Raikkonen’s race engineer off to WEC

Date published: January 9 2018

Kimi Raikkonen will have a new race engineer this season as David Greenwood has left Ferrari in favour of a role in the World Endurance Championship.

Greenwood worked as Marussia’s chief engineer from 2012 to 2014 before heading over to Ferrari.

However, having spent three years as Raikkonen’s race engineer, he is now taking up a role in the new Manor LMP1 project in the World Endurance Championship.

Ferrari have yet to confirm his replacement.

Greenwood reportedly left Ferrari for personal reasons.

This is not a drill: Kimi is on social media

Date published: December 29 2017

It turns out we had to wait an awful long time for the highlight of 2017, but it’s finally here…Kimi Raikkonen has joined social media with an Instagram account.

Raikkonen, as we all know, is a man of very few words and is largely indifferent on just about anything that ever happens. That is why we love him so much.

And that sense very much continued when ‘The Iceman’ posted his first video message on Instagram and left you wondering who has put him up to this.

“Hello everyone,” Raikkonen said.

“This time I don’t know what I’m doing, but let’s see what happens.

“This is my Instagram, let’s see if you want to follow me.”

Well, there’s no question that we absolutely do want to follow Kimi. Life as we know it will never be the same again.

Ferrari: 2018 last chance for Kimi to find best form

Date published: December 20 2017

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has admitted that 2018 is “probably” the last chance for Kimi Raikkonen to show his real potential.

Raikkonen returned to Ferrari in 2014 on the back of two brilliant seasons with Lotus F1, but he has failed to replicate that form at the Scuderia and he was first overshadowed by Fernando Alonso and now Sebastian Vettel.

This season, in particular, has seen him fall well short of Vettel as the German won five races and finished second in the Drivers’ standings while the Finn finished a distant fourth with no race wins.

Age is also no longer on his side as he is 38 and Marchionne says it is now or never for the veteran to hit top form.

“My personal opinion is that if we find the right key, Raikkonen drives like a God,” the Ferrari president said at the team’s pre-Christmas media dinner.

“But we need to find it. When things go right, it’s a pleasure to see him driving.

“In other moments it seems like he takes a break. He needs more consistency in terms of performance, but it’s important to find the right key to make him driving like in Monaco also on other circuits.

“Probably this is the last season to find the right key and we must do it.

“It would be a shame if he would leave F1 without showing his real potential.”

As for who could replace Raikkonen, Marchionne believes Ferrari Driver Academy member and F2 Champion Charles Leclerc is next in line.

Leclerc will get his F1 chance next year with Sauber.

“We see Leclerc, [Red Bull’s Max] Verstappen and [Antonio] Giovinazzi, drivers with great skills, who can deliver a big change in the driver market,” he said. “I’m still happy to have chosen Leclerc.

“I think that if we cannot find the right key for Raikkonen, the choice will fall on a young driver.”

Raikkonen ‘still has hunger to win’

Date published: December 17 2017

Kimi Raikkonen has said he is still motivated enough to win races in Formula 1 as he prepares for a 16th season in the sport.

The Finn has won just two races since 2009 and his last victory came almost five years ago at the Australian Grand Prix back in his Lotus days.

Raikkonen was very much second-best to team-mate Sebastian Vettel in 2017 but is still wanting to maximise everything from his latest one-year extension.

“I wouldn’t be here or next year on the circuit [if] I didn’t have the hunger to win.” Raikkonen told Motorsport.tv’s The Flying Lap.

“I enjoy racing. I wouldn’t be shy to say it’s the only reason. I want to be in F1. So long as that [hunger] is there, it’s the reason why I’ll give my best.”

Looking ahead to the 2018 season, Raikkonen said another good start to the campaign for Ferrari will be crucial to their overall success.

“We started the year a bit slowly,” he added. “We had some good moments, but far from what we wanted if you take the whole year.

“We just need to put things correct for the first race.

“If you don’t get things perfectly, it will cost you a lot of points.”

Raikkonen: ‘Too early’ to judge Liberty

Date published: December 12 2017

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen believes it is too early for an accurate assessment of Liberty Media’s time in charge of Formula 1.

Liberty are approaching their one-year anniversary since taking over from Bernie Ecclestone in January with the general consensus being that they have made a good start in modernising the coverage of the sport and getting fans more involved in the spectacle.

But some decisions such as the driver announcements in Austin and the unveiling of a new Formula 1 logo have not been too well received and neither has their blueprint for the future of Formula 1.

Raikkonen, though, says they can only be really judged when that change in direction eventually comes.

