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Editorial Formula 1 47

Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

In his top 10 Formula 1 drivers of 2013, published in our February issue season review, Nigel Roebuck places Kimi Räikkönen fourth behind the obvious choices of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso – and the man who has become almost universally rated as the most unfairly overlooked talent in the sport, Nico Hülkenberg. Force India’s returnee owns the copyright on that status right now.

f1 from the editor  Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

By their nature, such rankings are always purely personal, but it would surely be churlish for anyone not to place Vettel at the top of their list for the season just past. We can agree on that – can’t we?

Beyond the champion though, the meritocracy is much easier (or harder?) to debate. You might well disagree, but for me – and with the greatest respect to Nigel – Räikkönen was not the fourth best driver of 2013.

Now, that’s not to say Kimi wasn’t impressive. He’s a class act, and victory in Australia followed by seven other podium finishes, including a hat trick of second places in China, Bahrain and Spain, kept him in touch with the title until Vettel’s winning streak kicked in.

But still I’d place his team-mate Romain Grosjean and Merc’s Nico Rosberg ahead of him in my rankings, in the former’s case thanks to his impressive growth into a genuine frontrunner and the rate of recovery from his personal disaster of 2012 – and in the latter’s, because of his form and general attitude in the face of such a daunting team-mate as Lewis Hamilton.

Like I say, purely personal.

Now, you might bristle at my demotion of Räikkönen if you are an ardent admirer. That’s fair enough. But if you do, I better warn you: read the cover story of the February issue peeking through your fingers…

f1 from the editor  Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

This month, we tasked Simon Arron to give us his 20 greatest Ferrari F1 drivers (since the war), inspired by the Scuderia’s decision to re-sign Kimi alongside Alonso in 2014. For the first time since 1953 Ferrari has two crowned world champions as team-mates and beyond the massive regulation changes, Räikkönen vs Alonso has to be the most intriguing prospect of what will be the most unpredictable season in years.

The thing is, when we reviewed Simon’s list of 20, there was one glaring name missing. Yes – you know who.

Räikkönen won a world title for Ferrari, against the odds, in 2007. But our criteria of ‘greatest’ are not based on results and stats alone. For Ferrari, of all teams, such status requires so much more than that.

So Kimi doesn’t make the list – and the man he is replacing does.

What? Felipe Massa? Alonso’s docile number two? Well, yes… and no. The Brazilian wouldn’t be anywhere near the cut if his Ferrari career was limited to the seasons since 2010. But from Bahrain 2006 to Hungary 2009 – and the freak accident that could have killed him – Massa was a spirited Ferrari ace in the best traditions. Over the course of their three years together, he was more than a match for his team-mate: that man Räikkonen. He was also a class act as a human being and sportsman.

The thing is, this process proved to us that when you’re assessing more than 60 years of racing history, 20 drivers really isn’t very many. Simon and I ran through those he’d rated, and just as importantly, those he had not. As you’ll see, Räikkönen is in good company with those who didn’t make it… And 2007 title or not, as far as we’re concerned, he has work to do this year and beyond if he wants to be considered a true Ferrari great.

f1 from the editor  Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

Now, if we were to list McLaren’s 20 greatest drivers he’d make it comfortably. But that’s a different story…

An addition at Motor Sport

Beyond details of the February issue, I’d also like to take this opportunity to bring you up to date with our own big signing for 2014.

As F1 enters a new era of high-efficiency technology, I’m delighted to welcome Mark Hughes to our team, to join Nigel Roebuck in spearheading our Grand Prix coverage. Mark has gained worldwide respect for his ability to analyse and explain race performance – which will be more than handy in a sport that is growing ever more complex. He’s a fantastic writer who brings an unbeatable depth and understanding to F1, and he also happens to share with Nigel a purist love for the sport and a deep-rooted encyclopaedic knowledge of motor racing history.

For both, the past informs and colours everything they write about – which is at the heart of what this magazine and website stands for. They’ll complement each other perfectly.

