Wheel of Fortune Favours Raikkonen

Fortune favoured McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen in Canada on Sunday, two weeks after the Finnish 'Iceman' was left cursing his bad luck at the Nurburgring

Wheel of Fortune Favours Raikkonen

"We were a bit lucky maybe to win today, but it doesn't matter because we were a bit unlucky in the last race, so it made something back," he said after celebrating his third win in four races.

"I am more than happy to win and we got those 10 points back on Renault that we lost at the last race and we are firmly back in the Championship, back and fighting again."

With Renault's title favourite Fernando Alonso failing to finish, second placed Raikkonen now has 37 points to the Spaniard's 59 with 11 races remaining.

At the last European Grand Prix, Raikkonen crashed out on the last lap while leading when his front right suspension failed.

While he could blame only himself for flat-spotting the tyre, with the uneven wear causing the vibrations that shattered the suspension, it was a devastating blow to get so close to victory and end up with nothing.

Alonso cashed in that time, taking a victory handed to him on a plate to forge 32 points clear in the standings. On Sunday the roles were reversed.

Alonso Pain

This time it was the 23-year-old who felt the pain after making a rare mistake and scraping the unforgiving wall on the final corner before the pit straight on the 39th of 70 laps while leading.

That glancing impact damaged his car's suspension and he suffered his first retirement of the year.

"Not a good day for me," he said. "I went too wide, I touched the wall and damaged the car. This is a very disappointing result because the weekend had been almost perfect until then."

With the Renaults out of the way after Giancarlo Fisichella had retired six laps before Alonso also while leading, Raikkonen was still behind his Colombian teammate Juan Pablo Montoya until luck again intervened in the shape of the safety car deployed just before his second pitstop.

"The team called me in on that lap and just before I came into the pitlane the safety car was out so I was in one way quite lucky that the timing was right," he said.

Montoya was less fortunate, a communications mix-up meaning that he missed the call to come in.

After pitting on the next lap, he then left under a red light and was disqualified.

Raikkonen was leading but even then he could not relax with a steering problem making life difficult from the first pitstop and Ferrari's seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher catching up.

"The steering wheel was turning left all the time, more and more, and I didn't know what was going on," he said.

"The team told me to look after the car because they could see there was a problem but didn't know what it was.

"I was telling them the steering was too much on the left, it wasn't straight any more, and we were a bit worried but at least everything went well and nothing happened, like in the last race.

"And the bonus is that Renault did not score so it was a good win for us."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Alan Baldwin
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