Start, Hungaroring, 2018

Raikkonen says he needs to make better starts

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen admits he needs to improve his starts after losing a place again at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver has lost at least one place on the first lap of seven of the 12 Formula 1 races so far this year.

He described his getaway yesterday as “far from ideal” after dropping to fourth behind team mate Sebastian Vettel. “I think we need to improve those a bit to give us a bit more.”

Ferrari’s rivals Mercedes have been wary of their performance at the start in recent races. Lewis Hamilton believes they have made start performance a focus of their development.

“The Ferraris have been very very good on their starts,” he said. “They have been for years.”

“When they’re doing development, it’s obviously some sort of priority for them because obviously there’s room to gain.” he added.

Raikkonen recovered to third in the race after Valtteri Bottas ran into problems with his tyres in the final laps. But he admitted he was unhappy with the result.

“We catch up with Bottas after the first stop but there was not chance to overtake at that point, so our option was to stop again and try again and at least we got one place back. Far from ideal.”

“The end result doesn’t really feel like a happy finish,” he added. “As a team we scored decent points and I think we have a few things to improve and I’m sure we have all the speed to be higher up – but we need to tidy up a few things.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 25 comments on “Raikkonen says he needs to make better starts”

    1. The Ferrari driver has lost at least one place on the first lap of seven of the 12 Formula 1 races so far this year.

      And then

      Lewis Hamilton believes they have made start performance a focus of their development.

      “The Ferraris have been very very good on their starts,” he said. “They have been for years.”

      I’m wondering what the telemetry says about the difference between the starts of Kimi and Seb. There hasn’t been launch control for years now, so it really looks like Kimi is doing something rather wrong.

      1. @warheart I’d weight Hamilton’s words, he always has his version of the truth. From my point of view, this year Ferrari starts are among the bests if not the best. They are above Mercedes usually. Kimi is just a little worse than Seb, but overall quite good. But I’m talking about the first 50 meters. Where Kimi often fails is from those 50 meters to the next 2-3 turns.

        1. Kimi’s starts have been good, but it’s almost like he’s braking a bit earlier than he probably could.

          Then again, how many first corner incidents was he involved in last year, either as an instigator or an innocent party? In those circumstances, a bit of warniess is maybe understandable.

        2. @m-bagattini

          I’d weight Hamilton’s words, he always has his version of the truth. From my point of view, this year Ferrari starts are among the bests if not the best. They are above Mercedes usually. Kimi is just a little worse than Seb, but overall quite good.

          Which is precisely what Hamilton said, right? “The Ferraris have been very very good on their starts.” Ferraris. Plural. Seb and Kimi. Very very good.

          1. @david-br You missed “for YEARS”

            1. And? They haven’t been good for years? On and off, it’s been a weakness for Mercedes/Hamilton for some years, previously more Hamilton than Rosberg in fact. I agree with your assessment of Raikkonen’s weak point being on the first few corners after the start, but I don’t think Hamilton is talking about anything but the start and first corner.

    2. Kimi left he door wide open for Vettel at the race start, good No2 you are Kimi SMH

      1. Looked like an orchestrated overtake for Vettel. I don’t understand why Kimi would tuck in behind Bottas on the inside instead of taking the wider line in to turn.

        1. I’m pretty sure Ferrari prefers to see RAI win the race and VET 3rd, rather than VET 2nd and RAI 3rd. Given their starting positions and the tyres equipped, almost sure they did not believe VET would manage to pass any of the Mercedes cars at the start… even if RAI would have let him through. Being right behind them and equipped with Ultras, makes a lot of sense that RAI was the one meant to try split the Mercedes cars. Also, it didn’t make much sense to let VET through, I mean with what tyres was he supposed to overtake BOT? With fresh Softs against fresh Ultras? Another thing, why risk being boooed again for tactics when RAI was supposed to pit earlier than VET anyway and BOT kept them both at bay?! Obviously the surprise plan with VET was prepared for the last 20 laps, to storm the track with Ultras while the rest was struggling with much older and slower tyres, the way RBR did in the previous years. Did not work out…

          1. This was the first error. Having the car on softs start the chase was stupid. You have the faster car so why handicap yourselves from the beginning and just let the Mercedes manage themselves and extend the stint? Even Hamilton found this an amazing good fortune.

      2. Vettel went around the outside of Kimi, we have seen a lot of drivers overtake there, Ricciardo did it there against Hamilton last year.

    3. So, indirectly he reckons he underperforms. Ferrari gave him the chance to perform and come ahead of VET: they put him on Ultras at the start, giving him the chance to split the Mercedes, then keep up with HAM and maybe even take the win. He had some good chances to do so. Not only he failed, but lost another position. Some still have the guts to claim he’s performing, but it’s his team undoing all his progress.

      1. @mg1982

        Ferrari gave him the chance to perform and come ahead of VET: they put him on Ultras at the start, giving him the chance to split the Mercedes, then keep up with HAM and maybe even take the win.

        Sure.. keep telling yourself that. Kimi let Vettel by at the start and then was just used as a pawn to get Bottas to pit early. Heck, after Bottas made contact with Vettel, Kimi could easily have overtaken Vettel, but instead he stepped off the throttle and let Seb keep his position.

        1. Hmm, I thought this site is something serious…

          1. @mg1982
            The poster dislikes Vettel a lot, and you can tell from his avatar why.
            He was not worried that Mercedes used Bottas to deprive us of a good race or the fact Kimi didn’t get one of the Mercs.

        2. Kimi let Vettel through? Oh come off it. After that, yes he was pitted early to try and force Bottas’ hand, but no way was that an orchestrated move at the start.

          1. Kimi should have been let through again. The strategy was for Kimi to pressure MB into a two stop while vettel lied in wait on the softs. But then after turn two they were like, never mind.

            1. Yeah.. Essemtially Vet started better on slower tires. Indtead of Kimi taking on Bottas his race was ruined by first two corners.

              If Kimi got by Bottas, they would have had a chance to pressure Hamilton.. Instead they were toying with Wingman.

            2. No point as his advantage was at the start and he let down.

    4. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
      30th July 2018, 16:27

      And Croft doesn’t stop banging on about it.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        30th July 2018, 16:55

        Think he just has a thing for long streaks, once he’s aware of one he doesn’t drop it, ever, until it ends…

    5. I guess Kimi is telling us what Ferrari told him.

    6. KR: “You forgot to connect the drink”
      Eng: “You will not have the drink”

    7. Raikkonen’s start was fine. The mistake he made was to choose the outside of Bottas in turn 1 when the inside made much more sense. And then he just let Vettel past while he got himself boxed in behind Bottas for a second time.

      But then I guess he includes the first 3 or 4 corners (if not the whole of lap 1) as “the start”.

    8. Kimi is inconsistent on his starts, has some amazing ones this year, inc Austria, but I think his problems lie with his early braking for Turn 1

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