Preview: Raikkonen Chases Hat-Trick

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen has two more cars and a host of bruised egos to deal with as he chases a third successive Formula One victory in Sunday's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring

Preview: Raikkonen Chases Hat-Trick

While the Finn was savouring victories at Barcelona and Monaco, Jenson Button and Takuma Sato were kicking their heels, serving out a two-race ban imposed on BAR for being underweight at the San Marino Grand Prix.

The Honda-powered team thought they were harshly dealt with by the governing FIA and they are not the only ones in the paddock with a point to prove this weekend.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso is determined to put Renault back on the podium after he missed out on a top-three spot for the first time this season with fourth place at Monaco.

Seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher and Ferrari are hoping the sole Saturday qualifying format helps end their longest run without a win since they joined forces in 1996.

Raikkonen's compatriot Mika Hakkinen was the last McLaren driver to win three races in a row, going on to win his first title in 1998 as he benefited from the kind of consistency the team have struggled for over the last few seasons.

After a third place at the Nurburgring in 2002, Raikkonen has been forced to retire from the race for the last two years, most disappointingly in 2003 after he had started on pole for the first time in his career.

But after three poles and two wins so far this season the 25-year-old, who trails Spain's Alonso by 22 points in the drivers' standings, is full of confidence.

"The car is fast and reliable," the Finn said at Monaco.

"I like the (Nurburgring), last year we were reasonably okay with the old car, which wasn't very quick anywhere ... so let's see what happens. But I think we might have a good weekend."

BAR are without a point in the constructors' standings after being stripped of their tally from Imola and missing out on the last two races.

"Fired Up"

But the team have good memories of last year's race when Sato was the first Japanese to start a Grand Prix from the front row and Button finished third.

"I think the team are so fired up that determination alone will make us so much stronger," Briton Button said.

Renault are determined not to let Alonso and his Italian teammate Giancarlo Fisichella down again.

"We learned a lesson in Monaco and we will be looking at how we can begin applying solutions to the problems from the next race onwards," said Renault's chief engineer Pat Symonds.

Schumacher, who won from pole last year, thinks Ferrari just need a bit of luck.

"We haven't really had much luck lately," said the German, who is eighth in the Championship, 37 points behind Alonso.

"Maybe that will change at Nurburgring. The new qualifying procedure should work in our favour because it's a well known fact that qualifying was our biggest problem in the past."

shares
comments
BAR No Longer Under Investigation
Previous article

BAR No Longer Under Investigation

Next article

McLaren Welcome BAR Return

McLaren Welcome BAR Return
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022