Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Raikkonen will be back to his best soon – Ferrari

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Ferrari’s chassis technical director James Allison expects Kimi Raikkonen will be operating at his best again very soon.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Allison: “keep improving at every race” (Ferrari)

“Kimi is working extremely well with the team, collaborating with the engineers, helping us to drive this car forwards. He has class written all over him and in a very short space of time, I’m sure we will also see the results of that on the track.”

Vettel told to toe line, says Ricciardo (The West Australian)

“It is our responsibility to obey [team orders], unless it’s completely out of order and then we can obviously try and put up a fight and give our reasons.”

Ferrari visit just a holiday – Brawn (BBC)

“Ross Brawn has played down the significance of a visit to the Ferrari factory in Maranello on Monday.”

Red Bull set for Renault engine boost (Autosport)

“The Red Bull Formula One team’s hopes of launching a serious challenge on Mercedes from the Spanish Grand Prix have received a boost, with engine supplier Renault expecting ‘promising’ progress.”

Grief at death of ‘larger than life’ ex-Formula One engineer and Ferrari chief mechanic Nigel Stepney killed by lorry on M20 near Ashford (Kent Online)

“Mr Stepney, who enjoyed a lengthy F1 career and helped guide Michael Schumacher to five world championships, was hit by [a heavy goods vehicle] after getting out of a van on the hard shoulder of the London-bound carriageway between junctions ten and nine.”

Racing: Hamlin wins, no Toronto Supercross, Al Pease dies (Wheels)

“Canadian motorsport legend Al Pease died Sunday in Tennessee, where he lived for many years.”

Recalling Indy’s heydays (MotorSport)

“But if the powers-that-be at Indianapolis are going to find a long-term solution to IndyCar racing’s malaise it surely lays in re-creating a modern version of the spirited competition among multiple car builders and radical new thinkers that drove the 500 for more than 90 years. In my opinion, they’re deluding themselves if they believe anything less will do the job.”

“Question Time” with Motorsport Greats (Hexagon Modern Classics)

“Join us for a special “Question Time with Motorsport Greats” featuring panellists from the pinnacle of motorport at our Fortis Green showrooms at 7.30 pm on the 4th of June.”


Kurt Busch, Indianapolis, Rookie Orientation Programme, 2014

NASCAR champion Kurt Busch during the Rookie Orientation Programme for the Indianapolis 500 on Monday. Busch will attempt to complete the race and the 600-mile NASCAR race at Charlotte on the same day at the end of the month.


Comment of the day

How F1’s move to pay-per view coverage diminishes its potential to attract new viewers:

I was never really interested in motorsports on television, but loved racing games. I remember in 2008 I was playing the F1 game on the PlayStation 3 and got more into it. It was Spa 2008 that made me feel in love with the sport. I was just searching the TV for something to watch and I stopped at F1. The race entertained me, and I’ve missed only two races since.

The thing is, I watched it accidentally, I wasn’t planning to. It was just because nothing else was on. Today, you are unable to get into the sport without a subscription, so no new crowd will be reached. And I think that’s what F1 needs, a new crowd.

But no one buys a subscription for something they might be interested in. And since it’s impossible to find any footage on YouTube too, you won’t reach anyone but people who are fans of the sport already. And that group of fans is sinking, at least I get the impression it is. They are killing the sport by making it too inaccessible.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Peter Dixon and Jonny705!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The funeral of Roland Ratzenberger was held on this day in 1994, two days after Ayrton Senna’s. Among those to attend were Gerhard Berger and Johnny Herbert, both of which had also attended Senna’s funeral, and FIA president Max Mosley.

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, IndyCar/Chris Owens

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  • 43 comments on “Raikkonen will be back to his best soon – Ferrari”

    1. Renault claimed to have made up 40bhp in China too… and they were still way off Mercedes!

      1. Yet Ferrari are the ones geared 20 kph short of the other engines..

      2. What is interesting is how Renault is slowly using more power from the engine, partly because of new software but mainly from reliability upgrades.