“They are trying to make it better, easier to follow and more involving the public,” Raikkonen told Auto Hebdo.

“But it will only be in a few years, when the new regulations are in force (in 2021), that we will really see the impact of their arrival.

“I think they’re putting a lot of effort in, listening to everyone and asking the right questions. I think we’ll see if it has been good when we get the new cars.”

Raikkonen fastest as Kubica stars in Abu Dhabi

Date published: November 28 2017

The first day of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi is in the books with Kimi Raikkonen topping the timesheets and Robert Kubica among the drivers to rack up 100 laps at the Yas Marina circuit.

Raikkonen set a best time of 1:37.768 on the new hypersoft tyres – two steps softer than the 2017 ultrasofts – but it was over a second shy of Valtteri Bottas track record in Q3 on Sunday with the Ferrari man having plenty of fuel on board.

Daniel Ricciardo narrowed the gap to within three tenths after the lunch break, completing 109 laps in the process. World Champion Lewis Hamilton improved to P3 as part of a mammoth 136-lap run.

Haas’ Romain Grosjean, the lap-count leader with 137, finished 1.5 seconds off the pace in P4 and Lance Stroll took P5 in the Williams after taking over duties from Kubica in the final couple of hours.

Kubica, who ended the day ninth quickest, stayed on the soft tyre throughout the day and also reached the 100-lap mark via a mixture of short and long runs.

The Pole and Williams were both happy with the day’s work and he will return to the car on Wednesday for what is believed to be a shorter two-hour stint on quicker tyres.

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso’s running was disrupted by a crash into the tyre barrier but he made up for lost time by accumulating 115 laps with a best time of 1:39.762, good enough for P6.

McLaren were able to run two cars given that their test in Brazil was cancelled, so reserve driver Oliver Turvey collected another 105 laps’ worth of data and propped up the timesheet in P12.

Nico Hulkenberg came back to the garage in P7, with development drivers Nikita Mazepin (Force India) and Sean Gelael (Toro Rosso) – the latter causing a late red flag because of a minor crash – completing the top 10 alongside Kubica.

Marcus Ericsson, who has seemingly survived the chop at Sauber, was P11.

1       Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1’37″768        99 laps
2       Daniel Ricciardo     Red Bull    1’38″066     00″298    109
3       Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes    1’38″551     00″783    136
4       Romain Grosjean     Haas    1’39″270     01″502    137
5       Lance Stroll    Williams    1’39″580     01″812    29
6       Fernando Alonso    McLaren    1’39″762     01″994    115
7       Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1’39″803     02″035    85
8       Nikita Mazepin    Force India    1’39″959     02″191    90
9       Robert Kubica    Williams    1’41″296     03″528    100
10       Sean Gelael    Toro Rosso    1’41″428     03″660    117
11       Marcus Ericsson     Sauber    1’41″681     03″913    97
12       Oliver Turvey    McLaren    1’41″914     04″146    105

Raikkonen sets pace, Alonso’s surprise crash

Date published: November 28 2017

The first day of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi is well underway with Robert Kubica racking up the laps at the Yas Marina circuit, Fernando Alonso hitting the tyre wall and Kimi Raikkonen setting the pace.

At the lunch break, Raikkonen topped the timesheets with a 1:37.768, a full 1.5 seconds clear of Romain Grosjean in second, with Nico Hulkenberg completing the top three.

All eyes were firmly on Kubica, though, as he closes in on a full Formula 1 return with Williams. The Pole completed 58 laps by the interval and placed himself sixth on the leaderboard with a fastest time of 1.41:296.

McLaren have been given permission to run two cars given that their tyre test in Brazil was cancelled, but Fernando Alonso’s running was disrupted when he crashed into the tyre barriers before continuing his running just before lunch.

Development driver Oliver Turvey is also in action for McLaren, with the Brit currently in seventh place and one spot ahead of Alonso. The other reserve drivers on show – Nikita Mazepin (Force India) and Sean Galael (Toro Rosso) – are P9 and P11 respectively.

World Champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fourth quickest time.

Day 1 timesheet (lunch)

1 Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari     1:37.768,
2 Romain Grosjean     Haas     1:39.270
3 Nico Hulkenberg     Renault     1:39.803
4 Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes     1:40.017
5 Daniel Ricciardo     Red Bull     1:40.713
6 Robert Kubica     Williams     1:41.296
7 Oliver Turvey     McLaren     1:41.914
8 Fernando Alonso     McLaren     1:41.995
9 Nikita Mazepin     Force India     1:42.346
10 Marcus Ericsson     Sauber     1:43.286
11 Sean Gelael     Toro Rosso     1:45.622