Alonso vs Raikkonen, 2014

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    @prisoner-monkeys Raikkonen is only 33, he is widely considered to be one of the five best drivers on the grid and he is certainly one of the most popular drivers, given the number of his fans on F1 Fanatic and the applause that he gets every time when he’s on the podium. It’s always good to see promising young drivers on the grid but I don’t think that Kimi is one of those, who should probably give way to youngsters.



    I’m looking forward to seeing two top drivers against each other, but I would’ve preferred it if Hulkenberg had been picked. This is a very short-term move, as both will probably be retiring around the end of 2015, which isn’t Ferrari-like. And it could also strain their relationship with the team.
    But on the subject of Alonso vs Raikkonen, I don’t expect many front row starts, but I expect Alonso to reasonably beat him in both qualifying and the races.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Honestly, I think Raikkonen is one of the most over-rated drivers on the grid. He’s completely failed to live up to expectations since returning, and his fanbade still insist that he’s over-performing. I find his brusque attitude to be deplorable, and that underneath it all, he’s probably not a very nice person. He only became World Champion because McLaren completely made a mess of things in the final race of 2007, and given his age, I doubt he’s got another championship in him.



    @sebsgloves I’ve heard a lot of talk Kimi will ask for Mark Slade to come with him. Rob Smedley and Felipe Massa are personal friends as well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob follows Massa out of Ferrari.

    As for Alonso vs. Raikkonen; I think it’s going to be close, but Alonso might have an edge over Kimi. As noted by others, I don’t feel Raikkonen’s comeback has been one of pure speed. His racecraft is one of the best, but at the same time he seems to be more vulnerable to a bad car than Alonso, Hamilton or even Massa in 2009. I rate Grosjean highly, but Kimi doesn’t always seem to be quicker than him. I think Alonso might have an edge on the first couple of laps, while Kimi might have the upper hand in tyre saving.

    One thing is for sure, though. Unless the Ferrari engine gives them a competitive advantage, I’m expecting 0 Ferrari pole positions in 2014 with this line-up.



    @npf1 Heh! I expect the same (0 poles)




    I think Kimi is basically in a lone, gray zone as far as driver talents are concerned. It’s clear to see he isn’t as fast as Hamilton or Vettel, not as complete as Alonso or Vettel and he isn’t exactly a talented youngster with a lot of speed like Hulkenberg, Grosjean. I would put him above Button, though, because he might be a great racer; his natural ability is probably surpassed by 8-10 drivers on the current grid.

    While I do like Kimi’s presence, it’s mainly because he is someone else. I’d never defend his poor manners, but it’s amusing to have him there from a spectator’s point of view. Honestly, I can understand why his engineer wasn’t very happy with the public displays of friction and the subsequent milking of them by the Lotus team last year.

    Kimi seems to have slowed down a little since 2003-2006. His first 2 Ferrari years were utterly inconsistent (I remember my respect for him taking a HUGE nosedive after Spa 2008; I’ve never seen a top driver bin it that bad before or since.) and in 2009 he seemed to recover a little, even if he couldn’t push the car beyond its limit. The past 2 years kind of feel like those first 2 Ferrari years a little; an inconsistent car, but perhaps a lot more consistent driving from Kimi. I’d say he’s done good; but not great, which was what I expected of him. People tend to gloss over Lotus’ team orders to Grosjean, but I personally feel Grosjean was faster than Raikkonen in the races where it happened this year.

    With Vettel’s current form and Hamilton-Mercedes panning out to be a winning combination, rationally I don’t think Button, Raikkonen or Alonso can win another title unless they get a dominant car like the 2002 or 2004 Ferrari (relative to the rest of the grid). It’d be a shame, but not a lot more than Fittipaldi not winning more titles, Lauda missing out on the ’76 title, etc.



    I don’t necessarily think that I would automatically count Raikkonen among the absolute top drivers on the grid. He’s a clean driver who tends to stay out of trouble and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, which I think keeps him generally quite high in the points standings, but I wouldn’t say that he was necessarily a match for Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton in terms of outright pace. The skills which keep Raikkonen scoring well are not exclusively his – at least Vettel and Alonso have this ability too, combined with genuinely good pace.

    On his day of course, Raikkonen can do a good job and pull a decent result out. I’d say in that respect I’d put him into the tier just below the top drivers, which would include Button and Webber, both of whom can also put together very good performances, and in a good car without the drawback of a superior teammate would (and did, in Button’s case) win championships.

    But that’s just my perception and I don’t think anyone can say with any degree of certainty because of the nature of F1. And of course, form being a transient thing, which can go up and down. The slower teammate one year might be the faster one the following year, and vice versa.



