Have Ferrari made a mistake?

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    Can it be that Raikkonen has past his peak?
    Or is he just without motivation?
    A rational driver he will never be, but he is looking really weak compared to GRO, recently.
    Any thoughts?


    I thought they made a mistake from the beginning – he wasn’t good enough to keep the first time around and since he’s come back his quali performances have been pretty dismal. They should have either kept Massa as a number 2 or gone with a young prospect like Hulkenberg.


    Kimi has 183 points to Romain’s 102 and has outqualified him 10 to 6.
    Wonder who’s looking weak. Its a shame, magon, that your memory seems to be predominantly short-term in such respects and yet you still consider Hamilton to have been the 2nd best driver this year. Talk about double standards.


    You think he’s past it because his tyres failed today?


    Actually @wsrgo, Kimi is number 2 on my list this season, and Grosjean is number 9.
    But it does seem to me that on the longer run, he might not deliver what is expected from him. We all know how fast Kimi is and can be, and how good he is, but sometimes there are situations and reasons where he doesn’t really feel like doing it. I do see a potential for trouble next year.
    And I am starting to wonder if he can be as good in 2014 as in almost all of 2013. But he has been getting a beating from Grosjean lately, no one can deny that.

    @matt90 his tyres failed and Grosjeans didn’t, for me that is currently the difference. As much as people insist on it, Kimi is not a cold driver, he is an emotional driver. He used up those tyres and then tried to stick with them. Grosjean was still able to push with tyres as old as Kimi’s (when his failed, I mean).

    Once again, Kimi is surely one of the fastest out there. But he has been inferior to Grosejan on Saturdays and Sundays in the last three races at least, which is surely a change in trend, since before he was utterly dominating the Frenchman.

    Iestyn Davies

    Has to be said that the top 5 at the current time are Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button and Hulkenberg, when looking at what they’ve done over the season in what they have. Mercedes could have a driver there but have tried to cater for both drivers and hence performance has fluctuated between both and points dropped when strategy goes awry. But since the change in tyres, the lead driver for Lotus has arguably been Grosjean, whose performance on 2012 compounds is strong (they suit his style better, Kimi’s worse).

    Kimi will do very well next year – it’s a thinking man’s game, and possibly occurrences like the 2013 Australian GP are more likely to happen. Tyres could be harder next year though. But there will be more engine and ers management, and race-craft will matter more.

    Today’s problems were down to Lotus pitting him too early for mediums, lap 9/10, thus committing to a 2 stop and then going back towards a one stop, in addition to a slow pit stop. Lotus could have had a double podium today – with Grosjean not going out in Q1. But Grosjean was better on tyres, and ahead all weekend, so Kimi might still have succumbed to Rosberg near the end, or likely Alonso if he had gone S-M-M.

    So, Ferrari will have a strong and experienced driver line up, they just have to make sure they don’t balls up the car or the engine. And fix that god-damn wind tunnel already! Ferrari will be sorted for drivers in the future: Vettel or Hulkenberg, and Bianchi, or Marciello or Fuoco who are coming up through the junior ranks and winning everything in sight (both Italian as well).


    I thought he did a great job for Ferrari today, delaying Grosjean so Massa could catch them both…

    But Grosjean’s first stint on soft tyres was amazing – got him deep into the race and not far behind the leaders too.

    It may be the tyres, and Romain flourishing and gaining confidence – but I suspect Lotus have been throwing the kitchen sink at him in the last few races. A bit like when Ferrari got behind Massa rather than Raikkonen late in 2008.

    Iestyn Davies

    Lotus desperately need 2nd in the constructors, to have a chance of taking Hulkenberg. If they don’t bag that $20m, then they may have to take Maldonado and whatever’s left of his £30m each year, after they pay Williams off for the last 2 years of his contract.

    Ferrari will be sweet either way, with their extra 2.5% payment from Bernie, and membership of the most recent championship race wins bonuses (last 5 years). They’d only get embarrassment for finishing 4th, along with more pressure for Stefano Domenicali to deal with. Numbers 7/8 could be reminiscent of 27/28 ;).

