Hey, Tifosi? You Still Want Fernando?
In case anyone just missed it, Kimi Raikkonen just won the Belgian Grand Prix in simply epic fashion in a car that was definitely over-matched.
Having an unfavorable strategy from his starting place, Raikkonen had to execute a—and there's no other word for this—perfect start that would put him in position to go for the lead on the first lap. Raikkonen pulled that one off nicely (and adventurously).
After a safety car period, the Iceman had to immediately blow by leader Giancarlo Fisichella. Check.
He then had to gut every last cubic inch of performance out of the F60 for the entire race to stay ahead of a car that was .400 seconds quicker in qualifying.
Forty or so laps later, and he joins the ranks of the very best names in Formula One history with his fourth Spa victory.
Raikkonen has shown time and again that when he really applies himself (and he is self-admittedly "lazy"), there's no one out there who is quicker. Today, he applied himself.
And absolutely no one could be quicker in Spa today. The Force India was quicker than the Ferrari, but Fisichella nor anyone else who could have driven the car could beat the Iceman today.
Fernando Alonso is a very good driver. But to the Tifosi, who wants to dump Raikkonen for him, be careful what you wish for. He has shown he's more than willing to blow up a team if he doesn't get his way, and a situation in which he would have to compromise with anyone at Maranello would do just that.
Besides, as good of a driver as he is, has he ever delivered a performance like this? Actually holding off a clearly stronger car for the ENTIRE race to win? Does anyone really think he's capable of that?
Raikkonen, on the other hand, could care less about office politics. He's even on record as saying he could care less if a driver in his team is designated number one, even if it's not himself. Like the old greats from generations gone by, he just wants to go fast on grand prix weekend.
Say what you will about his seeming lack of concern for things around him or for the idea of personally leading a team like Michael Schumacher did. It's not Raikkonen's job to do it; that's Stefano Domenicali's job.
Say what you will about his setup or development ability. It's not his job to design the car; he just gives them the feedback on the car's behavior, and it's up to the engineers to figure it out.
No, Kimi Raikkonen's job is to drive a race car out of his skin. And no one can do it better than him when he is focused.
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