Archive for June 1, 2008

Kimi’s First F1 Qualifying Lap, 2001

With retirement rumours already thrown up into the air, I
thought this would be a good moment to take a look at Kimi’s first ever
qualifying lap in Formula One. At Albert Park, Melbourne, for the 2001
Australian Grand Prix, Kimi qualified 13th for his first ever Grand
Prix and he finished the race in 6th place! Maybe this will continue to be a series of posts this year looking at his early achievements. Watch the video below,
followed by a short article with a quote from Kimi. A huge thanks to
Joni for this video. Commentary by Martin Brundle and Murray Walker.

From AtlasF1 (
One newcomer Kimi Raikkonen answered his critics on Saturday with a
stunning performance in qualifying for the season-opening Australian
Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old, who has
just 23 single seater car races to his credit, secured his place on the
grid by setting the 13th fastest time in qualifying.

"Thirteenth place in
his first Formula One qualifying is really good. He did an excellent
job," Raikkonen’s Sauber team boss Peter Sauber said.

Raikkonen’s critics have said the young Finnish driver is too inexperienced for Formula One.

Even Formula One
supremo Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he did not think the Sauber
driver should have been awarded a super-license.

But Raikkonen let his driving do the talking as he steered his way around the twisting Albert Park circuit in 1:28.993.

suppose I’m a little bit disappointed to be only 13th on the grid
because I believe I could have made the top ten," Raikkonen said. "But
my first-ever Formula One qualifying session went well and I’m happy."

So, it was a super quick lap that would have taken provisional pole but Martin Brundle saying "he’s too fast for the camera on that corner…" put a great smile on my face. And that’s not all – he scored his first ever world champsionship point in his debut race, albeit one point gained from a racing incident between teammate Heidfeld.

From AtlasF1 (
Sunday March 4th, 2001

Formula One debutant Kimi
Raikkonen has been promoted into the points after a protest from the
Sauber team was accepted by the stewards at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Swiss team, whose drivers
finished fifth and seventh on the track, complained that British
American Racing’s Olivier Panis had illegally overtaken their driver
Nick Heidfeld under waved yellow flags after Enrique Bernoldi’s
accident on lap 2.

The officials interviewed the
drivers and studied video evidence of the incident before deciding to
uphold the protest and drop BAR’s Panis to seventh place with the
addition of 25 seconds to the Frenchman’s finish time.

That promoted Heidfeld to fourth,
Jordan’s Heinz-Harald Frentzen to fifth, and allowed Heidfeld’s
team-mate Raikkonen into the points from seventh to sixth.

2001 World Championship Standing, Round 1:                

Drivers: Constructors:

1. M.Schumacher 10 1. Ferrari 14
2. Coulthard 6 2. McLaren 6
3. Barrichello 4 3. Sauber 4
4. Heidfeld 3 4. Jordan 2
5. Frentzen 2
6. Raikkonen 1

How does that look?! It was six years ago, but Kimi remained a significant part of F1 since he controversially joined, despite coming with less experience than F1 usually would require. Maybe this will be a series of posts here at Kimi Raikkonen Space, looking at his early achievements. Afterall, when he does eventually retire at least we will be able to fully recognise the loss F1 will have that day!