From a statistical point of view, Germany seemed to be the least-favored destination for Kimi Raikkonen. From 2002 till 2005, the Finnish driver suffered retirements in seven straight races.
This came to be known as the German Grand Prix curse. The infamous streak began at the 2002 German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, courtesy a spin. Then, the misery continued at the 2003 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring where Raikkonen suffered an engine failure.
In the same year, at the Hockenheim circuit, the Finnish driver was done in by a collision. The 2004 European GP ended with another engine failure for Kimi Raikkonen. Meanwhile, the German GP saw him smash into the barrier with a rear wing failure.
In 2005, he was classified 11th at the Nurburgring, but he had crashed out from the lead on the last lap. Finally, a hydraulics issue for the Finn witnessed him retire after just one lap.
When he spoke to the media in 2012 ahead of that year’s German Grand Prix, he said, “I’ve always enjoyed driving in Germany, but the problem is that luck has never been on my side there and something has always happened to stop me winning. I’ve had four pole positions which show my speed on German soil, but six retirements haven’t been what I wanted.”
Did Kimi Raikkonen finally break the curse?
The losing streak finally broke in 2006 with 4th at the Nurburgring, followed by 3rd in Hockenheim. A year later, it was back to square one, as he suffered another hydraulics issue in Nurburgring. He was 6th in 2008 at Hockenheim, before his radiator broke in 2009.
From 2012 onwards, Raikkonen bagged podiums on three more occasions and managed to finish the race in all of them. Thus, it could be safely concluded that the German GP curse was finally lifted. In 2020 though, he will not be traveling to Germany, as it has not been included in the calendar