Dennis enthusiastic about Raikkonen

McLaren boss Ron Dennis is full of enthusiasm for the talents of Kimi Raikkonen, the replacement for Mika Hakkinen this season. Already Raikkonen has been favourably compared to his compatriot, who won two world titles, and many expect to see the...

McLaren boss Ron Dennis is full of enthusiasm for the talents of Kimi Raikkonen, the replacement for Mika Hakkinen this season. Already Raikkonen has been favourably compared to his compatriot, who won two world titles, and many expect to see the young Finn winning races with McLaren in 2002.

"Kimi is great, he is like a breath of fresh air but he is replacing someone who is truly one of the greats." Dennis said.

Raikkonen caused a sensation in 2001 after entering F1 with very little experience and only a provisional superlicence, but he scored points in his first race and went on to silence the critics. Along with Nick Heidfeld he helped drive Sauber to fourth in the Contructors' championship and was snapped up by McLaren -- who paid Peter Sauber handsomely for his services.

"Of all things, Kimi is not a cheap option to take. We have made Peter Sauber a 'little' bit better off for signing him." said Dennis, who thinks Raikkonen is worth the "little" £8million contract he reportedly has with McLaren. "Kimi's learning curve in his first season was very impressive and if he continues with that same curve this year then he will be winning races, and will be a champion very soon."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Peter Sauber
Teams Sauber , McLaren