KIMI GOT HIS APOLOGY FROM MONTEZEMELO

Here follows a crucial piece of information from behind the scenes. Vital for the return of Kimi to Ferrari. Translated into english by a friend from the land of a thousand lakes.

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MTV3 Tulosruutu (Sport Broadcast): Kimi Räikkönen demanded an apology from Ferrari boss – and he got it!

12.09.2013 7:39 | Formula 1 |

The return of Kimi Räikkönen to Ferrari has been widely interpreted among Italians that Kimis sacking in 2009 was a big mistake.

On Wednesday evening, MTV3 Tulosruutu revealed an interesting detail concerning the contract negotiations: Räikkönen demanded an apology from Luca di Montezemolo – and he got it!

– When it comes to the apology, I have understood that the concrete apology was a demand before continuing in the negotiations with Ferrari. And it was specifically from Montezemolo to Räikkönen in person, Oskari Saari said.

The bad blood between Räikkönen and di Montezemo could have, according to some information, even prevented the contract from happening. However, they now work together starting from next season.

– These things are now sealed up and put into the same pile along with all transgressions of the past because of the signature. They can now move forward, Saari said to Tulosruutu.

Original link: http://www.suomif1.com/2013/09/mtv3-tulosruutu-kimi-raikkonen-vaati-ferrari-pomolta-anteeksipyyntoa-ja-sai-sen/

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The cult of Kimi Raikkonen: F1’s coolest driver

Fun little piece by Sarah Holt. He was F1s coolest driver, even when he was off rallying in the woods 😉

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BACK TO RED

There are many things that can be said about Kimis return to Ferrari. But sometimes it’s a joy to see that others from time to time express some of your own exact sentiments. So I will let Mr. Rendina from http://www.blogf1.it speak for me in this case. His article deserves attention from english readers as well. For Italian readers, the link is at the bottom of the article. Enjoy.

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Ferrari – Raikkonen: The Dark Knight Returns

-Written by: Anthony Rendina, 11 September 2013

“Ferrari will be my last team in Formula 1.” Kimi Raikkonen said this on several occasions between 2007 and 2008, when he was the no 1 driver for the Prancing Horse. There are some kind of things you can feel, some passions are irrational flames, able to destroy space, compress time and heal wounds. The one between Ferrari and Kimi is a particular story, born from an intersecting destiny and an affection that borders the attraction between two poles so different, and so close at the same time.

Raikkonen has already been, and probably will be again, the man of destiny for Ferrari. He came to the team in 2007 with his silence, his poetic arrogance for everything that was not about driving, finding it hard to fit into a whole new team after five years in McLaren. Yet he won that year, and so he entered into the hearts of the tifosi worldwide, thanks to his epic comeback. One of the most exciting conclusions to a World Championship in the history of F1, equal to the run-up that his idol James Hunt completed in 1976 against Lauda. At that time it was a McLaren to challenge a Ferrari. In 2007, it was the Ferrari of Raikkonen to challenge the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

Brazil 2007

Brazil 2007

He won the WDC in his first year in red, the third Ferrari driver in history to do so after Juan Manuel Fangio and Jody Scheckter . But that’s not all, because Kimi was also the one who won race number 200 driving a Ferrari (China 2007) and sealed the 200th pole position of the Scuderia (France 2008). Those were the kind of signs that should have been enough to make it clear for Ferrari they had found a man to bet on, that they could have won anything together. It did not end that way – you know the story. There were misunderstandings between the team and the driver, caused by Raikkonens love of a good party. But also because of a beautiful car – the F2008 – that was designed (and especially developed ) to fit Felipe Massa, with an unstable, soft limber, and abrupt insertion on corners, which created more than one headache to a driver accustomed with a neutral behavior in a very stable car. And this crisis began in the first half of 2008, a technical difficulty which gave life to many urban legends about this guy who was asleep at the wheel, or drunk while driving.

For goodness sake, Kimi is a true character, who loves to live, a driver from another era, heir to the best approach to competition and a character like the heroes of the seventies and eighties. Raikkonen is a rebel, he is politically incorrect, he smokes, he drinks, he fucks and he teases. But he’s a phenomenon behind the wheel. Even the most skeptical noticed in that September afternoon of 2009, when Raikkonen stormed and won at Spa (for the fourth time in his career) with a mediocre Ferrari. That victory, a genuine achievement, established him permanently in the eyes of Ferrari fans.

The Iceman may not have a great respect for the media, for the sponsors, for all the things he deems unnecessary. At the same time he is a professional driver, he’s devoted to the cause, communicative with the engineers (in spite of what people say) and above all, loyal. You won’t see him tweeting from the podium, or speaking Italian during team radios. It’s very unlikely that he’ll flatter the team. Yet in 2008, he helped Felipe Massa, who was fighting for the championship. Also showing that he could sacrifice for the team. It is no secret, in fact, that the Ferrari mechanics worship him and that everyone is excited about working with him again. Both for the feedback and the confidence this guy is able to convey. In his own way, Raikkonen, (and we have discovered this over time) is a silent but true leader.

Hungary 2-8-2007

Above all, the person behind the mask of ice has feelings. He did show the whole world when he left F1: “There are too many economic interests, it’s just business and politics, this world makes me sick.” Kimi was betrayed, stabbed in the back by the team that he himself had called “A family.” And you should realize how much weight these words have, coming from a person who made coldness his creed. As an abandoned lover, Raikkonen bided his time, he raced in the WRC and he amazed the world with his comeback as a Lotus driver, appearing even stronger and more focused than in the past.

Some loves never die, they just do amazing laps and then return “. The choice of Ferrari was the best possible. Maranello will bring back home their last world champion. But it is not just an emotional choice. The introduction of the new turbo engines will require all of his talent, sensitivity and technique, his ability to exploit the asphalt to the limit, but with surgically clean trajectories. Accuracy, speed and consistency of performance. Trying to rebuild together what was abruptly interrupted.

Because it is clear that Ferrari in 2009 behaved badly with Raikkonen (out of respect we do not go into the details of a family situation that was difficult for the Finns). But the dark Kimi is like the Dark Knight: He is not the hero that Ferrari deserves, but what, (between Alonso’s whims and an ever-increasing competition) Ferrari needs.

Link to the original article: http://www.blogf1.it/2013/09/11/ferrari-raikkonen-il-ritorno-del-cavaliere-oscuro/

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MONZA 2013 REVIEW AND MY KIMI-FERRARI SCEPTICISM

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Back at the temple of speed: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. I have been there twice myself and it’s a delight. Its a huge beautiful park that just happens to have a fantastic race track, smack dab in the middle of it. Walking on the old banking is a must if you are there. I have always dreamed of seeing a modern track built with these kind of slopes again. Watching a modern F1 car go round that would be fascinating. But those days are gone. Still, nothing beats standing on the back straight right up to the railing on the inside of the track as the cars go by at 330 kph. The sound just hits you right in the gut.