        Why? In the first couple of races they ran maybe at around 80% because they weren’t sure the engine would last more than one or two events (in some cases they didn’t), but now with the allowed updates on reliability, engineers stop restricting the power output and it seems like they magically found more bhp but they’re just getting closer to what the engine was designed to do in the first place… something that Mercedes managed by to do since Australia.

      3. Lotus has talked up Renault’s upgrade for Spain before, I’m hoping they manage to meet their expectations.

        I want to see Dan and Seb with equipment to challenge Lewis and Nico and let’s hope Ferrari makes further progress and things get more interesting at the front.

      4. Renault has already modified the turbo and the lubrication circuit under the permission of the FIA. Ferrari modified the engine mapping and Shell has brought a new aggressive fuel

    2. “James Allison expects Kimi Raikkonen will be operating at his best again very soon.”

      Oh, quit making excuses! We all know these new cars are showing everyone that Raikkonen is just an average driver… who had… superior…

      Wait. I thought that said Vettel. Sorry Kimmi! I’ll leave you alone now – you know what you’re doing.

      1. Do you believe that Raikkonen had the best car in 2003 when he came within 2 points of winning the WDC, with the same car which finished 3rd in the WCC and only won two races?

        I’m not a Kimi fan, but even I can see that he’s clearly not driving at his best. He is not as good as Alonso as a driver, and I do find myself laughing at everyone who claimed that he would “scare/beat Alonso out of Ferrari” before the season started; but driver form is not consistent throughout a career.

        1. Do you believe 2003 happened over a decade ago?

          I felt Raikkonen could back fire, since he was a bit slower than Grosjean by the end of 2013.

          1. Kimi is one of the best drivers out there. He’s stuck with the car were mechanical parts and aerodynamics are not enjoying a happy marriage. James is a true specialist to mend that. However, he came to late to Scuderia to do anything but to patch shortcomings in design approach. I wonder if the shape of the nose is an attempt to limit the damage this year. Fernando is in much better position ’cause he’s living with the concept for couple of seasons, he’s used to it, Kimmi isn’t. My prediction is: circuits with high speed corner shall yield with smaller difference in driver’s performance; in Monaco and Budapest it should be huge. Maybe I’m wrong but time will tell.
            Ferrari was faster on straight in Shanghai thanks to efforts from Shell.

          2. @austus

            Do you believe 2003 happened over a decade ago?

            Yes, which is why I said that;

            I’m not a Kimi fan, but even I can see that he’s clearly not driving at his best. He is not as good as Alonso as a driver, and I do find myself laughing at everyone who claimed that he would “scare/beat Alonso out of Ferrari” before the season started; but driver form is not consistent throughout a career.

            1. In my bokk, Kimi is just slightly better than Jenson Button.

            2. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend)
              7th May 2014, 9:40

              “In My book kiminis just slightly verter than jenson button.”


            3. @jcost

              In my bokk, Kimi is just slightly better than Jenson Button.

              Which would potentially make him 3rd-best on the grid, behind Alo and Vet. Could be true. However, Jenson, Ham, Hülk, maybe Ric (if he stays at his current form) are in there for 3rd, too.

        2. but driver form is not consistent throughout a career

          Or through a season, particularly when said driver has just swapped teams.

          1. @crammond
            lol at you having Jenson ahead of Hamilton haha. Basically suprised i gave you courtesy of a reply.

    3. Right on Ricciardo! Finally someone who gets the fact that it’s the team that employs and pays the drivers. As much as they want to race, it’s simply disrespectful to clearly go against your bosses wishes. Professional sportsman or not.

      1. You have to excuse Vettel. His team mates in recent years usually thought team orders were wrong and made very sure to show him every time he was on track.

        I would be careful with all the praise Ricciardo gets for this, as he has yet to be in the situation to let a team mate through when it counts for something.

