Yeah, it’s about time!
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Like I’ve always said, it’s a rollercoaster being a Kimi supporter. Not even a pole position after nine years, can be celebrated long enough before we’re thrown deep down into the depths of sadness, but this dip wasn’t like the others, this was… betrayal. And never before in his entire career has it been so evidently clear on the Iceman’s face.
Ferrari could’ve easily still achieved a 1-2 result with Kimi winning and Vettel in second at Monaco. So the idea that they did it for the best interests of the team and Kimi is being a sore loser is just plain wrong. They did it for the best interests of Vettel. It’s not illegal, so why not. A few sorry faces won’t cost them compared to the revenue they’ll make with another potential seven time world champion like Schumacher in the making. Actually, Kimi has a huge following and judging by the reaction of fans, even non-Kimi fans, on all the Scuderia’s social media, it might cost them a lot more than they thought.
As this article explains very clearly how Kimi was robbed of a victory, contrary to the excuses other sites and figures, even the official F1 media, which are trying to convince fans to save face of their sport being under controversial criticism. Vettel even lied about Bottas’ lap-time, trying to justify the over-cut being a response to a threat from Mercedes and RedBull. The only over-cut they were trying to do was to their own world champion, Kimi. He looked ready to give someone an uppercut after the race.
Blind folk will tell you to “look at the lap times”. Ok, yes I’ve seen them, what’s your point? “Kimi was slow and Vettel was faster, end of!” No he wasn’t that slow, even before pitting, he was simply left in the dark unlike Vettel who was told when to push and when he was pitting, Vettel wasn’t exactly flying before Kimi pitted either. Kimi was suddenly called in to pit with no warning and he was released into traffic which cost him the win. Look how close he and Vettel were once they met after the pits. Kimi could’ve easily been ahead without the order to release him into traffic which made him almost a whole lap disadvantaged. It’s one of those moronic situations where the truth is clear but people are so dumb to see it they need to trust F1’s spokepersons (hypocritical teambosses too) to defend Ferrari, luckily majority of us fans aren’t so stupid. Yes Vettel was faster but the question is how and why. How? He was in clear air and Kimi was in traffic. Why? Because Ferrari wanted it that way.
Here is another report on the race which explains why Kimi was pitted the way he was, highlighting he was actually slow (yet Kimi said nothing was wrong and the car felt good) that it almost jeopardised Ferrari’s 1-2. Really?
He has been with them since 2014, and 3 years before that. Couldn’t they have honoured his services with a win in Monaco? It’s not like he was losing dramatic pace or made mistakes or had no chance. This isn’t about not accepting defeat, this is about unfair treatment. And if they didn’t fail Kimi, why would his engineer and side of the garage be angry too as reported by Toni Vilander?
Vettel makes out they are friends, and on Kimi’s part they probably are, but I never trusted Vettel and knew he would be crafty on track as he has previously shown in his career with “Multi 21” and what not. I don’t wanna get anymore personal but the way Vettel celebrated in Monaco whilst absolutely aware Kimi is not happy reduced my views of him even more. He prodded Kimi to shake his hand, what kind of winner goes seeking gratification like that? Then later says to the media he “heard” Kimi is upset, as if he didn’t see it for himself.
“My guess is that they had not told Kimi until after qualifying on pole that the plan was to give Vettel the overcut. That they have never specifically told him that he is there to be number two. And that he will have assumed therefore if he was faster he’d get the chance to win. This tallies exactly with how Massa was told about Alonso having priority (except in that case it was even worse as he only found out in the race itself). In the Alonso case, the agreement that he would have priority was made immediately post-Melbourne but no-one told Massa about it until mid-race Germany! I guess Kimi got into the car with the argument still unresolved. No driver wants to believe he is there to be number two even if he delivers pole. And my guess is they told him that was the case and he resolved to try to win the race anyway. Obviously the best way would’ve been to have done it on pure pace and got so far ahead that the pit strategy became irrelevant. But he didn’t have the speed advantage to be able to do that. So he chose the only other way left – and it almost worked. The anger would’ve been compounded by them bringing him on on a lap that was guaranteed to give him traffic on his out-lap.”
Not all of us understand what happened after Kimi clinched the title in 2007. Some of you may have read about the Santander deal which ousted Kimi for Fernando Alonso. But few of us know for certain, that something was not quite right and has not been ever since, despite Kimi’s return to Ferrari in 2014.
Since Michael Schumacher announced his retirement from F1 in 2006, that itself being forced by hand of then Ferrari boss Luca Di Montezemolo, the Scuderia needed a fitting replacement, the heir to the King, albeit a temporary one. The fastest guy around was Kimi Raikkonen who was falling out of love and patience with McLaren after suffering poor unreliability for 5 years, winning no championship with the team but built an impressive status nonetheless, narrowingly missing out on the 2003 and 2005 championships down to car failures. Apparently Ferrari jumped in and signed Kimi at the end of the 2005 season.
