“Boring” race was dominated by fuel-saving, says Raikkonen

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen was unhappy with his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, describing it as “boring” and dominated by a need to save fuel.

“Today my car felt pretty good most of the time but to be honest my race was boring,” he said. “I was fuel saving for most of the time.”

Start, Yas Marina, 2017
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures
“In my view this has nothing to do with racing, but rules are rules. There’s nothing you can do, you keep lifting halfway through the straights, 200 meters before the braking point and the guy behind has to do the same.”

“It’s painful not able to push your car when you have the potential to do it. It looks close, but it’s not a fight.”

Raikkonen finished the race with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull less than a second away. “I held Verstappen behind me and at the same time I was saving enough fuel to be legal,” he said.

“In some race tracks you have to do it more than in others and it’s not very exciting.”

The result lifted Raikkonen to fourth place in the drivers’ championship ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who retired, but the Ferrari driver believed more was possible in 2017.

“Overall this year we would have liked to do a lot better, as we had a pretty strong package,” he said. “We just need to fix and minimise all the issues.”

“Next year, it will be a different story with a different car, and we’ll start from zero. We want to improve in all areas and go faster.”

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    14 comments on ““Boring” race was dominated by fuel-saving, says Raikkonen”

    1. And his team mate didn’t have to save fuel during the race? Kimi finished almost 30 seconds behind Vettel, with the best lap that was 1.6 second slower than Seb’s. Vettel dipped into 41s 10 times, Kimi not even once, with 42.3 as his best effort.

      It’s always excuses, excuses and excuses with Kimi. What’s his excuse for finishing only 5 points ahead of Ricciardo, with much faster and more reliable car (4 DNFs to Ricciardo’s 6)? What’s the excuse for standing on the podium only 7 times, with 13 podiums for Vettel and 9 for Danny? What’s the excuse for not winning a single race (since 2013!), while Vettel had 5, Verstappen 2 and Ricciardo 1 victories in 2017?

      I know Ferrari don’t care about their position in constructors championship, but still, it’s a joke this guy gets re-signed every year, just to play as a second fiddle to Vettel and sell merchandise.

      1. Look at the points table. 5 points from Ricciardo. And no, sell merchandise? I have been to 3 races and never bought from Ferrari or Kimi.

        1. @krichelle

          Look at the points table. 5 points from Ricciardo

          Yeah, that’s what I said? Only 5 points ahead in much faster and more reliable car.

          And no, sell merchandise? I have been to 3 races and never bought from Ferrari or Kimi.

          OK? And how that does change the fact that Kimi is unfathomably popular? Voted as the 2nd most popular Ferrari driver ever in F1Racing poll, cheered by everyone the moment he appears. He certainly isn’t retained by Ferrari because of his results, becuase if Bottas can finish in first year at Mercedes closer to Hamilton than Raikkonen to Vettel, what real reason Ferrari have? Bottas in previous years was rated in the same group as Perez, Hulkenberg or Sainz, so you have to suspect these guys (plus Ocon) would do at least equally mediocre job in Ferrari as Kimi in his second stint for Prancing Horse. But of course they wouldn’t want to be lap dogs for Vettel and they don’t have even fraction of Kimi’s popularity.

          1. I think for ferrari kimi has some good qualities. First of all kimi is not political. He doesn’t stir the pot inside the team, doesn’t cause issues and doesn’t throw tantrums. Doesn’t thrash talk ferrari when he steps out of the cockpit, doesn’t complain about gp2 engines while driving. Ferrari being extremely political surely makes this important. Compare that to alonso who is clearly faster but tends to bring drama with him where ever he goes. Allegedly kimi also provides good feedback about the car and is not a primadonna to work with. He also has tons of experience in f1 and at ferrari.

            Kimi is also good 2nd driver to vettel. Anybody who goes to ferrari is going to be clear number 2 driver so getting a better replacement is not just getting a better driver than kimi. You’d need to get a better driver than kimi and get him to drive as 2nd driver at ferrari. This year every time ferrari had a chance they put vettel ahead of kimi in race strategy. Just look how many times ferrari just left kimi out whereas vettel always got the optimum strategy. It is impossible finish much higher when your job is to be rear gunner for vettel.

            Kimi is also very popular which helps with advertisers. And most importantly ferrari doesn’t need a faster driver. They need faster car so vettel can win. Ferrari knows they are not going to win constructor’s championship against mercedes. And they know they’ll easily finish ahead red bull. It is going to be mercedes-ferrari-red bull as long as this engine regulation continues. But the driver’s p1 is for grabs.

      2. @armchairexpert

        Probably best to look at Sebs wins or podiums and see which of those where supported by Kimi either allowing Seb past or slowing other cars down. Ferrari drivers acting as a team to ensure 1 driver attain a maximum points, or other teams drivers being more individual attaining the best each can. Of course Hamilton returned a spot to Bottas earlier this year and likely permitted the fin to win this race. Will be interesting to see who’s on top next year.

    2. Fuel-saving has really been noticeable on few circuits only, but on most of them, it really isn’t too big a problem.

      1. Indeed, this track reminded us of extreme fuel saving. This weekend, at least on the Ferrari’s it was blatant, the top speed charts and the on screen graphics made it look like the Ferrari either underfuelled, ran low on power or were suffering from high fuel consumption, maybe they were used to burn more oil.

    3. I’m guessing he was short fueled to try to jump ricciardo on the undercut and then hold a gap, seeing as he would not be aiming to beat vettel. but either they over did it massively or he just was slow. Between him and stroll, least impressive drive of the race.

      1. @dmw – that sounds like a reasonable explanation for his pace deficit to Vettel.

        If not for Ricciardo’s retirement today, Kimi would be 5th in the drivers’ championship. Kimi got lucky today.

    4. Fuelk lsaving has it’s place in racing imho, but it shouldn’t be default. It should be a strategic choice.

      But nowadays F1 is all about saving….. saving the engine, saving the tyres, saving fuel, saving the sport…..

      I’d like to see the return of flat out racing

      1. @anunaki F1 has never really been 100% flat-out racing all the time without any saving to any extent, not even during the refuelling-era.

        1. @jerejj I know that, but it seems like the saving used to be because of stategy instead of regulations.

    5. Argh. I still hold out hope for Kimi in 2018. At least 2012-13 form for him can make him look respectable and fight for the title. Alas.

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