Melted Ice?

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
The closest Michael Schumacher was to being dethroned in his dominant era was when he had a real fight for the title in 2003. Indeed, there is a strong suspicion of Bridgestone's hand being strengthened halfway through the season to get Schumi over the line. However, the best Michelin car did not begat the driver in 2nd; it was Kimi Raikkonen in a McLaren palpably inferior to the Williams.

What's more, although team-mate David Coulthard was never considered a champion, he has always been considered a solid citizen in F1, and won 13 Grands Prix. Even though DC struggled with qualifying back in 2003, for Raikkonen to beat him by 40 points could be seen to be some achievement.

We know the story of Raikkonen after that, 2004 a poor year for a McLaren brightened up by the Finn at Spa, before the breaking down of the fastest car in 2005 meant he could not challenge Alonso for the title. 2006 saw McLaren on the down, but Raikkonen snook the title from the warring McLarens in 2007 as a Ferrari driver. 2008 saw a series of unfortunate events take the title chase to Massa rather than Raikkonen, while 2009 saw him brighten up another poor season at Spa, then be jettisoned by a disappointed Ferrari for Alonso in 2010.

His third place at Lotus on his return in 2012 lead to the feeling that he was back, and back doing very, very well, but 2014 has been rather disastrous. It is the margin, and not the fact, of Alonso's consistent defeat of him in the Ferrari that has been the most shocking. Raikkonen has given weight to the idea that the Ferrari is not up to scratch in a way Alonso has been successful enough to avoid.

So, who is the true Kimi Raikkonen? On the one hand, he has been very close to a title in a car that really shouldn't, in 2003, and he did take the title in 2007. His consistency in 2012/13 seemed excellent, and there's little doubt that beating, say, Hamilton in 2012 and Rosberg in 2013 were impressive achievements considering the available machinery.

But there is an argument to say that we're actually just seeing Raikkonen revealed in his first true comparison to a top class great; similar to Mansell being taken apart by Prost in 1990. In 2003, he was best of the four Michelin challengers, but few consider Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Montoya as great drivers. The 2005 McLaren regardless of the failures perhaps shouldn't have been beaten so often by Alonso's Renault.

And was the 2007/08 Ferrari actually a worse machine than the McLaren? The red machine won on both its outings at Montmelo, which is often considered the truest test of a car. Could it be that the Ferraris were quicker than the McLarens, which were simply driven better by two drivers (Alonso & Hamilton) at a different level to Ferrari's boys (Raikkonen & Massa). Kovalainen's performance in 2008 suggests so.

Or is it another factor. Age - he's older than Alonso, for example. Has the motivation gone, and he's just waiting for the paycheck.

One thing is for sure, if he doesn't want to answer the questions he needs to get somewhere close to Alonso's rear wing towards the end of a Grand Prix towards the end of this season. And we all know he doesn't want to answer questions...
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Well I've always thought the 2007-08 Ferraris had a slight edge over the McLarens. I wouldn't have placed Raikkonen so far behind Alonso however. The common denominator between Raikkonen and Alonso is Grosjean, Alonso soundly beat the Frenchman while it was much more equal fight when Grosjean was team-mates with the Finn. Kinda lends weight to the Alonso>Raikkonen theory...
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
The problem with Kimi is his variability. To get the Lotus to 3rd in 2012 for instance was pretty impressive. Other seasons he just goes off the boil completely. I'm sure, as Monkeyhead suggests, a lot of this is down to the requirements of cars specifications in particular seasons . Vettel was known to have nailed the optimal driving style for the EBD-equipped RBR car but seems to have lost that advantage this year (among other things). Kimi seems even more extreme. It's possible age is a factor in his decline too but I wonder how much of it is due to good-old motivation with Kimi.
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
The common denominator between Raikkonen and Alonso is Grosjean, Alonso soundly beat the Frenchman while it was much more equal fight when Grosjean was team-mates with the Finn. Kinda lends weight to the Alonso>Raikkonen theory...
What about Massa? Raikkonen and Massa were roughly equal. Alonso soundly beat Massa. Now he soundly beats Raikkonen.
Only thing I'm surprised about is that he beat Raikkonen even more soundly than he beat Massa. I didn;t expect that.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I can't say that it is too surprising that Kimi is struggling this year. He is new to a team where his teammate has been for a number of years. The cars are undoubtedly tailored to fit Alonso because the team is familiar with his needs, not with Kimi's. When you put that factor on top of it being the first year of a new formula, I think the struggles were inevitable.

