Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

Raikkonen says “too many DNFs” cost him this year

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen said too many retirements compromised his and Ferrari’s championship bid this year.

“This year we have made a good step forward from last season,” he said, “but obviously we still have a few small things to improve.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017
Mexican Grand Prix in pictures
“I think that in this season we’ve had a good and solid car. Lately we’ve had some issues, but the speed has been there.”

“Obviously too many DNFs [did not finish] cost us a lot in the championship. For next year we have to minimise those issues, improve things and learn from this season.”

Raikkonen failed to finish in Spain and Singapore, where he was involved in first-lap crashes, and was pushed off the grid before the start in Malaysia with a power unit problem. The team later discovered it was the same fault which had sidelined Sebastian Vettel 24 hours earlier.

The 2007 world champion scored his sixth podium finish of the season with third place in yesterday’s race.

“After [the] difficulties in qualifying, third place is not too bad, but obviously it is not what we were looking for,” he said.

“The start was not too bad, but then I moved to the left and lost the tow. I found myself blocked and lost many places in the first two corners. Then I had to wait for the cars in front to stop, to be able to push and gain positions.”

“My car was a bit better than yesterday and we had decent speed. Once I was third, I could try to catch up, but I was too far from Valtteri [Bottas] and there was nothing I could really do. I focused on finishing the race and on keeping my position.”

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    24 comments on “Raikkonen says “too many DNFs” cost him this year”

    1. There are some days when I think he still has what it takes. But then too many others days he’s a few tenths off the pace, which means he too far away from Sebastian in the championship, which leads to the team favouring Vettel in races such as Monaco but especially Hungary. Still, he’s been unlucky not to snatch at least one win this season.

      1. @adrianmorse In qualifying this year he has often had the pace, but not the consistency, usually making a mistake or two in those final crucial laps to yet again end behind Vettel and Hamilton, and often behind Bottas and one or both of the Red Bulls. In the races he did often flounder – but, it isn’t quite clear how much of that is Ferrari’s inability to concentrate on getting both cars as far into the race as possible (though in the last half of the season that seemed to improve, or maybe Kimi just had the pace that it didn’t really matter how bad his strategy was?).

        1. Ferrari’s inability to concentrate on getting both cars as far into the race as possible… is more like a myth, probably created by those who aren’t Ferrari fans. I agree that there’s some feeling that sometimes Ferrari doesn’t care much about the 2nd car, especially when their favourite car (VET) is in 1st place, but it’s RAI who’s not delivering, he’s not somebody to rely on anymore. I mean, just try to create with RAI the “hammer time” effect. Won’t work. RAI simply doesn’t have it anymore, simple as that. So, there’s nothing much to ask from him. If he’s so good, why couldn’t keep up with BOT and VER yesterday?! What has the strategy imposed by the team to do with how fast RAI races the car? Nothing.

          1. @mg1982 I think, as you state above the myth stems from Ferrari’s habitual driver selection. They have no chance of winning a WCC until they get a second driver in that seat who is capable of winning races when their ‘first driver’ isn’t. I would place Raikonnen below the other five drivers in the top three teams, as you said in Mexico his race pace was embarrassing compared to Bottas and Verstappen.

            1. Didn’t say different. Just did not agree with bosyber, who said that RAI mediocre performance and number of points gained have mostly to do with Ferrari messing up his strategies. Yeah, sometimes Ferrari can mess up strategies, but it’s not the main issue for RAI mediocre classifications (given his car performances, of course).

    2. Let’s be honest, he finished 54 seconds behind VER yesterday.. in a Ferrari. Vettel, driving the same car, was just 16 seconds behind Raikkonen at the finish while having to make an extra pitstop to put on a new nose, and driving through traffic all race long.

      Kimi, I’m sorry to say, is waaay past his sell-by date.

      1. He will ne no more a world champion, but… How many drivers are able (and free from contract?) to jump in a Ferrari and prove themselves against Vettel and don’t crack under pressure?
        Already we saw how tough can be, think about Magnussen, Kvyat, Perez.
        Ocon is a Mercedes junior, Sainz still have a contract with Red Bull, Grosjean is not constant, the others already are in RB, Mercedes or Renault and Alonso will never return there. Vandoorne will have to prove himself in a more reliable car.
        I guess they’re waiting for Leclerc and the outcome of 2018 with many drivers free (Ricciardo, Bottas) to take Raikkonen’s seat.

      2. Kimi and Bottas are pretty nr2 drivers it seems. Kimi problem doesn’t care any more, bring Leclerc..

      3. When Schumacher instructed Vettel to build a team at SF around him, I am sure he told him of the importance of carefully selecting a number 2 driver that would never challenge his position as a number 1. Seb loves “Slow Kimi” as his teammate for dutifully carrying out whatever strategy benefits Seb. Good for Seb, but bad for F1.

        1. Slow Kimi on the podium, again. Slow Valteri on the podium, again.
          I think that they both deserve their drives next year.

