Raikkonen rues lost chance of victory

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus could have won the Spanish Grand Prix.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Spanish GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

“The fact is the reason why I’m disappointed is because in the end if we have done everything right, we could have put ourselves into first place. The car has been fast enough but we’ve been doing small things not correctly and I’ve done some mistakes on my side but if everything was 100 percent OK we could have won.”

Natalie Pinkham via Twitter

“News is that the teams are all pulling together to loan Williams all the kit that they lost in the fire.”

The fire at Williams (Sky)

Pictures of yesterday’s horrifying fire in the Williams pit after the race.

Button: No overnight fix to car issues (Autosport)

“I am normally good at looking after tyres and having a good consistency, it is something I always work on but I can’t do that at the moment and I don’t know why. I am really struggling with the car at the moment. It is not an overnight fix.”

Millionaire man Maldonado answers critics (BBC)

“To his credit, Maldonado does not seek to hide the financial support he is given, nor the fact that he is basically a state-sponsored driver who has the personal backing of his President, Hugo Chavez. In fact, he embraces it.”

Carroll Shelby obituary (The Guardian)

“Carroll Shelby, the colourful American racing driver and engineer who shared the winning Aston Martin with Britain’s Roy Salvadori in the 1959 Le Mans 24-hour sports car classic, and who later gave his name to the iconic Shelby American Cobra high-performance sports car, has died at the age of 89.”

Comment of the day

Many positive reactions to yesterday’s race. Here’s TommyB:

Always great to see an underdog victory! The start showed that Barcelona is a rubbish track for overtaking but thank goodness for Pirelli, once the tyres went we got passing all over the place.

The race though showed you don’t need overtaking to be exciting, the Maldonado/Alonso battle made for tense viewing. A really enjoyable race!

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Jean-Pierre Beltoise scored his only F1 win in the Monaco Grand Prix 40 years ago today.

Held in appalling wet conditions, Beltoise led home Jacky Ickx and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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43 comments on “Raikkonen rues lost chance of victory”

  1. Couple of interesting things about Hamilton’s race I gained from Mclaren Pitwall on their website. Firstly, Mclaren instructed Lewis not to use DRS when the HRT was stricken on the pit straight. This meant there was 3 laps when Lewis had no chance to pass Massa. Considering how close he was the previous lap when Massa also had DRS, I assume without the yellow flags he would have passed Massa and presumably then beaten ROS at the end.

    Secondly, Lewis was constantly asking the team to let him know when Jenson was in the DRS zone when they were running nose to tail. Whenever Jenson got within a second, Hamilton then pulled out a few 10ths. This reminds me of something James Colado said after his GP2 win in the Malaysia sprint race. He said that he deliberately didn’t pull too far ahead of his teammate, so that Gutierrez would damage his tyres in the dirty air. I wonder if Lewis was doing something similar. Very clever if so.

    Finally, I have to commend Sky for their coverage of the fire incident. Very professional, chose not to cut to ads, and stayed on the air to try and provide us with all the information.

    1. I doubt Hamilton was trying to wreck Jenson’s tyres- I doubt that tactic would go down too well at McLaren. More likely he knew that he needed to conserve the tyres with a sensible pace, so drove as carefully as he could without risking losing position due to DRS. Very measured regardless though.

      1. @jleigh @matt90
        I doubt that Lewis was trying to wreck Jenson’s tyres. Lewis was running a very long stint at the end, when he had to keep his position in front of Jenson’s and conserve his tyres at the same time. It is rational for Lewis to pull out those extra tenths whenever necessary, and he could only know when it was necessary through the team radio.

    2. Thanks for the additional information @jleigh, interesting thought about Hamilton and Button, although it might just have been about managing a gap to keep his team mate behind. Still shows how competitive they are between the two of them.

  2. “News is that the teams are all pulling together to loan Williams all the kit that they lost in the fire.”

    although this is sort of obvious, it is still very good to know. well done to all of the teams who helped with the fire situation, and to those who will lend the williams lads a hand. the teams are a tight knit community – and it really shows here. great to see. again, well done all.