A photo of the old Monza track taken by yours truly.

A photo of the old Monza track snapped by yours truly.

QUALIFYING

Rumors about Kimis whereabouts for next year are filling up the cyberspace with an evergrowing rate. Somehow Kimis doings always draws an incredible amount of attention. And they never cease to amaze. What was (at least for me) completely and utterly unthinkable is now seemingly about to happen. But I will talk about that later on. First my qualifying run down.

A long wheel base version of the E21 was to make its debut here. And hopefully aid Lotus in their previous struggles on low downforce tracks. After the practice sessions it was clear from Kimis feedback that was not the case. So they reverted to the shorter wheelbase for qualifying and the race. Q1 sees both Lotuses come through with relative ease. Q2 not so much. Kimi misses out by just hundreds of a second to start 11th. Grosjean down in 13th.

Monza, Saturday

Monza, Saturday

Now I know Kimi fans won’t like me saying this. But Kimi would comfortably have made Q3 if he had just put his lap together. What makes me say that? Well, looking at the F1 live timing app, I can tell that on his fastest Q2 lap he is unusually blessed with no immediate traffic ahead of him. He does a good sector 1 but for no apparent reason a weak sector 2. Weak how? Well, he had gone faster before in that sector when the track was slower. And on his next lap with the best life taken out of the tires, he does a faster and personal best sector 2. Had he done that in his first quick lap, he would have made it into Q3. But Brundle said he had traffic? Yes, but that was on his final attempt. His sector 3 was 2 seconds slower because he came up on Hamilton. But that had nothing to do with the previous lap where he, as far as I could tell, made a small mistake in S2 that cost him advancement.

Okay, even if he had made it into Q3, the Lotus would not have had pace to start any higher than 8th at the best. That would have put him ahead of Perez though and the race might have been a different story. But that is just speculation and that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this world. Besides, there were other interesting things happening in qualifying.

And that would be Alonsos angered radio outburst towards his team after the Ferrari tow-machine once again failed to make any real impact. Last year Ferrari made an attempt of getting Alonso higher up the order by sending out Massa ahead and making him Alonsos tow-bitch. Not too successful it was. But this year was even worse as Massa actually qualified one place ahead of Alonso in 4th. This prompted Alonso calling his team idiots (or geniuses sarcastically – which amounts to the same) with an eye-rolling “mamma mia” at the end. Clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1WacjgOnE0

Not exactly respectful behaviour considering how hard the guys work behind the scenes. That is one thing. But what makes it much worse in my eyes is seeing Alonso do his usual bold faced lying to the press after the incident. This is far from the first time he applies this tactic. He has the gall to hail qualifying as “perfect tactics” and that it was “an extremely, extremely good qualifying for us.”: http://adamcooperf1.com/2013/09/07/fernando-alonso-i-will-be-able-to-see-the-red-bull-rea-wings-on-the-grid/

Alonso and the press

Alonso and the press

Was it now Fernando? Could have fooled me. It almost sounds like he believes it himself. It takes a special man to make false words ooze out of his mouth with such ease. And Vettel is the one having all the booing..? Go figure. I don’t approve of booing, but if someone deserves it, it would be Alonso for his long history of spies, lies, two-faced tactics and shamelessness. In particular saying he was “proud” of his Singapore “win” in 2008 that only came about by cheating.

Ok. Enough about the small-minded man with a penchant for paranoia and on to better things.

THE RACE

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Italian Grand Prix - Race Day - Monza, Italy

The first chicane in Monza is tight when 22 cars scramble for best position at one time. In particular when there are a few rotten eggs in the bunch. With Kimis midfield starting position, he unfortunately fell foul with one of those. His name is Perez. He is an idiot. He has one move when trying to gain or keep a position and its called a chop. He has received penalties for this before. But he doesnt learn. And it doesn’t matter when you are buddies with the richest man in the world.

Kimi gets a fantastic start off the line. The track is fairly clear ahead of him down to the chicane. Until Perez decides to move over and force him onto the grass. It would have been fair if he had been clear ahead of Kimi, but he wasn’t. Kimi then had to lift to avoid contact, move off the track, get his left wheelset slightly dirty, then lose downforce that resulted in less stopping power. End result: he was powerless in stopping before hitting the back of the McLaren and smashing up his own front wing: http://youtu.be/G-d4ybeA6e8

Yea, it’s deemed a racing incident. But this would have never happened with a driver like Button or Alonso. The Mexican doesn’t seem to know where his car is in relation to those around him. And that is a problem in wheel to wheel racing. So Kimi has to pit after the first lap for a new wing and is dead last with more than 20 seconds up to the nearest Marussia in front of him. And so began his long hunt for a measly point or two.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Italian Grand Prix - Race Day - Monza, Italy

A driver with no motivation would have said “why bother?”. But he wastes no time and begins chugging away at the gap, setting times on par with the race leader Vettel. Except for perhaps a tenth or two now and then. In fact they swap fastest lap times over a good part of the race. And that strongly highlights what could have been a great fight if only Kimi could have been up there somewhere. And now with Pirelli being more conservative in their choice of compounds, the Monza race is a one stopper. So no chance of gaining ground by making one stop less as in the first part of the season.

So the race is pretty much run from there. Highlight for me was Kimis daunting pass on Sutil on the outside into Parabolica. That was just a stunning move. You dive into that corner with over 200 kph. Spectacular!

Kimi finally gets back at Perez and passes him but runs out of time and laps to pass Button for 10th. So he ends up in the same position as he started. It was a heroic effort and he gave a good show for all the fans watching.

Which brings me to my next point. Vettel crosses the line as victor once again in Monza. For a 3rd time actually. And he did it while nursing a very worn gearbox. And nursing a flat spotted tire in his first stint that gave him tons of vibrations. He still had no problems keeping a 10 second gap to Alonso and his teammate behind him. He put on a good show as did the rest of the field. Which is why it is so very disappointing to hear boos towards
Vettel when the podium ceremony starts. I really thought that F1 was a sport above the simpleminded hooliganism of say football. But apparently not.

Podium "celebrations", Monza 2013

Podium “celebrations”, Monza 2013

Another Vettel victory

Another Vettel victory

It is so idiotic and lowbrow to boo any driver on the podium when he has been out on the track, risking his life to put on a show for the spectators. I am not just talking about Italy but also the other places this has taken place. If you are a booer, get a grip and get a life. You are not smart for doing it. You only present yourself as a wanting specimen of the human race.

Anyway, congratulations to Vettel. He is well on his way to his 4th title. By the way. You know the next 4 races coming up? Vettel won all of those last year. Nuff said.

