With his luck going from bad to appalling Kimi Raikkonen looks set to be replaced at Ferrari despite very few of his problems being of his own making
If you like to bet on sports in Finland you’re probably already aware of just how unfortunate Kimi Raikkonen has been this season. The Ferrari driver has not just failed to find his form, but has been haunted by technical failure, school boy errors from the pit crew, and his own embarrassing propensity to make a right pig’s ear of things from time to time. Going into the Austrian Grand Prix with question marks about his long term future at the team, he needed to be lucky. He wasn’t.
Raikkonen’s Days Numbered
• Crash in Austria on lap one
• Finn collects unlucky Alonso
• F1 boss calls sport “Crap”
In Canada the car had reared up and bit him on the hairpin bend with it’s hybrid system suddenly squirting power to the wheels that he’d not asked for, losing him third place, and in Austria what should have been a relatively straightforward qualifying session turned into a disaster as miscommunication in the team and changeable weather saw him manage to get just 18th on the grid. A Ferrari starting in 18th place? Oh dear.
Of course Formula One’s ridiculously complex penalty system, which was invented by the sort of technical geniuses who give geeks a bad name, had already shunted several cars toward the back of the grid for the sort of rule infractions that no one will ever understand unless they’re an anally retentive mechanical engineer working for a Formula One team, and so it was that when his Ferrari just got away from him a bit, he didn’t slam into some hapless no name, but Fernando Alonso.
Raikkonen Carries Alonso Into The Barriers
Watching the Ferrari hit the barriers with Alonso’s McLaren perched on top of it (possibly traveling faster than it’s own engine could propel it) you hoped that both drivers would be unhurt, and they were, but the damage to the cars was extreme, and the damage to Raikkonen’s chances of staying at Ferrari after this season even greater. There were already question marks over his staying, and rumors of his replacement by that other Formula One Finn Valtteri Bottas, this probably sealed the deal.
Ferrari have said they’ll wait until after Monza to make a decision on the Finn’s future at Ferrari, but if you’re Finnish gambling laws of averages will suddenly see this former World Champion come good and pull it all together, you’re likely to be bitterly disappointed. Much as he has done himself no favors, and the team hasn’t helped either, what he would need to do to reassure fans and Ferrari is win a few races, and that, that just isn’t going to happen.
Mercedes domination of this season isn’t overwhelming, that would be an understatement, it’s total. Hamilton and Rosberg race away out front with faster cars than everyone else leaving the rest of the grid to race for third at best, and whilst technically Raikkonen should be able to challenge for that podium spot, his Ferrari arguable the fourth fastest car on the track, his run of bad luck and form have seen that happen but sparingly, so he can’t win his way back from this dip in performance.
Bernie Ecclestone Calls His Own Sport “Crap”
In Austria even Sbastian Vettel, Ferrari’s other driver, slipped from a third place grid start to a fourth place finish with the Williams of Felipe Massa grabbing third behind the Mercedes duo, but that was hardly the big news of the weekend. Mercedes winning races this season isn’t news, the only time it gets interesting is when they make a mistake, and they’re paid lots and lots of money not to make mistakes.
You would perhaps think that this makes Formula One pretty dull this year, and you’d be absolutely correct, it does. The inevitability of watching the two silver Mercedes streak away to yet another victory means that no one is actually wasting their hard earned cash at ComeOn! Sportsbook gambling news coverage on Monday will be of anyone else winning. Raikkonen’s fate is now almost as inevitable, with no way to fight back against the perception amongst fans and the press, his time at Ferrari is all but done.
Raikkonen has made it clear that for him there is, in F1 at least, Ferrari or nobody, and that means that come the end of this season (if he makes it even that far) the chances are that the Finn will be taking a bow and exiting the pinnacle of motor sport. Given how the sport is going, with even F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone calling it “Crap” in Austria (a perfect description for Bernie himself), there’s a possibility however that Raikkonen will be ejected just before things get really silly.