    4. A brazilian newspaper announced that the Russian GP could be droped because of all the situation going on in the Ukraine. Does anyone now anything more about this?

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        7th May 2014, 2:41

        Heard speculation about it… suppose it’ll come down to whether the sanctions affect the money and sponsors rather than anything relating to conscience.

        1. But Bernie and Vlad are BFF, dontcha know?

      2. I will be bitterly ashamed if they go to Russia in this situation.

        1. Was Bahrain not enough for you? The hypocrisy stinks.

          1. Bahrain? Merely a grain of sand in the dessert compared to this.

            1. Who you? David Cameron in disguise backing up his tyrant in the desert who massacred his own people with his own troops and Saudi troops. blatant hypocrisy. I personally cant wait for Sochi GP.. the track looks stunning.

      3. I would be surprised if they did. Bernie’s answer to racing in Bahrain was that F1 doesn’t get involved with politics, whether we like or not.

    5. Interesting observations in the COTD. Here in the US, F1 coverage was on the Speed channel for many years, and is now ‘aired’ by the NBC Sports Network. Both of these channels (Speed has since morphed into Fox Sports, which still carries live MotoGP) are typically included in most basic cable or satellite plans, which many households already subscribe to. I’d guess that, as suggested in the COTD, a majority of basic plan subscribers (maybe even me) wouldn’t be inclined to pay even more just to watch F1. As I already spend in the neighborhood of $900 a year for my cable TV hookup, I’m glad that my F1 coverage (even though riddled with commercial breaks) is included. I have, btw, begun to supplement my race viewing with a free live stream from the Sky presenters. Wonder how long that will last?

      1. I can’t speak for “most basic cable or satellite plans.” But for the ones on offer near me, it is not in the most basic cable option, nor the next tier (which most people would probably consider basic, i.e. 65 channels). It’s often now either in a third tier or in a special sports-related pack. All of which carry a considerable premium in price.

        1. BJ (@beejis60)
          7th May 2014, 4:25

          I can also agree that in the US where I am (New York), you have to buy a special addendum to your basic cable to get the NBC sports network channel… I believe only the USGP, Brazil, and Monaco were the only times the GP was on the “free” NBC channel but those were riddled with commercials despite ‘nonstop’ coverage.

          I just find a nice stream on the internet who is broadcasting Sky and have been doing so for years.

      2. Where I live you need to pay at least 30 USD to watch F1 and it’s aired in a multi-sport channel so you don’t buy for F1 only. Plus you get BBC comments.

        I pay to watch pretty much every top sport league/series, and that’s where future is leading us folks.

    6. Did Kirby consider at all when he wrote that article that outside of Penske, Ganassi and Andretti, most of the teams are fighting on a shoestring budget comparatively? In today’s financial situation, Indy Car would simply walk down the path F1 is heading toward: spending itself to death. I, too, would love to return to the old days where it’s run what ya brung and the engineers were battling as hard as the drivers. But American open wheels is simply trying to remain affordable at this point and try to imagine teams who are scraping by in a spec series attempting not to get left behind in the development wars. The reverse if what Kirby is asking for would happen: only a few teams would remain as it gets more and more costly to be competitive. All he has to do is look at F1 not having a field bigger than 24 cars in over 2 decades. Sadly, you can not turn back the clock. What once was will never be recreated.

    7. maarten.f1 (@)
      7th May 2014, 6:14

      @keithcollantine Reading that tweet about Dickie Stanford made me wonder about Martin Whitmarsh. I might’ve completely missed it, but is there any news about what he’s been up to lately? I had kind of expected him to get a different role at McLaren.

      1. According to my brief Google search the Daily Mail have been writing about his ‘severance pay’ situation. I don’t read the Daily Mail so, reading between the lines, he isn’t allowed to talk to the media, and, with so much $$$ at stake, there could be lawyers on both sides making the negotiations drag out.
        There was a mooted move to Lotus at the start of the season, that has not happened, so he is probably just quietly extricating himself from McLaren, probably to never work in F1 again.
        Personally I liked him a lot, maybe he wasn’t up to Ron’s expectations regarding the running of the show, however, out of all the team principals, he had a lot of time for the media and I miss him not being interviewed by Eddie Jordan et al.

