The Iceman doesn’t usually say much. But Raikkonen has given us a thesis compared to his usual short sound-byte standards. This sudden change in verbal character suggests that he’s pretty pissed at the sterility currently being endured at Ferrari.
Ferrari have the biggest following in the sport and their fans still staunchly romanticize the team despite their inability to catch Mercedes in recent seasons. They’ve fallen behind Red Bull too and the German Grand Prix was one to forget for any Ferrari fan.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) July 31, 2016
Vettel finished 5th and Raikkonen followed in 6th. Whilst these are solid points, Ferrari aim to secure a podium at every race and this is what the fans expect. It was the lack of any challenge on Sunday that was disappointing. If they’d been in touching distance to even battle with Red Bull, then they’d have at least provided some entertainment. Instead, they were pretty anonymous.
Raikkonen isn’t happy with the state of the team, but has to remain optimistic for the second half of the season.
“Everybody can see where we finished, it’s obviously a bit painful for all of us but this is where we are right now. We just have to work harder.
We were just not fast enough – it was as simple as that, unfortunately. It wasn’t too bad when we had fresh tyres, but they wore off quite quickly and that’s about it… It was quite a boring day, in a way, not much happening where I was, so if we can be fast that will obviously make it more exciting.
Of course we want to win, so we have to beat everybody and that’s always the aim in racing. We were ahead of Red Bull but now they’re ahead of us. But I’m sure we found some tools and hopefully we can challenge both of them [Mercedes and Red Bull] later on. It’s not going to be easy but that’s always the aim.”
– Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari have slipped 14 points behind Red Bull in the Constructor standings and all that Raikkonen can do is hope for future improvements. Where last year, Ferrari were given the benefit of the doubt for being the second-best team in Formula One, this season has been a real disappointment.
In pre-season testing, the narrative, as it so often is, was pretty inaccurate. Many had Ferrari down to take the challenge to Mercedes and thought Red Bull would slip down the order again. Instead, Sebastian Vettel must be left feeling that accomplishing his childhood dream of driving for Scuderia is countered by an upsurge in form by his former championship-winning employers.
As for Raikkonen, he’s previously stated that he will retire at Ferrari. At the moment, that looks to be an end to a rich career with a puff of smoke as opposed to a bang.