    Mercedes have this bonus I think (unless Bernie doesn’t pay them from name changes), but could do with an extra $10m to try and get Ham/Ros into the mix next year. Depending on car development (I have a feeling Rosberg would excel here), I would tout Hamilton to beat Rosberg over a season (less mistakes/bad races).


    Räikkönen is without a doubt having a slump, but I don’t think we can (based on the evidence available) claim that he’s past his peak. To be honest, I think that until Singapore Räikkönen was having the best season of his career. Coincidentally his slump started at the same time that he made a contract with Ferrari.

    I think Räikkönen’s poor performances are down to motivation. Kimi already has a contract so he doesn’t have to prove himself to other teams, he’s leaving his current team so he doesn’t have to fight for his position in a team and he’s not fighting for the championship so his results aren’t that important.

    That’s why I don’t think Kimi genuinely has 100 % motivation at the moment. I believe Kimi when he says that he’s doing his best and still wants to win a race this season, but in F1 a driver needs 100 % motivation for great performances and I think he’s only up to 99% at the moment.

    At the same time Grosjean probably is feeling very confident, because he’s been driving very well lately and he’s going to have an upper hand against anyone who comes to “his” team next season. That’s why Romain is having excellent performances, which makes Räikkönen’s slump look even worse.

    Next season Räikkönen has to secure his position in a new team and show Ferrari that they were wrong to kick him out of the team and Kimi will probably also fight for the championship. That’s why I am (and Ferrari should be) confident that Kimi’s slump will be over by the time he arrives to Maranello.


    As an Alonso fan I was much more worried by the prospect of Hulkenberg in the other Ferrari than Raikkonen. I’m confident that Alonso will comfortably beat Raikkonen who’ll not be much faster than Massa in terms if pace, just more consistent.


    @ads21, I also think Hulkenberg would have been much more of a challenge to Alonso than Raikkonen, although I think Kimi will be a much tougher team mate than Massa. For some reason, Massa’s pace in the race is rarely comparable to that of Alonso. Take yesterday, for example. He was leading the race by lap three on what was a perfectly viable strategy, but from that point on he was just too slow to challenge for P2 (or first behind the Red Bulls) in the race.

    As for Raikkonen’s recent slump, I find his Saturday struggles quite baffling. Wasn’t he, at one stage in his career, known for his one-lap pace as well? Perhaps it is all down to the tyres. I’ve never followed Kimi’s career that closely, but I remember reading that his 2008 struggles were largely down to not getting the most of out the tyres in qualifying. He set a lot of fastest laps late in the stints, but by then he would be too far back. For next year, I fear that the harder tyres will not suit him very much, and he could well struggle against Alonso.


    Ferrari probably didn’t want to risk having Hulkenberg in the Ferrari because he is an unknown quantity that high up the grid, and therefore might have been too challenging for Alonso. Raikkonen shouldn’t pose such a challenge to Alonso, therefore he won’t upset him.


    He may be being beatenn by Grosjean in quali lately. But remember Korea? He smelled blood and went on for Grosjean’s suposedly secured podium (that move was coincidentially just a second before the Safety car) so there’s not a considerable evidence to say he’s dragging back. It should have been Lotus decision to see how bad he was going on the hurt tyres and pit him earlier. He set fastest lap so if he had changed tyres a couple of laps earlier he would have saved big points. It was a strategy mistake, not really that he’s being destroyed by Grojean



    As an Alonso fan I was much more worried by the prospect of Hulkenberg in the other Ferrari than Raikkonen. I’m confident that Alonso will comfortably beat Raikkonen who’ll not be much faster than Massa in terms if pace, just more consistent.

    Spot-on, this was true for me as well. I too think that Alonso is more scared of Hulkenberg than he is of Raikkonen. I know that Fernando will beat Kimi, but I’m not so sure about the Hulk.

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