Kimi Raikkonen, Finland’s Formula One Flagship, Rides Again

Kimi Raikkonen lightning force

Kimi Raikkonen is now firmly seated in a ride at Ferarri for the next season but will that mean he can settle down, change his luck and start producing the results the team and fans want? He didn’t manage it in Belgium but in Monza there will be all the more pressure to perform.

Ferrari, apparently having read my piece last week about Kimi Raikkonen’s career with them and in Formula One being as dead as a dodo, promptly granted the Finn a new contract prior to the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, ahead of their stated Monza deadline and in one fell swoop made my entire analysis of the situation null, void and entirely ridiculous. Naturally I take this in my stride, whether it’s a mis-step by the boys with the red cars is another matter.

Monza Looms For F1

• Raikkonen keeps his job
• Pirelli questioned over tires
• Ferrari prepare for “home” Grand Prix

Certainly I’m not the biggest loser in the situation, although re-reading last week’s copy does make me feel like one, as those tipped to step into Kimi Raikkonen’s shoes find themselves without the dream job they might well have hankered for. This applies mostly to poor Valtteri Bottas who is stuck at Williams whose competitive edge isn’t so much dulled as blunted, as those that like to bet on sports in Finland will already know only too well.

It was a pit stop error that cost Valtteri Bottas a podium finish in Belgium, according to the man himself, but what cost him the job at Ferrari was probably more politics than race positions. The drive through penalty that followed a mis-attached tire for Bottas not the worst rubber-related incident of the day as Vettel’s failed near the end and saw him fail to finish in the points. Indeed Kimi Raikkonen scored all Ferrari’s points on Sunday, but by no means enough of them.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Luck Must Change

Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari champagne

When will Bernie Ecclestone start buying Kimi’s champagne again?

Kimi Raikkonen’s championship so far has been plagued, there really is no other word for it, and if some had written him off it is only because Ferrari had downplayed his future significantly. Of course they’ve long used veiled threats to try and get the best out of Kimi, he responds well to pressure and is at his best when pumped up and slightly aggressive, but this season the luck just hasn’t been there and the results have reflected that.

With even neutrality from the fickle finger of fate, Kimi Raikkonen could be challenging team mate Sebastian Vettel, instead of which he’s picking up the pieces where he can, gambling news from Monza, Ferrari’s home Grand Prix if you will, be enough to satisfy fans who haven’t quite got the rewards from support of Ferrari they could usually expect. Mercedes have F1 by the balls, and Ferrari fans know it all too well.

A Ferrari win at Monza would be as dramatic an answer as Kimi Raikkonen can hope for, both to his critics and the fans, but it’ll bet Vettel that Mercedes will have their eye on, albeit most likely in their rear-view mirrors. The dramatic failure of his right rear tire, about which Pirelli are quite embarrassed, cost Vettel dearly but did mean that come the finish the spotlight was more on Kimi in the Ferarri garage for a change.

Ferarri Have Bet On Kimi Raikkonen But Should You?

Kimi Raikkonen driving street Ferrari

He won’t have to change to street Ferraris just yet

“It’s disappointing,” Kimi Raikkonen said of his seventh place finish on Sunday, “not just for me, but for the team. Obviously, our starting place wasn’t ideal after what happened [in qualifying] – we tried to do our best but, obviously, it’s not a very good place to finish, although it’s better than where we started.” Which is true, but might be cold comfort to those that took advantage of Finnish gambling laws to back him on the track at ComeOn! Sportsbook or the like.

“We have to be realistic with where we started today,” Kimi Raikkonen continued, “We did our best and, obviously, it’s not where we want to finish, but that was our maximum today. We are doing the right things as a team but, sometimes, something seems to happen and it we’re not really getting the result. But we’ll keep working and improving things and, hopefully, we’ll get the results at some point.”
Which is a nice sentiment if slightly jaundiced in its presentation.

Monza is the fastest circuit of the year, and Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari might not be able to keep up with the sheer speed of the Mercedes but if there were ever a time when he could do with his luck changing and his team to get their act together this would be it. Formula One will never be America’s national sport but with Ferrari looking to impress at home and the tires being slightly unpredictable it could well be Monza will be the race that grabs some attention across the Atlantic.

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