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Raikkonen fastest man in F1 in 2008.

He may not have sat on pole position since Magny-Cours, and he may not have won a race now since the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona all the way back in April, but Kimi Raikkonen is officially the fastest man in Formula 1 in 2008.

After crashing out of fifth place in the closing stages of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix night race last weekend, the Finn all-but kissed a terminal goodbye to his hopes of defending his hard-won drivers' crown from last year, as he heads into the final three events on the calendar trailing McLaren-Mercedes' rival and F1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 27 points in the title standings, and his own Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa by 20.

Nonetheless, in setting his tenth fastest lap in 15 grands prix this year under the spotlights of the Far Eastern city-state, the 28-year-old equalled both his own record with McLaren in 2005 and Michael Schumacher's 2004 tally with the Scuderia – and now all he needs is one more fastest lap before season's end to make the achievement his own.

Raikkonen's fastest laps to-date this year have come in Spain, Turkey, Monaco, Canada, France, Britain, Hungary, Belgium, Italy and Singapore. The other five have been shared out between Heikki Kovalainen, Nick Heidfeld (two apiece) and Massa (one).

However, the 17-time grand prix winner's one-lap pace in the races has been somewhat at odds with his qualifying form in 2008, managing just two pole positions to Massa's five, with an average starting spot of 4.8 to the Brazilian's 2.9, as the list below details.

Top ten average qualifying positions in 2008 up to and including Singapore Grand Prix:

1. Felipe Massa 2.8
2. Lewis Hamilton 3.2
3. Heikki Kovalainen 3.8
4. Kimi Raikkonen 4.8
5. Robert Kubica 5.2
6. Fernando Alonso 7.6
7. Jarno Trulli 8.2
8. Mark Webber 8.6
9. Nick Heidfeld 8.7
10. Timo Glock 10.9


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DAMON RUSSELL

October 01, 2008 2:25 PM

Totally 100% agree. Kimi is, without a shadow of a doubt, THE fastest driver in F1. No question! But it isn't any good being the fastest for one or two laps is it? It just goes to show how much talent this guy has. If only he could be consistently talented and remain focused, he would be the man to beat. Full stop.



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