Kimi Raikkonen's trend has lately turned around: after a first half of the championship spent squeezing the maximum out of his Alfa Romeo, in the last six races everything started falling apart for the Finn.
The Iceman dropped from P8 to P14 in the championship standings in a matter of races and seemed to have lost the flawless mode he showed in the opening stages of the season: not only he has been outqualified by his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi in the last three races, but many mistakes were made as well. And they costed him a lot.
Two times in the wall at Parabolica during the Monza's Free Practice Sessions forced him to desert the Qualifying before it even started. Then, after a racing incident in Singapore, came the Russian GP: a mistake during his Q1 attempt saw Raikkonen dropped out immediately and the situation got even worse when the Finn has been caught jump starting at the beginning of the race.
“Obviously the race was my fault, but in the end we managed to get back in the race with the Safety Cars and we managed to un-lap ourselves, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough speed” the Iceman stated regarding the last race in Sochi. Still, his race didn't improve when, thanks to the SC, he managed to rejoin at the back of the queue: "We could just hang in with Toro Rosso and I could pass one guy but basically I passed him because they were fighting against each other and [Pierre Gasly] went wide."
Nevertheless, Kimi doesn't have to take full blame for the bad results: he is not in a great form at the moment, but Alfa Romeo's cars are struggling even more: "We have to understand the last four races. They have been nightmares and we need to figure out what’s going wrong and where, clean up and understand things. So I think out of the last races only Spa did we actually have speed, the rest has been more or less fighting with it.”
A relatively low budget obviously meant a lack of car development for the second half of the season, but no one was expecting such a drop for the swiss team. Neither did Alfa Romeo's team principal Frederic Vasseur, as he admitted: "It has been a few tough races, so we need to regroup and find our groove again for the final races of the season."
The constructors standings indeed now represents more of a threath than an opportunity for the Alfas: sitting eight in the championship with five races to go, Racing Point's seventh place is a sideral 17 points away, while Haas is just 7 behind.