Kimi Raikkonen has made a low-key start to the 2020 F1 season – but at the Hungarian Grand Prix he claimed a new outright record in the sport.
He will not care for it, of course. Kimi is not one for stats. But he raised one particular bar even with a lowly P16 at the Hungaroring, a lap down on winner Lewis Hamilton.
By completing the grand prix in his Alfa Romeo, Raikkonen has now finished more races than any other driver in F1 history. His tally of 246 races in which he has got to the chequered flag put the Finn one ahead of Fernando Alonso, who has started four times fewer.
Alonso, of course, will return to F1 with the Renault team in 2021 and so could potentially claim the ‘races finished’ record back for himself if Raikkonen calls it a day at the end of this season (obviously we hope he doesn’t).
Next target for Kimi will be to overtake Rubens Barrichello’s record total of 322 starts. He is seven short at present and seven more races have so far been confirmed this season, so he will need one more to be scheduled to set the new mark.
In terms of his performance in Hungary, Raikkonen and his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi again struggled for pace and so far they are very much in the ‘bottom division’ this term competing with the likes of AlphaTauri, Haas and Williams.
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) July 19, 2020
Raikkonen qualified to start at the back of the grid and his race had been compromised even before lights out, for the stewards observed that he had “failed to take up the correct position at the end of the formation lap”. He received a five-second time penalty and a penalty point on his licence.
“The grid was a bit slippery,” explained the 2007 World Champion, quoted by RaceFans.net. “I went a bit too long into the box and I didn’t have time to reverse.
“Unfortunately, starting where we did meant we had a very difficult job ahead of us. We did what we could but it wasn’t enough for points.
“Our pace wasn’t too bad, I made up a few places at the start but the penalty put me back at the bottom.”