KIMI AND FERRARI

So what is this Kimi to Ferrari business? Chances are that when you are reading this, Kimis contract with Ferrari for the next 2 years have already been made official. If not, I will have to go back and make some serious editing here 😉
(Edit: Yes, it is confirmed now. So check out this brilliant article on Kimis return by the guys at blogf1.it: https://f1bias.com/2013/09/11/back-to-red/ )

But the sources reporting that this is a done deal are coming from all over now. Pekka Franck, editor in Chief from SuomiF1 was the first to claim that Kimi was definitely going back to Ferrari next year. It took a long while before more known sources touched on that subject, but now its all over the F1 media that a return to the Scuderia for the last Ferrari champion is imminent. The latest rumors say that Shell will be on Kimis side and taking care of his 20 million euro base salary as well. They sure had a soft spot for him last time around:

What do I think of this Ferrari move? Well, I am not a completely happy camper. I remember how his last stint with Ferrari ended. How he became a pawn in a PR smearing campaign to justify his outing to make room for Alonso. And how he was not listened to in 2008. Even when he was the reigning champion nonetheless. Had they listened to Kimi like they did in the second half of 2009, they would have had a double champion. That is a betrayal in my eyes. And frankly – I do not understand Kimis desire to return to Ferrari.
If you read the rundown of the events in 2008 behind the scenes, you might agree with me: https://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/

Then again, Kimi is nothing like me. In the slightest. As I am known to be able to hold a grudge for far too long, Kimi on the other hand has an uncanny ability to let bygones be bygones. The question is, are they bygones? Kimi is a smart man. I am sure the contract is long and filled with clauses and conditions. But how much value does words on a paper have when push comes to shove?

If I am to make an estimated guess of his motives for this move it would be the 2014 engine regulations. Next year those turbo powerplants are going to play a major role in what team has the upper hand. And a works team will always have a big advantage. And there are only 3 of those. Mercedes, Ferrari and to an extent – Renault with Red Bull. But effectively there are only 2 true works teams. This is why Hamilton made the move to Mercedes. An inspired choice it seems. And Kimi wants a piece of that. He has not returned to F1 for podiums and great drives. He wants to win.

Another motive would be funds for the team. 2 years in Lotus have taught him that it isn’t enough to have a dedicated balls out racing team that Lotus is. And that is very sad and unfortunate in itself. You also need money to keep the pressure on the car development. To keep up with the rivals. Lotus have tried to do so and they are in deep debt at the moment. I believe Kimi would have stayed at Lotus if they had been able to give him some kind of reassurance of the budget for next year. Apparently they could not do so.

I still wonder why Kimi didn’t land a deal with Red Bull instead. They have ties with Renault and they have the funds. They have Adrian Newey and so on and so forth. Judging from comments from Webber and Horner, it was in fact Kimi himself that chose not to go with Red Bull. Not the other way around. The reasons for that are unknown to the public for the time being.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Italian Grand Prix - Race Day - Monza, Italy

The big question mark for me is Alonso. In fact there are a lot of question marks. But a big one is Alonso. He was the chosen one. Supposed to bring the Scuderia into Schumacher-like glory with his supposedly uncanny car development skills. That has not happened in 4 years now. He is getting older as well. There are reports that he is on his way out of Ferrari for next year. Perhaps to McLaren and some even say to Lotus with Renault returning to the team. That just sounds bonkers so I don’t buy that just yet. However, what is a widely known fact coming from voices inside Ferrari, is that Alonso was very vocal for retaining Massa and against employing Kimi. But with the tension that has been this year between Montezemelo and Alonso, I think Luca may be taking this opportunity to show Alonso who the boss is.

But two roosters in one henhouse? And with one of the roosters being notorious for having fits when he doesn’t get the special treatment he feels he deserves? We all know that Kimi will care less about that stuff as long as his preferences are heeded and he gets equal treatment. He is probably the only one of the top 4 drivers that could function alongside Fernando. The problem is that I don’t think the Spaniard would or could function beside anyone who can regularly challenge him on track. His past says no. But I doubt he has anywhere to go to since he, unlike Kimi, has burned his bridges. So he just has to suck it up and stay at Ferrari. Or take a sabbatical. But I give the latter a snowballs chance.

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 17 March 2013.

Another question is car development. Kimi and Alonso have very unsimilar driving styles and preferences. How is that going to work out? Like in 2008? I will burn down Maranello if I see signs of that happening again. Are there time, capacity and money for two slightly different routes? This remains my biggest worry. Kimi is very particular in what he wants. If he gets that just right, no one in the world can match his speed. It is one of his strengths but also his weakness. This is what the Ferrari engineers raved about when he was there. They did not understand the speed he got from the car at times. Alonso on the other hand has a driving style that makes it easier for him to adapt to different cars. This is one of his strengths. In my mind that means that the main focus actually needs to be on Kimis car for next year. Are you sure you got that part included in the contract, Kimi?

I am glad that Kimi will be with a team that is a works team. That has plenty of finances to keep a championship challenge going to the end. The fact that he knows the team from before, knows the team members and so on, may also have been a deciding factor for him against Red Bull. And I am glad that he will be in F1 for at least 2 more years. Other than that I am holding off the champagne. Too many unknows and memories of things that were that still haunt me. Do I have trust issues when it comes to Ferrari? Darn straight I do. Does Kimi? He hasn’t forgotten. Of course not. But perhaps he is just that bullheaded, just that determined and that much on fire that he wants to come back and set the record straight. Prove every doubter and detractor wrong. This is what I hope will happen. And he will do it if given half a chance. But he needs the team on his side more than he did before. And until I see that happening, I will remain a sceptic.

Until Singapore, stay frosty.

Love,
Soren

alonso-and-kimi-podium

Images ©  Photo4/XPB Images, Sutton Images
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any of these photos taken down for any reason.

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SPA 2013 – KIMIS GLORY RUN COMES TO AN END

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Belgian Grand Prix - Race Day - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
Oh, how treacherous a mistress of a track you are. Your glorious curves and sweeping bends, they do entice us so. Down you go from La Source and through the most infamous of corners. The long relentless climb past Blanchimont towards the bus stop chicane, it ensnares us, draws us in. You sit unrivalled in your throne of green in the Ardennes. Echoes of races past and glories now forgotten still linger in the moist air.

And when it is revisited by your uncrowned king, oh what a sight to behold it becomes. None can match his commitment and attack into Pouhon. Passing the fiercest of competitors in unthinkable places. Charging through thick smoke down the Kemmel straight with ice in his veins. A match made in racing heaven. Spa-Francorchamps and the Iceman. But it is a dangerous liason indeed. The thrills are the highest of high. But on the opposite side of the scale, so are the disappointments. And yet we love it. Even if the emotions take us high and low, in twists and bends much like your grand design, we would not have it any other way. Until next year it’s au revoir. You track of tracks.

RW-Spa-Francorchamps-1920x1200

And with that we are back from the summer holidays with a bang. My wife and I had a kid in the meantime. (In case you missed my previous post). Happy, content and ready for some F1 action. I propose that the Spa circuit sends some extra chills down the spine of a Kimi fan. Because he is mighty around here. It is likely the track on the calendar where talent and commitment matters more than elsewhere.