Mark has written for Motor Sport in the past, of course, so this is very much a homecoming for him, to a title he holds in the greatest affection. His work begins in January, writing for the website and the next issue of the magazine – and we’re all eager to read his first contributions.

f1 from the editor  Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

His introduction will inevitably lead to a few tweaks to the print and digital magazine, but we won’t be losing sight of what makes Motor Sport special to our loyal and frighteningly knowledgeable readers. Denis Jenkinson’s words placed F1 at the centre of Motor Sport’s world, but Grand Prix racing was never the whole story for the magazine – and that hasn’t changed today. We will continue to offer perspective on almost every area and aspect of motor racing, both past and present. No other magazine offers such breadth, and that won’t change.

I’ll admit, this year has been one of the toughest I’ve known in publishing. How can I put this? Producing and selling magazines dedicated to motor racing – and just about any other specialist interest for that matter – isn’t a walk in the park these days… We can’t afford to sit still, we have to develop and appeal to as many people as possible – while continuing to serve those who’ve stuck with us for years, of which there are thankfully many with this particular magazine. It’s a tricky balance, but I’m confident we can do it.

I’d like to sign off by thanking you for reading in 2013, and for engaging with us either through the website, magazine or both. The passion and commitment of our readers never fails to amaze me, and as always it’s been a pleasure to write for you.

See you in 2014.

Click here to read more from Damien Smith

f1 from the editor  Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

Add your comments

47 comments on Räikkönen? He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’

  1. Michael Spitale, 27 December 2013 13:01

    2 things about Kimi that always surprise me. Many love to talk about how Massa got the best of Kimi in ’08 and Massa should have been Champ. They never seem to look back at things like Massa’s free win in France when Kimi was leading easily from pole until his exhaust fell off. Then Massa got a free win in Spa when Kimi and Hamilton were dicing 2 miles up the road from a Massa who admitted he was driving like a grandma that day. Kimi also had the lead in Canada until Hamilton drove over him in the pits, not to mention Japan when Kimi lead into corner one until the 2 out of control McLarens ran him and themselves off the road into corner one. Therefore, it is easy to argue Kimi was in line for 2 to 3 more wins that were lost none to his fault and Massa got 2 free ones.

    As for Grosjean being better this year? If you simply love to speak of qualy then yes the battle was close. However, in races he never seems to get it right does he?! He was able to contest 2 more races than Kimi(almost 3 more if you consider Kimi out qualified him in Abu Dhabi only to go to last on the grid for the same infraction that cost Grosjean nothing in Hungary) and still finished miles behind Kimi in the standings.

  2. John M, 27 December 2013 13:06

    Grosjean and Rosberg ahead of Kimi??? Utter lunacy.

    Yet another F1 ‘pundit’ placing far too much emphasis on the second half of the season and seemingly forgetting the first half of the season.

    Look back at each race weekend and Kimi was a monster in the races, even on weekends when he didn’t pick up any/many points. Spa, for example, where he was hampered by dreadful straight-line speed but was passing people through the bends time and again, even with melting brakes, where the other drivers made about 3 passes in total. Monza, where his race was stunted by Perez’s crazy weaving in the braking zone (how did he get away with that??) and was the second fastest driver throughout the rest of the race. Monaco – where he was again a victim of Perez’s first-half-of-the-season-lunacy – and yet recovered with stunning laps to pick up a point. Or Singapore, where he nursed a bad back (ON A STREET CIRCUIT) to go from 13th to 3rd.

    How anyone could rate Hamilton above Raikkonen this season, let along Grosjean and Rosberg (who was pretty average in my view), is just incredible. Hamilton, for instance spent half the season moaning about how the tyres/Nicole/car were letting him down.

    Seriously, go back and watch the season again. The tyre change and LWB Lotus undoubtedly affected Kimi, but he still destroyed Grosjean and was at least brilliant in the races, pretty much every single race. The same cannot be said about Rosberg, Hamilton and Grosjean.

    Alternatively, just plagiarise James Allen’s top 5. He got it about right.

  3. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 27 December 2013 13:38

    With all due respect to you, Damien, anyone placing Raikkonen BEHIND Grosjean in their “2013 Driver Rankings’ wasn’t watching the ENTIRE season.

    Then, to use “2012″ as one of your reasons, reduces credibility further.

    What does 2012 have to do with 2013?

    The fact is that Raikkonen DESTROYED Grosjean in the first half. The Finn also out-qualified the younger Lotus man 11 – 6…and outscored him by a chunk INSPITE of driving in two FEWER Grands Prix.