    Kimi is massively popular with Tumblr users. Their key-demographic is teen girls, so there might be a connection there as well. I enjoy Tumblr for the sharing of pictures, but I’ve noticed people there are as nuts about the unconfirmed status of the second Ferrari seat as if they’re being asked if they want a new iPhone. Sad to think that kind of attitude makes its way to more serious platforms as well..

    Speaking of clinging; Kimi is a stand-out personality. I figure people hold on to that, as an excuse to say ‘how can you not like him?’. I mean, I like the driver, but I got massively annoyed with the ‘Leave me alone’ meme. I wonder what the comments would look like if this happened again:



    I have been up close and personal to Kimi 3 times since his comeback, and his manners to his fan and others around a questonable to be honest, maybe a factor in RBR final choice maybe?

    He may not like (well does not like) the PR side but that is a part of it all, The Horse may well quite be harder than Red Bull in their expectations in this regard!!




    I don’t think the Scuderia will be harder on Kimi to act kindly towards fans or sponsors, but I do think Ferrari would not have printed shirts that said ‘leave me alone’. We’ve seen Ferrari deal internally with Alonso’s recent remarks and how Alonso’s been acting lately. I think Kimi will need to be a little more professional at least, at Ferrari.



    I agree Kimi isn’t the quickest anymore. It pains me to say it as his fan but the one question which bugs me about his comback is that I am pretty certain that if you had put Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso in that Lotus Kimi has been driving for the last 18 months they would have won more than 2 races.

    Hamilton and Vettel would put it higher on the grid and wouldn’t be on the back foot on racedays, and Alonso is just a brilliant racing driver. Other than those guys though, I think he’s done as well as anyone else on the grid would have done, with the possible exception of Hulkenberg if he carried on his recent form.

    He’s certainly not as quick as he was prior to 2007, and even as a big Raikkonen fan I don’t see him beating Alonso, unless there’s a situation like last year where Button nearly beat Hamilton, i.e. Alonso has a lot of bad luck. But hey it will be exciting to find out, and he will certainly be quicker than post crash Massa which is what Ferrari seem to want, someone who will consistently be top 6 and challenging for the podium.




    I’m expecting 0 Ferrari pole positions in 2014 with this line-up.

    Well, by that reasoning, McLaren will also end up with 0 poles, they have Button and Perez..


    Iestyn Davies

    What I never understand with 2008 is that also if you look at La Source, LH sits on the apex to turn the car (as Vettel did in Malaysia) and get a good exit – Kimi’s front wing hits his rear tyre as he is going for a good exit too – and is bent for the rest of the lap before he goes off at Blanchimont. So this corner cut by LH also put Kimi out of the race effectively – I’m sure this was considered in demoting him from 1st. He didn’t have to cut the corner – he could have backed out, gone around the chicane and still passed Kimi later on before the chequered flag – the Ferrari was well-known to be poor in the wet that year.

    Kimi could have won a few more races in the comeback with better strategy by the Lotus pit wall – mainly it is their mistakes holding the team back. Podium lost at Silverstone, Monaco hit by Perez, god knows what happened in Canada, Grosjean deserving victory at Nurburgring until SC, similar things last year, and apart from all that Kimi and Fernando (with similar errors) have been very even this year, as their team mates have too (Grosjean and Massa). So they will be close but who knows who will edge it. Fernando should be slight favourite for many. Mika Hakkinen also says that 2014 rules could lean towards Kimi’s driving style..

    I expect Ferrari to be in the hunt next year along with the other works outfits, Red Bull, Mercedes, and McLaren and Lotus to be next, with Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Williams behind and Caterham, Marussia on their coat-tails if they can afford it. So Ricciardo really has the chance to be a front runner while Hulkenberg will at least be more competitive with Rosberg, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Button and Perez most likely.



    I really hope Rob Smedley does leave Ferrari and goes with Massa, sometimes loyalty is more important and considering Ferrari have failed to produce a championship worthy car since 2008 what have either of them got to lose?

    Alonso vs Raikkonen? Alonso will get the upper hand, make you wonder why Kimi would put himself through this. The loser however, will be Ferrari, when it gets to a point where both drivers are at war and no one is prepared to play back up to the other



    Thinking about 2005 and 2006, Kimis last seasons with Mclaren, Kimi was considered _the_ fastest one on the grid, genuinely having that raw pace, faster than everybody else.. ( or was it really most of all the Mclaren itself??). And for Alonso, he was the “strong & reliable” one during his championship winning years.

    Now ALonso is considered the better driver of the two.. And back in his last two year with Mclaren, Kimi outpaced and outraced Montoya, remember.

    So really, what’s happend?? Seems to me that Kimi became a lesser driving right from day 1 at Ferrari, and since beginning of 2007 never got back to his old “Mclaren-form”.
    DO you guys agree??

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