Raikkonen – “Impossible” to keep Hamilton behind with blistered tyres

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen says it was “impossible” for him to keep Lewis Hamilton from taking the lead of the Italian Grand Prix with his blistered rear tyres.

The Ferrari driver led the majority of the race from pole position but began to suffer from visually blistered rear tyres after stopping much earlier than Hamilton.

Raikkonen tried to keep the Mercedes behind but was ultimately overtaken into the first chicane with just under ten laps remaining and forced to settle for second.

“I think we were quick enough,” said Raikkonen after the race.

“Unfortunately our rear tyres went and it was no match. It was a losing battle from that point. I tried but it was impossible in the end unfortunately. It’s far from ideal, but this is what we’ve got today and we did our maximum.”

After leading from the start, Raikkonen lost the lead briefly at the restart on lap four but was able to immediately re-pass Hamilton into the Roggia Chicane. After a front row lock out for Ferrari was not converted into victory, Raikkonen says Ferrari will keep fighting over the remaining rounds.

“For sure we tried, but with the rear tyres it was game over before the race ended,” he says. “At least we took second place and we’ll keep fighting.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 37 comments on “Raikkonen – “Impossible” to keep Hamilton behind with blistered tyres”

    1. Ferrari shouldn’t have pitted him as early as they did. That’s what eventually proved decisive for the race win.

      1. Agreed. I really didn’t understand that decision. I assumed they would wait for Merc to pit Hamilton .

        1. They simply fell for the bogey change. Probably very afraid of the undercut.
          Btw twice.. slow learners it seems.

          Strangly enough HAM stayed out way to long and lost some valuable time ( approx 5 sec lost in the laps he stayed out)
          It was thanks to mercs second driver: BOT he was handed the win.

          1. Unfortunately RAI‘s teammate drove the first lap like it‘s the last lap of the championship.

            1. Raikonen is driving like headless chicken.
              He wants to prove to himself and to world that he deseves to stay in Ferrari and that he can win one od the remaining races.
              He should leave Ferrari finally and a new driver should be announced ASAP since many other teams cannot name their drivers.
              He does not know the way to win.
              He is not winner. But, he does not want to be a second driver.
              Is it fair that in the same competition Lewis has helper but Seb has enemy instead of helper?
              If Seb wins under these circumstances, he should be rightfully awarded with the golden crown of life.

          2. Hamilton pace is still better than Raikkonen’s for first few laps. Then there’s a report of some sprinkle of water start coming down so they expected rain coming.. which did not. After that Ricciardo engine blown and he stopped quite a distance from escape road, making a SC or VSC a possibility which also didn’t come in the end. Hamilton pit a bit late just because the circumstances might benefit him greatly if he waited a bit more, which ultimately none happened.

          3. Think the timing of Hamilton’s stop was correct. Raikkonnen pitted very early so Ham’s first stint tyres were still fine. After a couple of laps they realised they wouldn’t be able to get the gap, so they left him longer despite losing more time to Rai so they would have fresher tyres at the end of the race. The fresher tyres, coupled with Bottas holding Rai up for a few laps allowing Lewis to close in was what secured the victory in the end.

      2. I think nobody thought that if the SuperSofts held well for 20 laps, then the Softs won’t held for 33 laps. But you could be completely right, because they did not ran Softs enough in FPs to make a surething idea. Then, they made that mistake already this year by giving away the lead although the tyres still performed well enough. See Baku.

        1. Agreed. I think it’s odd not taking at least two of each of the two softer compounds because you at least need to know how they will work in the race. The rainy practice sessions might have clouded some of that when doing the race sims, but not running any race sim on the slower tire seems like a very avoidable oversight. Remember how many times commentators and teams said not much degradation this year? So much for that, but with testing they might have at least had an inkling.

    2. Well we said Ferrari would find a way to screw it up for Raikkonen and sure enough…

      1. What did they screw up? After HAM made his pit-stop, RAI ended up with a +4sec gain, so the gap was +5sec. RAI just better reckons he doesn’t have IT against the likes of HAM, VET, VER, RIC… and retire. HAM was obviously faster from the get-go.

        1. Ferrari screwed up by not ordering more than one set of Softs. So not testing Softs on practice sessions. Which led to overestimating durability of the Softs. Which led to pitting Kimi too soon. Dominoes.

        2. The pitstop. Too early. Keep up.

        3. Ferrari can’t see that.. mercedes have been using bottas the entire year yet they refuse to use kimi who cannot get away from the rest in a vettel style.. if I don’t start seeing team.orders in Singapore Im going to officially say the title is in Hamilton’s hand already

          1. I’d say the title is hamilton’s already with even reliability in the remainder of the season and with what we’ve seen so far, he’s just been superior to vettel overall this season.

            At that point just let raikkonen get a last win before he retires.

    3. I think the tyres this year are far too prone to blistering as it seems to be something that is happening almost every race now & I think it’s getting a bit silly.

      In the past you would see tyres blister on rare occasions but it was something that was frowned upon & which the tyre supplier/s would work to fix. Now we seem to see it every weekend (As well as graining) to the point where it’s almost more surprising when it doesn’t & I don’t think this is right.

      The tyres should allow drivers to push hard & race hard because I think that is what fans want to see. Tyres that start to blister, grain or fall to to bits as soon as a driver starts to push/race is the opposite of what we should have IMO & I am starting to grow a bit tired of it which is why i’m rather disappointed that it looks like there looking to continue this sort of trend (With High Degradtion tyres) beyond 2021.

