Kimi Raikkonen: “We should have been much higher up”

Kimi Raikkonen admitted he was sent out too late for his final run in qualifying that ultimately saw him eliminated in the first stage on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver felt he had one more lap in qualifying to go when he saw the chequered flag, meaning the Finnish driver was only eighteenth in the session, although he will start fourteenth due to the penalties incurred by the Infiniti Red Bull Racing and McLaren Honda drivers.

“It has been a very bad Saturday and this result will not help us tomorrow,” said Raikkonen. “When I went out for my last run in Q1, the team informed me that I could do three timed laps, but then the plan was changed and I did not get the information. Therefore we missed one lap completely and I was knocked out.

“The point is that I was sent out too late and that cost us a lot. Obviously my starting position is not ideal; we should have been much higher up, I’m sure we could have fought at the front.”

Despite his lowly grid slot, Raikkonen knows he has the speed to move up the order on Sunday, but understands the importance of avoiding the pitfalls of the opening lap amid the midfield.

“Tomorrow we should have the speed we need, but you never know what happens in the race,” said Raikkonen. “In the first lap it will be better to stay away of problems because there is a much bigger chance of something happening in the first few corners.

“There is a long straight, but also two corners which can be tricky if you happen to be in the middle of the pack. Then we’ll try to maximize our result. Until now it has been a pretty good weekend, the car is handling well: we’ll try to do our best and see what we can do.”