“Nobody Will Take the Piss” – Kimi Raikkonen Has an Idea to Control F1 Drivers From Exploiting Loophole

Published 08/07/2021, 3:09 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during an interview before practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS


There have been talks going around that F1 has turned quite lenient in punishing drivers on the track. And it was quite evident in several cases, including the incident at Silverstone, and later at Hungaroring, as well. And one former world champion is not a fan of this particular change – Kimi Raikkonen.

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The Alfa Romeo driver sounded rather disappointed with F1’s leniency, especially around the ‘three-strike rule’ when it comes to exceeding the track limits.

A black-and-white flag is equivalent to a yellow card in football, more like a warning to the drivers. Over the past couple of years, the sport has opted to warn a driver thrice before imposing a time penalty during a race. But Raikkonen suggests otherwise.

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Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga

The Finn reckoned that a mistake is a mistake, and for each wrongdoing, it is absolutely necessary that the driver must pay the price. He further felt that imposing harsher penalties would prevent drivers from making deliberate mistakes on the track amidst the conscious feeling that they cannot get away with them.

I don’t mean that you need to give more penalties or anything, but if you get penalised for doing something wrong, people would stop doing it because they know,” he said.

Kimi Raikkonen bids the removal of the three-strike rule

Speaking to RaceFans, Raikkonen felt that the elimination of warnings in F1 would force the drivers to respect the rules even more, rather than exploiting it to their convenience.

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Now there’s always this grey area that you have ‘three chances’. So obviously everybody will use it. But if you tell them ‘this is what’s going to happen if you do it’, we will not do it because we know. Now you can get away with a lot of things, but not so much,” he said.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in action during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

If we’re told that if you go off, obviously there’s things [from the car] that you can lose if you go off. But those are usually quite obvious things. So nobody will take the piss out of it. But that’s not our thing to change,” the 2007 world champion added.

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Of course, there is no denying that drivers are getting away with mistakes by facing lighter penalties. Hence, will F1 listen to the 41-year-old’s advice on imposing heavier punishments by excluding the concept of black-and-white flags?

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Rohit Kumar

1163 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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