Kimi Raikkonen 'cannot afford to lose more ground' in title race

Kimi Raikkonen says he cannot afford to lose any more ground to his rivals this season if he is going to end the campaign as world champion

Kimi Raikkonen 'cannot afford to lose more ground' in title race

The Lotus driver heads to next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, an event he has won four times, as one of the favourites for a win that would put him right in the title hunt.

Raikkonen himself is not ruling out a full-on championship tilt but is equally aware that he cannot afford to lose any further ground to his rivals - especially since he is 48 points adrift of current points leader Fernando Alonso.

"I am now fifth in the championship and obviously aiming at getting more points than the guys in front of me," he said on Friday. "The smaller the gap to the leaders is, the better for me and for the team.

"Every race from here on is very important. The whole team is pushing 100 per cent and we need to beat our rivals and take more points than they do every time."

Raikkonen does not feel that his impressive record at Spa gives him any advantage this time out - although it does mean he can head there assured of his competitiveness around the legendary venue.

"Usually I've achieved good results at the Belgian Grand Prix, but what's happened before doesn't help me right now," he explained.

"Saying that though it doesn't do any harm either. Obviously it would be great to win at Spa for a fifth time. I haven't won during the first part of the season and the extra points are always good."

And although Lotus has seen good opportunities to win this season slip through its fingers, Raikkonen says the team is not disheartened but rather is fired up to keep pushing until the end.

"We always try to win; some days you get close to it and it's a bit disappointing that we haven't quite made that final step," he said.

"We know the reason though; we've not been so strong in qualifying as we have in the race which makes life harder for ourselves on Sundays.

"Of course we would rather win than come second or third but it's a long season and I think we're improving all the time. If it comes then great, if not we'll keep trying.

"I've been in the business long enough that I don't really worry about things too much. We've been improving our position in the championships - both for myself and for the team - so as long as we keep doing that hopefully the win will come."

shares
comments
Magny-Cours chiefs hope young driver test will boost French Grand Prix chances
Previous article

Magny-Cours chiefs hope young driver test will boost French Grand Prix chances

Next article

Belgian Grand Prix: Michael Schumacher keen to celebrate 300th GP in style

Belgian Grand Prix: Michael Schumacher keen to celebrate 300th GP in style
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022