      1. Hamilton was simply the better driver today. The End.

        1. I think Kimi was a close second though – sure, this was Hamilton in another one of a dozen vintage races but Kimi’s pass to take back the lead at the start of the race was amazing and he would have probably won had Mercedes not executed the strategy with Bottas.

          Kimi deserved a win today at Monza – it’s only that Hamilton deserved to win more than he did and did so in the end.

          1. Kimi proved that he cannot win if there is not his teammate to support him.
            Then, why do you blame Seb?
            He simply does not have anybody to support him like Bottas has been supporting LH all the time throughout all races.
            This does not mean that Seb is bad driver. Kimi caused collisin between Seb snd LH
            Even Kimi raised his head, but too high, since he is not able to perform in Ferrari style.
            He is praised for NOTHING.
            SEB is blamed when does not win but he does not have Bottas and FIA on his side. LH can kill him but FIA would mark it as legal action.
            Shame on all of temporary supporters of SV.
            Easily you forget his wins.

        2. @Nigel @@freelittlebirds I wasn’t talking so much about the race today, I was talking more generally over the season.

          I don’t really care who won or lost today, I had no horse in the fight.

          I just don’t think tyre blistering as frequently or as badly as they have this year should be looked at as something that is acceptable or normal. Heck up until this year it seems tyres blistering in this way was looked at as something that was a serious problem that wasn’t acceptable. If it happened once they would look to fix it, If it kept happening the tyre supplier would come under serious criticism & pressure to fix it & if they didn’t teams would (When tyre competition was allowed) switch to an alternative supplier.

          Let’s not forget that one of the reasons Pirelli were pushing for camber levels to be regulated was to prevent blistering which they themselves saw as potentially dangerous not that long ago.

      2. Only Ferrari had problems with the soft tyres. And that is only Ferraris fault. They didn’t take enough soft tyres and hadn’t even run them until today.

        1. Kimi went out on the softs, and cooked them in his first few laps. These tires need to be nurtured a bit until they’re worn down, and then you can start pushing. Kimi stopped too soon because he/Fer feared an undercut, and later on pushed too much because he feared the overcut from Lewis.
          Mercedes won 2nd on Vettel stupidity and 1st on strategy.
          But please stop praising Ham too much: he’s made his mediocre appearances too, and he’s under a lot less pressure.
          The Merc is a very close match to the Ferrari, so it can go either way

      3. Indeed, I strongly agree. I’m getting pretty sick of tires being so big a part of the discussion and the result each weekend. They were brought in to “spice things up”, but frankly they have become one of the most tedious elements of the series. This race was exciting, but because they were so close on track. Spa would have been more exciting but for Lewis’ tires going off and he couldn’t fight.

        Those of you banging on about who was better are so intent on your tribalism, you can’t seem to entertain any conversation but partisan ones.

    4. I think Kimi has always been a fantastic qualifier but unfortunately his racecraft on Sundays leaves much to be desired.

      1. I don’t think anyone can blame Kimi for today’s results. Ferrari had no idea how the Softs were going to perform.

      2. I’d say the exact opposite about Kimi. His patience and spatial awareness (most of the time) during races is by far his biggest strength with 100 podiums to his name now. Just in this race, the softs didn’t work for him.

      3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        2nd September 2018, 21:27

        Completely agree. His qualifying this year has been good (even if he uses messes up sector 3), he’s a lot closer to Seb.
        However, Seb’s race pace has been far superior even taking into account Kimi’s poor strategies. He would have won this race today if it wasn’t for petulance. He completely blew it this weekend.

    5. Let’s not forget the little bit of luck which Vettel had today, he had the safety car to pit, change tires and his damaged wing. If it weren’t for the safety he would have lost even more points. The racing Gods must be smiling.

      1. I wasn’t able to watch the race and have only read the write-ups online…
        So… what was the safety-car for…? Because it seems to me it was to allow VET a nicer pitstop…

        1. Hartley’s Toro Rosso was wrecked in the grass before the first chicane. SC was required.

          1. Many many thanks Reg – I didn’t see this mentioned anywhere… Maybe eyesight, or just age… lol

    6. Vettel keeps making silly mistakes and throwing away good results.

      I don’t see him being world champion unless he has a car at least half a second quicker than his opposition, Ferrari needs another top driver alongside him and Ric was their best option.

      Unfortunately Alonso lacked patience to wait for a competitive Ferrari, with this car he would be champion again.

      1. Yes, alonso would’ve done it and probably even ricciardo, however ferrari wouldn’t have replaced their top driver until they had enough proof he wasn’t so good, and they probably didn’t have it yet.

      2. I am very happy that Sebastian Vettel is not reading all these comments where everybody criticizes him, exaggerating his weaknesses, praising Kimi who is supposed to be his helper and not his enemy. You are not noticing that Ferrari does not have strong leader any more. What is Arrivabene doing…
        He is not uniting his team and his leadership is questionable.
        Sebastian’s competitivness has always been on very high level.
        He keeps whole Ferrari on his own back, dear friends .

    7. So Bottas should not go home right now..
      It is so difficult for a Finn to win in Italian soil, ask Mika Hakkinen.
      ..and when it does they were betrayed by their fellow Finn.

    8. Does anyone Think Kimi will ever win a race anymore? I have hoped, but now I think I have have given it up. I still hope I´m wrong though. Despite his obvious flaws Kimi has a kind of class that I wish there would be more of. Look att his racing with Hamilton in this race.

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