Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Kimi confirmed as Ferrari driver for 2009

Ferrari and Fiat chief Luca di Montezemelo confirmed at last week's Monza tests that Ferrari will retain the services of both Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

There has been mass speculation on the Finn's future in the sport. Many people say his motivation and commitment to F1 is waning. Bernie Ecclestone said that he was never sure if Kimi was actually "in love" with F1.

Well, we all know that Kimi hates his PR obligations more than anything. Though I believe that Kimi is still an extremely motivated driver. It is simply his cool approach to preparing for Grands Prix that lead people to question his drive.

As we've all seen this season, Kimi's main problem has been qualifying. For a number of reasons, he simply isn't getting his tyres and car in the sweet spot over lap. However, he is very quick over a series of laps. Why Massa has been able to nail the qualifying laps is a bit of a mystery to me. I can only speculate that maybe the car suits his qualifying driving style more, I can't be certain.

F1 now heads to Kimi's all-time favourite race track: Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Kimi has won the last three Grands Prix there on the trot. I am very hopeful that this race will yield a victory for Kimi and turn his season around. I'm also hopeful that Ferrari have continued to improve the performance of his car over a single lap at last week's Monza tests. Time will tell, but time is slowly running out. Luckily for us and Kimi, the remainder of the races are Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen race tracks... though there is a question mark over Singapore (the night race!).

Let's continue to give Kimi our support! We can't have Massa or, disastrously, win the World Championship!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kimi wins the Spanish GP

Kimi dominated the Spanish Grand Prix today. Kimi had a slightly slow start but nevertheless took the first corner in the lead. Massa hung on to finish in 2nd while Hamilton finished in 3rd.

The race had quite a few safety car-provoking incidents. At the start, Vettel collided with a car which prompted the first safety car. Heikki Kovaleinen had a truly scary crash today. His left front tyre burst at turn nine, causing him to dart straight off the track into the tyre barrier. He would have been doing 140kmph at that point! Heikki is doing fine but will nonetheless spend the night in hospital as a precaution, according to reports.

Ferrari probably could have won the race by a larger margin, in my view. The safety car incidents served to bunch up the pack which erased Kimi and Massa's gap over Hamilton. Ferrari may also have turned down the revs since this is their first race on the new engine.

The next race is in Istanbul, Turkey in two weeks. This is one of Massa's favourite tracks as he has won there twice in the last three years. Kimi is sitting on 29 points at the moment, 9 clear of Hamilton. Kimi won the inaugural Turkish GP in 2005.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kimi Raikkonen snatches POLE POSITION in the dying seconds of qualifying

For a moment, it looked like Fernando Alonso was going to steal the show with his sensational lap time. But Raikkonen, who was behind him on the track, was setting fast sector times that eventually earned him pole position right at the end.

Kimi has been very fast all throughout the weekend except during this morning's practice session. Both Ferrari's and McLaren's finished practice in the middle of the pack.

However, Ferrari shined in qualifying by placing their cars in 1st and 3rd for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton will be starting in 5th, right behind Kubica but, crucially, ahead of his teammate Kovaleinen.

This is Kimi's first pole position of the season. Let's see if he can take a lights to flag victory tomorrow!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Felipe Massa wins the Bahrain GP to silence critics

Massa' victory at Bahrain was a crucial one. After such a horrible start to the season he will be energized and motivated by his dominant showing all throughout the weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen was also very competitive in the race, but he admitted later that his car wasn't quite there all weekend. Nevertheless, he finished in a solid 2nd place. He now leads the World Championship!

The next race is on April 27th in Spain.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Raikkonen trailing Massa so far

Kimi Raikkonen finished 2nd in the two Friday practice sessions, right behind Felipe Massa. Massa is certainly out to prove something this weekend. He really has his back against the wall and has to make a big impression this weekend to keep his title hopes alive.

Kimi finished a lowly 9th in today's practice session. Massa finished 2nd. Today's practice session was very unrepresentative in my opinion. Kimi was .70 of a second off Nico Rosberg's chart-topping time. Lewis Hamilton was down in 16th. This obviously does not reflect his true pace.

All the lap times in the practice session were quite far off yesterday's times. This could be as a result of negative track conditions.

Qualifying is due to start in 10 minutes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kimi Raikkonen reigns supreme at Malaysia

Kimi Raikkonen marked the 5th anniversary of his first grand prix victory in style today. The Finn showed the way to Kubica, Kovaleinen, Trulli and main rival Hamilton.

Massa, unfortunately, spun out. What a dreadful start to the championship he is having! He is already 14 points behind Hamilton and 11 behind Kimi. It looked like he simply lost some concentration and spun off.

Kimi nearly took the lead at the first corner but decided not to go for broke and yielded to Massa. Kimi kept in touch with Massa up to the first round of pit stops and narrowly stayed ahead of him after exiting the pit lane. The World Champion set amazing sector times during his in lap and was about five tenths of a second in the pit lane. This provided him with enough of a margin to effectively take the lead. Kimi was then able to pull out a gap of just over four seconds to Massa. Then, a few laps later, Massa spun out.

McLaren were not really in the hunt today, at all. Their race was further compromised by their grid position penalty that they incurred after unintentionally blocking Heidfeld and Alonso in qualifying yesterday.

The next race will be another hot one. Bahrain was been kind to Ferrari in the past.

I will keep you posted on significant F1 news leading up to the next Grand Prix in Bahrain.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An all-Ferrari Front Row

Felipe Massa took the pole ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Massa's lap was almost half a second faster than Kimi's, indicating a lighter fuel load and highlighting the fact that Kimi struggled a bit on his final run.

Heikki Kovaleinen will start in third place, ahead of Lewis Hamilton. My suspicion that McLaren were not quite there in terms of pace this weekend was somewhat confirmed by today's result. Kovaleinen himself said that third place was the best that they could have hoped for.

Kimi Raikkonen will be very relieved that he's not starting in 15th place again. Let's hope that Kimi can get his tyres up to temperature quickly and take Massa on the first lap or after the first stop.

It will be interesting to see Hamilton behind his teammate... for the very first time. Will he clear his teammate quickly? Will "team orders" play a part this early in the season? Will Hamilton get frustrated and make mistakes? It is a long, hot race tomorrow and anything is possible.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your Saturday! Let's support Kimi as he takes the fight to Massa tomorrow!
Ferrari looking solid after Saturday practice

Kimi Raikkonen finished today's practice session in 2nd position, just shy of Nick Heidfeld. Massa was 3rd.

The session was quite inconclusive. The McLaren boys languished in 11th and 16th positions, more than a second off the pace. Lewis did not even drastically improve on his last flying lap on soft tyres, which was odd. Kimi made some small gains on the soft tyre though, but I get the feeling that the Ferrari duo prefer the harder tyres.

Qualifying is about to start. I will have those results for you afterwards.