          1. I don’t actually know where the evidence is that Bottas was slow for how capable his car was. We couldn’t compare him against Hamilton. But he was 35 seconds ahead of Kimi. Qualifying IMO showed that Red Bull were stronger than Mercedes here and Ferrari also looked about even. To me, it was Kimi who was poor and slow this weekend, not Bottas. Considering Mercedes knew they were not the strongest team, I don’t think they could have expected Bottas to do his job a lot better than he did.

          2. Hamilton and Vettel both had to make an extra pit then drive through traffic compared to Bottas and Kimi.
            Specific to Kimi, the Ferrari was proven to be faster than the RB as shown by Vettel during qualifying and fastest lap during the race.

            I’m quite sure that if it was Kimi and Bottas who collided in lap 1 instead of Hamilton and Vettel, there would not have been a 20-second and 54-second gap respectively (and we would have gotten a more interesting race).

    3. To Quote Kimmy “who cares”

    4. Kimi’s big flaw is that he isn’t just aggressive enough. Although this time it wasn’t really fair comparison due to tyre situation, but what happened when Kimi was behind Perez and when Vettel was in the same situation, the difference of these two drivers were shown. And I’m not talking for only this race, it has happened in other races too. Italy vs. Stroll and China vs. Ricciardo are notable examples.

    5. He’s had two DNFs (or three if you include Bakoo) and a DNS. Ricciardo in the slower Red Bull is still ahead of him despite five DNFs, so this story doesn’t really add up.

    6. DNF and a general lack of pace more often than not. And not just compared to Seb, also against cars which are less capable.

    7. I think too many people say drivers such as Massa, Kimi and several others shouldn’t be in F1. For someone like Kimi, if Ferrari think he’s good enough, then they will keep him, which they have. I personally don’t think he’s really good enough for this team, but he really could be really useful to lower teams. Like Massa went from Ferrari to Williams. Massa IMO has done a very decent job since his move to Williams. I thought that his performance had dropped near the end of 2016 but he seems to have been significently better this season. I still think he’s the best option for Williams next year. And after that, since they are now saying Kvyat could be a possibility, I think he’d be the next best choice. Just because he’s had several years of recent experience as well as a year in a top team. He’s still young and his pace could easily turn around. But from his performance over the last few years, I don’t think he’s better than Massa.

    8. Actually, Raikkonen also retired in Baku. Twice ;)
      But he completed enough of the race distance (46 laps out of 51) to be classified as 14th in the final result.

      After the initial contact with Bottas and running over the debris of the fight between the Force Indias, he had to retire because of the damage sustained. During the red flag period that took place later on, his car was repaired and he was returned to the track when the race resumed (that’s when the infamous incident with the missing steering wheel occurred ;P)

      But since he ended one lap down after receiving a drive through as a penalty because his mechanics fixed the car in a place where it was not allowed, and an oil leak was detected, Ferrari decided to retire the car.

      So three DNFs for Kimi this year: Spain, Baku & Singapore, and one DNS: Malaysia.

      1. @adhyra Just to clarify on Azerbaijan although Raikkonen wasn’t running at the end he was classified in 14th place as he’d covered enough of the race distance.

    9. One who fights for the championship should not have a lot of non-podium finishes.
      Verstappen had 7 non-podium finishes.
      Hamilton and Bottas had 6.
      Vettel only 5.
      Ricciardo just 4.

      Räikkönen had 9.
      He only had 6 podium finishes; twice 2nd and 4 times 3rd. The only of the top team drivers to not score a win.

    10. I think Kimi has been around a season too long. I was really hoping that Ferrari would replace him for next season but I did not really realise that most, if not all of the possible replacements were still under contract.

      The point is that Ferrari are going to really struggle to win the constructors championship with Kimi as a second driver unless their car happens to be far superior. Maybe this does not matter to them and maybe they are more concerned with winning the driver’s championship with Vettel. However, I really hope that Ferrari get someone new in for the 2019 just to spice the whole thing up a bit.

      If they don’t win anything again next year I expect the pressure really will be on them to bring in a replacement in 2019 regardless of what Vettel’s opinion is.

    11. Call me a fool but I’m optimistic of next year for Kimi to win again.

    12. I thik Kimi will win this season now that Vettel is out of contention for a WC. Also Ricciardo is n 4 in champinship with 2 races to go.. Vettel owes a few favors to Kimi this year, and yes Kimi was on hold in Mexico, had Vettel a chance to earn enough points and stay in the race for WC!. Don uderestimate him yet, he has some puff in him. I reckon he with DNFs he has lost at least about 60-70 points, which would have put him like 3rd in championship…

    13. Kimi is not in the same league as Vettel. He is after Vettel in qualifying, overtaking, defending and free air race pace. Even though Kimi achieves some podiums, he do not excite anyone excepts Finns and children.

      Ferrari should hire a second driver, that will take the limelight AND star results from Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso next year. It will never happen with Kimi.

      There are two options: Ricciardo and Magnussen. Ocon and Sainz is the unlikely alternatives, since they are on contract with Mercedes and Red Bull. And Ocon and Sainz are not better anyway. If Vettel will compete with Ricciardo again, it is the most obvious solution.

      But Magnussen is cheap and can never deliver worse than Kimi. At the same time, there is a chance, that he can perform fantastic in a red Ferrari.

      Let’s talk after the next two races.

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