Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Problems in first two races not down to bad luck – Raikkonen

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen said the problems he suffered in the first two races of 2018 weren’t simply down to bad luck.

The Ferrari driver retired from the last race when his team released him from the pits too soon and one of his mechanics was knocked down. In Australia Raikkonen was running second early on but a Virtual Safety Car period helped team mate Sebastian Vettel jumped ahead of him.

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with the luck,” said Raikkonen when asked about his start to the season. “Maybe at the Safety Car you can argue it’s unlucky, but it happens, and it can happen to you.

“Obviously we had an issue in the last race that cost us. I don’t think it’s anything to do with luck. It’s purely things that we have to improve. It’s disappointing obviously to have that early in the season such a bad result.”

Raikkonen said it might have been possible to rejoin the race in Bahrain had the team been able to bring his car back and fit a replacement wheel for the one which had not been successfully changed. However the team also had to attend to mechanic Francesco Cigarini, who suffered a broken leg when he was struck by the Ferrari.

“They have to look, there are probably a lot of things that could’ve been done differently,” said Raikkonen. “But this is what happened, and we paid the price for it.”

“I think a lot of things are questionable,” he added.

“We are always trying to gain on everything, but unfortunately it was far from ideal, and the end result was one of our guys got hurt.

“But my only job is to follow the lights and go when it’s green. And when it goes green for, I don’t know, one second, I’m gone already, there’s nothing that you can do to turn back to red.”

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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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27 comments on “Problems in first two races not down to bad luck – Raikkonen”

  1. “Raikkonen said it might have been possible to rejoin the race in Australia had the team been able to bring his car back and fit a replacement wheel for the one which had not been successfully changed.”

    It happened in Bahrain, didn’t it?
    A serious injury to Francesco had to have a priority.

    1. Yeah. Quite insensitive from Kimi.

      1. Nothing insensitive, he is only speaking the truth. He’s saying because the team blundered a mechanic was hurt and his race was kaput. Kimi doesn’t use PR speak.

        1. Exactly, Islander. Francesco’s warm replies to Kimi and Minttu’s well wishes in Instagram say it all about who Kimi is as a person. The team is the one who has to answer for two botched pitstops with the resulting unsafe release of the same car in one race weekend that ended up in the injury of a team member.

        2. I don’t have a problem with this statement, but the way he spoke after the incident he just sounded angry about the problem and indifferent about a guy having had he leg broken in two different places. Even Sebastian expressed more regret and talk about how the day was bittersweet because of that. Kimi has some loyal fans who will defend anything he says because “he doesn’t do PR speak” or whatever. But I think most people know that Kimi has turned into an absolute a…hole the last few years. Nobody ever criticize Mika Hakkinen for giving short answers to reporters, or not being easy to interview. But Mika didn’t show contempt for the very media that helped make him famous. He is perpetually dissatisfied, can’t utter a single useful sentence about the race.

        3. As Kimi got out of his car and walked back to the pits, he only gave a brief look towards Francesco and just went off.

          1. ADUB SMALLBLOCK
            13th April 2018, 13:15

            The last thing the team needed was a driver getting in the way of emergency personnel. What was Kimi to do, pick the mechanic up and carry him to an ambulance? Get in the way of the ambulance or EMS personnel? At that point, the mechanic did not need Kimi coming over to say sorry, that could happen later.
            Kimi did exactly the right thing, though many people would do the wrong thing, and get in the way.

      2. ihavenoideawhatimtalkinabout
        13th April 2018, 10:37

        here we go again. insensitive what? he is a racer. nobody else stopped racing. im not going to call him cold and uncompassionate because he wants to get back into the race. STOP LOOKING AT EVERYTHING TO SUPERFICIALLY.

  2. “I think a lot of things are questionable,” he added.

    Is he using “questionable” in the normal English sense of “doubtful as regards truth or validity”? If so, I sense a bit of unhappiness in him. Which is a shame because this year he has appeared more “racy” than his previous years at Ferrari. I was watching one of the races from 2013 when I was surprised at how nicely he was racing the Lotus back then. So if his mind is going in that direction, I sense a retirement from F1 soon, tying in to his “I don’t care about the 2021 regulations” comment (to paraphrase it).

    Of course, this might just be a case of lost in translation where he just means that the team have to introspect and ask questions to understand why things went wrong before they fix it.

