Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monza, 2018

The stats behind Raikkonen’s record-smashing fastest ever F1 lap

Lap Time Watch: 2018 Italian Grand Prix

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On September 11th, 2004, Juan Pablo Montoya scorched around the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in his Williams FW26 with its V10 BMW engine in one minute, 19.525 seconds.

His incredible average speed of 262.242kph stood as the fastest ever lap by a Formula 1 car in an official session for almost exactly 14 years. But today it finally fell, to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen, who was Montoya’s team mate at McLaren in 2005 and 2006, took 0.406 seconds off Montoya’s time and lowered the benchmark to 1’19.119. The record average speed now stands at 263.587kph.

Monza has been F1’s quickest track for decades and the circuit’s configuration hasn’t changed since 2001. Today’s cars are three seconds faster than they were then and almost five seconds quicker than when the current V6 hybrid turbo engine regulations were introduced:

The record could have been broken at Monza last year, but rain during qualifying meant we never got to see just how quick the 2017 cars really were at the track. As a result, the 2018 machines have gained more here than at every other track bar the resurfaced Circuit de Catalunya:

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Raikkonen was presented with his pole position award by Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-times F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

This is the eighth race weekend this year where Ferrari have set the outright fastest lap (assuming no one improves their qualifying lap time in the race, which would be highly unusual). That’s twice as many times as Mercedes, who have been quickest in four races. Red Bull set the fastest lap of the weekend once, in Monaco.

What’s the key to Ferrari’s success? Rival teams such as Mercedes have pointed to their power unit. On Friday the team’s technical director Mattia Binotto insisted no one element is responsible for the gains they have made.

“We are thinking about the car as a fully package,” he said, “and not try to split down in terms of different components or units because we are a team and what is running is not a power unit or a wing but a full car.”

But note which three teams made the most progress at F1’s most power-sensitive track and what do they all have in common? Ferrari power units…

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2018 Italian 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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34 comments on “The stats behind Raikkonen’s record-smashing fastest ever F1 lap”

  1. I guess 2018 will go down in history as the fastest year in history for the foreseeable future now due to the 2019 regs.

    1. Also, if the drivers had free use of DRS like they did in 2011 and 2012, we would probably have seen lap times 2-3 seconds quicker. That would make it around 5-6 seconds quicker than the 2011 cars.

      1. @mashiat I highly doubt that due to how relatively ineffective DRS is around this particular circuit due to its low-drag nature, and even if it did then definitely nowhere near 2-3 seconds. A couple of tenths at max.

        1. Teams would install a very aggressive wing if they knew they could turn it on and off a will, would act like an airbrake and crush this laptime.

  2. Mark in Florida
    1st September 2018, 16:15

    It hardly seems to be record smashing. It took 14 years, a turbo charger, ERS, MGUK ,energy deployment, satellite garages of engineers to accomplish what one v10 engine did with a good driver from an American racing series. They should have chopped at least a second and a half off the time to consider that it was smashed. Hyperbole.

    1. On the other hand the cars are some 100+kg heavier and use probably half as much fuel to achieve these lap times. Also Montoya may have come from Indycar, but he proved to be mighty fast and a very, very good grand prix driver. You don’t get to be a 7x race winner by chance I’d say.

      1. I think it’s more like around 150kg heavier..also, like you said the engine displacement and fuel efficiency, as well as technology level is just on a whole another dimension.
        Let’s not forget the lack of traction control and more restricted aero compared to 2007 cars.

      2. Also slick tyres now.

        1. But no tyre war, with a tyre war like in 2004, I think the lap times would be much quicker today!

      3. Who cares about fuel economy. V10 engine + full race fuel weighs less than hybrid engine + full race fuel.

        1. This is not true, the hybrid plus fuel is less than v10 or v8 plus fuel. The 2014 cars weighed less on the start grid than the 2013 cars, and that is with heavier tires.

    2. Mark in Florida…you do realize Juan Montoya ONLY went to Ganassi in CART because there was no space for him in F1 at the time…before that in was in European Formula 3000.
      From 1995 he raced in British Formula Vauxhall followed by British F3 in 1996.
      So since he got all of his single seater racing experience in Europe, and only went to CART because he has no other options, do you still considering him a driver from an American series?? Because they ONLY times he went to America were when he had zero F1 options. No option at Williams in 1999 and burnt all his bridges in F1 in 2006.

  3. 14 years! It took way too long to beat the outright record of the current layout of this circuit considering the improvements on more or less all areas from that era technology-wise, but better late than never.

  4. I would love to see a side by side on board camera view of these two quickest laps.

    1. @Johns @3dom I expect that to indeed happen and be uploaded to F1’s official YT-channel.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      1st September 2018, 20:03

      It has been uploaded to F1’s YouTube. You can see that Montoya was ahead for the first two sectors but Raikkonen got ahead just in the Ascari chicane.

  5. Montoya set that time in pre-qualifying, which in 2004 meant that the session merely determined the running order for real qualifying. Montoya’s time was today beaten by Vettel and Hamilton as well, but not by Bottas. So, these men are the five fastest in F1 history, followed by Pizzônia Satō, Button, Barrichello and Alonso, to round-up the top-ten. They all set the time in 2004, but only Barrichello in actual qualifying.

    1. Pizzonia set the fifth fastest ever F1 lap?! Well I never. My memory is hazy but was he standing in for Ralf Schumacher at Williams then? Surely, can’t have set that time in a Jaguar. I think Ralf was concussed from a heavy crash testing at Monza.

      1. Actually Ralf broke some vertebraes in Indy that year, I think Pizzonia stood in for that reason, or was it Marc Gene?

        1. Gene I remember it was in 2003, I remember seeing monza 2003 when schumacher won and was chased by montoya all the race, and a few places behind there was, unlike usual with ralf, gene.

          Not sure about 2004, might as well be pizzonia then.

  6. It just shows how much they slowed the cars down through the regulations @jerejj. 2004 cars were so much lighter too. Regardless, it’s great to see that they’re so quick

  7. Kimi had a tow from Vettel and maybe a double tow from Hamilton.

  8. The BMW V10 was a fantastic engine and if we had only had one tire supplier in those years Ferrari and Schumacher wouldn’t have dominated so much.

  9. Aah, JPM, Columbia’s most entertaining export, amazing that he was still in the record books after all this time.

  10. Michael Brown (@)
    1st September 2018, 20:12
    Side-by-side with Raikkonen and Montoya on the official F1 YouTube channel. Montoya was ahead until Ascari, then Raikkonen pulled ahead in that corner alone.

  11. Not a totally fair comparison, as Sauber was using a 2016 Ferrari engine in 2017

  12. Parabolica didn’t allow running wide in 2004, so I find it diffi

    1. cult to compare tbh.

  13. I like the old v10 cars, less weight, less grip, more edgy. Imagine the lap time montoya could have done with Drs and wide slick tyres on that awesome era car.

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