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Raikkonen: the ultimate surrender at Le Castellet

As his bravest compatriots in World War II, the Finn fought at distance the pressure attack of German Hulkenberg for all the Grand Prix distance

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Raikkonen: the ultimate surrender at Le Castellet
Fuente imagen: Jerry Andre/Motorlat Images

The Lapland proved to be the ultimate battlefield for the Finnish who tried, firstly to reject the Soviets, after the Nazi Germans: heroism and the characteristic instict that can be recognized among every suomi; later, when the group of surnames-ending-in-"en" was under the lights of the world's rally competitions journalists started to call it Sisu.

As his fellow ancestors, Kimi Raikkonen deserves that adjective for what he showed at the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet circuit.

A good Friday practice took a 9th best position for his Alfa Romeo:

It’s easy to see what the lap times tell, but as usual you cannot read too much into Fridays. In general, I think it was a positive day. We have to keep working to get more out of the car and we’ll see where we end up in qualifying tomorrow

Just a tenth of a second separate the entry in Q3 for the Finn:

The new parts we brought to this race have given us something more and we were definitely competitive enough to get into Q3. Unfortunately, I made a mistake on my last Q2 lap, so it wasn’t a surprise to be out of the top ten. We’re still in a good position for the race: we can choose our tyres and the car is working quite well, so I guess we’ll find out how it goes tomorrow

Starting the race day on the Hard compound, he immediately gained a position right at the start, siting in 11th place. Team decided to let him go at Giovinazzi expenses. From there on, all the race was conducted in front of Nico Hulkenberg and the gap fluctuating between a second to 4 tenths: being faster on the Mistral straight prevented the German move on the chicane braking, being almost impossible to get through on the medium range corners after the start. Pitting at the 23th lap for a Medium set, proved to be a good plan from the Alfa garage (not comparable to the one sorted out for team mate) for keeping him in front of the Renault. In the last 10 laps again #27 tried to shorten the distance but it was the last pass at the chicane before Signes, the ground for the best opportunity of solid point for the Finn: with Ricciardo struggling on avoiding extra space on track after defeating Norris, #7 stood cool enough for eating both cars; unfortunately, the revenant Aussie was reclaiming his position even before the next turn. Stewards decision of the evening pushed him up to 7th as his race number: not bad for a called boiled driver:

I was a bit disappointed to miss out on Q3 yesterday, but we knew it would be much better to start on different tyres than the softs, and so it was. I didn’t make the best start but luckily I didn’t lose too much on the straight and I could fight back in the next few corners. We were in a strong position after the start, on the hard tyres, but I had to hold back Hülkenberg the whole race. It was a great battle with the Renaults for most of the afternoon and in the end I was able to catch up with the cars in front. The last few laps were very intense and it was good fun. It’s really good that we could fight against other cars in the midfield and be up there. We had the speed and we got a good result in the end

If someone needed to be sure about the pressure-proofness of Kimi, well, he carried on an entire race of 53 laps with the local car right behind: isn’t enough?

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