F1 »

Raikkonen `a pale imitation` of the driver he was.

Kimi Raikkonen has come in for a scathing attack from the Italian media following another lacklustre performance in the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend – being described variously as 'a pale imitation of the driver of the past' and 'not the driver Ferrari needs'.

The defending Formula 1 World Champion has now not triumphed in seven races, putting the defence of his hard-won 2007 crown in distinct jeopardy, with both McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa seeming to be in considerably better shape than the Finn as the 2008 campaign races towards its conclusion.

Since Raikkonen's second – and thus far latest – victory of the season in Barcelona all the way back in April, the 28-year-old has notched up just 28 points, compared to the 42, 36 and 30 of title rivals Hamilton, Massa and Robert Kubica respectively.

Though he may have lucked into a rostrum finish with third place in Budapest, the 17-time grand prix winner failed to convince weekend-long, qualifying a lowly sixth and spending the first two-thirds of the race tucked up behind Fernando Alonso's markedly slower Renault – a fact not lost on the notoriously merciless and fickle Italian press.

'He seems a pale imitation of the driver of the past,' blasted national sports newspaper Tuttosport. 'This Raikkonen is not the driver that Ferrari needs. He needs to ask himself whether he really still has the desire.'

For his part, the erstwhile world championship leader has responded to claims that he is likely to hang up his F1 helmet at the end of the current campaign, second title in the bag or not.

“I never said anything like that,” he stressed. “Somebody made it up.”

There were rather warmer words, meanwhile, for Massa, who – against the odds – dominated the race around the Hungaroring, from his superbly aggressive pass all the way around the outside of pole-sitter Hamilton at the start to his cruel retirement with engine failure whilst in a commanding position a scant three laps from the chequered flag.

'What more can Ferrari ask of its driver?' the respected La Gazzetta dello Sport mused.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 18th-20th, July, 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Dale - Unregistered

August 05, 2008 3:44 PM

Ferrari fans/Italian media are like the NY Yankees: if they aren't winning they are whining. Wasn't it just a few months back they were calling for Massa's head? Ignore the tripe and the hype people because that's all it's good for. Kimi was written off last season from the minute he was signed and proved them wrong. Any idiot who thinks he isn't one of the best drivers on the grid knows nothing about F1 or is doing this for sensational headlines. I'm guessing the latter. I wish crash would report real news instead of idle gossip.

M Bee - Unregistered

August 05, 2008 3:23 PM

I think Kimi''s Hungarian performance isn''t that bad. He came from 6th with a heavy car to 4th which then became 3rd, and could have been 2nd if Ferrari didn''t tell him to ease off after Massa''s blowout.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.