Raikkonen: Of course it would be nice to break Schumacher’s record

Kimi Raikkonen targeting a F1 record

Kimi Raikkonen targeting an F1 record

Kimi Raikkonen has one of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One records in his sights this weekend at the Canadian circuit where the now-retired seven time world champion won more races than anyone else.

If Raikkonen finishes in the top 10 in Montreal, the Lotus driver will equal Schumacher’s record of 24 successive grands prix in the points – even if the statistics are deceptive because scoring systems have changed.

Naturally, the ‘Iceman’ has been cool about the prospect.

“I am sure that it will all stop at some point,” he told Reuters recently. “Obviously we always try to get points and do good races but it can be some small part [that breaks] and it will stop.

“Of course it would be nice. It’s already nice now and every time with this team. In the past I kept retiring quite often so it’s different for sure to what it was in the past. But I’m sure that we will have some difficulties at some point.”

Kimi Raikkonen in Monaco

Kimi Raikkonen in Monaco

The 2007 world champion’s run almost ended in Monaco, the weekend before last, when a collision with McLaren‘s Mexican Sergio Perez dropped him out of the points.

With fresh tyres, and an insult or two hurled in Perez’s direction, Raikkonen managed to overtake three cars on the last two laps to scramble back into 10th place.

Schumacher started his scoring run by winning the 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix with Ferrari and ended it with a sixth place in Malaysia in 2003 – which was also Raikkonen’s first F1 victory.

Raikkonen, second in the championship after six races, began his current stretch of points finishes in Bahrain in April last year and has now reached the chequered flag in 34 successive races – allowing for his break in 2010 and 2011.

From 1960 to 2003 points went only to the top six. They were then extended to the top eight and from 2010 to the top 10.

Michael Schumacher's record run of consecutive points scores ended at the 2003 Brazilian GP

Michael Schumacher’s record run of consecutive points scores ended at the 2003 Brazilian GP

Under the systems used when Schumacher set his record, Raikkonen’s current run would be a lot less special, however.

The Finn was 10th in Monaco and also in Brazil at the end of last season. His 23-race run includes two seventh places, an eighth and a ninth.

Taking the present points system to Schumacher’s record would make no difference to that tally since the 24 races were book-ended by retirements in Germany in 2001 and Brazil in 2003.

The record would still have been Schumacher’s even if the top five system used from 1950 to 1959 is applied.

The late five time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio racked up 21 top five finishes in a row between 1953 and 1956. Schumacher enjoyed 23 successive top five placings before Malaysia 2003.

Juan Manuel Fangio was a frequent points scorer in his era

Juan Manuel Fangio was a frequent points scorer in his era

But for the failure in Brazil in 2003, Schumacher might have racked up 43 scoring finishes in a row because he went on another run of 18 immediately afterwards.

Raikkonen won in Canada with McLaren in 2005 and has scored points on every visit, except in 2008 when his stationary Ferrari was rammed in the pitlane by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. That memory lingers on.

“Many times the race has been quite a lottery as there seem to be different things which affect it,” he said this week.

“The weather can change a lot, sometimes the tyres or the track aren’t working very well, sometimes there are a lot of safety cars, or sometimes another driver runs into the back of you when you’re waiting at a red light.”

Subbed by AJN.

(Reuters)

  • Amazing what Bridgestone tires only Ferrari was alloud to have did for Schumacher

    Take away those special tires Bridgestone was giving Ferrari and Schumacher during that time that were good for a full two seconds a lap over the tires Bridgestone was supplying the rest of the field Schumacher’s record does not ring special in any way.

    Schumacher was in a top car, special tire only Ferrari was allowed to have.

    Bridgestone should bow their heads in shame for building that special tire for Ferrari while knowingly giving the rest of the field a lessor tire.

  • Hammad Nasrullah

    @Amazing

    Bridgestone should bow their heads in shame? Its down to FIA who allowed all this

  • iMark

    @amazingblablabla…

    lol, these kids nowadays… so schumi had special tires, and alonso in 2005 and kimi afterwards, and vettel from 2010 to 2012, mika hakkinen in the late 90’s, ayrton senna, fangio. Yeah, sure, special tires.

    Just because they dominate certain period doesnt mean they are cheating, or else… prove it or stfu.

  • Butterfly

    After giving this serious thought, I can say that all that matters is the result. It doesn’t matter that the the multi-champion is inferior to the guy with no titles or that the tires made Schumacher what he is today.

    Winning is winning, and I have to agree with that. Otherwise, you’d go nuts trying to decide who’s the better driver. It’s pointless.

  • KevinW

    Funny how unsupported accusations, unproven at the time of their occurrence, put forth by disgruntled competitors and media who could not understand Shcumacher’s dominant phase, have become fact in many minds. There was never a formal protest or even official accusation against Bridgestone/Ferrari, yet its all real? It will be Vettel who will forever live the Newey factor. Yet Alonso escapes the mass-damper effect on his two championship wins, Button the double diffuser. Senna, Prost, Stewart, Moss, et al ALL benefited from one or another small advantage, yet they are not continually accused as cheats, and their career success degraded by such banter. In fact, they are considered the greats to which all others are judged… regardless of the reality that one does not win any championship without having a driver, team and car that are in combination superior to all comers. Find just one sport where this is not true, just one… Good luck with that.

  • rich

    Schumacher did use an upgraded tire. I’ve heard a driver speak on this before…seems like it was coulthard….said he got to use them once in a practice and it was incredible.
    Note: this does not take away from Schumachers greatness.

  • Steve

    Why could Coulthard – who drove for Mclaren, Ferrari’s rival – have been allowed to drive on Schumacher’s tyres? Even in practice?

  • hillside

    Schumi already retired twice and people are still crying??

  • torque

    Shumi > Kimi.