Kimi Raikkonen's Title Chances Over After Monza?

Madan GopalCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2008

If you are a fan of defending champion Kimi Raikkonen, the recently concluded Italian GP was yet another disappointment.

The racing weekend started off as a positive one, with Kimi being the quickest during the second Friday practice. However, during qualifying, the showers, the wrong tires, and the time to go for a run cost Kimi whatever little hopes he had of retaining his World Driver's Championship.

But, his legions of fans still hoped for a miracle, wishing for a points finish for their favorite driver. Alas, it was not to be. The end result was that Kimi ended his fifth race of the season without securing any points.

In this new points system, which rewards performance and consistency over an entire season, you can somehow survive a race or two without scoring points. But, five is just a little too much, although not all of them were entirely his fault.

He had an engine failure in Valencia and was hit from behind while being stationary at the pit exit in Canada. If he had gathered a fourth place finish at Valencia and a possible victory in Canada, I for one would not have had this article with the above title.

However, by his own standards, it has been a dismal season for the champion. Of course, the experts always want to link that to his off-track activities, lack of motivation, etc. But, the experts have an opinion for just about everything these days don't they? So, what exactly has gone wrong with Kimi?

I just cannot agree with people who just blindly say he has lost his motivation or he is not the force he once was; you still see flashes of the fast and furious Kimi once in a while, the latest being the final few laps at Monza.

Personally, I believe it has to do with the Ferrari characteristics, mostly the use of tires in wet conditions, and Kimi himself making mistakes during qualifying in a few other "dry" races.

That is where Felipe Massa has had an upper hand over Kimi, mainly in the dry races. In those events, Massa has often qualifying better than his teammate. Added to this is Kimi's famous luck.

He lost in Canada when he was the innocent victim of Lewis Hamilton's mistake. In France, he ended up second due to a mechanical issue on his car. And in Belgium, a combination of tricky conditions and some mistakes led to his retirement, after probably driving his best race of the entire season.

It is likely that we will see a new champion this year. Who it will be this year is a million dollar question.

But, will the current champion have a say in deciding the new champion? Absolutely. No one knows what else is in store for the remainder of the season. Would it be foolish to believe in miracles and expect a strong finish for Kimi this year, similar to last year?. One never knows!!!

Amidst all these disappointments, there was some "great" news. We will get to see Kimi for two more years in Formula 1.

Let us see what he does in the remaining four races. Will we see a neck to neck battle with Hamilton similar to the Belgian GP or will he end up in a position to help Massa win the championship, which I feel will be well deserved!!

Let us sit back and enjoy some great racing for the remainder of the season. I do believe in miracles. But two in consecutive years for the same driver is somehow not very likely!