Kimi Raikkonen to win four in a row at Spa? (2008 Belgian Grand Prix preview)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen is eyeing a fourth consecutive F1 win at Spa-Francorchamps
Kimi Raikkonen is eyeing a fourth consecutive F1 win at Spa-Francorchamps

Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t lost a Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps since 2002. If he wins this year, he’ll match the achievements of Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark in winning four times in a row at Spa in F1.

But he also hasn’t won a race since the Spanish Grand Prix in April.

One of those streaks has to come to an end in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. Which one will it be?

Some drivers seem to have an affinity for particular tracks. Felipe Massa has won at Istanbul for the last three years in a row. Lewis Hamilton has raced at Monaco five times (in F1 and other categories) and scored four wins and a second place. Timo Glock scored F1 points on his debut at Montreal in 2004, almost won the Champ Car race there in 2005, and was fourth for Toyota at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this year.

If Kimi Raikkonen has a form track, it has to be Spa-Francorchamps.

His win at the track in 2004 may have lacked the style of his celebrated 17th-to-first stormer at Suzuka in 2005, but in some ways it was even more impressive.

Michael Schumacher destroyed the opposition in with his F2004 that year. Going into the Belgian Grand Prix he had won 12 of the last 13 rounds, while McLaren had struggled with their uncompetitive MP4/19.

But with a much more potent B-version of the car at his disposal at Spa, Raikkonen scored a surprise win from tenth on the grid, Schumacher having started second. It was not the way Schumacher expected to wrap up his seventh title.

Raikkonen won again in 2005 in mixed conditions, partly thanks to team mate Juan Pablo Montoya making way, and dominated last year’s race for Ferrari as well (the Belgian Grand Prix wasn’t on the calendar in 2006).

Can he do the same this year? It largely depends on where he qualifies. He trails Felipe Massa by four to eight in qualifying this year and has admitted to having problems getting the most out of his tyres on a single lap.

The other threat to his Spa winning streak is Bridgestone’s choice of tyres for this round. Ferrari have made it clear they are unhappy with Bridgestone’s decision to use the hard and medium compounds at this year’s race, having brought medium and soft in 2007.

The last variable is the weather. Ferrari have performed better in hotter weather this year, but Spa often sees mixed weather and a lot of rain. Conditions like this have played into McLaren’s hands this year.

Do you think Kimi Raikkonen will win a fourth consecutive Belgian Grand Prix.

68 comments on “Kimi Raikkonen to win four in a row at Spa? (2008 Belgian Grand Prix preview)”

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  1. got a feeling it’ll either be hamilton or massa… hopefully more massa than hamilton :D

  2. I’d rather it be Hamilton then Massa, but i think Kimi could take it because Spa is an overtaking circuit.
    If he doesn’t take it then he will probablly help Massa in the last part of the season

  3. best case scenario: Hamilton wins, McLaren 1-2
    most likely case: Kimi wins, Hamilton second.
    Which will actually be also quite good because Hamilton will extend his lead and will leave Massa and Kimi scrambling for #2 ;-)

  4. Spa will probably tell us more about Kimi’s morale than any other race this year.

    He loves this place: it’s his kind of circuit, fast, challenging, daring you to take it to the limit.

    He’s better than Massa is, and we all know it. If Massa beats him here anyway, that would probably mean Kimi really has lost interest.

  5. MarathonMan801
    1st September 2008, 8:54

    With any luck, September will continue as August and the race will be run in conditions ranging from damp to soggy.
    In which case Hamilton will win, Kubica second, Heiki third, Raikonnen fourth and Massa in eighth place.
    Making it up as I go along? Of course I am.

  6. Terry Fabulous
    1st September 2008, 8:58

    No. Kimi has won a world title and clearly isn’t that fussed about winning a second. He has the talent but not the drive (sic).

    Having said that he may win by 30 seconds and sit in the press conference looking disinterested blathering on about his tyres being in.

  7. Kimi leading a ferrari 1-2.

    Kubika 3rd.. Hamilton 4th..

  8. me thinks your right terry fabulous, his hero is James Hunt who also became disinterested after winning his title.

  9. Who is Kubika? Never heard of…

    Anyway, i agree that this race will be “to be or not to be” for Kimi. If he won’t win he may forget about 2008 season.

  10. I for one, hope it doesnt rain because mclaren have something similar to traction control for wet races which is why they are so good in them atm. As for the race, Ferrari 1-2, I hope Massa wins because I want him to take the title this year but I would still be pleased if it was Kimi. Kubica third, Hamilton fourth whining about how his neck is still bad.

  11. Going to bet my money on Raikkonen win.
    See you on Monday morning.

  12. Its Hammer time
    1st September 2008, 11:51

    I predict rain, trills and spills. Hamilton , Raikkonen, Massa & Kubica will be scuppered by safety car after Coultard & Button scuffle at la source. My podium is Heidfeld, Alonso, Vettel.

  13. Spa is always soggy (can’t remember what it was last year, though).

    If Kimi does not win at Spa, then I think he’ll support Massa the way Massa supported him at Brazil last year.

  14. I hope Raikkonen does win at Spa because it’s his sort of circuit and it would keep him in the championship. (Just about)

  15. Alastair, it was as dull as it was dry. And it was very dry. Perhaps that’s why you don’t remember it.

    Sush, this is horrible news! Can’t they keep their hands off the circuit layout? They keep changing it nowadays!

    Also, will this mean Spa will be dropped from the 2009 calendar to make these changes?

  16. Kimi might win, but then he might not. I’ll keep my mouth shut until I look at the results on F1 Fanatic on Monday morning.

    On another note – Sush, post 14 –
    If the shortening-of-Spa rumour is true, then I will brand the designers heretics! It is sacrilege to cut off the fast approach to Blanchimont! SACRILEGE, I tell you!

  17. i concur number16 +17

    and by branding do you mean with a red hot poker?

    I mean what the hell are they thinking? next thing you’ll know they’ll make rubbish atempts at shortening the Nordschielfe!?

    oh wait.

  18. If they cut off Blanchimont I’m ready for a sit-in of protesting.
    Destroying Hockenheim, keeping off Silverstone and Imola, “chicaning” Barcelona…isn’t that enough?

  19. Why do they always feel the need to ruin every good circuit, next they will make ‘changes’ to Eau Rouge, claiming it is too dangerous or some crap like that. I’m all for the protesting David!

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