Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was happy with the overall performance of the team at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, believing they used the right tactics and optimum strategy, in a race where the Finn came home in fourth place, behind the two Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers and team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
“I think that today we were closer to our rivals than we expected after qualifying. Obviously we were on different tactics, but we did the correct things, the right choice with tyres and the fastest race we could.
“We had a pretty good speed but we were not fast enough for gaining a better position. Fourth position is not exactly what we were looking for, but this is not the easiest circuit for us against the Mercedes, and we did our maximum.”
Raikkonen was unable to get by his team-mate throughout the race, despite his best efforts, and eventually had to accept his fourth place fate.
“With Sebastian we were more or less driving behind each other and when you race against your teammate there’s not much that you can do, we both know what the other guy is going to do. After the start it was a bit tricky, I got close after the first pit stop, but then he was able to pull away.”
The Finn is confident that the team are now heading along the right path, and was happy with the recent engine upgrade, which definitely boosted the performance of the SF16-H at their home race.
The 2007 world champion believes that if the Maranello based squad continue to improve, they will have a chance of moving up the order in the closing stages of the season, with overtaking Red Bull Racing a distinct possibility and perhaps even managing a sniff at challenging current leaders Mercedes, though he conceded that the German squad may have a slip up to allow that.
“In the last few weekends it seems that we are going in the right direction, now we have to keep trying and improving doing our maximum. Every race is a different story, a small mistake here and there from somebody might give us a chance, who knows…”