Everyone knew the quiet, mono-toned apolitical Finn was an odd match for the political Red outfit. Many of his fans, including myself, cringed at the idea. And for good reason. Plus, they had another Spanish driver in mind to fill Schumacher’s legacy, one who was more suited to the Latin image of Ferrari.
It was a matter of business and keeping friends close, but your enemies closer. Kimi Raikkonen, claimed by Sir Stirling Moss as “quite frankly the fastest driver in the world” was a threat to Ferrari and any other competitor. Why don’t they just embrace Kimi then, you’ll ask? Well, it’s a matter of personal taste, and those in control either love or hate Kimi. Whichever way, he doesn’t give a shit. Neither do I if anyone thinks I’m crazy.
Ferrari pretty much instantly dumped Kimi, their world champion, no more than four races into the 2008 season. As the Santander article explains, Kimi was at his peak and achieved in his opinion the most perfect hat-trick weekend, scoring pole position, fastest lap and victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. After that it went downhill to money and business. Instead of Kimi fighting for the championship, which he was leading by the way, teammate Felipe Massa was pushed to the fore to take glory, missing out on the title in dramatic fashion in Brazil to Lewis Hamilton. Actions do speak louder than words, like Kimi’s 10 fastest laps record that season, so pace and performance wasn’t a factor. Even whilst Kimi was struggling in 2007 adjusting to a new team, new car, new tyres, he was fighting on fair ground because Massa won a few races too that year. Kimi was never, ever, hired to be Ferrari’s No.1 driver. And I’m glad, because he’s better than that. You just have to look at how long Massa was in that “top” team yet never became champion. That’s because he was the perfect no.2 for Schumacher and then another driver, Alonso. Of course Massa even did his duty on his home race, Brazil, for Kimi to win the 2007 title by one point. Massa wasn’t good enough to be their No.1 driver so they needed Kimi to win in 2007 and he got the job done.
The following year, in 2009, Kimi knew he was on his way out. He knew he was done by a business deal. But the comments surrounding his motivation and character made it even worse. It had absolutely nothing to do with motivation or his lifestyle. Kimi was going through a lot of difficulty personally that time too, but he never let it affect his job. You only have to compare his performances in the poor F60 to Massa’s. After Massa’s awful injury at the Hungarian GP which put him out for the rest of the season, Kimi suddenly had all the focus and attention and support and *surprise surprise* achieved better results, he even made the donkey wagon win at Spa-Francorchamps in a heroic style, which is my all-time favourite victory of his at the Scuderia because it was purely him. His mechanics and engineers were astounded by his achievement.
But the whole scenario at Ferrari disheartened him so much, the Iceman actually left F1. That’s how bad it was.
He forgave them after his return to F1 with Lotus. But that’s only because he’s a decent man. He felt so strongly about 2007 and his dream coming true, the joy, the happiness, he still considers the Scuderia his “family”, but this emotional connection clouded his judgement. I’m sorry to say this but Kimi made a huge mistake returning to Ferrari. When it was announced, on my birthday of all days in 2013, I wasn’t happy at all. I knew exactly what would ensue. I don’t know why his manager Steve Robertson agreed to it, but he is a manager after-all and wants to ensure he gets the best deal available for his driver. Kimi’s return to F1 with Lotus was such a great comeback, but as always on this rollercoaster of a ride, it ended bittersweet. Financial issues and no salary, and harsh behaviour from certain team members, gave Kimi no choice but to leave.
The only reason Ferrari re-hired Kimi, in my opinion, is because of his experience and popularity and they needed a stable yet extremely committed second driver who could pick up the pieces should the other driver be out of contention. The massive appeal Kimi has globally is of great marketing value to the brand. But like the reason they first hired him for 2007, they simply needed a No.2 for the great Vettel who was coming onboard.
Ferrari were getting nowhere with their marriage with Alonso no matter how much money they pumped into it. That bubble burst and ended in divorce. Karma for ruining Kimi’s career, maybe. But Kimi rejoining the team to be Alonso’s No.2, seriously? Didn’t he or Robertson see that one coming? Maybe they did and just accepted it till Alonso left the team a year later and things would be equal again with a new driver? What else could explain this?
What is the true story Kimi? Was he just implying there’s car issues and problem solving practices in question or that he knows his position in the team? I think the latter is unlikely, due to this team radio:
“Yes, but who is making the calls? In one of those, I mean it seems to me at least we are not…. We seem to be getting second choice all the time. So, I wanna know what the hell is going on”.
Still wondering what the hell is going on? That was two years ago Kimi. It had to take achieving pole position after nine years (which by the way the team knew they could over-cut Kimi in the race to let Vettel win), to realise you’re being treated unfairly?
