Raikkonen’s record-breaking streak ends at Spa

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Kimi Raikkonen’s record-breaking streak of consecutive finishes in the points came to a shattering end in Belgium today after the Finn was forced to retire on lap twenty of the race due to a brake failure.

The Lotus driver had started the race in eighth place following a wet qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps yesterday, and he soon became embroiled in a battle with McLaren’s Jenson Button in the race. However, Raikkonen could not make a pass as he struggled with his front-left brake, which ultimately would be his downfall.

After making his first stop, Raikkonen attempted a pass on Felipe Massa heading into the Bus Stop chicane but went straight on due to the brake issue. Lotus elected to retire Raikkonen from the race moments later, bringing the Finn’s remarkable record run to an end.

Raikkonen’s scoring streak began at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, and he has failed to finish outside of the top ten until today. At Monaco, a late run-in with Sergio Perez appeared to have put paid to his hopes of beating Michael Schumacher’s existing record of twenty-four races, but the Finn rallied to finish P10 come the checkered flag.

Furthermore, this marks Raikkonen’s first retirement from a grand prix in over four years, although he did not compete in the 2010 and 2011 championships. His last DNF came at the 2009 German Grand Prix when he was still driving for Ferrari.

However, Raikkonen has made clear in the past that the records mean very little to him. Instead, he will be disappointed that the gap to Sebastian Vettel at the top of the championship has widened to sixty-three points, especially as Spa is a track that he likes having won the Belgian GP four times.

Leclerc: No. 16 was third-choice for Formula 1 career

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2018 Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has revealed No. 16 was his third-choice number to use through his grand prix career, with his preferred options having already been taken.

From 2014, drivers were given the chance to pick a number to use through their F1 careers instead of being assigned one depending on their team’s championship position.

Formula 2 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc was announced in an Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat for 2018 earlier this month, picking No. 16 as his permanent number.

However, the Monegasque racer revealed last week that it was in fact his third choice, with both No. 7 and No. 10 already being taken by Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly respectively.

“It’s quite simple to be honest: I wanted number 7 first, but Kimi had it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“Then I chose 10, but Pierre came to F1 and chose number 10, so then I chose number 16.

“It’s just my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And 1 + 6 = 7, which is my favorite number.”

Leclerc will become the first driver hailing from Monaco to race in F1 since Olivier Beretta, who made nine grand prix starts in 1994 for Larrousse.