Insight: Raikkonen and Grosjean’s head-to-head record at Lotus
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Dec 2013   |  6:34 pm GMT  |  101 comments

Romain Grosjean’s season ended in a cloud of smoke in the Brazilian Grand Prix as his Lotus’ Renault engine expired on the first lap of the race.

However, it was a rare disappointment in a very strong final half of the season where the Frenchman scored four podiums in five races.

It marked a turnaround in form for the 27-year-old who has struggled to better his 2007 world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen over a two-year period.

Grosjean was called a “first lap nutcase” by Red Bull’s Mark Webber after a series of first and second lap incidents in his first season with Lotus in 2012. Raikkonen comfortably outperformed his team mate that year, finishing third in the championship, with Grosjean eighth.

In the second season, it was much closer, with Raikkonen finishing fifth in the standings – albeit it missing the final two races to have back surgery – and Grosjean finishing a career-best seventh.

Overall, in two seasons as team mates, Raikkonen outperformed Grosjean in qualifying, with the Finn scoring a better grid slot 20 times to Grosjean’s 16. This year, Raikkonen beat Grosjean 8-2 in the first half of the season in qualifying, but Grosjean turned the tables in the second half, coming out 4-3 ahead.

When it comes to races, Raikkonen claimed two wins – one in each season – while Grosjean’s best finish was second. Raikkonen was more consistent, finishing in the points 33 times to Grosjean’s 24, with the Frenchman suffering a massive 12 DNFs to Raikkonen’s two. When both cars finished, Raikkonen beat Grosjean 18 times to 6.

Raikkonen had the better of Grosjean in the first half of this season, scoring six podiums to Grosjean’s two. His consistency was better, too, with 10 points finishes to Grosjean’s six and no retirements, while the Frenchman had two.

But as Grosjean matured in 2013, he outperformed Raikkonen four podiums to two and seven points finishes to four in the second half of the season. They shared retirements with two apiece.

Check out the statistics below to see how they fared against each other, including a breakdown of the two halves of this season. If Grosjean continues his form into next season, he should be a formidable team-mate for new recruit Pastor Maldonado.

Raikkonen v Grosjean stats compared (highest respective tally in bold)



Faster qualifying time: Raikkonen 20 / Grosjean 16

Poles: Raikkonen 0 / Grosjean 0

Front rows: Raikkonen: 1 / Grosjean 1


Wins: Raikkonen 2 / Grosjean 0

Podiums: Raikkonen 15 / Grosjean 9

Points finishes: Raikkonen 33 / Grosjean 24 

DNFs: Raikkonen 2 / Grosjean 12
Ahead in two-car finish: Raikkonen 19 / Grosjean 6


Total points over two years: Raikkonen 390 / Grosjean 228
Highest championship placing: Raikkonen 3th (2012) / Grosjean 7th (2013)

*Does not include Italian Grand Prix 2012 as Grosjean was banned


First 10 races

Out-qualified team-mate: Raikkonen 8 Grosjean 2
Wins: Raikkonen 1 Grosjean 0
Podiums: Raikkonen 6 Grosjean 2
Points: Raikkonen 10 Grosjean 6
Retirements: Raikkonen 0 Grosjean 2

Final nine races*

Outqualified team-mate: Raikkonen 3 Grosjean 4
Wins: Raikkonen 0 Grosjean 0
Podiums: Raikkonen 2 Grosjean 4
Points: Raikkonen 4 Grosjean 7
Retirements: Raikkonen 2 Grosjean 2

*Does not include final two races as Raikkonen was absent and replaced by Heikki Kovalainen

The JA on F1 2013 year book is now available to pre-order. It is a large format paperback, with a Foreword by David Coulthard and featuring stunning photography from Darren Heath. It retails at £10-99.

Every copy ordered through this site will be personally signed by me. Copies will be despatched on December 7th in plenty of time for Christmas. To order yours and to be sure of getting a copy click on this link: JA on F1 2013 Book

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You have to admit, that Grosjaen certanly grew in the last few races. Though, for me Raikkonen is still one of the best drivers out there. The guy has so much natural talent. Love his personallity as well.

Hopefully he will be able to cope up with Alonso next year.


Grosjean improved a lot this year. However, he hasn’t achieved enough to be compared to Raikkonen. Hopefully one day. There is also a good reason why Raikkonen did not drive as fast in the second half: developments of the tyres and the car, no payments from Lotus, etc. Raikkonen is a natural F1 driver. Grosjean and many around him had to put a lot of effort to get him where he is now.