We get some news that Lotus are getting very ambitious with an extra long wheelbase for the car and that they will run the passive DRS system this weekend. But then we get the news that no, they will not be doing any of that after all. Due to lack of dry running.. I don’t know about you, but I am getting some serious deja vu reading that. Perhaps in Monza. If you are an optimist: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109380

The most talked about man in the paddock is Kimi and his whereabouts for next year. Red Bull, Lotus, even Ferrari? He was set up for the press con but failed to show due to “illness”. I didn’t buy it at the time. Very convenient way to miss out on a lot of inevitable questions. However, he did sound a little bit under the weather judging by his voice in the post-race interviews so I will give him the benefit of the doubt here 😉

QUALIFYING

Based on that, hopes were not high in anticipation for the quali sessions. The drying Q1 session saw both Marussias going into Q2. A first for the team. In Q2, we get a glimpse of what might have been. If not for the whimsical nature of the Spa itself. The track dries and even though the Lotus has been trailing in all practice sessions, Kimi clocks the fastest time. Oh boy, oh boy.

Rain. Y U NO stop.

Rain. Y U NO stop.

On to Q3 and its pretty much over before it began. Rain pours down and everyone has to go back to get inters. There are a couple of things that really grinds my gears here. Have you noticed how Kimi many times are one of the first cars, if not the first to go out in a lot of quali sessions? But now – when he really really needed to be in front of the line, he was not. Why did he need it? Because the first cars that went out, the Mercedes and the Red Bulls, they got an extra lap at the very end which improved their final time massively. Kimi? He missed it by seconds. Result, 8th on the grid. Yes, it is Spa and overtaking is very possible. True. But Kimi had his car set up for the twisty sector two and not the straights. He needed to be at the front to have any chance.

THE RACE

Hamilton on pole, Vettel on 2nd. Lights out and it’s OMG – where is Grosjean?!! Goodness me, he made it thru turn 1. Wow. The cars go up the Kemmel straight and Vettel has an insane tow behind Hamilton and passes him for the lead with relative ease. And that was pretty much it. Vettel was nowhere to be seen until the finish line.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Belgian Grand Prix - Race Day - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

As for our protagonist, he tucks in behind Grosjean but passes him into Les Combes on lap 2. After that he has Hulkenberg in his sights. But there is a problem. First noticed on lap 7. A whole lot of brake dust is plummeting out from Raikkonens left front. A one time thing? No, it keeps happening every corner. I pretty much know that the car is living on a limited period of grace if they don’t do something. Surely, they should pit him immediately to check for problems? The pit stops are not far away anyhow.

But no, they keep him going for 7 more laps before they pit him. By then the damage is done. The irony is that of all things, it was a visor tear-off that had found its way into the brakeduct. Making the left front brake overheat, causing excessive wear. Had they taken him in right away, they could have removed the visor before critical damage was done and he would have completed the race.

But instead they left him out on track and told him to try and manage the temperatures in the brakes. Meaning he had to turn his pace down to do so. It could not have been a worse decision. I know Kimis luck was bound to run out at some point. But this.. This could easily have been avoided. Pure folly by the Lotus team.

And yet he managed the two best overtakes of the entire race with a stricken front brake. One on Paul di Resta at the busstop and a glorious one in turn 9 on dirty Sanchez. I mean.. Perez. Perez had earned himself a drive-tru for forcing Grosjean off the track. But he is not satisfied and does some insane blocking down towards Eau Rouge and also defending way too late on the Kemmel straight. Kimi is having none of his petty small-minded antics and
stuns him by passing him in a very unlikely place in turn 9. Almost MotoGP like.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Belgian Grand Prix - Race Day - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

Kimi is on a roll and dispenses of Gutierrez masterfully in Rivage. Not exactly a run of the mill pass either. Just brilliant. He closes in on Massa but the Ferrari is very fast in a straight line. Finally he gets a good tow towards the bus stop for a pass but then its all over. He overshoots the corner by a mile and comes directly into the pits. Front brake gone on lap 25. Race over.
38 consecutive race finishes and a record 27(!) consecutive finishes in the points comes to an end. He gave it a go, provided some fantastic racing with the hand he was dealt and retires by no fault of his own. A shame but a DNF with great dignity on his part.

The rest of the race is pretty straight forward from my point of view. There is an incident, courtesy of yet another numbscull on the track: Maldonado. It’s a 4 car fight between Maldonado at the front, then Gutierrez, Sutil and di Resta. Gutierrez is side by side with Maldonado towards the chicane, does a great pass there as the Venezuelan goes slightly wide.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Belgian Grand Prix - Race Day - Spa Francorchamps, BelgiumLets pause for a second. The fight has been going on for a couple of laps, so Maldonado have seen there are more cars gaggled up behind him. What completely baffles me is that he decides to try to go for the pits after overshooting the chicane. As if the 3 other cars had suddenly magically disappeared! He tries once: “Oops! A Force India! Ok, slight contact. No biggie.. Lets try again. Surely, no other cars are around now… Gaaah! Another Force India?! Oh well, bad luck for di Resta. Into the pits I go. Do-be-do-be-doo. I got oil millions up the wazoo..”

Up at the front, Vettel sets a trademark fastest lap towards the end. He is 17 seconds ahead of Alonso when he crosses the finish line. And still with some pace in hand according to him. The season is not going to be as exciting as last year. But I gotta hand it to the kid. He is a quick one. Especially when you see where old rubberface finished in the sister car. More than half a minute behind in 5th place. Nothing less than pitiful. And they seemingly got Ricciardo lined up to replace him? Good luck with that. His teammate Vergne is even ahead of him in the points.

Nice car. *pat pat*

Nice car. *pat pat*

IN CLOSING

Where will Kimi end up for 2014? New engines and all. I hardly ever speak much about any rumors. I prefer to hear solid confirmation from Kimi or his people. But I will make a small exception here. Judging from the chatter and a very confident Finnish F1 site, Kimi has alledegly signed a 2 year contract with Ferrari. With an option for a 3rd year. You probably ask why on earth he would do such a thing. If true that is. I ask myself the very
same question. And one can debate that all day. I will say that he left Ferrari on good terms with everyone there. One question mark is di Montezemelo. And another is Alonso. Will the Spaniard stay if Kimi really goes to the red team? Those answers will come eventually.

Anyway. Perhaps we will know more when Monza comes around. Until then, stay safe my friends. Enjoy life and some strawberries. They are full of vitamins, you know.

Love
Soren

Alonso: "My pokerface is better." Kimi: "Bitch, please."

Alonso: “My pokerface is better.”
Kimi: “Bitch, please.”

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AN EXPLANATION FOR MY ABSENCE

SAM_1036
As some of you may have read in one of my reviews this year, my wife and I have been expecting a little one. And because of that, not all races would be covered by a review. Since I have now missed 2 races in a row, you probably guessed that something is up. Or out. If you will.

