WATCH: Kimi Raikkonen Complains of ‘Sh*t’ Team Radio During Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying

Published 12/05/2021, 5:06 AM EST
Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 2, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during the press conference Hassan Ammar/Pool via REUTERS

Jeddah Corniche is one of the fewest F1 circuits where the drivers desperately need assistance from their race engineers, thanks to the higher frequency of blind corners, lack of run-off areas, and a rather short-width track. But, for Kimi Raikkonen, things became a bit too complicated.

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The qualifying session of all was going to be very tricky, with the cars rushing out onto the track at pretty much the same time. Hence, traffic was certainly a massive concern, meaning, the drivers were in need of frequent updates from their race engineers over the approaching cars on a hot lap.

However, Raikkonen endured quite a rough night with his race engineer, citing ‘sh*t radio’.

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The conversation between Kimi Raikkonen and his race engineer.

The conversation started off with Julien Simon-Chautemps, the Alfa Romeo race engineer, offering Raikkonen a heads up of a fast-approaching Alonso. “Watch for Alonso,” he said. “4 second, pushing probably. No… correction, no one pushing and work the brakes.

Raikkonen then responded to Julien’s update by mentioning that the radio felt scrappy. “Yeah, your radio is not that great for some reason,” the Finn said.

Julien then acknowledged Raikkonen’s issue and tried to speak louder. “Okay, I will speak louder.” Before he could repeat what he had said moments ago, another question arrived from Raikkonen. “So, we’re clear from behind? Yes or no?” the Ferrari world champion asked.

Everybody okay, traffic okay. They’re all charging. Everybody in phase,” Julien replied. By then, Raikkonen had enough of the poor radio quality and responded, “Yeah, your radio is sh*it.

Alfa Romeo looking good for points on Sunday?

Certainly! Unlike earlier this season, Alfa Romeo have made quite the progress, pushing themselves up to the mid-field pack. And this progress was very much evident in Saudi Arabia.

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While Kimi Raikkonen claimed a decent enough P12, his teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi produced an even better performance to slot his Alfa Romeo in the top 10. The Italian will start the race from P10. Of course, he will have to work with the tire disadvantage; Giovinazzi will have to start the race on a used set of soft tires.

Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 3, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during practice REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

But, for Raikkonen, the prospect of scoring points is shining much brighter. The Finn will most likely start his race on a fresh set of medium tires. Hence, considering Raikkonen’s expertise with tire management, he could well bring his car home in points at the Saudi Arabian GP.

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Hence, can Raikkonen produce a commendable end to his Formula 1 career with a back-to-back points finish in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi? Well, let’s hope so!

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Rohit Kumar

1855 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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