Kimi Raikkonen moved from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo in 2019 but showed he still has the motivation to perform well at motorsport’s pinnacle. Here are all the facts and statistics from Raikkonen’s season.
With twelfth in the Drivers’ Championship in 2019, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his worst championship position since he similarly finished twelfth on his return to Ferrari in 2014. He also scored his lowest points tally since 2002. But those statements do not do his season justice, given that he scored 75% of Alfa Romeo’s points in 2019.
It was in the first half of the season, when the team’s car was at its most competitive, that Raikkonen proved his worth, scoring eight times in twelve races. Raikkonen scored only once in the second half of the year, with Alfa Romeo’s best result of the season; a fourth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix. There were a few questionable judgement calls, such as his first lap crash with Max Verstappen in Belgium and his collision with Daniil Kvyat in Singapore, but most of the time Raikkonen got the job done in his usual no nonsense style.
Rookie team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi seemed to be a match for the Finn by the end of the year, scoring three times compared to Kimi’s one in the latter stages of the season. It will be interesting to see how the intra-team battle develops between them in 2020, and whether Raikkonen will choose to extend his contract beyond the end of the season.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Australia: With an eighth place finish at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen scored the former Sauber team’s first points in Melbourne since 2015.
Bahrain: With Kimi Raikkonen qualifying in ninth for the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, the Alfa Romeo team recorded their first top ten appearance in qualifying in Bahrain since the 2012 season.
China: At the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen failed to reach Q3 for the first time since the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, ending a 53-race streak of top ten qualifications. After becoming the first driver to appear in four of Formula 1’s milestone races, the Finn also became the fifth driver to score 100 points at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Azerbaijan: Kimi Raikkonen gained the most places in the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, moving up nine positions from his pit-lane start to finish tenth. The last time Raikkonen gained nine positions in a Grand Prix was at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.
Spain: Kimi Raikkonen finished 14th for only the third time in his career at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. The other times he has done so were at the 2009 Malaysia Grand Prix and the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. This was the first race which Raikkonen has finished but not scored a point in since the 2014 United States Grand Prix. The Finn failed to score for the first time in the 2019 season, meaning that only the top five drivers in the championship had scored in all five rounds up to that point.
Monaco: With seventeenth in the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen recorded the worst finish of his career in a race that he has reached the end of.
France: With Lewis Hamilton leading every lap of the 2019 French Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen remains the only other driver to have led a lap of Circuit Paul Ricard since the track’s return to the calendar. He led one lap of the 2018 race.
Canada: At the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his first Q1 exit since the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix. It was the fourth time he’s qualified seventeenth in his career; the first time he has done so since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. 2019 marks only the second time in sixteen appearances that the Finn has failed to score at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Austria: Kimi Raikkonen recorded the 241st classified finish of his F1 career at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, equalling Michael Schumacher’s total. It puts him equal third in the all-time list, behind Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. By finishing ninth, the Finn also equalled David Coulthard’s record of seven points-scoring finishes at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Britain: At the 2019 British Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen picked up the former Sauber team’s first points at Silverstone since Nico Hulkenberg finished tenth in 2013. Forgetting the team’s Sauber heritage, this was the first time an Alfa Romeo driver has scored points at Silverstone since 1951, when three of the team’s drivers finished in the top six.
Germany: Kimi Raikkonen recorded his best qualifying result since leaving Ferrari with fifth on the grid at the 2019 German Grand Prix. It was the first time an Alfa Romeo driver has qualified in the top five since Eddie Cheever lined up fourth on the grid at the 1985 Monaco Grand Prix and the first time a driver for the former Sauber team has qualified in the top five since Nico Hulkenberg qualified fourth at the 2013 United States Grand Prix.
Hungary: Kimi Raikkonen equalled Michael Schumacher for second in the all time list of finishes in F1 at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix. This marked his 237th finish, putting him eight finishes away from equalling Fernando Alonso’s record.
Belgium: For the first time in his Formula 1 career, Kimi Raikkonen finished in sixteenth at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix. The only time he’s recorded a finish lower than that without failing to finish was at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier in 2019, where he finished seventeenth.
Italy: The 2019 Italian Grand Prix marked Kimi Raikkonen’s 306th appearance. It meant that he equalled Jenson Button for fourth in the all-time list of most Grand Prix starts. After a farcical end to Q3, he remained the driver with the fastest lap in F1 history.
Singapore: On the weekend that he equalled Michael Schumacher’s tally of starts, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his first DNF of the season at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, meaning that Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica were the only drivers yet to fail to finish in 2019.
Russia: Kimi Raikkonen’s 100% Q3 appearance record at the Russian Grand Prix came to an end in 2019 as he recorded only the eighth Q1 exit of his career. Having also been eliminated in Q1 at the Canadian Grand Prix, 2019 became the second season where Raikkonen has recorded more than one Q1 exit over the course of a year. The other time it happened was in 2014.
Japan: In the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton beat Kimi Raikkonen’s 2005 Lap Record by 0.557 seconds, and equalled the Finn’s tally of second most fastest laps in F1 history.
Mexico: At the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his second DNF of the 2019 season and his second DNF in Mexico.
United States: Kimi Raikkonen’s 100% Q3 record at the Circuit of the Americas came to an end at the 2019 United States Grand Prix.
Brazil: Kimi Raikkonen scored points for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. The seven races between Hungary and Brazil equated to the longest non-scoring streak in the Finn’s career. His previous longest streak of non-scores was between the 2002 Malaysia and Monaco Grands Prix, when he retired in six consecutive events.
Abu Dhabi: At the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen overtook Fernando Alonso as the driver to have started the second most races in F1 history.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.