Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Raikkonen admits error which cost him pole was “painful”

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen said the error which potentially cost him pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was a “painful” mistake.

The Ferrari driver had set the two quickest final sector times before skidding at the exit of the final significant corner on the Baku track. The mistake left him in sixth place.

Raikkonen said he “took it a bit easier on the entry” and didn’t think rear tyre wear contributed to his mistake. “Obviously it’s been a bit tricky with the wind all day,” he said. “I just got sideways, I got it back, but obviously at that point already I knew it was gone because it’s all flat out and long straights.”

He suspect the lap would have been quick enough for pole position had it not been for his error. “The lap was good, for sure was fast enough,” he said. “When you makes mistakes this is what happens. It came easily but the end result is definitely not what I wanted.”

Raikkonen has had a series of frustrations in qualifying this year having come close to pole position at each of the previous races before this one.

“I can only look in the mirror and deal with it and go forward,” he said. “I know that the speed is there but obviously it’s frustrating when we are fast and you don’t get the result that you want. It’s much easier when you know that we have the speed and you know roughly where the speed takes you.

“Today I was pretty easily taking care of it in the last corners and then having that mistake is more painful. It’s not the first time unfortunately and I doubt it’s the last time. It’s just one of those days.”

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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 “Raikkonen admits error which cost him pole was “painful””

  1. Kimi, thanks very much for so many years of great driving but now, please, go home…

    1. Why? He’s still driving wonderfully. Why are people pretending like one mistake signals the end of a career? Verstappen made a worse one in qualifying weeks ago… Should he be told to go home too?

  2. It was painful to watch too

  3. Kimi – you’ll be forgiven if you can pressure and overtake the Red Bulls with your stickier tyres. At least one of them, if not both.

    1. Maybe he can take Bottas out as a reversed reprise from last year. ( Or Bottas Vettel.. ;)

  4. At least the speed is there. At several points in the last 5 years I thought he was done and had given up.

    1. good point. his speed, even if it’s inconsistent, is very impressive, especially after his lacklustre seasons. it’s making me re-evaluate what kind of driver he is. right now it feels like vettel is great at squeezing the best out of his car and i think this is something he has got better at – he’s becoming more like an alonso-type driver who maximises what he has, but perhaps lacks that final nth degree of speed (in contrast to his early years). it’s not that surprising given how experienced he is now. by contrast, raikkonen has always needed the chips to fall his way, but when they do he is devastating.

      ultimately, i think you have schumacher-type drivers (all rounders who are also devastatingly fast by their strength is in making the best of it) and hakkinen-type drivers (devastatingly fast and unbeatable when it all comes together for them, but not consistent). that’s not to say a driver is always going to be that way – we’re seeing the evolution of, for example, ricciardo and grosjean.

  5. This was a terrible Saturday for Kimi. He’d already compromised his race in Q2, at least pole would have given him something to smile at. As things stand, unless he gets a mammoth start, he’ll pretty much be a non-feature tomorrow, given the fact that he has no supersofts for the race (he ruined his only set, I think), and starting on ultras means he’ll probably come out of his first pitstop in loads of traffic.
    I’m not sure if this holds up, but low-grip does seem to be a weakness for Kimi. I’m trying to recall if he’s ever excelled in such conditions, like green tracks, or wet conditions.

  6. I really do wonder what he is achieving by being in F1 at this stage of his career. He was once very competitive and a WDC. Now though he just seems mediocre and is basically blocking a top seat on the grid. He seems to have little pride in his position relative to Vettel.

    However if Ferrari are willing to indulge him and pay him handsomely for it, why wouldn’t he?

    1. He’s achieving a big salary

    2. The guy who has had 2nd on the grid in the first 3 races, threatened pole in three of the first four, looked generally quicker than his 4xWDC teammate all year but made a few more mistakes is “mediocre”?

      His performances this year definitely warrant “good”.

  7. The talent is there, but he seems to have lost the drive, the hunger to be top dog.

    Having said that, he’s looking leaner and fitter than I can remember. Maybe he’s putting in one last effort this year.

    1. Sonsofbeaches
      28th April 2018, 22:23

      If all that is from one interview, he’s more talkative too.

  8. Being a Ricciardo fan I was wanting him to get pole but when they realistically don’t have the one lap pace I was hoping Kimi would get it, so that was disappointing. He has certainly found something this year and I hope it continues and he grabs a win or two! If Ferrari let him race then he would be right up there so far.

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