Aug 25, 2008

Time to refurbish for Kimi

Yeah, we have seen enough. Right from some dismal tyre strategies, getting bottled up behind traffic, engine blow up, exhaust failure, people ramming from the back i.e all Kimi has managed this season apart from 2 storming wins, were some nightmarish outings. One more fiasco in his resume and he'll be out of contention. And we Kimi fans hate to say it but there's every possibility now that Ferrari will clobber around one driver and that's not Raikkonen. What a disaster. What a shame. Are we missing something here in giving a clear cut analysis? Indeed we are

A Kimi basher would never hesitate to write Kimi off when trailing Lewis by 13 points with just 6 races to go. And a Kimi lover would point to 07 and say "it's not over until it's over". Actually, it's a bit of both this season for my man. He has made some uncanny mistakes this season and his performance on the whole has been a bit disappointing. I have to stress that 'bit' a little bit more cos for all we know, KIMI RAIKKONEN is not a happy man driving that Ferrari. Let's do a time travel to July.

Race at Silverstone. At one point, Kimi took precious seconds off the then winner Hamilton before stop 1. Then, disaster struck Kimi n Ferrari when the team chose to keep Raikkonen on the worn-out tyres there by making a complete misjudgment of the weather. There went out of the window the victory hopes and ultimately, Kimi finished a lap down to Lewis. A pity but indeed we knew that Raikkonen was qualifying well and also had phenomenal race pace. Ferrari did mid-season testing in Hockenheim where everyone expected them to go one step higher. Instead, during the race in Germany, Ferrari slumped to 3rd and 6th. Then came Hungary, Kimi again failed to qualify in the front row, bottled behind Alonso forever and ultimately finished 3rd thanks to Massa's engine blow up. In Valencia, picture became much clearer. Kimi just couldn't put heat on tyres for a single lap run which is very crucial for Q3. On the other Ferrari, Massa who is known to be a better qualifier is winning races from pole. Grey hair!!!

As I mentioned, in the Hockenheim test, Ferrari picked up some aero developments which looked good but soemtimes look can be deceptive. Whatever developments Ferrari has put in F2008, have played into the hands of Massa. Wait a min. There isn't any conspiracy involved here. All I say is Massa was the beneficiary for his 'hard on tyres' kindov approach. Kimi's natural instincts and smooth style doesn't seem to pay off with that trolley. Okay, this is my analysis. I don't give a fuck if people think blaming the car is all I can do. Raikkonen is serene and under-estimate him at your peril. Kimi is down but nobody can stump him that easily. There's a test awaiting Ferrari post Spa and let me assure you, we'll see Kimi coming out from the ashes and winning races again. Whether it will be good enough for a second successive title or not, time will tell.

Request to Ferrari : Don't make it a cake walk for Lewis by demoting Kimi to a supporting role. You will pay a hefty fine not only in WDC.

Aug 11, 2008

Hunga'boring' : Race 11 review

I'm really happy for Heikki and seen myself applauding to his maiden victory though I think that's all due for him this season. It was clearly looking like another Lewis triumph over Heikki. The saying goes like "There's nothing like luck, u have to be at the right time n the right place to be lucky". How true! Heikki was there at the right place to gain from Massa's heart braking engine blow up just 3 laps away from what looked like a thumping Ferrari win. People who think that this will be a come back by Heikki wud be disappointed sooner or later. But on the given day, he closed a gap of 24 secs after Lewis blew his tyres to mere 6.7 secs to Felipe. So, Heikki was fast and would have definitely made Felipe push. Having said that, Ferrari's engines are looking worse than MP4-20's :) Massa, u have got a case.

Kimi on the other hand was fast as always but was bottled up behind Alonso for the lion's share of the race. Well, it's Hungary after all. Kimi, u too got a case. Let me defend Kimi by inclining to the technical aspects of that track. U can't afford top lose downforce in Hungary due to it's demand on aerodynamic grip. The problem following a car and being in the dirty air is that the car behind lose grip and tyres start to grain inturn reducing grip. Well, Ferrari or any other car for that matter would struggle to keep the gap so as to get into the slipstream of the car in front. That explains why Raikkonen was stuck behind Fernando.

Now, if I do a postmortem of Steve Salter's gumptious commentary for Star Sports, I might end up harebrained. Let's see why

After quali "Kimi is 6th, well, there shud be Qs asked abt his motivation"
After lap 10 "Just look at the crash helmets of Raikkonen n Alonso, Raikkonen I have to say is as aggressive as it cud possibly get"
After lap 20 or so "I think Raikkonen is a demotivated driver, where is the old Kimi?"
After 2nd stop "Now, we are seeing the Raikkonen we know"

Just understand the basic conflicts of opinions coming from the same person. Steve slater is an energetic guy and is a Kimi admirer but let's face it, he's magnifying the mistakes made by Kimi and trying to make the whole episode a bit dramatic just because Kimi's the WDC now. In Germany he said "I can see only two men fighting for WDC" n now in Hungary"I can see only Massa n Lewis".....gosh, spare him!!! Now, why I brought Steve in here is cos that's what some of the pundits and some neutrals are thinking, that Kimi has got attitude problem, he's defied of hunger, motivation yada yada yada......But let me stress this, Kimi's same attitude is praised by the same people when he wins a race n they don't have any right to cum n criticize it now.Lucky? To be honest, he was but only because of Massa's engine failure but we need to understand that he was lured of the same thing so many times. Let him for once be at the sending end. He deserves it. His charge on Glock reminded many critics that he's not f****** lazy out there, neither a sissy as some think n he has the balls to be fast. His determination didn't go anywhere for fuck sake.

Now coming to Massa, he surprised some of his leading bashers like me with a superlative move on the over-confident Lewis. His best drive so far but let's see whether he can continue this. What was Lewis thinking by taking a tighter line into turn1??? I think he's overdue of some curse for this dialogue in Hockenheim "Massa didn't defend too well and if it wud have been the other way around, blah blah blah"......Now he knows. Infact, Lewis had the right statement but was wrong in him saying that about his rival. The fact remains the same for Lewis. He's still a rookie in managing his tyres on a hot track. Remember Turkey, Brazil! I have seen McLaren's argument that there was debry on the track. Oh god, when are they gonna stop bullshitting? Lewis was lapping 0.5sec slower than Felipe before the screw up and it's pretty sure, he ate his front left. There is only one guy who had a puncture and that's Lewis. Bridgestone had warned Lewis in Turkey if u remember. So, there u go.

Kimi needs to get the qualifying right from now on cos we all know he has the pace to beat the hell out of everyone else out there for the race. Modern F1 brings more reliable chassis n less excitement and that only
means, u have to be at the front row before the start. Having said that, u have to question the Ferrari strategy again for fueling Kimi 20 liters (4 laps) more than Massa. None of them got it right on Saturday n stupidities like these are bound to be punished in Monaco n Hungary. Massa was simply outstanding but one has to look at his consistency from now on. Lewis would try his level best to mask his mistakes by blaming debry for which I have no other say but to let him hear "get a life". Meanwhile, Heikki can have a sigh of relief after some lackluster races.

Next race : European GP , new track in Valencia : Aug 24th