    Fine, the change to harder spec Pirellis and a longer wheel base E21 – as well as some confidence – boosted the Franco-Swiss driver above the Finn in the 2nd Half…But don’t forget that a return to the shorter wheel base E21 for Kimi at Abu Dhabi allowed him to out-qualify Romain by a huge 5-tenths.

    It’s obvious that Mr Roebuck has it more right than wrong in terms of where he has Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen.

    As per Rosberg being ahead?

    Aha ha!

    Rosberg was inconsistent (well, way less consistent than Raikkonen) and he still got beaten by a driver – Hamilton – in only that driver’s first season in a car whose breaking systems and steering were alien to him. Plus, it was hardly a vintage season by Hamilton anyway. He even admitted so!

    Lastly, Mercedes had a huge budget and a better car in relation to Lotus – and Nico had two extra races than Kimi … yet it was the Finn who ended up ahead in the standings, aided by a new ALL TIME RECORD for consecutive points finishes.

    We all have opinions – and those are mine.

  4. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 27 December 2013 13:54

    The other thing is that it’s hard to truly judge Hulkenberg’s 2013.

    The Hulk was a monster throughout the season – but look who his measuring stick was…

    …Guttierez was, arguably, the worst of the five rookies on the grid.

    But lets be generous: Guttierez didn’t show anything that suggested he was ‘better’ than Bottas or Bianchi.

    Placing Hulkenberg 3rd might be a little rich. Having said that, it would be very tough to place him lower than 6th.

    I’ll have a go:

    1 Vettel

    2 Alonso

    3 Raikkonen

    4= Hamilton
    4= Hulkenberg

    6 Rosberg

    7 Grosjean

    8 Webber

    9 Button

    10 Ricciardo

  5. Johnnie Crean, 27 December 2013 14:38

    Kimi has had worse luck than Chris Amon, and should be rated a great Ferrari driver. He won World Champion with a car Schumacher had lost to Alonso the prior two years. During his McLaren years, unreliability was rampant and he won or broke. The writers slam his ranking because he does not accommodate their job by mindlessly speculating about the future and whining about the past, so they get “even” by ranking him lower, and not commenting on his crummy luck. Kimi is also one of the great sportsmen, never ramming anyone! This last trait hurt him at Ferrari, where the likable Massa got the car pushed to his liking, and Kimi was ignored. Hey, guys, Kimi had to get away from unreliable Newey McLarens to win a world championship with a Ferrari not quick enough for Schmacher! The last Ferrari Championship, and Alonso can’t win a championship in a post Brawn Ferrari.

  6. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 27 December 2013 14:57

    Looking forward to reading Mark Hughes in Motor Sport!

    One more good reason to buy this publication – and, thus, not buy the ‘other’ (the one that starts with the letter ‘A’).

    I think Motor Sport Magazine’s new ‘line up’ will be very, very tough to beat indeed!

    Good luck and best wishes to all for 2014!

  7. Andrew Duncan, 27 December 2013 15:32

    Interesting take on Ferrari champions-Kimi’s has brought home the gold for Ferrari unlike Massa and Alonso.

  8. Michael Spitale, 27 December 2013 15:45

    One more thing on actually have the foolish notion that Grosjean ranks higher than Kimi this year. Kimi had 1 win and 6 seconds. Grosjean had zero wins and 1 second all year. Comical!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Andre, 27 December 2013 15:49

    Another Autosport refugee on the way, eh? It’s been a long time since I read that mag, but I seem to recall the Mark was pretty well on top of the technical aspects of the sport. Unfortunately, I think I also recall him fawning over Jenson Button’s “special talent” rather too often. Hopefully either he’s gotten over it or I’ve got him confused with some other bloke :-)

  10. Chris Manning, 27 December 2013 17:08

    In the spirit of the festive season as Mark joins the ms team, i would like to congratulate every one who works on the magazine for doing a great job providing really interesting and informative content. And the ipad edition is fantastic!

  11. PeteH, 27 December 2013 17:43

    I would normally avoid anything with a ferrari on it, particularly a magazine gushing with praise on anything to do with that lot. As a subscriber I shall attempt to ignore the disgusting red on the cover and concentrate on the more palitable contents.