        1. BJ (@beejis60)
          7th May 2014, 14:20

          @pjsqueak Wonder if Haas is trying to look at him and/or Stefano. Would be a serious coup to get one or both of those guys to come to Haas.

          1. @BJ It will be interesting to see how all-American Haas turns out to be.

            Haas has the engineering skills, albeit untested in F1, the race team management experience, the ability to go out there and get sponsors and I presume they have provisionally sorted out an engine deal.

            Therefore, do they really need anything from F1?

            Clearly they cannot afford to be completely clueless about how their rivals do things, therefore Martin or Stefano could help them in that aspect, however, there is a lot to be said for a clean sheet, original thinking and not being a transplant of bits and pieces from European teams.

            One thing, if Martin or Stefano wanted a day job far from F1, there must be lots of people that like them and would employ them without any hesitation. I would if I ran an engineering company or any other type of team structured company.

            However, there are some careers where you get spat out to never get back into it again. I think that this is the reality of the situation with a lot of people in F1, drivers included.

    8. He said his trip was focused on visiting some of the route used by the historic Mille Miglia race across Italy “and as many vineyards as possible”.

      That’s my idea of a holiday. Not sure Ferrari would let me have a go in a LaFerrari on the way though… ;)

    9. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Ross Brawn in red next year …

      1. Is red the fashion among anglers? :-P

    10. Well, if I was a high profile figure in a Ferrari and Ross Brawn comes for a visit as a tourist, I would surely talk about returning to Ferrati. One has to be stupid not to do it.

    11. Ben (@scuderia29)
      7th May 2014, 13:57

      you have to wonder whether Raikkonen is genuinely struggling or if he’s just being outclassed by Alonso, already ive wondered whether Massa was really all that bad in the last hand full of seasons, i can’t imagine raikkonen is doing any better this year than massa would have done in the same car had ferrari not dropped him. I do hope Raikkonen picks up, im just not positive that he can, we’ll have to wait and see

      1. My thoughts exactly regarding Massa. It’s speculation but I doubt he’d be doing any worse than Raikkonen. Raikkonen has been off form since after the Korean Grand Prix last year where Grosjean got the upper hand on him. He really does have to lift his game unless there will be egg on Ferrari’s face for signing him, and questions over his future with the team already. It looked like a mistake from the outset as Hulkenberg was also available, but there is time for Raikkonen to improve his form. We’ll just have to wait and see how he copes.

        1. The thing is Ferrari signed Kimi in August around the Belgian Grand Prix when he’d been consistent all year (in admittedly a car that I think Alonso or Hamilton would probably have won multiple races in) and looked the best bet whereas Hulkenburg hadn’t really stood out much all season.

          Thereafter, Kimi got spanked by Grosjean and Hulkenburg put in some monster performances when Sauber raised their game.

          Regarding Massa, of I was to “speculate”… yes, he would probably be qualifying better than Kimi but falling back/making contact more in the races but ultimately yeah he’d probably have the same tally of points!

      2. @scuderia 29
        Sure he is being outclassed he was outclassed by someone Alo ate for dinner at Rnault. Gro was well on top in 2nd half of season. Before anyone says Gro was a rookie well so was Hamilton. For Gro to beat Alo and Ham last year and Rai and be threat to Red Bull, check Suzuka race then it really proves how good Lotus car was.

        What annoys me alot though is Alo fans who now use this and say Alo is now a god i mean Massa faired very well agains Raikonnen in 07,08 and 09 and Massa clearly got worst even now at Williams Massa is bad people were aying he is back lol but he beats his teammate in qually and always goes backwards he is just slow. So im not haveing a pop at Alo but we no he is good this dont make hi far better because he is beating Kimi lol

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