Kimi mistakes cost Ferrari again


Ferrari made the unusual step of confirming their driver lineup for 2016 before the resumption of racing after the summer break. In mid August, Kimi Raikkonen was given the vote of confidence and retains his F1 seat with the Scuderia next year.

At that time, Sebastian Vettel had scored 160 points to the Finn’s 76, which was a far better relative performance by Kimi when compared to his 1-3 points ratio against Fernando Alonso in 2014. Alonso fans will argue this statistic demonstrates the Spaniard is a better driver than the four times German champion.

Despite his relative improvement his team mate this year, Kimi’s driving in 2015 has regularly looked anything but that of an ex-F1 driver world champion. His bansai move on the last lap of the Russian GP, which took out third place Valtteri Bottas, was for many akin to that of a rookie driver.

Contrast that decision with his team-mate, who had hunted down Nico Rosberg down over the closing laps in Austin, though Vettel realized when he caught the German it was not going to be possible to pass him even though he had tyres 5 laps newer than Rosberg.

Kimi defended his move on Bottas at the Austin press conference refusing to accept it was anything other than a racing incident, then in the US GP the ’iceman’ makes another rookie error by pushing too his cold slick tyres too hard on a damp but drying track.The result was a date with the wall, which in effect finished Kimi’s race.

The team mate statistics for 2015 in Ferrari are stark. Sebastian has 3 race wins to Kimi’s none. The German has out qualified his team mate 12-3 and on average his qualifying lap is 0.456 seconds faster than the Finn.

Of the 12 races where both Ferrari’s have finished, Vettel has been ahead of Kimi 9-3 and in terms of number of laps ahead, Sebastian has racked up 621 whilst Raikkonen has lead his team mate for just 170 laps.

It’s over to you the jury to present additional evidence in the comments either in support of Raikkonen’s claim for a 2016 seat with Ferrari, or otherwise.

26 responses to “Kimi mistakes cost Ferrari again

  1. Over the last 2-3 races the Ferrari management must be disappointed to have already signed Raikonnen for next year. This was the 2nd race this year he was out raced by a teenager and this wasn’t the first race where he had to retire because of his own mistakes either. If this continues next year might we see one of those rare occurrences where a driver is not allowed to finish his season because of his own performance? (Wasn’t Truli the last one who was kicked out of his team for not keeping up with his teammate?)

    • I don’t know if “out raced” is the right term. I’m not sure Verstappen has the trust of many of the drivers, he’s a bit erratic. Raikkonen obviously didn’t think he was playing by the rules.

      • It depends on how you interpret the reaction from Kimi but going by what Kimi said after the race about his radio message I get the feeling he did not think Verstappen was doing anything wrong (even the ‘little touch’) but that he thought that previous steward decisions were not clear enough. And when I see how close Verstappen has raced Vettel and Raikonen and compare that to how drivers race Maldonado than I’m not sure they are ‘afraid’ of erratic driving. With Maldonado they make sure there is more than enough room but with Verstappen wheel to wheel is more common (but I’m sure some here will see it different).

        When you compare Verstappen his move with for instance the move by Hamilton on Rosberg in turn 1 or the move from Sainz on Ricciardo in turn 1 than, and knowing they did not punish either Hamilton or Sainz, I understand why the stewards did not think of punishing Verstappen since his move was by far the least controversial from those 3.

        • I said “has the trust of”, as in, they know he is on the limit not over. Is Kimi giving him the pass or getting out of his road avoiding collision.
          I don’t understand why the pole sitter doesn’t start on the inside line at COTA, however,I think Hamilton should have been penalized for running Rosberg off turn one. the rules say you have to give room. Hamilton intentionally ran Rosberg off the course.

  2. Yes. Every team needs a no. 2 driver. And from what I understand they have similar needs and preferences for their car. That’s easy for Ferrari.

  3. I think Kimi was the best worst choice they could make. He knows the team, knows the car, and can be excellent on occasion. Another reason, I believe, is which of the other drivers with other teams are out of contract for 2017. Ferrari will have a much better choice in 2017, so it was better to stick with Kimi for one more year, rather than choose an unkown quantity driver for 1 year. Who else could they have chosen?

