Kimi Raikkonen’s record run of points finishes was ended by a tear-off strip from a rival’s visor, his team have confirmed.
Raikkonen began complaining of brake problems shortly after the start of the race and was told on the radio to beware of high temperatures. During his first pit stop the team discovered a visor tear-off was obstructing the airflow to his left-front brake duct.
The strip was removed during his pit stop but the damage was already done: Raikkonen’s brake had begun to overheat and on lap 25 he went straight on at the chicane. Although he was avoided hitting anything he was only able to make it as far as the pits where he retired.
Raikkonen had finished the last 38 races in a row – thirty for Lotus and eight for Ferrari in the second half of 2009, before he took a two-year break from F1. This was a record-breaking streak, as was his run of scoring points in 27 consecutive races.
Team principal Eric Boullier told Autosport it is unlikely the failure was caused by the design of the duct, even though the team had chosen the most aggressive of its two options: “If the failure had happened on both discs then you would think that the cooling was wrong, but it was only on one disc.”
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).