  3. Lotus close gap on Constructors by 25 points. Kimi closes gap to Championship to 12.

    Regarding the opportunities, yeah, watching at laps and pit stops you can see Lotus did some questionable calls, I just hope they can keep up the pace for whole year, so all these small mistakes they did so far wont cost they in the end.

    I’m 100% if Lotus did not have Raikkonen this year, they would have been way worse.

    I’d imagine it’s a pleasure for any engineer to work with Kimi. New part, new changes and it reflects on time straight away.

    It’s will be perfect if Kimi would win at Monaco, but I’m afraid to spoil it!!! As long as he in front of the Championship leader and on podium. I’m happy!!

    1. Well, the team has been pretty strong at Monaco in recent years, most notably with Kubica in 2010.

      However, street circuits have been something of a bogey in the past for them as well – just look at last years’ dismal effort at Singapore.

      1. thejudge13+
        14th May 2012, 9:33

        It appears the top 4 finishers, were the top 4 qualifiers (going back to an earlier debate).

        I clearly understated the nature of the Barcelona qualifying advantage. I suggested a 75% probability of a top 4 qualifier finishing top 4 in the race. Following Hamilton’s exclusion, the reality was 100%.

        Any suggestions what we can call the statistical analysios of F1 anyone. eg sabermetrics is for baseball (Society for American Baseball Research).

      2. I agree that they could well get all together at Monaco, although I think both McLaren guys have a good chance at Monaco, and with Alonso’s driving he should have a shot at it as well. And if the Williams is up to it, Maldonado did drive superbly at Monaco (if only he had not turned in and had Hamilton end his race last year, it could have been a 6th there) in the past too.

  4. I don’t know why Lotus thought Maldonado and Alonso should pit again.

    1. Maybe they need fresh set of brains for their race decisions.

      It always feels like they are on the edge with their decisions so far.

      1. They’ve been worse in that regard than even McLaren.

      2. Alonso said that if it was one more lap, chances that Raikkonen overtake him were big. In the last straight line, at the finish, Raikkonen opened DRS(he was like 0.5s behind). So, the Lotus engineer, miscalculated by one lap. This is a good precision. I bet, that nobody thaugt that Raikkonen can recuperate 21s in 15laps, but the engineers did. They were wrong not here, they were wrong in making the car to be fast in second stint, when Raikkonen lost a lot by Alonso and Maldonado, on same tyres usage. :| There was the problem.

    2. Maybe they said that to make Kimi think there was a chance of victory? He was after all trying to make up 20+ seconds on the leaders, a bit of encouragement helps.

    3. Bear in mind that radio messages could be aired delayed.

    4. I think teams sometimes deliberately lie in radio transmissions in order to motivate drivers. Or it was wishful thinking – they are going to fight for the lead and destroy the tyres…

      1. I think the radio was done before Alonso and Maldonado’s final stops.

        1. deliberately lie in radio transmissions in order to motivate drivers

          It seems so, with most teams. Quite regularly, they exaggerate the lap time advantage of the guy they are talking to (“you’re catching him by a second a lap” when in fact it’s more like 0.6-0.7 sec), disparage the performance of those in front of him (“he’s struggling with his tyres” etc.), and generally present the current situation in the best possible light for their driver (“they will need to pit once again”).

          I guess in such situations race engineers act like coaches and motivators.

    5. Maybe they genuinely thought everyone’s tyres wouldn’t last that long – including their own, they left their final stops way too late. Particularly Grosjean – both Lotuses were flying at the end, with life left in their tyres, but as Kimi said they needed another 10 laps to go for the win.

      I’m not a fan of “passing in the pits”, but I was impressed with Williams. They had luck on their side (Maldonado’s slow stop, Alonso hitting traffic) but they went on the attack, made their stops first and forced Ferrari to react.