SAM_1024And yes, we have become parents to a little girl! I know this is hardly race related, but it’s my blog dammit! And I want to show off my little cutie pie 😉 Her name is Susanne. And we will naturally start grooming her for karting in a few years. Or perhaps it will be horseback riding if my wife gets her way. It’s up in the air at this point.

Ok, that was just the little update I wanted to put out there. Apologies for the Red Bull shirt in the photo. I have trouble knowing what to wear these days before we know what team Kimi races for in 2014. And if the latest news is anything to go by then I might have to start digging out my old Ferrari gear from the closet again. Can you imagine? Craziest silly season ever.

Take care my friends. And expect a review for Belgium. I just know that Kimi will shake the Ardennes to their foundation!
Love,
Soren

 

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SILVERSTONE GP 2013 – KIMI GETS PISSED OVER TEAM CALL

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - British Grand Prix - Race Day - Silverstone, England

Hey guys. Just a short post on the Silverstone race. I’m about to go on vacation to Denmark so I have to cut it a bit short. And after the result, I was not that motivated either. Even though the race was very eventful in both good and bad ways.

QUALIFYING

So the Lotus team introduced the “device” or passive DRS on Kimis car this weekend. And some other updates as well. Kimis feedback was that it is an improvement, but not the improvement it was hoped to give. Qualifying once again saw the Lotus problem of heating up the tires. As a result Kimi wound up on 9th (later corrected to 8th due to Di Restas penalty for being low fuelled), while Romain qualified on 8th (7th). Starting ahead of Kimi for the first time this year.

Ferrari had a miserable quali session. Alonso just made it into Q3 and stayed 10th (9th). While Massa started 11th, penalty corrected. Rosberg was 2nd and Vettel 3rd.
Hamilton was the man of the day as he took pole position by the largest margin this year. Almost half a second. Those Mercs sure have some qualifying pace. And their race pace are rapidly improving. Perhaps because of the now deemed illegal Pirelli test in Spain? Penalty was given by FIA. A slap basically. By being excluded from participating in the young drivers test.

THE RACE

Hamilton get away clean as the lights go out. Vettel jumps Rosberg and gives chase to the Mercedes. Mark has another horrible start and finds himself 14th. This time it wasn’t his own fault. He tangled with Grosjean. Which, unbelievably wasn’t his fault either. Grosjean had to take evasive action to avoid crashing into the McLaren on his right. And he made contact with Mark which damaged his wing and sent him down the order.

It's me front wing! Git back heah ya little peddlah. I will get you for this, Grosjeeeaaan!

It’s me front wing! Git back heah ya little peddlah. I will git you for thees, Grosjeeeaaan!

As for Kimi, he gets an ok start. He gets up to 6th from 8th.  But is stuck behind Massa who has made a fantastic start from 11th. Alonso has had an uncharacteristic mediocre start and only made up one place due to Webbers misfortune.

Bummer..

Bummer..

On lap 8 the mayhem that would set its mark on the race, started. Hamiltons rear tire blows up in a spectacular fashion. A real pity since he was looking very strong for the win. To the shocked dismay and anger of the big British crowd. And that anger was directed immediately towards Pirelli. As if they had not been under enough fire lately. It did not improve, as Massa was the next victim to suffer the rear tire failure. Then later, the Toro Rosso of Vergne, then Perez and Gutierrez.

We see Pirelli personnel scrambling back and forth and are quick to state that it is not down to the delamination we had seen before. Instead attention is turned towards the kerbs. Especially the kerb on turn 5. BBC took a closer look at that after the race. And it seems it played a part in the failures:

We have a silly situation happening with the Lotus team on lap 12. Kimi has just emerged from the pits. And Grosjean has been pushing like mad, setting fastest lap to get ahead of Kimi. And he just does. As a result, Kimi being held up by Grosjean, Alonso is able to pass him. This goes on for 2 laps before the team finally tells Grosjean to move over.

Lotus doesnt seem to learn. They did the same thing in Bahrain last year and told Grosjean way too late and Kimi had used up the part of his tires that most likely would have given him the win. Just as he passes Grosjean, Vergnes tire gives way. And the SC is sent out on lap 16 so debris could be cleaned. Kimi actually got chunks of smoking hot tire flung into his cockpit and onto his helmet. And yet the madman just kept his foot down.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - British Grand Prix - Race Day - Silverstone, England

Nevertheless, the race goes on after the safety car period. Vettel obviously took over the lead after Hamiltons big blowout. And it looks like another win in the cards for the WDC leader.

Kimi eventually catches up to Alonso and Lotus makes a great call to call Kimi in early to jump Alonso. Kimi gets out, sets some blistering purple sectors and voila, Alonso is beaten out of the pits.
He is tough to get rid of though, but Kimi gets some unexpected help from Webber coming up from behind and fighting a while with Alonso before he makes his pass. Except now the pressure from behind is Webber. Kimi is in 3rd position though, and looks set to get a nice position.

Bummer..

Bummer..

Lap 41, Kimi goes up to 2nd. This time it’s due to Vettel losing his gearbox and slowing to a halt. To the delight and cheers of a lot of people in the grandstands. The car stops in such an inconvenient place on the old start/finish, that the SC has to be called into action again. And what happens next is what really grinds my gears – much like they grinded in Vettels car. Lotus has at least half a lap to make the call to pit Kimi or not. Meanwhile, Rosberg, Webber and Alonso all pit. For some reason, Lotus chooses not to pit Kimi. Something that baffled him afterwards:  http://youtu.be/xx5Dy8lCy5Q

Webber: "Hahaha.. heheheheh.. MUAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

Webber: “Hahaha.. heheheheh.. MUAHAHAHAHAHAH!”

And the teams response is, “I dont know, Kimi.” Oh great. Thats comforting. What are they paying all the strategists for then? Because of this he is on tires that are 15 laps older than his competitors. He puts up a great fight. But the wear of the tires cannot be ignored. And Alonso, Webber and even Hamilton gets by and demotes him to 5th. He felt that decision cost him 2nd place easily. This is one pissed off Kimi after the race:
http://www1.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/formula-1/8799673/raikkonen-team-made-wrong-call

"Derp"

“Derp”

Anyway, Rosberg is the first man across the finish line for the second time this year. Race pace and tire management have improved significantly for the silver arrows. Webber follows suit and Alonso in third showed how much better the Ferrari is on race pace. Congrats to young Rosberg. Even if he had finished behind Vettel without his DNF, he sure kept up pretty good with the Red Bull before that. Could he turn into a contender this year? Perhaps. It would take just a little more performance from the car and another Vettel DNF. It’s a long shot but you never know.
One thing is for certain, they have definitely leapfrogged Lotus on race pace. Lets hope Lotus can still extract more from their updates. And lets hope the teams do not boycott the German GP. I need my F1 fix. And the Germans have been pulling out the big PR and are expecting a Vettel win there.

