F1 returned with a bang after its mid-season summer break as Lewis Hamilton stormed to consecutive poles at Spa. Vettel was close behind in second but interestingly Raikkonen could only muster up sixth place, behind both Force India cars.
It was a shock to begin with but Ferrari have provided an explanation and that is bound to baffle fans even more. Check out the quote Raikkonen gave for his low grid position:
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 25, 2018
‘Not enough fuel’ is an excuse that fans thought they would never hear. However, that is the reason provided by Raikkonen and Ferrari. It does not mark a very auspicious restart to the F1 season, especially in an year where Ferrari look the fastest team in the grid for a change.
The most disappointed with the whole affair will surely be Raikkonen. Apart from being called the ‘Iceman’, the Finn is also given the moniker of the ‘King of Spa’. And no prizes for guessing why.
Raikkonen has consistently delivered his best performances at the iconic Belgian circuit, having won five races there over the years. On his return to the sport in 2012, he delivered a sensational overtake on the great Michael Schumacher down at Eau Rouge.
What will disappoint him even more is the fact that he topped one of the free practice sessions and was only behind Vettel in the other, displaying the incredible pace Ferrari possessed. To go on to lose at least three grid positions to an amateur error will be playing on his mind.
However, not all is lost. Ferrari clearly look the fastest and if not for the rain, they probably would’ve grabbed pole, maybe would’ve even locked out the front row. Raikkonen can take advantage of that, considering that the cars ahead of him are essentially midfield runners.
As Raikkonen said, all that matters is how the race pans out on Sunday. There is no reason to be pessimistic yet for them and everyone will be hoping for a masterclass tomorrow, one which may get him his 100th career podium and sixth consecutive of the season.