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Ex-F1 champ: Raikkonen `is not really with it`.

Though the man himself has insisted that he is still very much in the fight for this year's Formula 1 World Championship crown with six races remaining [see separate story – click here], Kimi Raikkonen has come in for criticism from a number of fronts in the wake of yet another lacklustre performance at the weekend.

The Finn's miserable mid-season run continued in Valencia, when he was forced out of the inaugural European Grand Prix to be held around the marina of Spain's third city with engine failure shortly after his second pit-stop – but even before that he had barely figured.

The defending world champion has now not triumphed since the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona almost four months ago, and in the eight intervening races has finished up on the podium on just three occasions.

What's more, he has been out-qualified by in-form Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa eight-four over the balance of the 2008 campaign to-date, and provoked debate once again at the weekend when he calamitously pulled away too hastily from his second pit-stop at the Juan Carlos I Marina circuit, dragging down and injuring his refuelling mechanic in the process.

“Kimi is really not with it,” remarked former three-time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda, who conversely admitted to having been impressed by Massa's burgeoning form, adding in an interview with German newspaper Bild: “He seems totally focused and motivated. The world championship is now a duel of [Lewis] Hamilton against Massa.”

Indeed, the famously fickle Italian media seem to agree, suggesting that Ferrari should now focus their efforts on Massa's championship challenge – thereby necessarily casting Raikkonen into a supporting role.

'La Ferrari è Felipe Massa,' declared national daily newspaper La Stampa, following the Brazilian's second commanding performance in as many outings to triumph in Valencia two days ago. The sentiment is telling: 'Ferrari is Felipe Massa.'


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 18th-20th, July, 2008
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]
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Sinclair - Unregistered

August 26, 2008 12:25 PM

In a best case scenario, if Kimi wins all of the remaining six races he will end up with 117 points. If Lewis comes second in all these races he will still win the WDC with 1 point finishing with 118 points. But, Felipe is at the moment outperforming both Kimi and Lewis. His magnificent start at Hungary and the phenomenal race at Valencia show that Felipe is definetly the man to back at Ferrari. With six races to go the WDC is still open, but I would place my money on Felipe and Lewis. Kimi is out of motivation and therefore out of the running. His podium at Hungary was due to Felipe''s engine breakdown and he was humiliated by Kovalainen and Glock in a Toyota.

silent runner - Unregistered

August 26, 2008 6:42 PM

fastest lap meaNs nothing in the Race. best times should be registered in Q2 as this is typically their theoRetcally leanest and fastest tImes. you need only look at the DHL fastest lap time tables to see HK and NH up there demonstrates this. KR typically posts the quickest lap mid-way thru his final stint when the track is well rubbered and he isn't fighting for postion. obviously i don't know whether this is either him having a laugh or pitlane directions for data purposes but fastest lap times carry no extra points so i don't see the point unless it's a consequence of chasing down someone in front.



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