Kimi Raikkonen at The Canadian Grand Prix doesn’t sound like a win-win scenario. This is not only down to the fact that the Finnish driver hasn’t won a race here since 2005, but it’s also due to the fact that the laconic driver hasn’t really shown anything spectacular at Villeneuve-land to ride home about.
Starting the Montreal race from a very lowly- sixteenth, albeit for a team with which he marked his debut (Sauber rechristened as Alfa Romeo), Kimi Raikkonen at the Canadian Grand Prix of 2019 could be likened to witnessing a legendary ice-skater struggling on the rink, not because he’s ageing, but because his boots lack the grip.
For someone who’s won here once, back in his McLaren days, Kimi Raikkonen, who begins four places down vis-a-vis his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi may just endure another sedate run and absolutely nothing adrenaline-pumping whatsoever.
It was nearly over a decade and a half back in time where, as a 26-year-old, Kimi Raikkonen clinched a fine win at Montreal. Then, he was in a McLaren, armed with both age and speed, the latter, still very much a part of the man’s DNA, unless one were to ignore the events at Monza in 2018, where the Iceman came out of nowhere and went at 1:19:119.
But what do we find in 2019? For starters, Kimi failed to put his car on a decent position on the grid, not that any position P13 and below could be considered competitive enough for any driver in any way. But above anything else, should Kimi Raikkonen at the Canadian Grand Prix of 2019 fail to pick up a point for his Alfa Romeo, it would be the first time this season that he would endure a hat-trick of no points (that of scoring 0 points) in three consecutive races.
Not sure if the no-nonsense Finn would want to add anything on this but from where it seems to be going at the moment, it can’t be said that things appear bright for the former world champion. In some ways, it’s not just frustrating for the highly experienced driver, someone who only over a fortnight ago, entered his 300th Grand Prix, but also someone who can still put together a belter of a lap.
Yet, ironically, this being something he’s failed in the past Grands Prix, starting from Spain.
That said, Kimi would only go on to manage a 1:12:230 while someone like a Vettel, the pole-sitter for Sunday’s race was nearly 2.10 seconds ahead of his former teammate. It wasn’t, therefore, hard to doubt the emotional communication that the Ferrari driver would hold over the team radio, with the red cars bagging their maiden pole of the new season.
Moreover, Kimi Raikkonen at the Canadian Grand Prix wasn’t just a dull effort at Qualifying alone. The 39-year-old’s performance, once again fuelled the passion of those who’d go their extra way to denounce Ferrari’ last world champion and among the fastest men on the earth.
In an unabashedly passionate sport based on car control, and various permutations and combinations- one of which is great speed for sure- F1 being some kind of ‘Blitzkrieg on four wheels’ instead of being reliant on armoured warfare, there’s anyways hardly a margin for error.
To that end, Raikkonen’s fans, it could be said, may only be impressed with the fact that the not so talkative driver didn’t happen to clip his car with the wall of the champions area, a legendary spot on the track that put even Hamilton and Verstappen in a spot of bother.
What may also move Kimi could be his teammate, Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi starting the 70-lap contest from twelfth.
This, it is worthwhile to note, happens to be a young driver who’s only disappointed up until entering round seven of the season, having failed to pick a single point in six previous runs. To make matters worse, Giovnazzi was so desperately out of touch, a bit of a surprise because the C38 isn’t the weakest machine on the grid.
All that told, what’s somewhat befitting of the unflappable Finn’s nature is the rather funny comment he made on his team-radio, where upon seeing a beaver running around innocently at the 4.36-km track, the Iceman had this to say:
“There’s some animal running on the track!”
Finally, can you give us something more than that on Sunday, Kimi?