    No offence to Motor Sport, I know there are folk who unthinkingly buy anything with a dancing pony on it, but such an esteemed tome need not stoop to such popularist lowest common denominator marketing.

  12. Johnnie Crean, 27 December 2013 17:50

    I meant to say:

    Kimi won the last Ferrari Championship after Schumacher failed 2 years in a row, and the only post Brawn Ferrari Championship.

  13. cc, 27 December 2013 20:12

    Please not too many dreary articles over analysing how a particular driver takes a particular bloody corner. Turn the wheel, power on; you either come out backwards or forwards.

  14. Marc Sandmann, 28 December 2013 01:34

    Wow! Kimi wins a World Championship for the Scuderia and he’s not one of their top 20 drivers ever? Kimi wins a Grand Prix and has six second places and Grosjean has no wins and one second place all year and Smith ranks him higher then Kimi. Wow! Guess Kimi must have really pissed Smith off at some point in time. Wow is all I can say…….

  15. Adrian Lever, 28 December 2013 14:58

    Dear Damien it is not often I disagree with Motor Sport I do remember getting rather upset with Denis Jenkinson for his dare I say it spiteful remarks about Nigel Mansell which made give up reading Motor Sport for a while . However I digress . With respect your comments on Vettel- “churlish etc.,” I for one do not agree with you as to what makes a top of the list driver . I have yet to see him prove his mettle , no that is unfair , courage he has apleanty, better word ability in an inferior car in which there have been many examples in 2013 by other drivers . And as far as that finger is concerned ! I suppose one day he will grow up .

  16. PropJoe, 28 December 2013 16:24

    “He’s a fantastic writer”

    No is he not. What he is, a pompous, self indulgent overrated relic of the past, often unapproachable in the paddock.

    “I’ll admit, this year has been one of the toughest I’ve known in publishing. How can I put this? Producing and selling magazines dedicated to motor racing – and just about any other specialist interest for that matter – isn’t a walk in the park these days…”

    Then I suggest you stop hiring ex-BBC guys like Hughes, and introduce new, young talent, with a fresh approach to current F1 and other motorsport coverage.

    Because reading week in and week out how boring F1 is, and that title fights should go down the wire, by almost all of you, and then moan and groan when the FIA actually tries to adhere your call, was not only laughable, but very sad. Its not what I want to spend money on.

  17. GP, 28 December 2013 17:53

    You couldn’t have picked a better team over the last few years but I hope that this doesn’t mean that the magazine is going to get even more F1-centric than it has become recently.

  18. Jetti, 28 December 2013 19:43

    You don’t have to be Kimi’s “ardent admirer” to value him more. You just need to be sober, unlike the writer of this.

    Massa?

    Please…stop drinking or writing.

  19. daveyman, 28 December 2013 20:26

    I was a bit concerned about Mark’s recruitment. Nothing against the guy but don’t let MotorSport become too reliant on current F1. I feel that Nigel Roebucks column along with a feature from Adam Cooper is plenty per issue. This new Ferrari issue seemed a bit lightweight rushed out for Xmas as well. Top whatever lists seem a cheap and easy way to get a feature. Having read it I don’t think we are offered any further insight on the drivers, they are simply listed in numerical order. Big deal! Come on Motor Sport I expect better than this.

  20. Miika Kuusisto, 28 December 2013 21:22

    I honestly can’t think of more than a dozen Ferrari F1 drivers I’d place higher than Kimi, even in the context of just their Ferrari careers, but oh well. If you want to over-promote “good number 2s” or “almost champions”, go ahead.

  21. Aki Tolonen, 29 December 2013 00:27

    Seems that you don’t know what you are talking about really… Räikkönen has beaten all team mates at so far and Alonso is next. In case “He’s not (yet) a Ferrari ‘great’” I can say that at least he’s a (Ferrari) champion and you cannot be a champion by accidentally (you always need to have enough points at the end). …and seriously, you cannot compare F1 champ to ‘First lap nut case’. Learn the facts before writing such a grab…

  22. GP, 29 December 2013 01:01

    Mr Smith, further to the twitter feed, it is not venom, it is the comment of a readership who are passionate about their sport and the magazine, no institution, that MS is.

