F1 2014 Driver Review: Kimi Raikkonen

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Kimi Raikkonen

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 7
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 55
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 12th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

2014 was supposed to be the year that Ferrari returned to the top of Formula 1 with the strongest driver line-up in the history of the sport. However, with a terrible car and an off-boil Kimi Raikkonen, it simply wasn’t to be.

For the first half of the year, Raikkonen was anonymous, finishing no higher than seventh before the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. He had been set for the podium in Monaco after a good qualifying and good start, only for contact with Max Chilton under the safety car and then a crash with Kevin Magnussen to drop him outside of the points.

Later flashes of brilliance did follow, particularly in Belgium, where the Spa-specialist finished fourth, but all in all it was a disastrous season for Raikkonen. Perhaps it wasn’t a lack of motivation, but more difficulties with the car and the new regulations for 2014. Next year, he’ll be working alongside one of the few drivers he gets on with – Sebastian Vettel – and it could hold better things for the Finn.

With his contract expiring at the end of next season, Kimi needs to step up and prove his worth to the new regime at Maranello if he is to remain at Ferrari for more than just one more year.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The 2007 World Champion ended a disastrous 2014 season, his return to Ferrari, in a career-worst 12th in points. Yet somehow Kimi Raikkonen ended the year in a more solid standing with Ferrari than he started, and that spoke volumes about what a weird year it was overall for both parties.

The stats are crushing. Raikkonen banked only one top-five start (fifth in Bahrain) and one top-five finish (fourth at Spa). He ended six spots, and more than 100 points down on teammate Fernando Alonso. For the first time since his rookie season at Sauber, Raikkonen went a season without a podium, and even that year he scored two fourth-place finishes and ended 10th in the points!

The usual trademark Kimi apathy in press conferences, which was endearing for most of his two years with Lotus, was gone as Raikkonen offered few colorful quotes or sound bites throughout the year. There were so many races where you’d look up and see him fighting over 12th or 13th and thinking, is this real life? In spite of all this, with Alonso’s departure and the management turmoil that surrounded him, Raikkonen was the one measure of stability throughout the year – the problem is that his stability was resigned to the midpack, a place neither was familiar with.

F1: Lewis Hamilton qualifies No. 1 for U.S. Grand Prix, on verge of winning 5th title

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Lewis Hamilton took a big step toward earning his fifth Formula One championship on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 for Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton and his Mercedes have won five of the previous six U.S. Grand Prix’s held at COTA, including the last four races there.

The Great Britain native comes into Sunday’s race leading the F1 point standings and is seeking to tie Juan Manuel Fangio for second-most F1 career championships. Michael Schumacher has the most with seven crowns.

Sebastian Vettel is Hamilton’s sole remaining challenger for the title, trailing Hamilton by 67 points with four races to go, including Sunday’s race.

Vettel must win Sunday’s race or finish within seven points of Hamilton to prevent the latter from winning the title and pushing a possible clinching scenario to next week in Mexico.

Vettel qualified second Saturday, but due to a red-flag three-position grid penalty sustained during Friday’s morning practice, will start fifth on Sunday’s grid.

As a result of Vettel’s penalty, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Hamilton on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Vallteri Bottas, will start third, while Daniel Ricciardo will start fourth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Here’s how qualifying played out:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:34.130 1:33.480 1:32.237 20
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:34.569 1:33.079 1:32.298 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.703 1:32.884 1:32.307 15
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:34.518 1:33.702 1:32.616 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.755 1:34.185 1:33.494 14
6 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.876 1:34.522 1:34.145 18
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.932 1:34.564 1:34.215 18
8 8 RomainGrosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:34.892 1:34.419 1:34.250 17
9 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.069 1:34.255 1:34.420 17
10 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.193 1:34.525 1:34.594 17
11 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:34.891 1:34.566 12
12 20 KevinMagnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:34.972 1:34.732 12
13 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:34.850 DNS 13
14 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.206 DNS 13
15 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.766 4
16 14 FernandoAlonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.294 6
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.362 6
18 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.480 8
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.536 8
20 2 StoffelVandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.735 6

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