Paris: Kimi Raikkonen continues to be an enigma. The 2007 world champion had a forgettable qualifying in Melbourne on Saturday as he could only manage an embarrassing 17th place on the starting grid for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The reason it was embarrassing was because his teammate - and near rookie - Romain Grosjean produced an outstanding performance to clinch third place, trailing the two McLarens by just 0.4 seconds and ahead of all his other fancied rivals from Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. Just imagine if Raikkonen had managed to complete the flying lap in Q1.
It is unimaginable that a vastly experienced and successful driver like Raikonnen could commit such an error (he spun on his flying lap, which he couldn't complete before the end of Q1). Top teams generally don't leave the business of getting into Q2 in the final moments. The frenetic activity at the end of Q1 is normally the domain of back-runners or one of the lower midfield teams. To see Raikkonen, who is renowned for his speed and a no-nonsense approach, in this place was a bit unusual. Of course, he may be forgiven considering that this is his first F1 outing in two years. As he himself admitted post-qualifying, it was a driving error and things will be better in the race.
This episode just confirms the mystique that surrounds Raikkonen. It was evident when he decided to leave F1 after 2009. In 2007, he was
09:44 AM, Mar 18, 2012
Melbourne: Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, returning to Formula One after two years away, failed to get through the first phase of qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday. The Finn, who won from pole position for Ferrari at Albert Park in 2007, lost control of his Lotus on a corner on his final flying lap and the detour onto the trackside grass cost him a place in...
03:00 PM, Mar 17, 2012