  23. Morris Minor, 29 December 2013 04:10

    Damien Smith tweets:
    “I seem to have inspired a bit of post-Christmas venom on our website. Oops. Oh well – I’ll go back to not being at work…”

    Keep in mind a duck’s back Damien, and smile at Jenk’s mischievous tactic still working well.

  24. Morris Minor, 29 December 2013 04:19

    Apologies for misplacing the apostrophe in my previous post. It should, of course, have been Jenks’, not Jenk’s

    Defining each of these grammatically accurate phrases hones correct understanding of apostrophe placement:

    This refers to the mother’s children’s holidays’.
    This refers to the mothers’ children’s holiday’s.
    This refers to the mother’s childrens’ holidays’.
    This refers to the mother’s childrens’ holiday’s.
    This refers to the mothers’ childrens’ holiday’s.

  25. Sami, 29 December 2013 08:57

    Some reason that asshole hates Kimi! Maybe didnt gave interview or something?

  26. J Sturmer, 29 December 2013 10:48

    Well, you know who dont give a s**t about your article, me neither.

  27. JEZ, 29 December 2013 15:46

    The Kimi article I hope brings you the attention you obviously crave but don’t forget it comes at a cost. Many F1 fans are now laughing out loud. The scores are on the board.

    Please stop the coulda, woulda shoulda nonsense, unless there is a relevant point. For example, had Lopez agreed to pay Kimi 5m -thus cheating him out of 15m. Kimi would probably have made any talk of him not being ranked 3rd ridiculous.

    Massa’s ranking as a Prince of Maranello, (must elevate Baricello a God), when surely these accolades should remain with actual winners, like Ascari, Fangio, Surtees, Lauda, Scheckter, Schuemacher, oh and Raikkonen…

  28. William Kerr, 29 December 2013 18:12

    Who is this Simon Arron? Never heard about him

  29. GP, 29 December 2013 19:31

    As for “I never learn, they do take it seriously”

    How disparaging of those who take time to express an opinion.

    Would the editor prefer an ill informed casual readership who didn’t? I’m sure that would make it much easier to produce the mag each month…….

  30. Jim, 29 December 2013 19:36

    Damien who?

    Who the f… cares what he writes

  31. jussi järvelä, 29 December 2013 20:26

    Kimi out of Ferrari`s top 20 list and GrosJean 2013 ahead of Räikkönen?! I strongly disagree, suspecting mr. Smith`s professional skills as a knowledgeable F1-writer. Poor argumentation! Kimi belongs to, say, top ten list in Ferrari `s F1 drivers club.

    I always remember Kimi`s outstanding performance and Domenicali´s expressions and mimes after the race in Spa 2009. Kimi has been fired, but he did what he had to do with his underperforming Ferrari on the “driver`s circuit”, where he has many times shown sportsmanship and his extraordinary talents.

    Fernando Alonso is a great racer, top 10 club member in Ferrari as well. Kimi is facing his career`s biggest challenge next year! What an interesting year it will be.

    Happy New Year! Jussi Järvelä, Helsinki

  32. John B, 29 December 2013 20:47

    Can we settle down now please? If I want to read hostile abuse I’ll go to YouTube. I expect rational educated comment here not hysterical ranting over someone else’s opinion. That’s why I read Motorsport – educated debate and informed opinion – even if my views are different. For what it’s worth I like the thought of yet another quality writer joining the team and congratulate you on another appointment that will improve the. mag. I also hope as some have said though that it does not become too f1 centric – the balance is pretty good at the moment.

  33. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The Other One)), 29 December 2013 21:33

    ‘I seem to have inspired a bit of post-xmas venom on our website. Oops. Oh well – I’ll go back to not being at work…’

    - @Damien__Smith

    28 December

    Some of us are more polite than others – whilst other have been more venomous.

    I’d like to apologize for the nastier comments.

    It, however, seemed as if you were courting controversy, Damien.

    The fact is that Raikkonen legitimately outqualified a fast Grosjean 11-6 and, going into his final race, was up by 81 points – the equivalent of more than three wins! This inspite of the senior Lotus man having fallen out of favor after signing for Ferrari with 7 races to go and going public about not been paid.