James, I surely appreciate what you’re doing, but you’ve got something wrong here. When Kimi and Romain did both bring it home, Kimi beat Romain 19:6, both seasons combined, yes, Romain performed in 2013 much better than he did in 2012, with Kimi beating him 8:4 this year comparing to 11:2 last year, but still… Yeah, 17+12=29. Romain didn’t finish that many races in these 2 seasons even counting those that Kimi didn’t race)))


This was an interesting pairing – 2 drivers at different points in their careers.

Grosjeon is the most improved driver on the grid, he got his head straight and proved his pace by a considerable margin hopefully he will have the car 2014 to grow.

He now shows the most potential of all the young drivers.

Kimi this year was amazing some of the results he achieved from were he started on the grid was just astounding – left me baffled on more than one race w/end

All those harping on about Schumacher should take note – this is how it’s done when one comesback.

I see no point comparing these two but it will be fascinating to see how they get on nexot season


Kimi is the fastest driver in the world but his optimal point is harder to find than Fernando and Lewis. If he can set up the car perfectly every time, he will win the majority of the races. I truly believe that.


Kimi the fastest driver out there? He didn’t win many Championships to prove your guess, did he? And how about the number of wins and poles? He isn’t anywhere near Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton.


Using your argument Nigel Mansell was not a great champion Gilles Villeneuve was not even a WDC but was considered one of the fastest.

You included Lewis Hamilton who won only 1 WDC same as Kimi. Yet you forget barring Mclarens many mechanical failures in 2003 & 2005 Raikkonen would easily be a Triple World Champion taking titles from MS & FA in those 2 years respectively. You also forget that he was faster than he’s colleagues by as much as 2 sec on some circuits and others where his lap records still stand.

You need to understand a little more the circumstances that lead to a WC before you make bold yet pointless comments.


@Justafan- Noone had anywhere the mechanical failures Raikkonen had- thats the point !!- If it where 1 or 2- noone would even mention it. Raikkonen had several and still ended up 2nd. 05 he won 6 or 7GP’s out of 15.


I don’t see your point. For example if Schumi didn’t suffer mechanical problems in 2006, he might have been the Champion. But does that fact make him a 8time Champ? No. Same with Kimi.


raikkonen is the most naturally talented driver, alongside another one who currently is in f1.

moss said some years ago that raikkonen is the fastest driver in the world. maybe nowadays he could be beaten by vettel as far as speed is concerned, but as for racing skills, he has got plenty and show them hugely despite coming back after 2 years and not driving the best/fastest car on the grid.

hamilton nowadays is not in the same league. like it or not he would have finished fifth in the wdc standings if raikkonen would have joined the last 2 races. he didn’t do anything remarkable this year, even if mercedes did an illegal test and was the fastest car in some races(while lotus has never been the fastest car), and was nearly matched by rosberg despite three team orders and two more rosberg’s retirements.

hamilton is nowhere near vettel, raikkonen and also alonso this year.

maybe he will change next year, but I’ve always perceived him as a montoya with a huge media support and a bigger luck. not the phenomenal driver media want us to believe.


Raikkonen destroyed Grosjean; this article is misleading because Kimi had a car that did not suit his driving style and still had a comfortable margin. He was half a second faster in Abu Dhabi qualifying when they brought back the short wheelbase car, and ALSO some of the numbers like finishing stats are incorrect.


James, all those results from a driver who hasn’t been paid, and missed two races due to injury…

Kimi 1 Romain 0 still lets see what happens next year!


Kimi easily won this pairing. He would not be moving over to Ferrari if this wasn’t the case. I like Kimi and I hope he does well against Alonso next year. I really can’t wait to follow that particular battle.

I like Grosjean too, I hope he does well as well next year, although my concern in this case is more about Lotus being able to remain as competitive as they have the past two years. I would not wager much on Romain being above Kimi at the end of 2014 in the WDC standings.

Kimi is a proven asset. He is to date a more complete racer than Romain as it should be, and I hope he gets one more title. My hopes for Romain are that he gets to become a race winner and why not a challenger to the crown eventually. If he keeps on progressing as he has, there no raisons why that could not come to be. Given the right car of course. Kimi more so, but they both gave us a good season. Marc


I find it amusing how when a team suddenly “backs” one driver more how results tend to follow… before Kimi signed for Ferrari/had money drama the team were categorically behind him as their no.1. When this switched to Grosjean and the LWB car then Grosjean suddenly was the only one close to the Red Bulls.