      1. @bullfrog Kimi was just about to take Alonso on lap 66,and Maldonado couldn’t get much further before getting past by Kimi.I think that Kimi needed one more lap to take Alonso,and two more to take the win.Not only that,if the race was three laps longer,Grosjean would overtake Alonso as well,he was even faster than Kimi,and Alonso’s tyres were reaching the cliff.The truth of the matter is that Lotus didn’t have the pace in first two stints,and the pace shown in third stint was more about fresh tyres than underlying pace.What encourages me is how consistently fast Lotus is,and the fact that they are podium contenders in every race.All they have to do is keep this up,maybe up their qualifying performance,and they are looking good for both the titles.It’s easier said than done,but one can hope for the best.

        1. I don’t know if Lotus can capture a title this season, but if Kimi doesn’t eventually nab a win this season I will be gutted for them. He has come oh so perilously close in the last two races and it has put Lotus ahead of Ferrari in the standings. This season is so fantastic I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  5. I’m sure some people will tell Kimi to cheer up, since he got a decent podium, but it’s good to see top drivers who simply don’t settle for second best. I never understood the criticism I saw for Hamilton not looking happy after Melbourne myself.

    1. @david-a +1.

      I love the fact that Kimi could give away any excuse, that he’s still getting used to driving in F1 again or that he’s still learning the tyres and shaking off the rust after two years away, but no, instead he is disappointed he missed the win. Gotta love his attitude.

      1. Kimi motivated??
        Get out!


    2. I really liked seeing him being angry at the team for not getting the last drop of performance and chance from those past 2 races. Shows how motivated he is and pushing the team. Just what they needed.

      We commented on this with @aka_robyn yesterday, how its much what we had expected to be seeing of Schumi when he returned to the sport. Shows a driver wanting to win it.

  6. COTD, in my opinion couldn’t be more wrong.

    I believe that McLaren, Lotus, RBR, Williams and Sauber all have very competitive cars that will be better than one and other for different tracks due to slight performance differences (eg. see top speeds )closely followed by Mercedes, Ferarri, and even FI. any of these cars is a potential winner, even if they all used the same tyre and that tyre lasted the whole race.
    The FIA have for some years been trying to make it easier for a following car to attack the car ahead by reducing the size of the wings and therefore the detrimental effect of turbulence on the following car, these tyres negate any advances made in this area by wearing out rapidly as even a small reduction in downforce allows the tyres to slip and “fall of the cliff”, attacking and passing a determined defender becomes a Pyrric victory as an immediate pitstop is required for new tyres. Real progress through the field can only be made in the pits or the DRS zone.
    Champions of this tyre lottery effect point to the fact that we haven’t had so many different winners in the first 5 races for nearly 30 years, but they do not mention that last time we had such a variety of winners the tyres were designed to last the whole race distance and were not a major factor in the results.
    I believe we could be having equally good variety in results and better racing with more durable and predictable tyres.

    1. Oh I think tyres are pretty predictable, and some teams already on it.

      I got no freaking idea why Lotus keeps doing what they doing with strategy, they let car do more laps than it supposed on softs (why they even went on softs, while hards are faster) just to later in the race undercut hard tyres.

      It seems they utilizing strategy of a mid-field team that got a shot on good result, while they are top team. Williams showed how it supposed to be done today, Lotus should take notes.

      1. Yes the tyres are predictable IF you are running in clean air the team has data from practice, but if trying to pass a determined defender ( even an HRT) the tyres can be ruined in less than a lap.

        1. which is why it made no sense that in barcelona teams decided to give up grid position to save tyres. its the one track u dont do that!

      2. how are they predictable? For instance, how can red bull win a race one week and a few later get lapped by the team that was 7th in the constructors? Definitely wasn’t the driver or the car, so what does that leave? The leading teams collect terabytes of data every race, I find it incredibly hard to believe that with the data they collect the best engineers in the world can’t figure out how to work the tires.

