Kimi Raikkonen: “It will be a difficult race”


The Scuderia Ferrari drivers took ninth and tenth in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso. Both drivers move up two places on the grid after the two Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers were disqualified ahead of them, but both are expecting a tricky race in the desert.

Raikkonen out-qualified Alonso for only the fourth time in 2014, but knew before the weekend began that the Yas Marina Circuit would not suit their car, and admitted he has not found a set-up that worked well in every corner, meaning the Finn was struggling for pace.

“Even before we arrived in Yas Marina, we knew this track would not favour our car and all weekend, we never managed to find a set-up that worked well at every corner,” said Raikkonen. “Today, in qualifying, I felt more comfortable, but it wasn’t simple putting a good lap together. I was always on the limit and on some parts of the track the car worked well and in others it tended to slide.

“Tomorrow it will be a difficult race, but as always, we will do our best to bring home as many points as possible for the team.”

Alonso, competing in his final Grand Prix for the team after confirming his departure from the Scuderia earlier in the week, could only qualify tenth after making a mistake on his final lap, although moves up to eighth on the grid, but has been on the back foot for most of the weekend after losing the majority of FP2 on Friday after an electrical problem, and the most of FP3 with Ferrari changing his engine. He feels the race might be a struggle as well, without having done his usual long-run high-fuel runs nor any practice starts.

“Today’s qualifying was very tricky on a weekend that, in general, has been more complicated than usual,” said Alonso. “Changing the engine after the final free practice session created a few extra problems and it took until Q2 for the car to perform consistently.

“Tomorrow, I expect an uphill struggle, partly because, over the past two days, we haven’t done any practice starts and I have never run with a full fuel load. But at the same time, I really want to give it my all and try and make up as much ground as possible. It will be a special day for me and even if it’s really about the title contenders, Rosberg and Hamilton, I would like my last race for Ferrari to feature some nice battles, for the team and for all the fans who have supported me over these past years.”