Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for fourth place at Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, after sustaining floor damage to his SF16-H, which halted the Finn’s progression during the race.
“Fourth position is not the result we wanted, but today unfortunately we couldn’t get more.
“Overall the car was not too bad and the handling was quite ok, but the pure lap time was not there. We were missing speed and we never had the chance to challenge the cars in front.”
The Finn was comfortably sat in third place, when on lap 37 the advancing Mercedes AMG PETRONAS of Nico Rosberg caught up to the back of the Ferrari driver. The German was on a charge, trying to recover places lost after a first lap shunt with the Finn’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, and was taking no prisoners on his way back through the order.
An opportunistic move from the German at Turn 2, saw the Mercedes driver hard-line his way past Raikkonen for third place. The manoeuvre forced the Finn to take avoiding action, but he was unfortunately unable to stay out of the German’s way, which resulted in the 2007 world champion sustaining damage to the underside of his car.
The stewards deemed the move unacceptable and slapped Rosberg with a ten second penalty. It was a reprimand that made little difference to the outcome of the race however, with the German able to stay ten seconds clear of Raikkonen in third place, for the remainder of the race.
“When Rosberg passed me I suddenly had to turn right to avoid him: I knew he was going to hit me and we both would have probably been out: my rear floor was damaged because of that and Nico got penalized. After that I did my best to keep the ten seconds gap to him, but unfortunately it was not enough to get a better result.”
Whilst Raikkonen is happy to take what results he can at the moment, the Finn would ideally like to be driving a machine that will see him challenging for victories, something he hopes the Maranello based team will soon be able to achieve.
“Obviously we want to be higher up, but now we have to take what we get. We’ll try to improve and push forward to make the car faster and be able to challenge the others.”