Why do people claim that Raikkonen deserved to win 2005?
In the first three races of the season, Alonso managed to pull a 19 point gap out of him, on merit alone. This proved to be crucial near the end of the season, as this gap never got any smaller or less than these 19 points of margin.
After that, many people would’ve suspected that he was in cruze and collect mode, while Kimi was on the raged edge. I don’t buy it. In 2005, McLaren scored 10 wins and 17 podiums, as opposed to only 10 win and 18 podiums for Renault. The McLaren was clearly the quicker car Imola-onward, but Renault was more consistent.
People talk all about Alonso inheriting 3 out of his 7 wins on Raikkonen’s misfortunes. San Marino and Germany is correct, however, Europe was Kimi’s own fault for not only flat-spotting his tyre, but also refusing to pit.
Likewise, while people do have a tendency to complain about Alonso being gifted wins from Raikkonen, no one mentions the fact that Raikkonen was also gifted two wins in Canada and Hungary, when his teammate, Montoya, had bad luck.
This post on Auto-sport describes my feelings on this subject quite well.
I hate when people argue that Kimi beat Alonso in 2005, he was “clearly better”, “the car let him down”, etc.
In the early races of the season, Renault was better, they won the first 4 races (Alonso won 3 times, and in Australia he finished 3rd starting from 13th). After these first races, Alonso had quite a big advantage in the WDC and Renault decided not to take any risks; they didn’t use their engines at maximum power, they developed new engines but they didn’t put in the newest one because they wanted to be safe (Symonds said this in a 2006 interview ).
McLaren did the opposite – in order to catch up, they had to build stronger engines, they had a faster car but it was also more risk. The car was fast but unreliable due to the engine, but they had to risk it because they had no other chance. Renault was playing safe, and McLaren’s car was much faster, this was obvious for everyone, so no surprise that in most races, Kimi seemed faster than Alonso. His WDC was never really in danger though, because Renault had those stronger engines “in stock” , if Kimi had come too close in the points, they would have used them.
They put the strongest engine into the car at the last race of the season in China, and Alonso won the race quite easily, an indicator that they could have won more races if they hadn’t been cautious… What I want to say is that the 2005 season was a bit misleading, you can’t compare the two drivers and say “poor Kimi was better all year but his car always let him down”, I think their performances were more or less equal with their given machinery…
Also, if a car often breaks down, retires due to mechanical problems, blown engines, etc, I don’t think it is it “bad luck” for the driver – or of it is, than a slow car is just as much bad luck. Unreliable car, slow car: both are the teams fault, it’s the team who can’t make the car more reliable, it’s the team who can’t make them faster. And it’s a team sport, the team’s performance counts more than the drivers. So I don’t think Kimi had bad luck that year, his team just couldn’t provide a better car. We don’t hear people say how “unlucky” Alonso was in 2008 or 2009, but the basic problem was the same, the team couldn’t provide a better car. If we can say (and a lot of people say) that “Kimi would have won the WDC in 2005 if he hadn’t had so much bad luck”, why can’t we say “Alonso would have won the WDC in 2008, if…” As I said, unreliable car = the team hasn’t worked well enough, slow car = the team hasn’t worked well enough, I don’t see either of them as “bad luck”.
Bad luck, to me, is when you get hit on the helmet by a bouncing spring, when someone crashes into your car and it’s not your fault at all , when you hit an animal etc.
Sorry for the rant but I’m tired of all these talk about Kimi being clearly faster in ’05 and his bad luck.
There’s absolutely no reason to believe that Raikkonen deserved the championship any more than Alonso in 2005.