    1. You’ve got a point… He probably want’s to retire as a champion or use his performance to convince Ferrari to keep him for 2019…

      1. I don’t see why. I think Ferrari have proven over and over that they are willing to retain the mediocre Finnish even if he’s costing them WCC, by consistently contributing less than 40% (sometimes was less) of the points for the team, and not winning a single race even though both of his previous teammates not only won, but fought for championships in the same car.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th April 2018, 20:14

      @phylyp I just assumed he was reading my comments :-)

    3. Either way, if it is the first one he shows unhappiness with the result, which indicates that he still cares imo.

      If it is the second, it is his usual speech of “obviously there is always something to improve, so”

      1. That’s a nicely optimistic take @johnmilk

        LOL @freelittlebirds

    4. The way it’s reported, it seems to me a veiled criticism of Ferrari trying to find every micro-second of time or performance: I think a lot of things are questionable. We are always trying to gain on everything, but unfortunately it was far from ideal, and the end result was one of our guys got hurt.
      That echoes his insistence that it wasn’t bad luck – in other words, he seems to be implying that Ferrari are causing these problems themselves. It does seem surprisingly strong. Possibly also some irritation or rancour about the first race and the way Vettel came out ahead of him, again implying it wasn’t just bad luck. Though Vettel was definitely the better driver in Bahrain.

  3. There was a lot of things wrong with Ferrari operations last two races.

    Botched pitstops failed strategy,…

    It took safety car luck and Plan D to get two wins. Without luck and and Lewis having a bad day…

    Kimi is missing a lot of points despite being top 3 driver on pace. Certainly faster than bottas.

  4. And when it goes green for, I don’t know, one second, I’m gone already, there’s nothing that you can do to turn back to red.”

    And that is exactly why I think a lollipop man is a better choice in my opinion. It’s still far from perfect but you can lift the lollipop 10% or 20% of the way up and quickly slam it back down. The driver might perhaps lurch forward but they won’t continue driving like Kimi did – the lollipop would hit them in the head so they’d know something was wrong!

    The press of a button is instant – you go straight from 0% (red) to 100% (green). Once the lights go green, that’s it. When you are fighting over tenths of seconds, there isn’t the time to double check that everyone is clear!

    If they do want to keep the lights, they should have one of the guys on each corner of the car press a button to confirm their wheel has been attached before the light goes green. Simple.

    1. I think you indeed need a dedicated person for every corner, whose only job is to press and hold the button when that corner is done and safe for release. Once all buttons are held down, light goes green.

    2. The driver is only looking at the lollipop, fixated, ready to go at a fraction of a second. Like a sprinter waiting for the gun. As soon as that lollipop is moving up, he’s gone. At least gone enough to have the same result as they had on Bahrain. Kimi needed to move what… 50 cm to break that man’s leg?

      I don’t recall the exact situation/track/date, but I clearly remember a case where the lollipop man mistakenly lifted the lollipop and then tried stopping the driver by re-lowering the lollipop and smashing it on the driver’s face. Didn’t help.

      It all happens in a fraction of a second. Give the wrong signal to the driver to go, by whichever method, and he’s gone.

      1. @ironcito you’re probably right and the more i think about it, the more having a person on each corner responsible for their team of 3 makes sense. If they do that, this shouldn’t happen again.

  5. Everything indicates that this is Kimi’s last year in F1.

    1. Let’s hope so, it’s long overdue.

  6. People are quite touchy over Raikkonen’s response to the mechanics injury. The fact is, he’s not the kind of person to overflow with empathy and he also doesn’t care about faking it.

    He’s not a bad person who will harm others for his own benefit, he’s a very fair racer. But he clearly lacks empathy, that’s what he is, he’s not choosing to have none of ignoring what he has, so there’s no sense being judgemental about him for it.

    1. People should just accept that he is a.hole and not expect him to act differently. I agree. I also think Ferrari should muster the courage to get rid of him and replace him with an exciting talent.

    2. @philipgb @ajpennypacker I’m getting tired of his “being Kimi”. It’s funny from time to time when he’s in a press conference or over the radio. But, he treated Francesco like a minion, not a human. I understand the heat of the moment, anger and so on, but I can’t imagine any other current or past driver walking past a guy with a fractured leg – a leg he fractured, with or without intent – like he did. And in the following days, I never heard Kimi even pronouncing his name. This is well over being “cold”. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe he called and kept that for him.

      In a time when I was too young to watch F1, someone like Senna would have been one of the people transporting the stretcher.

      1. @m-bagattini

        Because Senna was fairly normal in terms of his emotions.

        Judging Raikkonen for his coldness is like judging a colourblind person for not seeing colour. I think he fundamentally lacks the emotions to be able to express them.

        He walked past the guy cool as a cucumber because what use is he to the situation? Medics were attending, and him standing around saying “oh this is sad, poor man” pragmatically does nothing to improve the situation, despite the fact it is how most normal people respond.

        Where I respect Raikkonen over a few other drivers with psychopath traits is his fairness. He doesn’t break rules or put others in danger to get ahead.

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