    Damien, you do realize that it was no longer in Lotus’ finacial interest to have Kimi finish in front of Grosjean once they knew Kimi was leaving the team, right?

    Just think about it: Kimi’s contract called for points bonuses. So what incentive did Lotus have in Grosjean finishing behind?

    If the two were running 2-3 or 3-4 or 5-6, Lotus would always want Grosjean taking the higher points – otherwise they’d contractually owe a leaving driver more money.

    Lastly, Lotus needed Grosjean to show prospective sponsors that he was capable of leading the team.

    It was telling that Kimi out-qualified Romain by 5-tenths in his final race, at an event in which he insisted on a return of the shorter wheelbase E21.

    Any way you cut it, Damien, an unbiased individual would have a hard time placing Grosjean ahead of Raikkonen in 2013.

  34. Mikko Haikala, 30 December 2013 11:35

    It is nice to see that at least your readers have that good F1-knowledge which your magazine’s team obviously lacks.

  35. PeteH, 30 December 2013 16:06

    The problem, Damien, is, as you are finding out, that a significant proportion of Raikkonen ‘fans’ are just that. Fanatical. For them polite discourse on the web pages of a great and long-standing publication with more insight on it’s paper spine than a stadium full of braying ferrari fans is nigh on impossible.

    Welcome to the internet.

  36. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 30 December 2013 20:37

    PeteH, 30 December 2013 16:06:

    “The problem, Damien, is, as you are finding out, that a significant proportion of Raikkonen ‘fans’ are just that. Fanatical.”

    Pete,

    That was a rather sweeping generalisation.

    There is ‘fanatical’ – and there is objective.

    Some of us are just ‘fans’ of Formula One (rather than ‘fans’ of a particular driver) who actually are objective enough to go by facts.

    If driver A out-qualifies driver B 11 – 6 over 17 meetings and is up by a margin of 3 wins over 17 meeting (inspite of falling out of favor after the 12th meeting) where would you rank driver A vs driver B over that set of meetings?

    Do tell us…

    PS

    Make sure you don’t let your personal biases and hate creep into the evaluation and soil the ranking.

  37. PeteH, 31 December 2013 10:34

    Ray, you misunderstand.

    I am not commenting on a purely arbitrary ranking list, I am commenting on the fact that whenever a particular driver is slighted in the eyes of his fanatical followers a stream of invective comments inevitably appear on the internet. Raikkonen’s followers are worse than most, and one had hoped they would keep away from MotorSport, limiting themselves to other, less high-brow fora.

    For the record I put more store in MS’s analysis, their expertise formed over 90 years in the game, than a bunch of lickspittle fanaticists.

  38. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 31 December 2013 13:11

    Pete,

    Understood!

    :)

    On another note – and speaking of Ferrari World Champions – I hope Michael Schumacher will pull through and my best wishes to him and his family during this extremely trying time for them.

    Lastly, Happy New Year to all at Motor Sport Magazine and to those who come to these forums to debate with the best of intentions about a topic we’re all passionate about.

    The best for 2014, all.

  39. Jari Uusikartano, 1 January 2014 17:49

    Kimi Räikkönen is a Ferrari F1 World Champion. Does it matter how some UK based journalists rate him?

    No, it does not.

    People like Damien Smith and Simon Arron work for some publisher who wants to sell more magazines – end of story.

  40. John Read, 7 January 2014 04:46

    Let’s be fair dinkum. Kimi had a very good year but he had been hot and cold in the past. He simply did not apply his obvious talent to his work at all times. Call it work ethic if you wish. Sometimes too much talent detracts from focus. When you get both talent and focus that’s when you get someone like Vettel.

    Anyway, Happy New Year from Down Under……does anyone want to talk about the cricket?

  41. Michael Spitale, 8 January 2014 17:19

    WOW.. Just saw that Nigel Mansell scored a top 12 Ferrari driver with his 3 wins in 2 years. Kimi does not make top 20 with his 9 wins and a title in 3 years(and should have had 3 more wins none of which were his fault for not winning).

    Not sure what to say to this… sad bit of journalism though in this case

  42. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 9 January 2014 21:10

    Michael,

    Also, didn’t Nigel’s Ferrari team-mates score 6 wins over those same two years? And, didn’t one of them acturally fight for the Championship against the might of Senna and his Marlboro McLaren Honda?

