Kimi Raikkonen may be very fast in a Formula 1 car but only the ones that suit him with Pedro de la Rosa saying the Finn lacks the ability to adapt his style to the car.
Now in his 18th season in Formula 1, Raikkonen has raced cars designed by Sauber, McLaren, Ferrrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo.
During his time he has won 21 grands prix, taken 103 podiums and he counts the 2007 Drivers’ Championship title amongst his successes.
However, former F1 driver de la Rosa reckons the 40-year-old is lacking something compared to the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
That something, the Spaniard says, is the ability to adapt to the car especially one with a twitchy front end.
“Kimi is very fast,” the Spaniard told Beyond the Grid podcast. “He is a World Champion.
“But he needs certain cars with a stable front for his style of driving, otherwise he will not adapt.
“That is his difference from Hamilton and Alonso.
“Give Fernando any car, and he will show speed.
“Those drivers are able to adapt.
“Kimi does not know how to adapt.”
De la Rosa worked with Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren in 2005 and 2006.
Raikkonen scored almost double Montoya’s points in 2005 while in 2006 the Colombian parted ways with the team after once again struggling to match the Finn.
De la Rosa stepped up but also failed to take the fight to Raikkonen.
“In 2005 and 2006 at McLaren,” he added, “we worked with Michelin and Montoya and I were having problems but Kimi was very fast.
“Under certain conditions, Kimi is as strong as Alonso and Hamilton. But they are higher up because not every car behaves the way that Kimi needs it to.”