I think next year will be a better indicator of the true situation.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Kimi has always been something of an enigma wrapped up in a mystery, to borrow a phrase. To me he's always been among the most tallented drivers of his era, proved by the fact that he is a world champion, but what to make of the man?

I guess it doesn't really matter because he is who he is and I don't know the bloke in any way shape or form other than what I see in the media. He always gives the impression though, that if his career ended tomorrow it wouldn't matter. To him it would seem that F1 is just something to do when he's not doing something else.

We have long called for drivers to be individuals and not media packaged robots and you could never say that Kimi gave his various teams PR people an easy ride. His career is coming to an end that's for certain but whether that will be at the end of this year or the end of his contract remains to be seen. Jules Bianchi holds all the right credentials to step in and take his place and given that Ferrari are desperate to avoid another slide into long term mediocrity, it could be Kimi who once again moves over for a potentially faster driver.
 

Bushi

Pole Sitter
Well I've always thought the 2007-08 Ferraris had a slight edge over the McLarens. I wouldn't have placed Raikkonen so far behind Alonso however. The common denominator between Raikkonen and Alonso is Grosjean, Alonso soundly beat the Frenchman while it was much more equal fight when Grosjean was team-mates with the Finn. Kinda lends weight to the Alonso>Raikkonen theory...

Are you really comparing the time when Alonso-Grosjean where teammates and Raikkonen-Grosjean? The year Grosjean joined Renault was nearly at the end of 2009, the first year of KERS and the year that Luca Badoer was made a fool by replacing Massa at the same time the frenchmen joined.

And it was only in his second year, after the tyre change that Grosjean could compete with Raikkonen.

I also don't think he is not motivated anymore. He's a racing driver and no driver wants to get beat.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
URL="http://cliptheapex.com/threads/the-rise-and-fall-of-romains-empire.6959/#post-249031"]The Rise and Fall of Romain's Empire[/URL]

My post on Grosjean's recent comments about both Alonso and Kimi

If you like at some of the past comments when the comparisons about the two

Massa's view backs up what Grosjean says about Alonso is able to adapt more quickly and works harder

http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/02/upbeat-massa-tips-brainy-alonso-to-beat-raikkonen-at-ferrari/

As soon as Alonso joined Ferrari - they were quick to praise his work ethic compared to Raikkonen

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/26496267 - DC's view that Alonso beating Kimi is important if the car is bad because it will show he is still delivering and the team is leading him down... which is what is happening


Although one person thought Kimi was going to beat Alonso - interestingly it came from the original Iceman

http://www.gptoday.com/full_story/view/475750/Raikkonen_will_beat_Alonso_says_Hakkinen/
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
siffert_fan Kimi is hoping things will be better next year but am I not sure the way Ferrari are going through every department and deciding who to fire .. the only one immune are Alonso and Allinson ... even Luca's job is on the line apparently

As for Kimi's excuses ... Allinson has said Alonso is simply doing a better job for him

The new team and taking time to settle does not really wash for Kimi because he's driven for the team before and the way Ferrari does things have not really changed... the engineers and Luca know what he was like first time around and lets say they were quick to praise how much better Alonso was

He's also worked with Pat Fry from Mclaren and James Allinson the last few years at Lotus

the regulations are new to every driver this year ..it's just that Alonso has adapted better
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
few drivers have the knack like Kimi did by slipping sleeping in between sessions and then turn up in the car and put in a scorching lap

At Mclaren it worked because he was delivering the results especially in 2003 when in an old Mclaren car he showed great consistency and was a real nuisance to Schumacher and Ferrari.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
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