Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo are set to fit Kimi Raikkonen’s C39 with a different engine and gearbox, as was originally scheduled for this weekend.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen brought out the red flags during second practice at Yas Marina. Powering through the first sector, flames could be seen licking from underneath the engine cover, while Raikkonen radioed in to query while he’d lost power. His engineer told him to stop the car and get out fast, with Raikkonen pulling over into a side area on the back straight to evacuate as his Ferrari power unit self combusted.
Raikkonen briefly looked impeded by his radio wiring, but clambered free to help the marshals put out the flames before hitching a lift back to the pits.
Asked afterwards whether he’d found the fire scary, Raikkonen told Formula1.com that: “No, there was nothing scary about it. It was just a shame it catches on fire and then obviously it gets all messy afterwards with trying to put the fire out. It’s one of those things.”
Despite missing the final ten minutes of the session, Raikkonen finished in P14 with a best time of 1:38.068, and says he was quite happy with the feel of the car: “The car felt good, at least keeping into account the different conditions in FP1 and the part of FP2 we could complete. As always, there is a margin for improvement and that’s what we are going to work on tonight. We couldn’t do too many laps on high fuel given the issue we had: of course that’s not ideal.”
Raikkonen was set to run a different engine and gearbox for the rest of the weekend anyway, with Alfa fitting him with old units for practice. This means that Raikkonen shouldn’t take a penalty, unless the team discover any damage that may necessitate new parts – such as the Control Electronics or the Energy Store.
“I don’t speculate [on the damage],” Raikkonen explained. “We will see. For sure there is some damage, hopefully it’s mainly bodywork, but we’ll see. Obviously it’s a different engine and gearbox that we run tomorrow. It’s just a bit more work for the guys.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 11, 2020