Analysis: Kimi Raikkonen's 2013 Formula 1 title bid in the balance

Kimi Raikkonen may insist that Lotus cannot dig any deeper, but the squad needs to address its form quickly as its Formula 1 championship challenge risks stalling

Analysis: Kimi Raikkonen's 2013 Formula 1 title bid in the balance

The Finn established himself as Sebastian Vettel's main title threat early on, as Lotus's excellent tyre management helped him win in Australia and regularly finish on the podium.

Raikkonen held second in the standings until Spain, at which point he was only four points shy of Vettel.

But the Lotus driver has been unable to keep up his consistent form, and his cause was not helped by a collision with Sergio Perez in Monaco and then tyre struggles in Canada.

The extent of Raikkonen's woes is highlighted by his points tally from the last four races, where he has not only been outscored by Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, but he has also lost a whopping 41 points to Vettel in the standings.

From breathing hard down the neck of Vettel early on, Raikkonen is now 44 points adrift of his Red Bull rival.

HOW THE DRIVERS HAVE SCORED IN THE LAST FOUR RACES

Sebastian Vettel 80
Fernando Alonso 53
Nico Rosberg 45
Mark Webber 43
Kimi Raikkonen 39
Lewis Hamilton 37

A BIGGER PUSH TO WIN

With a gulf now opening up between Raikkonen and Vettel, Lotus is well aware that it will need to start producing race wins if it is to close that gap quickly enough.

Raikkonen's laidback attitude off track may give the impression that he is as relaxed on it when it comes to results, but he is adamant Lotus is giving nothing less than 100 per cent to try to win more races.

"We always try and win," said Raikkonen. "It is not going to just change our race result if we try to do something different.

"We have mostly had the speed, and we will keep trying, but there is not just a way to be more aggressive and you have a better chance. We always try that.

"It has just not been possible. We have been up there and been OK. Monaco was not as good as we hoped. But there is still a long way to go."

CAR UPDATES AND TYRES NOW KEY

Lotus boss Eric Boullier told AUTOSPORT in Montreal that he expected his team to be back at the front at the British Grand Prix, thanks to a speed boost from car updates and F1's return to more normal high-speed tracks.

"We have some good developments coming for Silverstone so that should help us keep up and close the gap to the leader," said Boullier. "With normal tracks we should be able to get the best out of our car."

The statistics from the last few races have highlighted, however, how essential it is for Raikkonen to do exactly that, just as his strong form earlier in the year has left rivals not ready to write him off just yet.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "I think ultimately you cannot write off Kimi.

"If he can put together a run of race results, just as Lewis, or Mark could, he can get himself back in the championship hunt."

shares
comments
Faster tracks to benefit Ferrari, according to Felipe Massa

Previous article

Faster tracks to benefit Ferrari, according to Felipe Massa

Next article

Adrian Sutil: Force India F1 form shows Pirelli doing nothing wrong

Adrian Sutil: Force India F1 form shows Pirelli doing nothing wrong
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021