OPINION ON KIMI AND RED BULL

Time to turn our attention away from this race. To Germany nest week? Sure. But first, the hot topic of where Kimi will race next year. Both Kimi and Red Bull have acknowledged a serious interest and also talks. And Steve Robertson has even said there there is interest in Kimi for next year from McLaren. Whatever that means.

Listen, I get that many people want Kimi to stay at Lotus. They have been fabulous. They have given him a dream comeback. A perfect team to make a comeback with. Its not a top team but they have had a good enough car to challenge for podiums and even supplied 2 wins. Had he started in McLaren or Red Bull, it would have been more difficult and any good performance is merely expected more than it is praised. They have also been good to Kimi in catering to his needs. Less sponsor days and so on.

That's... different.

That’s… different.

But lets get real for a moment. We also need to look at the many team blunders the past one and a half years. Blunders that top teams seldom make. Botched up and slower pit stops as well. Its incredible what they have done with the budget they have – but a reality check tells us that F1 is also an arms race. And to win that arms/development race, you need resources. Something that Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and RBR all have. Thats why Ferrari can turn a dog handling car into a winning car over the season. Same with McLaren. And its also why Mercedes is becoming the major threat to Red Bull now.

So, if Kimi wants to have a winning car, I am absolutely convinced that he has to change team now. Of course, you can never know in F1. But there are big rule changes for next year. And we all know that Adrian Newey is a fox to find performance in places that others don’t even think of. Until they see it on his car. I would even take McLaren over Lotus even if Red Bull is my preferred choice. McLaren may be in a slump now. But you can never count them out. Especially when they have already begun to focus and develop the 2014 car.

Where are you going, Kimi?

Where are you going, Kimi?

As for the sceptics saying that, “oh, don’t put Kimi in Red Bull. Its built around Vettel. He owns that team. Kimi will be number 2 just like Webber.” To that I say, baloney!
Sure, Vettel is a 3 time champ and the team will obviously tend to meet his needs. But there is not a shred of evidence that Webber is a number 2 in the team. I have said this many times – but if he truly was a number 2, why on earth did the team desperately try to keep Vettel from overtaking Webber in Malaysia. They would have just asked him to move over. But they didn’t. Fact is that they have always been allowed to race. And they also have the finances to keep the cars to both drivers liking. Besides, you really think Kimi and the Robertsons wouldn’t have covered all bases in a contract?

I am aware it could backfire. Kimi might need extra time in getting the car to his liking. But I would still rather see him in a winning car. I know there are new blood in Lotus now. New owners have bought into the team and are making big promises. Promises that they are sure Lotus will be on top. Those are big words. But talk is cheap and now that the only designer that could challenge Newey is gone, I have my doubts. Lotus plays it down but James Allison was worth his weight in gold.

Thats my opinion and I am sure we will know more before August. I have to add, that even if he stays at Lotus I will be happy just to be able to see Kimi racing. Even if I will be a little disappointed. But Kimi knows what he is doing. So I’m glad he is making the call and not me. By the way – Lotus got a home run with their Twitter hashtag this weekend: #GodSaveOurTires.

Enjoy the summer. Do a good deed. Maybe also pet a dog. But not if you don’t know the dog and it is tied up. It could bite you know.

Love
Soren

P.S. This is where you find the chilliest Kimi community on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kimifanclub/

P.P.S. I guess the review wasn’t that short after all..

1064668_10153041064945565_580444904_o

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CANADA GP 2013 – VETTEL DOMINATES – ALONSO FANS CAN’T TAKE IT

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, Canada
Yea, just a super short recap of the race highlights this time around. There are a couple of important things I want to touch on, though. If not, I would have left it alone since the race from a Kimi-fans perspective was pretty depressing.

QUALIFYING

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, CanadaA rain filled session saw Vettel break the pole streak of Mercedes. Another driver who excelled was Valtteri Bottas who managed to put his Willams in the 3rd grid slot. As for Kimi and Grosjean for that matter, qualifying proved once again how hard it is to heat the tires of the Lotus in cooler conditions. Kimi somehow made it into 9th – only to be dropped a place for being naughty by overtaking Webber in the pitlane.

THE RACE

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, CanadaVettel takes off like a bat out of hell. And is leading with several seconds after a couple of laps. He led from start to finish and only made two small mistakes. Touched one of the walls with his rearwheel (could have ended his race, if it had hit harder) and a small excursion off track in turn 1. Other than that he was untouchable.

He lapped the entire field but 4 cars. If he had kept his initial pace, I am sure he would have come darn close to lapping all. You wouldn’t be wrong if you said that it seems like Red Bull has gotten a better hold of the tires now. If we see a similar scenario pan out in Silverstone, then hello 2011.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, CanadaAs for Mr. Raikkonen, he is not having a great start to his race. Almost right after the start, his brake pedal goes soft. That normally means a retirement right there. But somehow Kimi makes it work. My guess is that we will never know how titanic an effort and what a monstrous performance it really was for Kimi to keep the car in the points under those conditions. And still, on lap 12, he managed one of the best passes of the race on Ricciardo with a car that was far less than optimal.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, Canada

To add insult to injury, he is informed of a fuel problem later on. The car is using more fuel than expected and he has to turn the engine down to save fuel. Not something that really enables you to fight for or even keep positions. And then there was the pitstop where he lost precious time due to problems with the jack. Here are Kimis comments on some of the problems: http://www.lotusf1team.com/breaking-records-of-no-interest-to.html?lang=en

What he didn’t mention – since he is a teamplayer – was the atrocious strategy chosen by Lotus in Canada. So Kimi was one of the few one stoppers. First of all, 1 stop doesnt help that much in Canada because the pitlane is very short. Stops were 5-6 seconds quicker than in Monaco for instance. Second, he started on the supersoft tire like everybody else who was 2- and 3-stopping. I mean, wtf?! If you decide to put him on a silly 1-stopper – at least put on the medium prime tire for a longer first stint! But no. I could elaborate more, but I won’t. It was stupid. End of.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, CanadaSo in conclusion, if this was Kimis worst weekend of the season, I will take it and I am glad it’s over. The Lotus E21 is not a big fan of the point and squirt nature of the Canada circuit. It excels in fast corners. And Silverstone has some great ones. So we have that to look forward to. It was a weekend to forget, yes. But they happen. After all, I prefer a race like this instead of a retirement. Speaking of, he has now matched Schumachers streak of 24 races with points scoring.

Alonso and Massa showed the great race pace of the Ferrari by climbing from 6th to 2nd and 16th to 8th respectively. Hamilton had a great fight with the Spaniard at the end, but was unable to keep 2nd. The Mercedes still a tad too hard on the tires on the longer runs.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, CanadaI have to mention the atrocious behaviour that started when Eddie Jordan begun interviewing Vettel on the podium. The boos from the crowd were very loud, annoying and not to mention, disrespectful. Vettel ignored them professionally. And then it became clear who the culprits were. And I was not surprised. The booing faded into Alonso chants. “Alonso, Alonso” and so on. Like I said on Twitter, Alonso fans are proving their low IQ with this display.

