Kimi Raikkonen has said that the win in Valencia today was ‘just out of reach’ after he took his second second-place finish of his comeback season.
The Finn was 4.6 seconds of winner Fernando Alonso at the end of the grand prix, but doesn’t feel that he had the pace today to challenge for victory.
“Second place is okay but the win is what I really wanted,” said Raikkonen. “We didn't quite have the pace for it today. I got a good start but I was blocked by Pastor (Maldonado) at the first right-hander and lost quite a few places which put me a bit behind. We made a good recovery from that position and had quite a hard fight with a few people – overtaking and being overtaken.
“I couldn't get the tyres up to temperature quickly enough after the safety car, and I made a small mistake on the re-start lap too. I was able to fight back as we had good race pace again. Today was close but the race win was just out of reach.”
Romain Grosjean, Raikkonen’s Lotus team-mate, also looked as though he could challenge for victory. However, an alternator problem caused a premature end to the Frenchman’s race.
“Basically the car lost power and switched off,” he explained. “I couldn't even call my engineer on the radio as the radio was dead. The race was almost perfect up until that point: we had a good start and a good strategy. I don't think we were that far from our first win.
“The positives of this weekend are that we battled right at the front and we showed good pace. Sebastian (Vettel) was very strong and I don't know if we could have caught him. When he had his issue, I was in second place behind Fernando (Alonso) and it was then that I thought we could challenge for the lead because we knew that our tyre degradation was going to be less than his. Unfortunately fate decided otherwiseâ€¦”
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier was also able to draw plenty of positives from the team’s weekend in Valencia. “It's a good result for the team and for Kimi,” he said. “Second brings a lot of points, and we also didn't lose ground on the teams ahead of us in the championship standings.
“On the other side of the coin, it's been a disappointing day for Romain as he was in such a good position for at least a podium finish. This is racing, and we will work closely with our partners to ensure we don't see a failure like this again in the future.
“Both drivers and the team worked very well this weekend and we have shown that if we achieve a good qualifying position we can fight for the win.”