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Difficult weekend for Raikkonen worth just four points

Apr 20, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of China Getty Images

As Fernando Alonso squeezed every tenth out of the F14 T to secure Ferrari’s first podium finish of the season, Kimi Raikkonen endured a disastrous weekend in the sister car as he finished eighth and some 50 seconds behind his teammate.

The Finn has not made the start that many envisioned when it was announced that he would be leaving Lotus to return to Ferrari for the 2014 season. In four races, he has scored just 11 points and finished only as high as seventh. In China, he was left frustrated after sitting out of FP1, and that set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

“This has been a really difficult weekend,” Raikkonen explained. “Right from Friday morning, I suffered problems that we didn’t manage to solve completely and today in the race, I couldn’t get the result I wanted.

“The start was good, I made up two places but then I couldn’t make up any more ground, as I just didn’t have the pace, nor much grip at the front or the back.”

It was a combination of problems that left Raikkonen’s weekend in tatters, but the Finn is still pleased with the progress that the team is making.

“I think the difficulties I encountered here stem from a combination of various factors, from my driving style combined with the low temperatures and the characteristics of the track,” he said. “Today, we brought home valuable points thanks to the intense efforts of the whole team and now we will continue to work ceaselessly to improve.

“Fernando’s result is very encouraging and proves we are moving in the right direction.”

Raikkonen will be hoping to bounce back at the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks’ time, which marks the beginning of the European season. It may take a few more races before he is entirely comfortable with the new car and the new setup at Ferrari, but the Finn is certainly still a force to be reckoned with in Formula 1.

  1. indycarseries500 - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    After he was signed all we heard was how Kimi is going to whoop Fernando head to head, he was going to significant out qualify and out race him every week. Where are all the Alonso haters now?

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Anyone who doesn’t understand that Alonso has been driving the wheels off of poor cars for the past three years doesn’t understand racing. If Ferrari is ever able to give both drivers a decent car, they will both deliver good results. There were numerous times over the past two years where Massa out qualified and performed Alonso at a given track – when they gave Massa a driveable car. Kimi is no slouch either. Alonso justs gets more out of a poor car than most drivers can. Massa is doing just fine at Williams but they need to figure out how to change tires… Williams is still needing rear grip.

  3. worknman24hours - Apr 20, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Alonso is the defacto number one driver at Ferrari and always has been since he went there.

    Kimi surprised me when he re-signed there because they really threw the screws to Kimi the last time he was there.

    Of course tens of millions of dollars to sit out a year and play in World Rally helped rinse way ‘all the hurt.’

    This time I don’t see Kimi’s Ferrari ever matching Fernando’s in pace.

    Kimi’s achilles heel is the rear settings on the car.

    Kimi is a master at pitching the car like a maniac using the throttle off step when the rear of the car is set just right.

    Now, with the brakes done by electric switch and with less ability to get a consistent rear end response every turn on a team that is dedicated to making another driver champ, Kimi will likely find this a very frustrating year.

    At least, Kimi will get his paycheck on time at Ferrari.

  4. worknman24hours - Apr 20, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Does’nt help when other drivers smack into the back of Kimi’s car and wreck those settings either.

  5. redrock81 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Kimi fans are coming up with excuses one after the other “Fernando is no.1 at Ferrari… or he has preferential treatment and so on” One of it makes any sense. If they were just going to treat Kimi like a 2nd driver then why pay the millions that it takes to get him there? Why not just get a mediocre driver who can play 2nd fiddle to Alonso?

    Fernando worked hard to get that podium as he does week in and out. He worked with the team during winter testing and he was there during the tests in Bahrain. Fernando had a broken suspension in Malaysia qualifying yet still managed to get 4th fastest. He’s consistent and quick and he’s a smart tactician during the race. There’s a reason why other drivers, fans and even team bosses rate him highly… its because he’s consistent, he gets the job done, he wrings the maximum performance out of the car and works the hardest to get where he is. he’s also able to adapt his driving style to suit the car… just take a look at Alonso’s driving in his Renault days and compare it to now.

  6. jezza819 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Could Hulkenberg be getting any more out of the Ferrari than Raikkonen is right now if he had been hired?

  7. techmeister1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    No it’s unlikely Hulkenberg could get more from the same car which is ill handling and broken a lot. Ferrari needs to give the drivers better cars. That’s the bottom line.

    No one needs to make excuses for Kimi. He’s very talented and if Ferrari give him a decent car he can deliver just as Massa did at Ferrari and now at Williams. Alonso can get more from a poor car than most drivers but with half way decent cars Kimi and Massa are as fast and on occasion faster than Alonso. This has been documented.

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