love feedback/input and opinions:
A) Clearly, Hamilton is one of the Top 2 or 3 "Aces" on the grid and losing him, in my opinion, weakens the ability of McLarens to qualify their cars "well up the grid".
Time and again - as today - you see the consequences of "under-qualifying" the car: I.e. a tangle with a midfield car like Button had today.
Button came off, arguably, his "best" season in 2011...yet he's been lost or invisable in way too many races as a result of "issues" that have made him qualify the car poorly.
Perez has also been out-qualified by Kobayashi way too often for my liking, to he honest.
The counter-point argument has been that Raikkonen, too, has been out-qualified by Grosjean too often.
Yet, Kimi's fans can point to many technical issues that led to Kimi's relatively worse qualifying performances during Q3...and, i'm sure, some of these fans will defend him in this thread.
B) Clearly, whatever you make of Raikkonen's relatively poorer qualifying results, you can not deny these:
1 - Kimi's 2012 season is being rated WAY higher than Button due to a shit mid season by the Englishman; One also can see from subjective Autosport and AMuS ratings that Kimi's season is at least on par as Perez's;
2 - Kimi had been out of single-seaters/open-wheelers for almost two-and-a-half years and, so, was "rusty";
3 - You cannot deny that Kimi has been extremely consistent and has avoided stupid moves like no other driver in 2012. He's brought home points, thus far out-scoring one RBR driver and both McLaren drivers;
4 - There's a reasonable probability that Kimi will "improve" in his 2nd season just as Lauda and Schumacher did.
Given the above factors, it seems (to me) that there's "more to come" from Kimi in 2013.
C) Perez is actually an unknown and we don't know how his input can aid McLarens.
D) Raikkonen's input has been valued in the past by McLaren personel...and, it would seem, Kimi has "matured" since he was in Formula One last...and, also, he's come across as more of "a leader" at Lotus than he'd ever come across at McLaren and Ferrari in his first career.
In the end, I now think that McLaren ought to have signed Raikkonen instread of Perez for 2013.
McLaren - to me - are losing their "better" driver and, franky, I don't rate Button as a true "Ace". Do I rate Raikkonen as an "Ace" anymore? To be honest, i'm not sure. I think he's a "boarder-line Ace" but with the capacity to improve upon a few critical aspects of his driving arsenal going into next season and, thus, making him a bonafide "Ace" again.
What do people think?
Edited by RayInTorontoCanada, 14 October 2012 - 16:01.