Kimi Räikkönen and Sauber - perfect match!

When I heard the news about Kimi Räikkönen and Alfa Romeo Sauber my first and immediate reaction was very positive. Kimi will continue in Formula 1 and Swiss-based Sauber is the team he started his fantastic career with.

I remember so well this young shy Finn taking his first steps in Formula 1. We had just started Sports Telecom and we actually developed some Kimi Räikkönen mobile merchandise. Our partner VTG introduced a Nokia Kimi Räikkönen / Sauber mobile phone shell for the classical Nokia 3210 mobile phone.

I met Kimis managers, father and son Robertson, in London. They were though businessmen and we did not reach a deal. They knew the value of Kimi, even though he had just started his career. And indeed, Kimi was special.

For the Alfa Romeo / Sauber team Kimi will be valuable. Driving for Ferrari Kimi has been out or reach for Finnish companies. Driving for the Swiss-based team he will be reachable and I really hope Finnish companies understand what an opportunity this is.

I have often critizised Finnish companies for not understanding the value of Formula 1. It is unbelievable that so many Finnish drivers have reached Formula 1, without any sponsorship from Finland!!

Now it is possible. Kimi is a very strong global Formula 1 brand. Alfa Romeo Sauber on the other hand is not a top team, yet. So the entry barriers is feasible for Finnish companies.

Kimi and Alfa Romeo Sauber is a perfect match. The reason why is that companies like Nokia, Kone, Wärtsilä, Fortum, Neste and many more can finally become established Formula 1 partners.

For Kimi, a proud father, driving for a team in his current home country Switzerland is convenient.

A perfect match!

Björn Stenbacka