And no wonder it’s fans of a driver that is found to be lacking a moral compass many times, that show this behaviour. I guess they belong together. Mind you, these are adults. Grown men. I have nothing but disgust for such a childish, stupid and juvenile behaviour. That is not how you behave. And there was no reason for it whatsoever. Shame on you. And Alonso did nothing to try and silence them. He could have, but didn’t. It was fans of the same driver that a few years back painted their face black and said they were “Hamilton fans”. Go figure.

FINAL WORDS AND EPITATH

I was fuming after the race. Fuming for seeing Lotus lose ground to other teams. Baffled by the idiotic strategy chosen for this race. Frustrated with the problems Kimi had to deal with along with errors on the pit lane. Now that James Allison is gone, I can see no reason why Kimi would stay at Lotus for 2014. The fact is that the Enstone team also have a known cash flow problem. And that is why they lose ground during the season.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Race Day - Montreal, CanadaI am grateful for Lotus luring Kimi back to F1. And that have given us some unforgettable moments. Kimi has once again cemented himself as the cream of the crop along with Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso. And that would not have been possible without the Lotus comeback. But the Finn is not stupid. He knows what is up and which way the wind blows – so to speak. That is why I am absolute certain that he will not be with Lotus in 2014. The way I see it, he will either race with Red Bull or retire. And I clearly prefer the first option.

When Kimi saw the opportunity to switch to McLaren for 2002 during his first year with Sauber in 2001, he took it without looking back. He was grateful to Peter Sauber for taking him into F1, but also knew the importance of being in a top team with resources. Anyway, its my view. If you have another, feel free to leave a comment about it. And now to the worst part of the weekend.

After the race was done, we got the very sad news that a marshall had died from injuries he sustained while clearing the Sauber of Gutierrez from the track: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/108014
Such a sad and unnecessary accident. Not what you have in mind when you volunteer for a job like this. My thoughts and prayers go to his family.

Be safe people.

Love,
Soren

"Look guys. This is how you wave goodbye to another championship."

“Look guys. This is how you wave goodbye to another championship.”

"Hi. Can I ask you a question? Why can't I be loved like Kimi? I know I'm a complete idiot, but still?"

“Hi. Can I ask you a question? Why can’t I be loved like Kimi? I know I’m a complete idiot, but still?”

Someone suggested I should just post grid girls instead of a review. Well, here is one at least.

Someone suggested I should just post grid girls instead of a review. Well, here is one at least.

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Raikkonen on Perez: “Some guys for sure you know what to expect…”

Kimi just saying it like it is.

Adam Cooper's F1 Blog

Kimi Raikkonen made it clear today that he hasn’t forgotten his collision with Sergio Perez in Monaco, and hasn’t changed his position on what happened.

Raikkonen said after the race that someone should punch Perez, and while he hasn’t taken that opportunity, he is still unhappy about losing priceless points.

“There’s nothing else I could have done apart from just drive straight,” said Kimi. “Using my own line I could have easily made the corner, but obviously he comes too fast and can’t stop.

“My line was in the middle of the circuit anyhow, so there was definitely no way that he was going to get past me if I didn’t move over, and I don’t really feel I should move over if another guy comes too fast. I did that already five or six laps earlier or something, just purely because I saw that he comes too fast and…

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MONACO GP 2013 – KIMI: “DO I HAVE TO SLAP A BITCH?”

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco
Back in the principality for the ultimate street race. But I just can’t figure out if this is an anticipated race or not. The challenge and skill needed to drive a good race here is immense. But the problem with that is that it’s hard to transfer this fact to the spectators. So Monaco does often become a procession of cars as far as the onlooker is concerned. Spiced with the inevitable crash and safety car.

This year had crashes, some action and an even more processed procession than usual.

QUALIFYING

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Saturday - Monte Carlo, MonacoSometimes in Monaco, the qualifying is the most exciting bit as the outcome of the race is already decided there. Mercedes were expected to shine and shine they did. Rosberg in particular. He managed to top all practice sessions and came good in the dry/wet qualifying as well to take his 3rd pole position in a row. The gains Mercedes have made since 2012 is redonkulous.

On the other end of the scale we find crash master Grosjean who managed to mangle his car in not one, not two but all 3 practice sessions. Hello! The team only just got his car ready for qualifying where he had to make due with 13th. Kimi did much better, but not quite good enough for Monaco. 5th was all that was in the Lotus on Saturday. Both Bulls and Mercs ahead of him. Still, with a 1-stop very possible for the E21, perhaps there could be a podium in the cards.

THE RACE

Rosberg gets a horrible start but still keeps the lead thanks to the nature of Monaco. Had it been China, he would have been 3rd or 4th at turn 1. Kimi manages to keep Alonso behind him – also thanks to Monaco and the short run to turn 1. By some miracle, Grosjean makes it through the first corner and lap without incident. (That I know of). Alonso is feisty behind Kimi but cannot find a way through. Say what you will about Alonso, but the man knows the limits of Monaco and is very fair on the race track.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, MonacoAfter a while the cars settle in somewhat. And I say somewhat because it quickly comes abundantly clear that one place the fickle Pirelli rubber doesn’t fit – is Monaco. It’s gets almost comical as you see the Mercedes cars conserving their tires and the cars behind having a lot more pace in hand, frantically trying to find a way to pass the car in front. Result, we get botches of car trains behind cars that are preserving tire life. So the field is a lot more bunched up than usual. This is sending chain effects down the order. Where faster cars that are nudging against the car in front are making themselves a target for an attack from the car behind.

Sidenote: It’s a sad sad sight to see the leader of the GP just slouching lazily through the swimming pool chicane. No drama or push. Just taking it as easy as possible. I think back to 2006. Alonso is leading the race and Kimi is right on his heels, chasing him down. And they both went through the same chicane at such speed that it took your breath away. Although the tires give some interesting races, the spectacle of the speed in Monaco is gone with the current rubber.

Pitstops happen and Kimi pits on lap 27, around the same time as the others and a lot earlier than I had thought. Its a good quick stop from Lotus. Alonso pits 2 laps later and is very close to jumping Kimi even though Kimi had the upper hand with the earlier stop. Possibly traffic on his out lap. But he stays ahead of the red car.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, MonacoThe next red car we see is the Ferrari of Massa in the barrier at Sainte Devote. An exact replica of his practice crash!
The crash in practice was down to driver error but Ferrari was adamant that the second one – although a complete copy of the first crash – was down to a car error. Let’s just say that I take everything coming out of the red camp with a grain of salt. Thankfully Massa is okay. But it may be time for him to hang up his helmet. Give Kobayashi the seat instead: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107732

Red Bull is quick to react and pits Sebastian just before the safety car comes out. With both Mercs unpitted, it could prove disastrous for them. They cannot drive faster than the pace time set for the SC period. What happens is that Hamilton drops back a pit to avoid a queue in the pitlane. However, that gap was enough for Vettel and Webber to jump Hamilton up to 2nd and 3rd place.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, MonacoThe restarts are not kind to the Lotus car. Being gentle on the tires usually means taking a bit more time in getting the pressure and temperature up to snuff. Alonso tries to take advantage, but sees that Raikkonen has got him covered at the hairpin and the chicane. Alonsos attempts leaves him vulnerable to Button who has a little go at the hairpin and nudges Alonsos rear wheel with his front wing. By some black magic or voodoo, Alonso avoids a puncture and keeps going.

