Kimi Raikkonen revealed that struggles with keeping life in his tyres affected him during the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the Finn finished a distant sixth on Sunday.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver made a good start to run third in the early stages but found himself shuffled down the pack as Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo both found their way passed, before the Finn allowed team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who was on a different strategy, to go after the Red Bull Racing duo.
“It was not an easy race for me, the car was pretty ok, but I suffered with the tyres, to make them last,” said Raikkonen. “I was constantly trying to keep the fronts alive.
“After the start I was in a good position, but I struggled with the first set of Softs: at the end of the stint they kind of came back and improved, but we kept losing places. When Seb came close to me, I knew that he was on a different strategy and I let him go.”
Raikkonen believed the team have worked hard throughout 2016 in order to improve their car, and is now hopeful their 2017 effort will be a vast improvement in order to challenge for race wins once more.
“Obviously it has been quite a tricky year, far from what we want as a team, but lately we have been working well, doing the right things,” said Raikkonen. “Now we need to keep working this way and hopefully next year, with the new car, we’ll be where we want to be.”