27 Aug 2008

Ferrari feared for Raikkonen engine before race

9:13 am on 27 August 2008

Ferrari say they had concerns about Kimi Raikkonen's engine before it failed in the European Grand Prix and dealt a big blow to the Formula One world champion's title hopes.

The Italian team's website say there are reasons to suspect the failure was similar to one that deprived Brazilian Felipe Massa of victory in the previous Hungarian Grand Prix.

Initial analysis of Raikkonen's engine confirmed a broken con rod, the cause of Massa's retirement in Hungary, but further checks are being carried out.

Ferrari says changing the engine on Raikkonen's Kimi's car would have seen the Finn start from far down the grid at a track where it appears overtaking is impossible, proving it's not enough to bring Formula One to a street circuit in a fantastic location to produce spectacular racing.

Raikkonen had been second in the championship, five points behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, before the race at Valencia's new street circuit.

The retirement drops him to third place, 13 adrift of the Briton with six races remaining.