The first real victim of this previously mentioned “bunching up” is Button. Perez practically does a hailmary on the inside of the Brit at the chicane, hoping he will yield. Button being the gentleman he is and probably more so because it’s the sister car, lets Perez have the pass. A good move but probably only made possible due to Button knowing the importance of bringing both cars home. Unfortunately this sets off something in Perez’ head.
Thinking that “this will be equally as easy with every other car. Because I am just that good.” But he wasn’t.

Next one in his sights is Alonso. He dives on the inside, hoping Alonso will be just as polite as Button. The Ferrari has to move out of the way to avoid contact. The stewards felt that was wrong and later ruled that Alonso had to let Perez pass. Which was the worst possible ruling in this case. Because it gave Perez a green light in his mind to keep doing the exact same move on everyone in front of him. I like seeing Alonso get passed as much as the next guy. But this was just wrong in my opinion. Sure, Perez had the inside and he made the turn. But the pass was not 100% complete. And it just nursed the wrong ego at the time and it could only end in tears..

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco

Not much time to ponder on that before the race is downright red flagged. Grosjean? No? Ah. Maldonado. No need to explain. (I know Chilton was given the blame) Watch it again: http://youtu.be/v8kRxpge9fI
As it stands, Maldonado has not finished a single Monaco race in his F1 career. Well, the red flag gives everyone the opportunity to change tires and with that any chance of Kimi doing one less stop than his rivals is gone.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, MonacoThe race restarts behind the safety car and Alonso gives the place to Perez. Which means we have one loco red misted Mexican behind Kimi. Sutil does a succesful move on Jenson Button in the hairpin. Well executed. Sutil now trails Alonso.
What was not succesful was the Perez attempt on Kimi in the chicane after the tunnel. He does an insane dive, hopes Kimi gives way and overshoots completely. Forcing Kimi to take evasive action across the kerbs as well. And he was understandably not happy about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjLTmrCIeHg

Sutil gets it completely right again in the hairpin against Alonso and stabs 7th position in the neck. A cheeky move which paid off. Another result and effect of a car in front (in this case, Vettel) bunching everyone up while saving tires.

Next up we witness Romain Grosjean losing the very last ounce he had left of his mind as he tries to have surprise buttsecks with a Toro Rosso out of the tunnel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3DPg3zmHOE

The Toro Rosso is shy and fends him off, leaving carbon-fibre carnage strewn all over the chicane. The cost of spare parts that Grosjean has destroyed in Monaco alone, is now equivalent to the national product of Burkina Faso. Not good for a team that suffered a big financial loss in 2012. Boullier, wake up and smell the fromage. He is supposed to help Kimi, not work against him!

Yaaay, its the safety car again. Another silver Mercedes is leading the race. The 6 seconds lead that Rosberg had is wiped out. And Sergio Perez will have even more time to plot his madness. And sure enough, after the race was on again, the Mexican tries some idiotic half-brained banzai move on the inside of Kimi. The Lotus has defended that line by position ever since the SC went in. But does that deter Checo? Nope. He is not even alongside his
rearwheel when there is contact. He did not have the line or the position or anything that even remotely would give a sane person a reason to try a pass. The little #¤%& even has the audacity to lift his hand after the tangle. Not to mention putting the blame on Raikkonen after the race.

No Alonso-luck for Kimi as he has a puncture from his tire being raped by a McLaren front wing. He bunches everyone up and Button seizes the moment and gets past Alonso in the confusion. Well, we had a good run of 22 consecutive point scoring finishes. Only 2 more would have equalled the record. By the way, this is the second time Perez has been an idiot around Raikkonen in Monaco. Here is what he did last year from not going into the pits in a normal fashion: http://youtu.be/wBBcwK08Cew

Ok, new tires for Kimi. There is 7 laps to go and he is dead last in 16th, almost 10 seconds up to the car in 15th place. I start to drift and just wait for the race to be over. But what I forgot to count on was an angry Kimi shooting out of the pitlane with a vengeance. What the cameras didn’t show at the time was a display of brilliance and controlled rage. Icy cool rage. Showing all the pathetic pay drivers how things are done. Not by hail marys, banzai moves or surprise buttsecks. But by a well harnessed anger behind those marine blue eyes, converted into faultlessly executed overtaking. Here is a couple:

And with that he is suddenly and literally unbelievably in the points again. From 16th to 10th in 7 laps. 5 passes since Perez retired. Granted on fresh tires, but this is Monaco! Not a Tilke drome with a 4 lane highway track. Kimi on the Hunt. We need more of that anger in Canada but without him losing places. Yeah. That’d be great.

Here is a closer look at that last pass on Hulkenberg: http://youtu.be/XgXH4xehX_o
He hits the limiter way before he is even past him but he is so determined and brakes so late to just make it stick on the outside. Incredible. I like the fact that the BBC commentators were so puzzled to see Kimi in 10th at the end that they were adamant there had been an incident. Lol. Yea, there was. The Iceman unleashed.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco

FINAL THOUGHTS

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, MonacoRosberg crosses the line and deservedly wins the Monaco GP. Not a foot wrong all weekend. Very impressive. If they get a handle on the tire wear, then they will be a contender. What cast a bit of a shadow on the entire weekend for Mercedes was the 1000 km tire testing being done by the team after Barcelona: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107671

So Red Bull and Ferrari have lodged a complaint as the rules state that all teams must be offered a chance to do the test as well. Which they were not:
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107733
So it is still unknown what the outcome of the controversy will be. But Rosbergs win is safe. The FIA have made the results official.

As for Kimi he keeps his record streak going. But what is worse is that he lost important ground to his rivals that he didn’t have to. If not for a halfwitted numbscull. Kimi suggested that someone may have to slap a bitch to make him learn. And perhaps he is right. Bitch slap suggestion here: http://goo.gl/ox7AS

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My Race Rating is a 7 out of 10. 2 extra points gained only due to Kimis display of awesomeness in the end. I would have been happier with a 5th place though. But its all to play for in Canada. The track is typically tough on tires so lets hope it will play into the hands of the E21 and the tire whisperer.

Take care now, folks.
P.S. Do click on the follow button above if you haven’t yet. That way you will be informed of my posts directly. No hassle, I promise 😉

Love,
Soren

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Bird, bird, bird. Bird is the word. I think his name is Sam.

Bird, bird, bird. Bird is the word. I think his name is Sam.

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