    If memory serves, Gerhard had one victory and Alain – who called Nige an “idiot” (for costing him postion at Estoril perhaps?) – five.

    Kimi’s win at Spa in 2009 in that hideously out-matched Ferrari F60 (the worst one Maranello has produced since before Schumacher) is, in itself, worthy of the Finn being in the Top 20 of Ferrari drivers.

    It’s quite obvious that Ferrari didn’t treat Kimi properly first time round.

    If Kimi wasn’t a very good driver, why did they re-signed him?

    People have to ask themselves why Ferrari have taken Kimi back…

  43. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 10 January 2014 15:50

    I actually re-read something and one thing is for sure:

    Prost thinks Mansell cost him the championship in 1990 [Other than. of course, the fact that Senna ploughed him out at Suzuka].

    Compare that with how Kimi helped Massa in 2008 in China (not to mention in Fuji and Interlagos also) – and the two Scuderia drivers in question (Mansell v Raikkonen) are like Night and Day in the way they went about helping their Ferrari team-mates in their respective Championship challenges.

    Does Motor Sport really, truly think that some of the drivers in the Top 20 did a better job for Scuderia Ferrari than Kimi Raikkonen?

    Really?

  44. Miika, 18 January 2014 09:57

    This article did leave me wondering, which other Ferrari WDCs Simon might have left out of his top 20. Perhaps Schecker for he only had two seasons at Ferrari and the non-championship year was one to forget for the whole team.

    Possibly Fangio, who only drove a Ferrari for the single season and actually came very close to being beaten to the title by Moss.

    Maybe Hawthorn, too, who was the top Ferrari driver only once in the five years he drove for the team.

    Of course, none of these omissions would create as much controversy as these things happened multiple decades ago, whereas Mr. Räikkönen is still history’s latest Ferrari champion.

  45. Miika, 18 January 2014 10:08

    The Massa-Räikkönen comparison is particularly interesting as the two drivers were obviously team mates for some 2 and a half years and it offers the best insight for why Simon has opted to pick Massa over Räikkönen to the top 20. If you look purely at statistics, Massa has Räikkönen beat, if barely, over the races they were team mates:

    Wins: Massa 9 – 8 Räikkönen
    Poles: Massa 12 – 5 Räikkönen
    points: Massa 213 – 203 Räikkönen
    Fastest laps: Massa 10 – 16 Räikkönen*
    Qualifying vs: Massa 25 – 20 Räikkönen
    Race vs: Massa 23 – 22 Räikkönen

    BUT my argument for why this kind of logic would be wrong is that it puts too much emphasis on Räikkönen’s disappointing 2008 while completely ignoring the resurgence that happened after Massa’s accident when Räikkönen quite possibly drove some of the best races of his career.

    A lot of things have been said on 2008. Simply put, my opinion is that Kimi couldn’t qualify that car properly. Whether you put the fault more on the driver or the team is up to the individual. In any case, in race pace he was still typically faster than Massa (*compare Fastest Laps for reference, particularly in 2008, when Räikkönen amazingly enough made the joint record for most fastest laps in a single season despite the apparent worst seasons of his career).

    2014 will be very fascinating. It is hard to objectively expect Räikkönen to beat Alonso, but imagine if he does. It would make all the past team mate comparisons even more confusing and create an another loop in the vein of Hill > Villeneuve > Frentzen > Hill.

  46. Paul Elan, 21 January 2014 19:35

    Bla, bla, bla! Now I remember why I stopped buying this magazine…waffle, nothing but waffle.

  47. Graham O'Reilly, 26 January 2014 14:55

    Not about Kimi, but about your 20 top Ferrari drivers, I have a question about Fangio that has always puzzled me.

    Simon writes that following the withdrawal of Mercedes at the end of 1955, he had few options, and finished up at Ferrari “faute de mieux”. But surely Stirling was in the same boat. Did Maserati actively choose him ahead of Fangio ? Did he know about Merc’s retirement before Fangio ? None of these scenarios seems believable, which leads to the conclusion that Fangio chose Ferrari ahead of Maserati for 56.

    Comments ?

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