The iceman rarely talks, but when he does, he provides valuable insight. Kimi Raikkonen believes F1 could be improved by eliminating all data analysis. Formula one, for the past 2 decades or so, has been completely data-driven.
Kimi Raikkonen on how to improve F1
With all the data being collected during a Grand Prix weekend, drivers are almost aware of what to expect on race day. Think of it as a spoiler for a movie: you know the ending before you watch it. One of the best examples of this is F1 tyres. These finicky things constantly change from weekend to weekend and it’s the engineers who save drivers on a Sunday.
When drivers do practice runs on Friday and Saturday, engineers are constantly looking at the data points. Once practice is complete, engineers’ pore over the data, and inform drivers about crucial aspects of the car. Now, drivers and engineers know how long a tyre compound can actually last in a race and strategize accordingly.
A classic example of drivers having little to no data was the 2018 US Grand Prix. A race that was incidentally won by Raikkonen himself. With Friday running taking place in wet conditions, engineers had no valuable information regarding dry tyres. That resulted in a spectacular race, which Raikkonen won after Ferrari out strategized Mercedes (yes, those days really did exist).
Speaking to Auto Profis, Raikkonen said: “If it were possible, I would remove all those data analysis,”
“Although you can no longer adjust your car with so much data, the feeling comes back more and certain qualities would make the difference.”
“Racing in an oval seems very easy, but the truth is far from it. It is more pure racing. If you realize that you are not fast enough, then you can talk to others, but ultimately you have to draw conclusions yourself. ”
Raikkonen was referring to NASCAR, which is slightly more driver dependent when compared to F1.
“But in Formula 1, the data tells everything you need to know. If you have to find your own setup and cannot look at the computer, then it would be a completely different sport.”
With 19 years of experience, Kimi definitely knows what’s best for the sport.
Scuderia Ferrari fan. #AlwaysBelieveInSeb