I also think Grosjean has been very unlucky. Brasil and Singapore, he is my second fav driver and my heart sank in Singapore… “what is wrong with this car” 🙁


This could’ve been a better insight if you had looked the stats from different perspectives instead of picking one interpretation. It would’ve probably induced more interesting debate, instead of the “wrong conclusion” backslash.


I agree – setting Mark Gillan onto some analysis of race stints by Grosjean, with the right context, might explain why the feeling is that Grosjean is the real deal.

Some of his stronger performances relative to Kimi have been at higher average corner speed tracks, such as Silverstone, Austin and Suzuka if memory serves correctly, while Kimi’s race pace advantage has generally been at slower average corner speed tracks, which points to heavier rear tyre wear for Grosjean.


I understand that “From first lap nutcase to triumph” makes a nice story, but don’t let that keep us away from proper statistics. Kimi beat Romain in every way and it would’ve been even more clear this year without tire change, team problems and back problems.

Real comparison can be found here:



Thanks for the link but I think that one is also wrong in the race result department when both cars finished.

In the “Out-raced teammate” stat they’re 7-vs-4 favouring Raikkonen but that would mean that both cars finished only 11 times.

As far as I remember there were 2 DNFs for each driver, so a total of 15 races together over the whole year.

With this there are 4 races missing: 2 races which are the last 2 races where Kovalainen replaced Kimi, and 2 races still missing to complete the 19-races championship.

So I think in 2013 the correct result when both cars finished is 9-vs-4 favouring Raikkonen



Alright! It seems it’s difficult to get the stats right 🙂


From those races that raikkonen finnish ahead he benefited from safety cars in germany and corea, in hungary rogro was clearly ahead only for a *$ù* penalty.

James allen is right, i wrote on that last year, even in 2012 grosjean had the same race pace than kimi at least when he was not crashing, in silverstone he came back quickly behind his leader which he was not allowed to overtake, in austin after a mistake he came back behind raikkonen and was clearly faster (see the start of the race)

And all those critics concerning the tire change could be turned around furthermore they were more than an adaptation to the tires at the beginning of the season, devs that were on kimi’s car and not on romain’s. As for the excuse that kimi was already in ferrari, it was not until india i remember, now its the long wheel base lotus… was it not a good evolution when you see the performance in suzuka and in austin ? Quite a good car it seemed on redbull tracks !


One thing that might become clearer with the end of season reviews is the chassis issue Grojean complained about in the first few races.

Still, comparing results is only a small part of the deal as allude to. Times over a stint on varying circuit types and tyres, the ability to overtake and make things happen, they are all part of what teams look at. Some drivers are great at taking opportunities to win races.

The story on Kimi is going to be re-written after his pairing with Alonso and the requirements of fuel saving era. Grosjean is still a wait and see. In the current era of cars the drivers have made it clear Grosjean can deliver from what they can see.


For goodness sakes would people stop with the “Kimi lost morale..” BS .

He blew Romain off the track through all practise sessions and quali at Abu Dhabi when he reverted back to the short wheel base car. Despite the no pay and bad back– he is a true racer he goes out and delivers every time !! Grosjean is not in the same book as Raikkonen let alone same page.

James would you please correct the “ahead in 2 car finishes”

Its not right.Romain finished ahead 6 times in 2 years not 12

Of all the driver pairings Kimi beat Romain in every conceivable statistic over a season both times. This did not happen with any other driver pairing.There was an interesting table on some website someone here posted a few days ago which showed this.


“For goodness sakes would people stop with the “Kimi lost morale..” BS .”

Exactly this BS only started when he drove for Ferrari.


Is that why he’s going back there… Because he lacks morale…genius- not


Never thought this would happen, however, I doubt Lotus their cure for Romain will work for Pastor Maldonation.


Does anyone know the statistics for overtakes?

That would be an interesting statistic to add to these driver head to heads. And in this particular one, I guess successful overtakes vs unsuccessful overtakes would be interesting too…


All i know is Kimi was on the verge of creating history,before his Abu-dhabi retirement. He had 56 overtakes under his name from 17 races,5 more and he would have smashed the all time record for most overtakes in a single season held by Micheal and Seb.


Amazing how you can change stats to make them look however you want..

first 10 races vs. Last 7 races? mean when the tyres changed and Kimi struggled on single lap qualifying pace ? ..started behind his team mate and beat him several times despite this you mean ?

I rate Grosjean he is clearly very, very quick, and adapting / improving fast while under pressure (for his seat), but Kimi is (and always will be) a notch (or two) above.