This suggests to me there is no written agreement or clause in the contracts to suggest driver favouritism, otherwise why would Kimi be questioning like this? He would know about it and settle for it or leave. Him settling for it obviously unhappy and complaining shows he does not know about it.
This is Ferrari.
They have cheated Kimi, betrayed his trust and played with his emotions. Heck, Kimi even invited Maurizio Arrivabene and his wife, who is Kimi’s team PR woman, to his wedding last year. This same man who, after Kimi’s excellent pole in Monaco, says “the champion is coming out sometimes“. Maybe because you Mafia guys have shackled him? He said it was “a pity” for Vettel’s lap, why? He locked out the front row with Kimi, what’s so bad? Ah..yes… he’s not the one infront.
Few races earlier this year (and numerous races before since 2015), this is what they do to Kimi in the race when he is ahead of Vettel or threatens his position and then have the nerve to verbally abuse him to media for “doing nothing“?!
“Today Kimi seemed to have other commitments. I talked to Maurizio, maybe it’s time I sit with him and talk to him.
“He seemed to be doing nothing on the track.”- Marchionne, Chinese Grand Prix 2017
So they’ve openly criticised him to the media in only the second race of the year? Claiming he always starts seasons on slow form and gets better? Maybe with Ferrari but he surely didn’t at Lotus after two years away from the sport.
Oh look, Arrivabene says it’s too early to start favouring a driver for the championship, what a lie!
And the sixth race in Monaco isn’t too early either? Why don’t you just admit you’ve handicapped Kimi since the start of the season and every other season to create such a large deficit between him and Vettel in points to justify your team orders to support him for the title? Oh wait, you can’t because you’re fooling him!
In the 2016 season, Ferrari didn’t win a single race, but they still messed about with Kimi. He and Vettel were on very similar pace since Australia, with Kimi outqualifying Vettel that season 11-10 and collecting a handful of podiums, with the odd exception of finishing ahead of Vettel at Spain in 2nd. With mixed fortunes for Vettel on track, Kimi was ahead in the WDC on a few ocassions, after the Russian, British, Malaysian GPs. Kimi was consistently out-qualifying Vettel towards the end of 2016, but with strange strategies and DNFs resulting in finishing behind the German on Sundays and in the championship.
In the 2015 season, as teammates for the first time, Kimi was on par with Vettel’s pace from the start. as James Allison stated Kimi making Vettel sweat. But Ferrari needed their No.1 to bring the team to glory, not the dude who won their last driver’s and constructors championships and suffered with them in 2014 and helped develop the car. In Australia, Vettel showed his class as he pushed Kimi wide into T1 on the first lap.
Malaysia 2015 was a clear indication to me that Kimi’s return to Red was indeed a mistake as Vettel took the team’s first win since Alonso. But I, like Kimi, persevered to watch this joke of a team, thinking he can win at some point without any issues like lack of engine power, electrical issues, clutch issues or poor pitstops and strategies again. Just look how dejected Kimi was after seeing the new boy take the fruits of hardwork Kimi actually made:
Then came Italy 2015, Vettel and Kimi qualified on the front row and Kimi’s car stalled on the start becoming dead last on the grid. That was the last straw for me, and that’s why I quit KRS on this blog since then. It was clear tampering with Kimi’s car to ensure Vettel gets the Italian podium for the Tifosi as the team’s higher paid driver and German Schumacher duplicate. Mercedes owned that year so Ferrari knew they couldn’t win at Monza, Hamilton did, so only one of their drivers could be on the podium so why not their No.1?
“Ah… maybe one day”
… what? Win one day? At Ferrari? That day has come and gone my dear. And it came again, to hurt like a knife in the back, last Sunday in Monaco. I don’t know, maybe he was just so deflated from not having won a race since 2013 and 12 years since winning there. Maybe he was extra invested in it emotionally since becoming a dad again to a baby girl and wants to make family proud. I’d like to think it was just those sentimental reasons, but as his despondent demeanor showed it clearly it wasn’t. I wish he would walk away from this “team” and find contentment elsewhere, whether it be in F1 or another sport or spending time with his real family.
Kimi considers Ferrari his family, well, they’re not, they’re your employers and colleagues, you should never mix business with pleasure. Now all I can hope is he has had words with the team and actually doesn’t get swayed by their fake reassurance and lies again and just leaves, it’s not like he can threaten to quit if they “do it” again as it’s never as clear cut as it was in Monaco’s race, sometimes their poor tactics are so subliminal that’s why Kimi is in this situation of utter perplex.
I’ll carry on supporting him as long as he races and hopefully will see him at Monza in September for the Grand Farce. Oops sorry. Prix. I meant Grand Prix…