Kimi Raikkonen vs. Felipe Massa: Battle of the Prancing Horses

Prasanna VenkatachalamContributor IAugust 25, 2008

With six more Grands Prix to endure, Ferrari is currently celebrating the dominating victory of Felipe Massa at the European Grand Prix, held on the historic streets of Valencia, while scratching its head wondering how to resolve its reliability issues. 

Massa showed excellent pace all weekend long. He took pole position during Saturday’s Qualifying session, exhibited superior driving style throughout the race, demonstrated the capabilities of his F2008 to McLaren’s MP4—23, and took the historic first win at the high-speed street circuit. 

Meanwhile, the weekend was anything but dainty for the defending World Champion, Kimi Raikkonen. The Iceman seemed to be on top form as he set the fastest time during Friday’s second practice session.

However, the rest of the weekend wasn’t smooth for the Finn as he, once again, suffered in qualifying. The Ferrari ace only managed to claim fourth place on the grid, which he then lost to his fellow countryman Heikki Kovalainen, going into Turn One.

The Iceman spent the rest of the race trying to overtake him, before accidentally knocking over refueler Pietro Timpini while exiting the pits a little too early.

Shortly thereafter, Raikkonen’s engine let go, producing his second DNF of the season; his first DNF came in Canada.

As a result, Raikkonen sits third in the Driver Standings, 13 points adrift of Championship leader Hamilton.

Raikkonen’s lackluster performances in the last eight races, and Massa’s dominance in the last two races, make an avid Formula One fan wonder who the Scuderia is going to favor in the Championship for the remainder of the season. 

While Raikkonen is the $50 million prized possession the Scuderia managed to steal from McLaren at the end of 2006, Massa has been the only hope the Italian Squad has got at the moment to win the Championship title.

The Iceman has claimed in his own words that he is still in the Championship fight despite his recent slump in performance, although Massa’s driving has spoken the words clearly on his behalf.