    • You know they would have picked Bianchi for that seat… but now, a one year stint doesn’t help you as a driver, look at Perez at McLaren for instance. But I’m sure Ferrari has something in their sleeve for 2017…

  4. Voted Yes because I accept that Ferrari felt that there are better alternatives available next year. The only viable option was Bottas at 10 mil currency units to free him from his current contract. There is speculation that Kimi was renewed for 2016 with a reduced retainer. Grosjean, Bottas, and a Red Bull driver may be on offer in 12 months. Ferrari will have additional data on Grosjean and the STR twins.

    The decision to keep Kimi also indicates that Ferrari believe that a championship is not in the offing in 2016. It is at least 2 years away.

      • Ditto for Hulkenberg. I’m a fan of his but he just seems to have lost it in the second half of this year.

        It’s pretty much what others have said – ‘Better the devil you know’

        Possibly also the unfortunate circumstances around Bianchi threw their plans out and there wasn’t anyone else lined up. Giving Kimi another year allows them to evaluate a few more drivers, but doesn’t help their WCC challenge…

  5. If ever there was an embodiment of the expression “has been” it’s Raikonnen. Quite amazing that his numerous fans keep finding excuses for his utterly miserable performance, season after season. His boorish comments seems to appeal to lots of people too but they’re rude and arrogant and seldom actually witty.
    Cost considerations aside, it wouldn’t be hard to find a driver who could do a better job for Ferrari. As for his “knowing how the team operates”, he certainly knows how to get a miserable result out of their car whether it’s good, bad or indifferent – which is consistency of a sort.

  6. Back in the day at a former workplace, those who were seemingly employed to just be around, make up the numbers and keep the seats warm were called wheatbags. Just sayin’….

  7. “Kimi’s driving in 2015 has regularly looked anything but that of an ex-F1 driver world champion”

    Kimi is and has been overrated. He was gifted the title in 2007, he did not win on merit, and he did not deserve it.

    He only won that single title because he had two drivers helping him – Massa directly and Alonso indirectly. He also had Ron Dennis indirectly helping him with poor strategy decisions costing Hamilton a sure title (most particularly in China 2007 and also in Monaco 2007).

    • I agree with you about Kimi being just average. at least for the last couple of years.
      But his title was deserved in my opinion, Kimi being completely on top after the summer break (a superb Spa GP springs to mind).
      Agreed, Kimi’s campaign was helped by the McLaren tradition of making a couple of bad strategy decisions each year. But Hamilton’s / Alonso’s campaign was helped by the nowadays already decade long tradition of Ferrari delivering a car that is only 2nd best. Kimi did a stellar job in those years, just as he did in his McLaren days where his great efforts and having the fastest cars where ruined by reliability issues and bad pit wall decisions.
      Once upon a time Kimi deserved 2 titles, nowadays we ask ourselves if he even deserves a (factory) f1 seat…

  8. Voting definite Yes. I think Kimi is a perfect #2 driver for Seb. Ferrari love him, and he has flashes of his old brilliance now and then to enthrall the Finnafosi – globally he is still very popular and good for F1’s sagging image. He’s 4th in the championship after a season of bad luck, some poor decisions, and some poor pit wall management – what more could Ferrari want in a #2? And he likes vodka. ‘nuf said.

  9. Kimi, the ex NASCAR driver, was just having a Texas weekend. While eatin’ dirt and bangin’ wheels with Verstappen, deep in the American south, his thoughts turned to that old NASCAR adage “rubbin’ is racin'”, can I hit him or run him off the road are perfectly normal questions in Texas. After all, remember it is legal to shoot someone interfering with your ability to make a living in Texas. Seems like Verstappen was on pretty shaky ground.
    The mud slinging trip through the tire barrier was pure truck country showmanship. I’ll bet Ferrari use it in conjunction with the release of their suv. “Going off road has been a challenge for our customers……until now, Introducing the new Ferrari FE (fence eater) Raikkonen Edition”. “Treat it like they own it”.

  10. When watching the race I noticed Kimi making lots of little mistakes, you know, not massively going too deep into a corner, but just being slightly wide and off line and you could see him getting frustrated with himself because each time you saw him made a small error, he often compounded it by getting a bit throttle happy during the recovery and getting a bit out of shape, all costing him time. He looked decidedly mediocre.