        My biggest problem with this year is that it is literally a tire lottery. Ross Brawn even said that their setup is pretty much a guessing game, hoping that everything works. I can see why people like this season so far, but personally I think that the best team/driver combo should win the race, not whoever happens to luck into a setup that works. If that means that one driver dominates the entire season, so be it, he deserves to and it would be unfair any other way.

    2. Pretty much all of the “overtaking” isn’t actual overtaking anyway. It’s just cars driving past each other based on tyre difference with an extra does of DRS to make it even easier. Of course there are exceptions, but these are fewer than the actual overtakes we had before Pirelli turned F1 into an egg-shell racing league.

      Seeing how closely matched the cars are this season, it would have been much more interesting to see actual battles with tyres that can withstand a proper fight.

      1. Tom Haxley (@)
        14th May 2012, 9:18


        I’ve been quietly thinking that myself, wondering if anyone else did as well.

        Everyone bemoans the DRS as fake overtaking, the tyres are much much worse. Talk about undermining the whole techinical side of F1.
        A team build a car 1 tenth faster than another team, then the tyres just take it all away.
        May as well give them all the same car and the best guy at tyre management wins.

        1. Most pathetic ,is the sight of Hamilton having to yield to Vettel, when with proper tyres starting from last place he would have been on the podium at least. I think we are stuck with this nonsense for a long time gone are the days of heroic performances , this has got to be the most ridiculous excuse for F1 I have seen in 50 years of being a fan.

          1. Vettel was faster at that point in the race, so I have no idea why you’re pointing that out over seemingly everything else.

  7. OK, OK, I know it’s apropo of nothing, but how about these stats re drivers’ championships? On the grids for all of this season’s races, [barring unforeseen circumstances], there will be six former/current World Champions, who account for no less than fourteen world drivers’ titles. Add to them, the family connections to another two former World Champions adding a further four world drivers’ titles to the mix: Ayrton Senna, winner of three world titles, represented by his nephew, Bruno; and Keke Rosberg, who won the title in 1982, represented by his son, Nico Rosberg. Connection, either directly or indirectly, with the winners of SEVENTEEN World Drivers’ Titles. “Now, thems some stats!”

  8. I’ve found some more photos of the Williams fire. The first clearly shows Senna’s garage as the point of origin for the fire. Given the extent of the damage and that the car was connected to the fuel rig when it caught alight, I’d be very surprised if the car can be salvaged in time for Monaco.

    1. Sabotage from Schumacher!
      Just joking, I can only hope everyone is ok, I’m yet to read what started this?

  9. Show’s what happens when you can’t count….. that should have been EIGHTEEN World Championships, not seventeen…. count ’em, EIGHTEEN: Schumacher 7, Alonso 2, Vettel 2, Raikkonen 1, Hamilton 1, Button 1, Senna 3, Rosberg 1.

  10. mmm, yeah Kimi, ZZZzzz… .. .. .. . ..

    Oh! Scuse me, dropped into a coma there listening to a few of Kimi’s words.

    I meant to say, I think Lewis could have won this one too… If only etc.

  11. What the change in regs this year has done is made F1 unpredictable (unless your a webber fan when you know he’ll blow the start). The team that masters the set up at each race performs strongly. Better what we’ve seen with some exciting racing than a Vettel procession winning every race by 20 seconds or more. Good on Maldonado who was derided for buying his seat. More of the same please from all the young guns.

  12. I’m sure Lotus’ opportunity will come, I just hope they don’t lose out in the development race. Hopefully not, considering they have a more conventional exhaust system this year. They do look very strong but I can’t see their win coming in Monaco, their straight line speed advantage will be of little use to them.

  13. Bridgestone’s are too durable – People complain because there’s no overtaking.
    Pirelli’s are too fragile – People still complain because the racing is artificial.

    1. Please read my comment above, Bridgestone durability was not in any way responsible for the difficulty following drivers had in passing, it was all aerodynamics.

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