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#24Days: A Successful Prediction.....

Posted on Sunday, August 30, 2009 | No Comments

There is only one thing I want to write about today......and its been a long time coming!

All season I've spent time in an office surrounded by McLaren fans and doubters of Scuderia Ferrari, and I've kept my head held high for the past 22 months - then as soon as I no longer have to go back to that office a Ferrari driver takes the top step of the podium at Spa, Belgium after a dramatically exciting race with the Force India driver Fisichella (?)!

For the first time this season I watched the third free practice session on the BBC's red button service, and since then, I knew that Kimi Raikkonen would have another successful weekend, but I was quite reserved to see what happened in Qualifying, before I actually made the bold prediction of a Ferrari victory this weekend as long a good amount of fuel was in the car.

Later on Saturday, my feelings of victory were increased further with the publication of the car weights - Ferrari were on a good strategy with Kimi's car number 4 - Perfect!

Waking this morning, pulling on my Ferrari Polo Shirt, I was still confident of a Ferrari victory; the past two races, Kimi has been driving brilliantly following his stint in the World Rally Championship and gained two podium positions, my faith remained. Later I then read on Autosport that Kimi was fired up for this race too and had backed himself for victory. Knowing that Kimi was up for the challenge, reaffirmed my belief that a win was on the cards today - and just before the race started, when asked who would win, without a split second of hesitation, "Kimi" came my reply.

The lights went out and the race started - Kimi running wide in the first corner - but as in previous years when other cars have done that exact same move, he sliced his way back onto the track and was carrying a good dose of speed as he passed a BMW into second and was then hot on the heels of Fisichella for the lead. A three lap Safety Car period then followed after Button and Hamilton exited the Grand Prix, Kimi on the restart was phenominal - smelling the champaign, he knew he had to make the move and make it stick. Following the Force India through Eau Rouge, he jinked out from his slip stream and boosted past, now leading the Grand Prix, all he had to do was stay there.

It turned out to be no easy feat - the Force India stuck to the scarlet Ferrari for the entire race, never more than 1.2second behind, making their pitstops at exactly the same moments - once again the well drilled Ferrari crew remaining cool and calm to turn the car around and send it back on its way. The last 12 laps, after the final pitstops, seemed to be the longest 12 laps this season, Fisi seemily faster, yet the gap remained at 0.7seconds, the two cars at the front trading fastest times at tenths, then hundredths and then even thousandths within each other - incredible, I could hardly believe what I was seeing; a Ferrari verse a Force India!

Alas, Ferrari and Kimi finished the race and their first win of the season was in the bag! ....and I am a very happy Tifosi today! Forza Ferrari!

The big question still remains though, just will Kimi be racing with Ferrari next season or not? It's confusing times in the F1 driver market right now, especially at Ferrari with Massa out right now with no confirmation on if he will be driving again, rumours of Alonso signed up to race for the Scuderia and with Kimi driving his absolute best since his championship year, the situation is getting even more complex to predict. Normally, nay traditionally, we get the announcement on Ferrari driver contracts at the Italian Grand Prix, this year I'm expecting that announcement to be delayed until the end of the season. It'll be interesting to find out just who will be driving those scarlet cars next year.

Regardless, today is not about answering those questions, but about the return of Ferrari to the front of the pack - even if only for one race (car development for this year has halted and the situation to win was hardly "normal"). Next up - the Italian Grand Prix - Forza Ferrari!!

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