  11. The mistake by Ferrari was made an year earlier already. They were interested in signing up Verstappen last year, only Mercedes was too, but Red Bull even more…they are now regretting not signing him up straight away, because he would have done a better job as Kimi in ’15 already.

    • No. Once again ferrari doesn’t hire drivers for the cars younger than 25. The last one was jacky ickx I think in ’68.

      • …and when was the last time F1 has seen a driver with such a steep learning curve ?…uhm never…you can’t act like there are every season a few of such talents up for grabs, so your argument is flawed because it’s based on that.

        If Toro Rosso had the reliability, not made that many bad pit stops and made so many strategic mistakes, as a team like Ferrari, Verstappen already would have been around 70 points right now with a Toro Rosso. And seeing Kimi only has 76 points right now, it’s pretty easy to come up with 100+ points already for Verstappen when he would have driven for Ferrari this season…

        …and you think they don’t know that at Ferrari…trust me, they are scratching their heads right now and realize they made a mistake…the only reason in the past they haven’t been signing up rookies is, because there never has been a talent which came so fast, but this time they made the mistake not signing him up when there was one.

        And seeing Kimi is just a second driver now, Verstappen would have done enough in his first season as what can be expect of a second driver, and there’s no reason to doubt he won’t do the same in his second season too…Kimi isn’t going to better as Verstappen next year…so not signing up Verstappen right away was a mistake.

    • I’m a Verstappen fan but these kind of comments make me hate the ‘borg’. There isn’t an ounce of realism in this comment but hey that is how most borg write about Verstappen, living in a dream world and believing all the crap that the Dutch press is writing about F1 (Telegraaf reader maybe?). Ferrari might have been interested in signing Verstappen for their Young Driver Academy but there has never been any sign that they were ever interested in giving him a racing seat and Ferrari is not in the business of giving rookies, no matter how good they are, racing seats. Just look at how Jules Bianchi was treated, a race seat at Manor followed by a race seat at Sauber, which he unfortunately never got to drive. After several seasons in F1 the darling of Ferrari was no closer to signing as their race driver and you think they would have given Verstappen the seat straight out of F3? Keep dreaming (at most Ferrari would have given him a seat at Manor but honestly it’s far more likely that Verstappen would have been given a seat right next to Marciello)

      And don’t forget that the main reason why people believe that Verstappen is in the running for the Ferrari 3rd car if Red Bull were to leave F1 is because some Italian journo’s wrote down what they think Ferrari is doing. Unlike with Mercedes there has not been any public evidence that Ferrari have even been in contact with Verstappen about driving a potential 3rd car…

      I like Verstappen as a driver because you always get the feeling something is about to happen when you see him drive behind someone else and I think it is likely that one day he will drive for a top team but not right now and not next year and when he drives for a top team there is a chance that he could become World Champion, it’s not a certainty because the future of F1 is the most uncertain thing about F1 (maybe the 2017 cars do not match his driving style or Red Bull quits and the 3rd cars don’t come and by being away for a year he could follow Magnussen, it’s impossible to predict the future of F1!). In general I really dislike how some F1 fans lose all sense of reality when it comes to their favorite driver. I thought the Tifosi were bad, than I got to know the Vettel fans and not much later the Hamfosi but I must say in general the Borg suffer the most from unrealistic expectations and colored views/explanations from how certain events have turned out.

      • You guys completely miss the point I made…

        …Ferrari simply made a mistake !

        Kimi made a mistake in Austin, and so did Kvyat and Sainz…and with all of them you can give the explanation as to why the mistake was made, it still stays a mistake.

        And yes, Verstappen would have done a better job this season has Kimi has done, and no way Kimi is going to do a just as good or even a better job as Vettel next season, but that what will be needed to do better as Verstappen…so did Ferrari make a mistake by not signing up Verstappen when they could, the answer is simply yes !

        The main reason is not some Italian journalist having written about it, it’s because there were rumours in the paddock already about Ferrari having an interest in Verstappen many races ago, and after Kimi got held on for another year they got fuelled even more…right now it isn’t even a secret any more both Ferrari and Mercedes are interested in Verstappen…maybe read some less Dutch and some more foreign media to be a bit better informed 😉

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