You are better than this ‘But when both cars finished, interestingly, Raikkonen only beat Grosjean 17 times to 12, which suggests that when the Frenchman could keep his car on track, he could match his team-mate’

No it doesn’t, it says that Raikkonen beat his team mate 30% more, or that Raikkonen won 70% of their duels when both cars finished.

Your second half of the season stats are just that, irreverent data, they don’t take into account Raikkonens motivation after not being paid etc…

You provide a truly great, free website with a unique insight to F1, don’t weaken your brand with this statistical ‘nothingness’. You are presuming too much from mere data.


No way Grosjean finished ahead 12 times when both cars completed the races, all I get is in Kimi’s favor 17-6.

And the fainl 9 races statistics for 2013 does include the races where Kimi not taken part, eventhough the note says otherwise.


I think Kimi lost a bit of morale in the later half of the year…


The simple stat would be Raikkonen was beating grosjean as long as he had the SWB. Grosjean could only match Raikkonen, when Raikkonen was STRUGGLING in LWB, not when kimi is okay with LWB. Thats a big difference.

And when Kimi had his SWB and Gro with his LWB, Raikkonen beat Grosjean by almost half a second in Abudhabi, the only time they had their own preferences.


Would it be fair to say that Kimi “gave-up” a little in the time where RoGro caught up, due to having signed with Ferrari already?


Kimi never gives up!– he is the most tenacious racer Ive ever seen


Ice cream and Sepang come to mind.


… And what of it– that race ended didn’t it.Everyone else looked silly.

What about when he was set alight in the pits at Ferrari- he just kept racing? – What about when he had a badly flat spotted tyre that he drove on the limit for a whole stint before the tyre blew and tore off his suspension as (he was not permitted another stop without penalty – Mclaren.)

What about Spa this year with faulty brakes – yet still attacking for position ( Ferrari – Felipe). What about his storming drive from 15 to 10 in just three laps at Monaco this year after Perez collided in him.

If people are silly enough to only remember the funny bits about Kimi Raikkonen then it is the same people that are stunned when he’s on the podium almost every race since he came out of retirement – The English media such as Skysports, even ex team mates like DC & others – I just sit back and laugh because he continually makes people look stupid. People are fooled by the laid back relaxed surface..but below it lies one of the hardest racers .


No it wouldn’t.


When you follow the best racer of this millennium around the tracks in the same car you gotta learn something. The skill he displayed at Melbourne will not be forgotten easily by many -must surely be one of 2013 standout performances.The top 4 drivers sang Kimis praises over the first few Gp’s as they could not fathom his pace on less pit stops. Kimi seemed to manage the original 2013 spec tyres better than anyone and the change along with the new chasis took a little off Kimis dominance for a few a tracks. Yet he was still on the podium with a car he was not entirely comfortable with ( & obviously back pain)–so perhaps critics of the “Kimi is not quick unless the car is perfect ought to take note” ( he is probably the best at it )

However after Kimis strong Abu Dhabi quali pace it seems he found the right balance on the car and tyres & was much more comfortable with the short wheelbase chasis and I’m certain he would have challenged right at the front had he raced the final 2 gps – such a pity. Kimi seemed very happy with car on that weekend despite the dramas that ensued.

It’s always impressive to see someone change their mindset and with that their fortunes which is exactly what a Romain did. He must now take the next step of learning when to attack the fastest guys and when to leave it be in those critical on track moments–this will determine whether he becomes a champion & he has yet to display that. I think if Pastor is given the same opportunity – he will present a real threat but Romain must now focus on RBR, Merc, Ferrari and not let Intra team challenges displace his gains over the last year.

Finally, I can’t help but think “what if” Lotus turned their financial fortunes around earlier in the year and kept Allison and Kimi in the team. Such a shame because it’s great to see an underdog doing such an extraordinary job and the cultural for was brilliant.


Romain will be quick next season


Actually, when both cars finished Raikkonen beat Grosjean in 17 to 6 races, not 17 to 12 as you stated.

Another interesting stat: Fastest Laps – Raikkonnen 4, Grosjean 1 over the 2 years together.


I think this shows Kimi comprehensively out-performed Grosjean. There are some caveats, like team orders, but the total points speaks volumes. As does the DNF stat. Some of the DNFs are down to luck, but Grosjean was a “first lap nutcase” and caused several of those DNFs.

I do think, however, that Grosjean really matured this season, and I look forward to seeing what he can do next year. Hopefully, Lotus is able to deliver a decent car. Their funding problems, however, make that seem less likely.

As for Kimi…for me, that will be the biggest story of 2014.

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