Unlucky Raikkonen Keeps his Cool

Win or lose, Kimi Raikkonen's voice stays the same - a flat, husky and emotionless monotone

Unlucky Raikkonen Keeps his Cool

The McLaren driver was as much the 'Iceman' as ever in public at Silverstone on Saturday after a second engine failure in two races dropped him 10 places down the starting grid.

Even if on the surface all was calm, deep down he was hurting.

The Finn cannot afford to hand Renault's Championship leader Fernando Alonso any such favours, with the Spaniard 24 points clear of him and nine races remaining.

Time is slipping away and, not for the first time, events are conspiring against the Finn. Alonso took pole position for the second race in a row.

"Of course, you get used to disappointments but it always hurts you," said Raikkonen.

"But it doesn't make any sense to be shouting and throwing your things around, because you are only wasting your energy and we just try to focus on tomorrow and do the best that we can." Raikkonen took the view that what is done is done, and nothing can change that.

"You just need to do better work to make sure we don't have any reliability problems but unfortunately it always seems to happen to me," he said.

"It's not the first time and in that way it's nothing new. It's hurting us a lot in the Championship, and having said that, the most disappointing thing is that if it had happened last year it wouldn't matter.

"But now that we've had a chance in the Championship it seems to hit us and it's going to cost us more."

Raikkonen suffered repeated engine failures last year, but McLaren are a different team now, which makes the failures all the more painful. Their car is widely reckoned to be the fastest and they should have won more races than Raikkonen's three so far.

The Finn qualified on pole at Imola but retired with a drive-shaft failure while leading on the ninth lap.

He led up on the last lap at the Nuerburgring in May before his front suspension failed because of the pounding imposed by self-inflicted uneven tyre wear.

He took no points from Indianapolis, a race none of the Michelin teams started, and in France would surely have roared away from pole position had he not suffered an engine failure in practice.

Two years ago, another engine failure at the Nuerburgring while leading arguably cost him the chance to become Formula One's youngest Champion - an accolade that 23-year-old Alonso looks likely to claim this year.

At the end of the year, Raikkonen lost out to Ferrari's Michael Schumacher by just two points.

He has come a long way since then.

"I think he gets better every week," said team boss Ron Dennis on Saturday. "Like all drivers, the thing they really need to flourish is success and he's had some disappointments this year but he is driving a very competitive car.

"Is he better than last year? Most definitely. Is he at his best? No. He'll get better."

 

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Alan Baldwin
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