F1 2015 Driver Review: Kimi Raikkonen

© Getty Images
0 Comments

Kimi Raikkonen

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 7
Races: 19
Podiums: 3
Best Finish: 2nd (Bahrain)
Fastest Laps: 2
Points: 150
Laps Led: 10
Championship Position: 4th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

2015 was certainly better from Kimi Raikkonen. After a disastrous 2014 campaign that saw him pick up just 55 points, big question marks lingered over the Finn ahead of the new season.

Despite scoring almost thrice as many points, hitting the podium three times and finishing fourth in the drivers’ championship, we can’t really chalk 2015 as being a great deal better for Raikkonen though. The gulf in points and on-track quality between himself and teammate Sebastian Vettel was staggering, suggesting that the Finn may perhaps have lost some of his old spark.

The closest we got to seeing it was in Bahrain when he charged past Nico Rosberg late on. Had the race continued for another three or four laps, Raikkonen would most probably have caught Lewis Hamilton. However, this was a pace we saw far too rarely in 2015. I’m convinced Ferrari’s retention of him for 2016 is more tactical than because of his actual ability.

Let’s see what 2016 brings. Raikkonen’s contract with Ferrari is up at the end of next year and with the majority of the grid available, it’s hard to see him staying beyond then. Let’s hope we get some of the ‘old’ Iceman back next year for one final hurrah.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Kimi was meant to be the lynchpin, and major domino, that triggered the 2016 silly season. When he was confirmed for another season with Ferrari, it all but sucked the life out of it. Typically Kimi, I guess, because sometimes his dullness is his genius; in other years, his dullness is… well… dull.

Statistically speaking, 2015 was a massive improvement on 2014 for him. He scored nearly 100 more points (55 to 150), improved eight positions in the standings (12th to fourth) and made it back to the podium three times after a year when he failed to grace the rostrum once. Ironically, perhaps, given Kimi’s known affinity for imbibing, he wound up on Bahrain and Abu Dhabi podiums – places where champagne isn’t served!

And yet, look at the previous paragraph, then compare it to new teammate Sebastian Vettel’s season and you can see why Raikkonen considered his year only “average” while Vettel called his “miraculous.” Vettel outscored him by more than 100 points, won three times to none, and out-podiumed him 13-3, and was usually Ferrari’s best bet on Saturdays, too.

It all added up to a year where you felt Raikkonen was good, but someone who was younger and hungrier might have scored even more points. His desperate lunge on Valtteri Bottas at Russia was not something you’d expect of someone with his level of experience. If Raikkonen’s F1 sign-off comes after next year, here’s hoping he can return to form for a final time and find the top step of the podium once more.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
0 Comments

Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.